#1
Hello all,

I've been fingerpicking on and off for a few years now. I've never made practicing it
consistent because I've never been able to grow and maintain a set of fingernails for my right hand. I have a permanent split down the middle of my index finger's nail and it separates when I try to grow it out.

I was happy to find a video of Tommy Emmanuel explaining his finger-tone technique in a youtube video in which I learned that he just relies the fleshy part of his fingertips. He says that he's built calluses on his RH fingers tough enough to the point that he can get enough volume from each individual finger to match that of a plectrum.

I want to try building these calluses as well and hopefully maintain them. I realize that building these calluses will take an insane amount of time so I've thought out a shortcut.

I have a Varigrip(hand/finger exerciser) with a callus maintainer on the bottom of it. What if I try digging my RH fingertips into this? Maybe I'll get a faster result. I can take it with me to school when I'm away from my guitar, at least that's what I'm thinking.

Any thoughts?
#2
I'm not convinced I believe that there's much extra volume to be gotten out of calluses, I think Emmanuel gets his loud sound by attacking the strings in that certain way he does...

That said, the best way to get your fingers in the best playing shape you can is to just use them, all the tools in the world are only going to be replicating the kind of wear that occurs when playing anyway and you might as well spend that time actually practising if you ask me.
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