#1
I've been playing daily for probably 2-3 months now and built up some pretty nice callouses but now there seems to be blisters under them, which is painful enough I've had to stop playing. Does anyone have any tips to help get rid of the pain? I know its a proper newbie question but i can't just pop the blisters through the callouses and id like to be able to continue practicing daily!
#2
Well, give it a rest, first and foremost.

But, there are other factors besides callouses to consider. Ostensibly there is tissue and nerves between the callouses and bones. Hence, (and I'm making some assumptions here), I expect you could harm yourself pinching live tissue between said dead hardened skin of callous and bone. There is after all, live skin underneath the callous. Is the guitar setup properly? Are you into some kind of Spartan "no pain, no gain", type of practice schedule?
#3
Captaincranky My guitar is set up really well, i've had it for close to two years now playing weekly and had no issues until i started daily practicing (not really 'practicing' per say, just writing songs). I wouldn't say its a 'no pain, no gain' sort of schedule, i push through a degree of pain but I'm not a 'i haven't really practiced till my fingers bleed' kind of person, I'm really pretty lax about it and just write songs. My boyfriend is a 'proper' guitarist and hasn't had any issues like this, just typing this is hurting my fingers. Definitely resting up a bit, as annoying as it is, so as not to screw up my fingers any further.
#4
Well, even auto mechanics don't have callouses where they're needed to play the guitar.

After you give yourself some time to heal, you might check and see if the string clearance is good at the top nut. You can have the overall action height set properly, yet still have the guitar difficult to play in the open position because the nut grooves aren't deep enough.

Noobies, (and me), tend to play in the open position, and it's actually harder to fret those notes down low.

So, you could try capoing the guitar up a couple of frets, which takes top nut clearance out of the equation.

You could try tuning the guitar to D-d instead of E-e which again would make it easier to finger.

You could try restringing the guitar lighter. (Either a custom light set, ."011 to .052", or an "extra light set, ".010 to .047").

All of those techniques likely won't work together. For example "extra light strings", with a guitar tuned down a whole tone (D-d), would more than likely sound like crap. That's the "perfect storm" though. Anything else I mentioned likely would work together.

Heck, you could even try "brass", (or standard bronze) strings. They'll have "80/20" on the package which is the bell brass or bronze alloy. It's easier to bend than the more common "phosphor bronze" strings which many people use. The 80/20 strings are a fair amount brighter than phosphor bronze, so be ready for that.

I think Mr Becker gives you string clearances at the nut: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

That's a great guide, which is worth reading by virtually any guitarist.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 24, 2016,
#5
You have to rest those fingers, let them heal, you could damage the nerves. In my early days I just peeled those things off and kept playing but if you're fair skinned you'll have to be more carefull. Nut clearance is a major factor even on a guitar that seems to have "good" action. As Cap'n says, use a capo.