Steel-stringed acoustic guitar hurts my fingering hand; what are my choices?



Asked by: Meghan Peterson

If your fingers hurt when playing guitar, take a short break. Try playing again in a few hours or overnight. Give your fingers time to heal and toughen up. Practice regularly to help your fingers toughen up, but use regular breaks to prevent your fingers from wearing down too much.

Why do acoustic guitars hurt my fingers?





The thickness of your guitar strings will affect how irritated your fingers become, the thicker the string the harder you have to press. Strings come marked in Heavy, Medium, Light, and Extra-Light. Try starting with light or extra-light strings which will be easier to press down on.

How do I stop my fingers from hurting when playing guitar?

How to treat sore fingers

  1. Apply a cold compress to relieve the pain and swelling.
  2. Take a mild pain medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil), for muscle or joint pain.
  3. Apply a numbing ointment to ease the discomfort between sessions.
  4. Soak injured fingertips in apple cider vinegar between sessions to promote healing.

Should I stop playing guitar if my fingers hurt?

Fingertip soreness is temporary and can last a week or more. It doesn’t require treatment, although icing and numbing creams can provide short-term relief. But again, simply playing guitar until you build up some calluses, is the best remedy.

Which guitar strings are easiest on the fingers?

Nylon strings are easiest on the finger due to their smooth texture and low density compared to steel strings. In terms of steel strings, flatwound strings cause less friction than roundwound strings. Silk and steel winding is gentler on the fingers, as are most coated strings.

Will my fingers get used to playing guitar?





You can expect a decrease in fingertip sensitivity with time. And once you’ve got those babies good and tough, keep them that way by playing your guitar daily, even if only for a few minutes. As long as you continue to play faithfully, you’ll maintain your calluses and never have to worry about sore fingers again.

How do I toughen up my fingers for guitar?

Used by amateurs and professionals alike, rubbing alcohol helps harden the skin and, in some instances, can also help ease the pain. Simply soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol 3-4 times a day, and rub it over your fingertips. Another liquid mixture that some guitar players use to harden their skin is salt water.

Why do guitar players tape their fingers?

It protects your strumming hand from getting cut and damaged by the strings. Tape reduces the friction between your fingers and the strings, allowing you to pick the strings faster. Nails can be taped when players use them to pluck strings, rather than using a plectrum (pick).

How long does it take for your fingers to get used to playing guitar?

It will take approximately two weeks to work through the initial discomfort in your fingertips after you begin playing guitar. This is normal. As you begin playing, your fingertips will gradually develop calluses, and over time, this will eliminate fingertip soreness.

Why does my hand always hurt when I play guitar?

Playing the guitar requires rapid movement of all fingers for an extended period of time. This produces one of the most common “overuse” musculoskeletal disorders today, called carpal tunnel syndrome. Anybody who uses their hand for rapid and repetitive activities is at high risk for getting this painful condition.



What are the easiest steel guitar strings to play?

The best guitar strings for beginners: electric

  • D’Addario XL. Colour-coded ball-ends make string changes easy. …
  • Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky. A great hybrid set, ideal for drop D tuning. …
  • Martin Authentic Acoustic Custom Light. …
  • La Bella 710L Silk And Steel. …
  • Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla. …
  • D’Addario Pro-Arté


Which acoustic guitar is easiest on the fingers?

Classical guitars are traditionally played with nylon strings, which are by far the easiest type of string material on your fingers.



How do I make my acoustic guitar strings softer?


You can add more tension by laying the strings. And lay the strings down a little bit more by turning the truss rod to the right or you can loosen it if you get a lot of fret buzz uh up around.

Why does my finger sting after playing guitar?

This sharp sensation at the tip of your fingers is usually a combination of a minor bone bruise, damaged nerves and damaged muscle tissue from using too much pressure when fretting a guitar and extended use.

How do I lower the action on my acoustic guitar?

If you have a desire to adjust your action, there are 5 main ways to do it.

  1. Raising or Lowering Action by Adjusting the Truss Rod. …
  2. Lowering the Action by Sanding the nut. …
  3. Raising the Action by Shimming the Bridge Saddle. …
  4. Lowering Action by Sanding the Bridge Saddle.




Which acoustic guitar has lowest action?

7 Best Low Action Acoustic Guitars

  • #1 Fender CD60s Acoustic Guitar. Click here to check pricing and availability at Amazon → …
  • #2 Ibanez AE245JR. …
  • #3 Washburn WLD10SCE. …
  • #4 Taylor 114E Acoustic Guitar. …
  • #5 Washburn Heritage 20 Series HD20SCE. …
  • #6 Martin DJR-10. …
  • #7 Taylor Academy Dreadnought 10e.


Why do cheap guitars have high action?

Some cheap guitars do have a high action because manufacturers don’t put enough time into instruments, in order to make as much profit as possible. After all, time is money, and the less money spent, the better for them. Also, their quality control standards are low, so they sell products for a lower price.