#1
Hey Everyone!

So this is the first time I'm posting on this forum. I decided to hop on to ask for help with this, because I've been struggling for a long time.

I know that new players always experience pain in their fingers as they build calluses and whatnot - I am not a new player. I'm an advanced player that plays for 3-7 hours a day, every day, and plays coffee shop gigs every weekend that last hours. That said, I struggle with the same issue as new players, if not much worse.

I do have calluses, naturally, but whenever I play, my fingertips hurt more and more, and after about an hour or two of playing, any pressure is extremely painful. After this time, my fingers also go from looking perfectly normal, to being white, tattered, hard, and painful.

I don't understand why this happens to me, I want to be able to play my long sessions without any finger issues - I even tried this product called 'Rock Tips' that actually does a semi-decent job protecting the skin, but it just delays my fingers inevitably looking the same after every session.

For awhile I thought my very dry climate might be making my fingers sensitive, (Colorado) so I started moisturizing my hands frequently - didn't really help.

Lastly, if it makes any difference, I'm only eighteen, so it's not an aging issue.

Thank you for any help/tips you can provide me. I played for about an hour before posting this, and took a picture of my fingers, I'll put it below. (A google drive link, I'm not sure how else to share one here...) That's how they look on a good afternoon, in another hour they'll be unrecognizable...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_l74zYujO5pQ3hBUWRLRG9XaE0/edit?usp=sharing
#2
Maybe it's just me, but they look really swollen man.

Have you tried using lighter gauged strings? I play for hours on end and my fingers have never looked like yours do in that picture. (Not trying to scare you or anything, maybe I have some strong fingaz)

I mean, my fingers definitely feel it after a good days work on the strings but it's never been 'extremely painful'. It might be a medical issue, if you feel like you wanna get it checked out.
#3
I'm actually using very light gauge strings on a Martin guitar - Martin light strings, actually. The crazy thing, is that in four-five hours of not playing, my fingers will go back to normal, for the most part. It's just extended playing that causes the problem. And that picture is a very good day, normally they get way worse.

I'm not sure if it's swelling, though. They don't seem to swell much, they just get torn up really quick, for some reason.
#4
Quote by beatlesfan1225
I'm actually using very light gauge strings on a Martin guitar - Martin light strings, actually. The crazy thing, is that in four-five hours of not playing, my fingers will go back to normal, for the most part. It's just extended playing that causes the problem. And that picture is a very good day, normally they get way worse.

I'm not sure if it's swelling, though. They don't seem to swell much, they just get torn up really quick, for some reason.


Okay I guess it's just the angle of your hand then.

You said you play for 3-7 hours a day, everyday. When was the last time you missed a few days of playing? 'Cause maybe you're fingers are just really shredded from constant abuse and need a breather.

If I play 8 something hours one day, my fingers are still sore the next. So without a break, I can imagine your fingers would feel the effects after a week or so.
#5
I thought that could be the problem as well - However, I was just away for six days for the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and my fingers were perfectly normal the whole time - An hour after hitting the guitar again this afternoon, that's how they looked.
#6
Quote by beatlesfan1225
I thought that could be the problem as well - However, I was just away for six days for the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and my fingers were perfectly normal the whole time - An hour after hitting the guitar again this afternoon, that's how they looked.


Hmm, I'm stumped man.

I can't understand why they wouldn't callus up and be good to go after awhile. I would just go to the doctor or a dermatologist (Idk if that's their field, but it is skin related) and see what they have to say. It's obviously not life threatening so I would just do it out of curiosity.
#7
Thanks anyway! I have very sensitive skin, so that may come into play here as well.

I'd be curious though, to see if anyone else on the forum has experienced difficulty with finger problems, and how they may have overcome it or benefitted it.