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Old 06-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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sore fingers - need urgent help


so basically I properly started to learn how to play the guitar last night, for about a few hours.

Today though, I planned on practicing all day. Well, an hour in and I noticed that when I was switching between the three chords i learned last night, the tip of a couple of my fingers were frayed to the point where it's essentially unplayable.

This is where I'm stuck on...You know, if you can remember back to when you got to this point..How long did you take a break, to rest your fingers?

By the way, I should note that my schedule is as follows:

Workdays - 5 hours of practice a day
non-work day - 8 AM-11:PM

This is what also worries me, you know...I'm wondering if this can eventually bring irreversible damage to my fingers

Last edited by Climaxia : 06-05-2014 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:28 PM   #2
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you properly started to learn to play last night, and you want to go to 5 hours a day on workdays?

would you start on a bench press at 235 lbs?

my point is this isn't wise. not only are you not physically used to the act of playing guitar yet, but that much time in the beginning stages really is not necessary. unless you're bringing all of a year's training and topics into a month, and even then, you run a huge risk of glossing over a lot of it because you didn't spend sufficient time on it.

i see you're enthusiastic and that's great, don't lose that passion. but just because one can do something doesn't mean one should. dial back a bit for now and as you become used to it you can start raising your numbers.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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I'm no doctor (so bear that in mind) but I think the trick is in playing enough that the callouses start to form, but not so much that they start to turn into blisters (where, as you said, you pretty much have to wait for them to heal so you're actually losing playing time). Regarding healing time, if you play and they open again/turn back into blisters almost immediately, it's too soon.

I'd have thought 5 hours a day is way too much, especially if you're getting blisters. That's your body's way of telling you you're going too hard at it. I've never played 5 hours in a single day, far as i'm aware.

EDIT: 8am - 11pm?

Seriously, that's way, way too much, even for an accomplished player.

What aeolian wolf says, basically.

Also, especially at the start but it pretty much holds throughout, little and often trumps big massive sessions with big breaks in-between.
Originally Posted by classicrocker01
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Last edited by Dave_Mc : 06-05-2014 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:19 PM   #4
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It depends how much you play the guitar a day I think well in my experience I would play until the point where my fingers started to hurt a little and then stop, it's like a daily process, you could use a guitar pick unless your finger picking :3 5 hours is too much to start with but once the skin on your fingers is more tough then you probably could play 5 hours with a couple minute gaps in between I did about 2 hours a day when first learning guitar ^_^
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Climaxia
How long did you take a break, to rest your fingers?

Until they heal?

Seriously though, I really don't think that going for five hours everyday is a great idea, nor is it really necessary. I'm pretty sure I've never played just guitar for five hours straight.

8 A.M. -11 P.M., really? I don't think that you need to practice for fifteen hours straight. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would be the very definition of overkill. Go easy on your fingers, especially since they haven't built up callouses yet.

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Old 06-05-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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Play two or three 15-minute sessions a day for a week, give or take a few days, after that your callouses should be hard enough for longer practice sessions.

Also, with correct practice, you'll never need to do more than 4 hours than a day. It's much, MUCH better to have a 2 hour prac session with clear goals in mind than playing finger exercises for 8 hours straight.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #7
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I generally go with the rule of "if it hurts, stop". If you're feeling the ends of your fingers hurt, or can at least tell they're going to blister, don't plow through it. Same thing goes for tiredness in your wrist etc. If it's starting to become hard or painful take a break.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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This brings me back. I remember when I first started playing guitar and had the same problem. I do believe within the first 24 hours I started to get little blisters and it was sort of saddening because it was too painful to play. They would be little bubbles and I remember pressing on them and they burned...not meaning to gross you out haha.

But what you need to do is just TAKE IT EASY. When pain sets in...STOP AND TAKE A BREAK and let your fingers adjust. Eventually, you will build up calluses hard like a rock and then over time the calluses feel more smoothed out but still have a nice thickness to where it feels like a normal fingertip and no pain at all. It really is a beautiful thing.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #9
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your enthusiasm for learning is already a step beyond most people who want to learn guitar. You will get to the point where you will be able to practice all day, but for now...take it slower. turn on a metronome and practice those three chords for an hour a day, and let your fingers rest. you dont want to strain yourself this much, but nice that you got a headstart! :3
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:45 AM   #10
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Love the enhusiasm. Take a break till it stops hurting and get back on it again.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:57 PM   #11
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^ Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that you *can't* practise that much, and if you can, more power to you. But at the start, at least if you're like most people, your fingers are going to kill you if you try to do that amount of playing from the get-go. At very least, you'd need to have your callouses built up before attempting that amount of practising. There's not much point in playing 5 hours on one day and then having to take a break for a week until your blisters heal. You'd get more benefit from practising half an hour every day, but not having to take those healing breaks.
Originally Posted by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp

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