10 Ways to Deal with Sore Fingers

10 Ways to Deal with Sore Fingers in Guitar Playing

Do you have sore fingers when playing the guitar?

You’re not alone. Many beginner guitar players face this problem and it can be discouraging. But there is hope!

When you are playing the guitar, sore fingers can be a real nuisance. Some guitarists learn to play with sore fingers. You might be one of those if you aren’t aware that you’re doing it, but as soon as you notice the symptoms, there are a few things you can do to fix it. It’s not hard to deal with sore fingers in guitar playing once you know how.

The symptoms of playing with sore fingers include:

  • Pain after playing guitar
  • Soreness in specific places on your fingers or hand
  • Difficulty playing notes, strings, and chords

How to Overcome Sore Fingers

Granted, there are some days when you just can’t play as well as you normally do. But if you find that it’s a consistent problem, there are some things you can do to fix the issue. Here is a list of possible solutions for dealing with sore fingers in guitar playing:

1. Quit playing so much. 

Don’t play for too long or intensely until your hands are in pain. Practice daily for about 10-15 minutes a day. Playing excessively will only make your fingers more tired and create muscle tension that adds to the already existing stress on your joints and muscles, creating fatigue. Take a break after playing for a while. Give yourself about 15 minutes to recover before practicing again to give your fingers time to rest between sessions.

2. Use Heat and Ice

Heat and ice are great ways to deal with sore fingers in guitar playing. Heat from warm water can be used to relax your muscles which are being strained during practice. Heat also increases blood flow, which is good for sore fingers. Ice can be useful in the opposite way. Icing sore fingers reduces pain and swelling, but it will also make you less flexible.

3. Try removing rings before playing guitar.

Rings can put too much strain on joints and muscles. You can put it back after playing the guitar. If your fingers are seriously sore, take time to heal before wearing it again.

4. Utilize Proper Technique

Adjust how you play. When you are learning to play the guitar, it is essential that you use proper technique so you don’t develop bad habits that can lead to injuries. One of the top reasons for sore fingertips is incorrect playing style. Use less force when you play guitar and don’t play the guitar with a flat hand, as this cuts off blood flow to your fingers and can cause pain and soreness after playing for an extended period of time or at all. 

Relax your shoulders and hands while playing guitar. It’s easy to tense up when you’re stressed out about something, but this extra stress can cause strain on the joints that cause pain in your fingertips. When you feel yourself tensing up, shake it off and relax.

5. Allow the calluses to form.

Moderate pain is inevitable when you’re new to playing guitar. Practicing for short periods consistently everyday will speed up callus formation. Once these have hardened, it will be much more comfortable playing the guitar and protects you from getting sore fingers.

How to Prevent Sore Fingers

Don’t let sore fingers keep you from strumming your favorite tunes. Prevention is often the best method for dealing with sore fingers in guitar playing. Try these tips to make sure your fingertips don’t get too sore for guitar playing.

1. Warm Up Before You Play

Warm up before playing for longer periods of time or trying more difficult songs. If you warm up, your fingers will be ready for playing guitar and well-prepared to handle it. Spend about 10 minutes doing some finger and wrist warm ups before playing. Finger exercises will prevent future problems. You can use tendon glides. These are exercises that will strengthen your tendons so they don’t get injured as often.

2. Keep your nails short and filed down.

Shorter nails will require less pressure on your fingertips when playing guitar. Longer, thicker nails will intensify the pain in your fingers after playing for a long time.

3. Practice with a Metronome

If you want to avoid developing sore fingers, one of the best things you can do is practice with a metronome. A metronome will help control your speed so you can keep track of timing and  will prevent you from straining yourself with excess force or picking too fast. Using a metronome will teach you to play at the right speed and improve your coordination as well!

4. Get The Right Strings

Make sure you’re getting the right strings for your electric guitar. The thicker the string, the more force you have to apply. Heavy, medium, light, and extra-light are terms used to describe the thickness of your guitar’s strings. Start with light or extra-light strings to make it easier to press down on them. 

Also, if your strings are old, rusty, or have been unwrapped for a week or so it’s probably time that you change them.

5. Adjust the guitar action.

Action refers to the distance of the strings from the fretboard. If your guitar strings are too high, you might get sore fingers. You can lower the strings so that they are closer to the fretboard. You might need to ask a local guitar shop if they can help you with this.

That’s it for our list of ways to deal with sore fingers in guitar playing. If you try these tips, hopefully your experience with pain and injuries will be less than it was before.

Keep on strumming and make your fingers tougher!

Now get back to playing those beautiful songs on your instrument of choice! We know how much fun it is when we finally learn something new after putting in hours of practice, so don’t give up now! Keep going until your dream comes true. It might take some time, but we believe in you and know that if anyone can do it, it’s YOU! 

So what are you waiting for? Get back into the game already!!

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