#1
Folks, I'm 3 weeks into a new Martin D-28 Marquis having not played since I was a kid (a long time ago...) I've played about an hour or more each day and have developed somewhat of a callous on my fretting hand fingers. Concerning me is my ring finger. It's been good up until the last couple of days. Now after I play for 25 minutes or so, I have a definite crease or divot in it and it is painful . I have to stop for an hour and then I can go at it once more (although it then quickly starts hurting again thereafter). Have I just not given enough time to callous harden the tip of that finger enough? Do I need to take a day of or keep at it? By the way, a couple of hours after I stop, the crease has gone away and the finger just feels a little tender. It's always ready to go the next day.

Thanks in advance!!
#2
Your fingers are just ajusting to the harsh conditions you are putting them through (lol). I would maybe suggest pressing your chords and notes with a little less pressure. The goal is to use the least amout of energy and press down with the least pressure possible for the notes to work. You will get it the more you play and practice.
#3
I used to have that same problem and I'm doin' okay now, so I assume it's pretty regular?

I wouldn't worry. Take breaks as necessary. You don't need to rush. The guitar isn't going anywhere.
#4
Thanks for the suggestions. It's just the ring finger that seems to be a problem. The amount of pressure applied doesn't seem to be bothering the others. I was just concerned I may do some damage and have to stop and then start over again. The crease I get in that finger is fairly alarming compared to the others.
#5
Well, when I purchased an acoustic my ring finger had the same problem. I play electric so it isn't painful, just uncomfortable. It will go away after your finger gets used to it and develop callous. Instead one hour at a stretch, try to play four 15 minute sessions or maybe two half hour sessions.
#6
I used to have that problem and it did seem worse on the ring finger. I would take 1 day off and then get back at it. It seems to help the callus harden up when you give it a little time.
#7
When I started I switched to light strings for the first month or so. It helped me build strength for barr chords and toughen up the finger tips. Then going back to mediums it felt a lot better.

.
This is the worlds greatest sig line ever!!
#8
What you have right now are hard callouses. What you want are soft callouses. After long enough, it will develop there will no longer be that hard layer of dead skin that indents after playing for a while. It just takes a lot of playing.

I would suggest using some moisturizer when you aren't playing. It should help soften the skin. Do not use moisturizer before playing as it will leave the residue on the guitar strings and neck.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#9
The freting hand will strengthen over time, but if you are going to be doing a lot of "finger picking" then you may notice irritation on the picking hand. It too will strengthen, but i personally had to resort to acrylic nails with a gel overlay to avoid having "bloody nubs." This shouldn't be nessicary unless you are playing a hell of a lot though. Now back to the freting hand! Even though my fingers are now rock hard I have still encountered the problem of the actual nail bed of the finger trying to recede! If this ever happens i suggest putting the guitar down for a day or two to let it heal, because it is not in anyway a good feeling.
#10
To help the growth of callouses, try some rubbing alcohol on your fingertips between practices.
#11
5 years down the track & my fingers have nice soft callous but after an hour (or four) of solid play my joints in the finger still get tender. (especially playing barre chords & sliding them).
Richard

Veni Vidi Vici

Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
PM the_random_hero for entry

Prime Minister of the UG archtop acoustic players club,
PM Keef_is_King
to join!