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Toughening up Fingertips: How to do it
How can I get my fingertips harder?
The ultimate solution to sore fingertips is calluses. Once calluses start developing on the fingertips of your fretting hand, you'll start feeling less and less pain and eventually your fingertips will be hard and coarse (only slightly) and you'll feel nothing when fretting a string.
Calluses are slightly elevated and hardened skin, but it's nothing gross or ugly, in fact you can barely see it and will only really notice it when you rub across your fingers. So don't worry girls, you won't get ugly hands from playing guitar :-)
How to speed up the process
We all want calluses quickly, but sometimes nature takes it time, and in the meantime we struggle with discomfort during every practice session. Luckily, there are things to do to speed up the process...
Need some help with toughening up fingertips for guitar playing? This page will show you how it's done...
Return from Toughening up Fingertips to Common Guitar Learning Problems
Practice Regularly - This is the most obvious, but often overlooked by many. The quickest way of developing calluses is by playing every day for the first couple of weeks. If you're only going to be practicing or playing once a week, you'll NEVER develop calluses and every practice session will be torture.
By practicing regularly (daily or every 2nd day), you'll help your hand in developing calluses quickly.
Soak your fingers in methylated spirits (Denatured Alcohol) - This advice comes from one of the guitar hero's of our time, Eric Clapton, who apparently did this regularly. Methylated Spirits will have a hardening effect on your fingertips and many have reported that it really works.
DISCLAIMER: I'm no doctor, but common sense dictates that you should not do this if you have skin problems or a dermatological disease. Also, if you have open sores on your fingers it might not be a good idea. If you're unsure, don't take my word for it and rather consult a doctor or expert.