the tips of my fingers have pads but still hurt. I found some finger tip guards or gloves. are there other more common solutions?
btw is there a way to search the forums?
First of all, not to berate but to educate: It would have been better to start another thread for this or look to see if another has been started on this subject. You will get a faster answer if you start another thread or continue one that is of the same subject. Education over.
How long have you been playing? Has it been a few weeks or a few years? If you have just started you will develop the calluses but your fingers are still going through a transition. Every time you play, and fret, you are causing trauma (yes trauma) to your finger tips. The calluses are your body's response to this trauma but that is just the start. Now the nerves have to adjust to the trauma and that will take longer.
When I started playing it took just a few weeks for the calluses to form but it took about two to three months for my fingers to stop feeling "funny". The pain stopped after a few more weeks but then my finger tips were numb under the calluses. The adjustment from that numbness took longer but it did go away.
How long it takes depends upon how much you play. If you only play for 1/2 hour every other day it will take longer. When I started I played, (and still play), about an hour a day. If my fingers hurt I set the guitar down and came back later. As with anything it will pass. Don't let it discourage you but don't play so much with pain that you stop enjoying the guitar.
I see from one of your prior posts that you have a Strat and a Martin acoustic. If you are using the Martin more than the Strat try playing the Strat a bit more. The strings on an electric don't require as much pressure so they are a bit easier on the fingers. Another thing you may try when the finger tips get tender is try working on power chords as you don't need the finger tips, but the pads of the fingers, to shape those. That way you get more guitar time without beating up on the fingertips as much.
Lastly, try tuning down half a step and/or going to thinner strings on both guitars. Tuning down half a step will not require different chord shapes but will go easier on the fingers. This is one of the first things I did to help my finger tips. Going to a thinner gauge string will help in that less pressure is required to fret a note. Thinner gauge will make the strings sound twangy but if you tune down 1/2 step it will lose some of that twangyness and, this is what I liked, it lessens the pressure required to fret even more!
NOTE: Thinner strings with down tuning may affect the neck, requiring some truss-rod adjustment to avoid fret buzz. If you choose to go to thinner strings and down-tuning, and it results in truss-rod adjustments one of us can help you do the adjustment yourself or you can pay a tech to do the adjustment along with a string change. When I went to a lighter gauge on my acoustic (from 12's to 10's) I did the adjustment myself with no problems. Took about five minutes.
Last edited by bunbun (2012-12-28 08:02:53)