How to Ease Sore Fingertips from Guitar Playing

Many new guitar players experience sore and painful fingertips in the early stages of learning guitar. This pain comes from the indenting your skin over and over again on hard guitar strings. Remember that this pain will eventually subside once you build up calluses. In the meantime here are some tips to get you through the beginning!

Start out slow

In the beginning your fingers will be very sensitive and easily irritated from pressing the strings. Experiment with multiple shorter practice periods throughout the day instead of long sessions, or taking a day off between practice sessions to let your fingers heal.

Get correct strings

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.

Adjust your action

Action refers to the distance of the strings from the fretboard. Strings with higher action are further off the fretboard, requiring you to push harder on the strings. Lowering the action will help ease finger pain. Ask your local guitar store about lowering your action and see the difference!

Practice without pressing the strings

Practice your fingers positions and shapes without actually pressing on the strings. This is especially helpful to break up a practice session when your fingers start to hurt. You can practice any song this way and still have a productive learning experience. 

Let the calluses develop

Eventually your body will create armor for you in the form of calluses. Once the calluses have hardened playing will be much more comfortable. Keep on going!