Guitar help: how do I toughen my fingers?

CPangracs

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Okay, as some of you know, I taught myself Bass a couple years back and have been playing with a band until recently. I still play a couple times a week with a small group, and I'm always getting better, but I don't play enough to develop callouses on my fingers (maybe I should?!).

Well, I decided to teach myself guitar so i can do things like lead my family in Christmas carols and worship songs, and I was wondering if there are any tips on toughening the fingertips. I have been practicing 40 minutes a day or so for the past four weeks, but it's still very hard to get good, crisp cords because I don't have good callouses yet.

Are there any hints out there to speed the process? I've thought about applying a drop of Super Glue to each tip to harden the skin, but I think it might actually retard the callous building process in my fingers, and I want to avoid that.

Thanks in advance,

Curt
 

.pars

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"I've thought about applying a drop of Super Glue to each tip to harden the skin"

Go for it, it'll be a laugh.:p
 

Bootaaay

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Whenever your watching somthing on TV, play guitar - just practice fingering through a scale over and over; thats what worked for me because I couldn't be bothered to practise for extended periods of time, so I just did it while watching TV.
 

2054172

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You see Curt

This is what you get having a cushie job all your life. If you stop doing the pamolive soap commercials your hands will become manly.;) :smoke:
 

Stage

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Curt, I've been playing for about 19 years and the only way to really develope your callouses is to just keep playing. Do NOT use superglue! You will regret it!

My suggestion is to practice your scales as much as possible. It will not only build up your callouses but strengthen your fingers. Also, learn your bar chords if you haven't already done so.
 

Dr Zaius

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I don't think there is any easy way to do this beyond playing a lot. I think part of it depends on how you play, what you play, and what type of strings and guitar you use. I've picked up an acoustic guitar a few times just to mess around and the strings on that made my fingers sore really quickly. It seems like it takes a lot more finger strength and force to play acoustic vs. electric, but some electric players do prefer to play on super fat strings to get that "big" sound. I can't do it.
 

Blackcloud6

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Practice every day. That is the only way. Even if it just a little bit each day, it helps. One way to do that is to always have a guitar out on a stand. You can walk by, pick it up, play a song or run scales, put it down and get back to whatever you were doing.

Learn the Pentatonic Scales too. Then you can play along with almost any song adlibbing. My G-Dec Amp has preset drums and bass to play along with in various keys. I just play along with those to keep the dexterity up.
 

soggycrow

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Play longer and with heavier strings. The best developer of finger toughness is the bass guitar. Then acoustics. Then electrics. When I was young I practiced for hours every day. But now I'm in maintenance mode. Gig tonight with the Ken Smith Band at the Electric Palm in Occoquan, VA.
 

bendizoid

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It's great to play both. If I play my acouctic for awhile then switch my electic is like greased lightning. I recommend electric for people with mild arthritis also. Gotta earn those calluses they are a mark of accomplishment. Pinky callus is the hard one to get. Helps when the skin doesn't smush around the string and bleeds over to neigboring strings. Literally.

A Little bit every day, you will get better,faster than you thought,
Bob
 

bendizoid

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It's been seven years since you started this thread. how's it going now?

Bob
 
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