#1
Hey folks,

I'm a classically trained pianist on an advanced level and I've played professionally for many years.

Someone gave me a guitar for my birthday (I used to play many years ago), and I'm wondering if the callousses and wear and tear on my hands from playing guitar could potentially have a negative effect on my ability to be a sensitive pianist?

What do you think?
#3
well if your a woman then the tips of your finger might go hard but if not stop being a baby and get on with it .
#4
No. A soft touch for playing something like pianissimo comes from a soft, controlled action from the finger joints, wrist and possibly your arms. Calluses on the fingertips won't affect anything.

The difference in skin thickness would be infinitesimally little, and the only effect would be a little more resistance to high, concentrated pressures on very small points (i.e strings) with, again, not much effect to sensitivity on the fingertips.

I think it's also interesting to note it's similar to the calluses on the side of your thumbs after practicing hard on the piano.
#6
I've been playing guitar for 10 years, and hardly ever get callouses. There's usually one on my left hand middle finger but its not bad.
#7
I've been playing guitar for 18 years and I don't have callouses.
Hi, I'm Peter
#9
Quote by chookiecookie
how do you all not have callouses

Wut even


The brand new Ernie Ball super softie .00002 gauge strings! :P

Just joking, I don't get this either. I play an electric with light strings and still get callouses. So yea.
As for the OP, no, calloused fingers won't harm your piano ability. The other posters gave very valid points, so start playing!
#10
Quote by Navi_96
Just joking, I don't get this either. I play an electric with light strings and still get callouses.


I play bass and still don't get calluses. Go figure.
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#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I play bass and still don't get calluses. Go figure.


Erm... well... good for you.

I'm not talking about the ugly, dandruffy calluses (I don't have those) like the ones people get on their feet, though. More like the fingertips developing a little roughness that is felt by the touch, but not changing the appearance of said fingertips. I mean, I've never met a guitar player whose fretting hand fingers are as tender as their picking hand fingertips.
Last edited by Navi_96 at Feb 13, 2014,
#12
What the hell do you do every time you meet another guitar player?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

o_O
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#13
Quote by chookiecookie
how do you all not have callouses

Wut even

I used to get the classic calluses, but about a year or two ago they just went away. They're kind of soft now, but I don't feel any pain when playing. I do notice pushing my fingernails into my fingers causes more pain than it used to though.

Maybe I'm not practicing enough.
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
What the hell do you do every time you meet another guitar player?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

o_O


I guess I should have seen this coming... I didn't mean tender in THAT sense, good god. Most of my friends who play guitar started somewhat earlier than I, so I got a lot of the "your fingers will get used to it" talk when I started, and then they showed me their fingers as proof. It really didn't take an expert biologist to notice the visual difference between the fingertips on the fretting and picking hand...
#15
Just keeping you going, I couldn't resist
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Answering the OP: No. Like others have already said, it is all in the muscles. If your muscles are fine then you can play. Guitar shouldn`t hinder anything.

How the hell do you guys not have callouses? I mean, good for you and all, but still.
My left hand fingers have noticeably thicker skin on the tips than my right hand. Nothing ghastly mind you, but still noticeable. I like having them, it kind of makes me feel closer to the instrument personally. But good for you if your skin remains the same after playing long term.
#17
I have callouses on my right hand too. I guess I tap too much

Answering the original question, I played piano before guitar, and while my guitar and piano playing haven't overlapped much (I just occasionally sit down at the piano when the mood takes me, which isn't all that often), I haven't noticed the callouses having any detrimental effect.

However, I don't play piano to anywhere near your level, and if piano is your job and you'd be in trouble if you can't do it, it might make sense to err on the side of caution. And everyone is slightly different, just because they don't affect me doesn't mean they won't affect you, etc. etc.

It's also worth pointing out that while callouses might not affect you, blisters probably will. So even if you do take up guitar, take it easy and stop playing before you get a blister etc.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
Surely an accomplished pianist will know if slightly toughened fingers on one hand will affect his ability to play normally?
#19
I'm guessing he's never had slightly toughened fingers on one hand? I know I didn't when I only played piano. EDIT: plus if you do a lot of fingerpicking etc. you could have callouses on both hands.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Quote by Lozhaze
Surely an accomplished pianist will know if slightly toughened fingers on one hand will affect his ability to play normally?


I've never experimented with that, but my guess was that it WOULD.

Now I'm not so sure.
#21
Quote by chookiecookie
how do you all not have callouses

Wut even
Trolls don't get callouses... Does that answer your question....
#22
Quote by Captaincranky
Trolls don't get callouses... Does that answer your question....


... Y'what?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#23
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
... Y'what?
I love the tactical conveniences of threads like this. Personally, I'm suspicious of the only very subtle difference between, "advancing the discussion", and "overt trolling". I expect others have different thresholds, where they determine those boundaries.

I've played the guitar all my life, and I develop callouses from it. Since I'm fairly sure I'm not atypical, a mutant, or superior physical specimen, I have to "assume" my results are typical.

A while back I was in a thread where someone told me that a 12 string, (*for that person), was much easier to play than a 6 string. I have both types of guitars, and that certainly isn't the case for me. So, there are two alternative interpretations to that statement. This person must have 12 strings that are much better than mine, and are stung with angel hair, or this person is full of shit.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

In any case, most of my playing is done on guitars with bronze strings. When I play them, my fingertips turn all black, have grooves in them, and develop callouses afterwards.

So, perhaps you know something that I don't, and hence I would be very grateful for any suggestions in the way of diet, exercise, food additives, or illegal drugs, which would enable me to keep my fingertips in pristine condition. This I believe, would be a great advantage were I to meet a female guitarist, since I would be able to hold hands with her, without fear of rebuke from my current state of gnarly fingertips....