How do i deal with left hand fingertip pain?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > How do i deal with left hand fingertip pain?

Benjamin Tan

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Joined: 06/21/20

Posts: 25

I am doing the fingerstyle beginner lessons with Lisa.

Everytime after a few minutes of playing the exercises along with Lisa, my fingertips on left hand would feel painful. That said, I couldn't practice for more than 10 minutes because of the pain.

Sometimes the pain feels like being stung by electrcity and sometimes it feels like it extends into the bone of my fingers. I use acoustic guitar.

Any advice?

#1

I am doing the fingerstyle beginner lessons with Lisa.

Everytime after a few minutes of playing the exercises along with Lisa, my fingertips on left hand would feel painful. That said, I couldn't practice for more than 10 minutes because of the pain.

Sometimes the pain feels like being stung by electrcity and sometimes it feels like it extends into the bone of my fingers. I use acoustic guitar.

Any advice?

Guitar Tricks Admin

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Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 3047

Building calluses can be difficult. It's the #1 reason people stop practicing guitar. The key is to not hurt yourself too much, while maintaining a practice reginmen. Don't let it discourage you! Thant being said, there souldn't be debilitating pain. Calluses are built on the skin and the pain should be felt on the skin and fingertips, not extending into your fingers and hands.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

Building calluses can be difficult. It's the #1 reason people stop practicing guitar. The key is to not hurt yourself too much, while maintaining a practice reginmen. Don't let it discourage you! Thant being said, there souldn't be debilitating pain. Calluses are built on the skin and the pain should be felt on the skin and fingertips, not extending into your fingers and hands.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

hemalmehta0223

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Joined: 07/12/21

Posts: 4

I had similar problems too when I was a begineer. I applied a lot of pressure on my left hand fingers when my both hands were engaged. I guess this happens because our brain is not used to that kind of multi-tasking. It needs training. The way I was able to fix that was by only practicing my fretting left hand enough prior to putting both hands together. I am not sure if it was only me, but things were completely different when only putting my left hand at work.

#3

I had similar problems too when I was a begineer. I applied a lot of pressure on my left hand fingers when my both hands were engaged. I guess this happens because our brain is not used to that kind of multi-tasking. It needs training. The way I was able to fix that was by only practicing my fretting left hand enough prior to putting both hands together. I am not sure if it was only me, but things were completely different when only putting my left hand at work.

DraconusJLM

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Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 185

One of the main causes of the usual beginner fingertip pain being worse than it has to be is pressing much harder than you need to.

Experiment a little to see exactly how much pressure you need to apply in order to get the note to sound. Pressing any harder is just wasting energy. Also make sure your fingers are just behind the fret, which also allows you to get away with applying less pressure whilst still getting a good tone.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#4

One of the main causes of the usual beginner fingertip pain being worse than it has to be is pressing much harder than you need to.

Experiment a little to see exactly how much pressure you need to apply in order to get the note to sound. Pressing any harder is just wasting energy. Also make sure your fingers are just behind the fret, which also allows you to get away with applying less pressure whilst still getting a good tone.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

Music_Maestro

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Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 161

One disclaimer Lisa McCormick makes in GF1 is that Acoustic strings are far harder to fret than an Electric, so maybe build fingertip strength on an Electric then return to Acoustic. I recall in another of your previous threads that you wanted to skip the earlier fundamental chapters (chords). This is one of the pitfalls of skipping the basics, among others. By the end of the Fundamentals, you would have developed the necessary calluses for other techniques.

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

#5

One disclaimer Lisa McCormick makes in GF1 is that Acoustic strings are far harder to fret than an Electric, so maybe build fingertip strength on an Electric then return to Acoustic. I recall in another of your previous threads that you wanted to skip the earlier fundamental chapters (chords). This is one of the pitfalls of skipping the basics, among others. By the end of the Fundamentals, you would have developed the necessary calluses for other techniques.

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

Benjamin Tan

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Joined: 06/21/20

Posts: 25

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

One disclaimer Lisa McCormick makes in GF1 is that Acoustic strings are far harder to fret than an Electric, so maybe build fingertip strength on an Electric then return to Acoustic. I recall in another of your previous threads that you wanted to skip the earlier fundamental chapters (chords). This is one of the pitfalls of skipping the basics, among others. By the end of the Fundamentals, you would have developed the necessary calluses for other techniques.

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

#6

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

One disclaimer Lisa McCormick makes in GF1 is that Acoustic strings are far harder to fret than an Electric, so maybe build fingertip strength on an Electric then return to Acoustic. I recall in another of your previous threads that you wanted to skip the earlier fundamental chapters (chords). This is one of the pitfalls of skipping the basics, among others. By the end of the Fundamentals, you would have developed the necessary calluses for other techniques.

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

Benjamin Tan

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Joined: 06/21/20

Posts: 25

Originally Posted by: hemalmehta0223

I had similar problems too when I was a begineer. I applied a lot of pressure on my left hand fingers when my both hands were engaged. I guess this happens because our brain is not used to that kind of multi-tasking. It needs training. The way I was able to fix that was by only practicing my fretting left hand enough prior to putting both hands together. I am not sure if it was only me, but things were completely different when only putting my left hand at work.

Man I tried that and I realized I need to use a lot lesser strength on my left hand. After doing only left hand like you said, adding right hand into the play while still maintaining a relaxed left hand is much easier. Thanks.

However, I realized that for chords like A(the one where u need 3 fingers on 2nd fret) will need two of my fingers to press harder than usual due to them being further away from the steel bar. When that happens, those finger will hurt. The longer I play that chord, a 'dent' will form from the fingertip flesh being pushed inward. The deeper the dent, the more painful my finger will feel.

#7

Originally Posted by: hemalmehta0223

I had similar problems too when I was a begineer. I applied a lot of pressure on my left hand fingers when my both hands were engaged. I guess this happens because our brain is not used to that kind of multi-tasking. It needs training. The way I was able to fix that was by only practicing my fretting left hand enough prior to putting both hands together. I am not sure if it was only me, but things were completely different when only putting my left hand at work.

Man I tried that and I realized I need to use a lot lesser strength on my left hand. After doing only left hand like you said, adding right hand into the play while still maintaining a relaxed left hand is much easier. Thanks.

However, I realized that for chords like A(the one where u need 3 fingers on 2nd fret) will need two of my fingers to press harder than usual due to them being further away from the steel bar. When that happens, those finger will hurt. The longer I play that chord, a 'dent' will form from the fingertip flesh being pushed inward. The deeper the dent, the more painful my finger will feel.

Benjamin Tan

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/20

Posts: 25

Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

One of the main causes of the usual beginner fingertip pain being worse than it has to be is pressing much harder than you need to.

Experiment a little to see exactly how much pressure you need to apply in order to get the note to sound. Pressing any harder is just wasting energy. Also make sure your fingers are just behind the fret, which also allows you to get away with applying less pressure whilst still getting a good tone.

Someone suggested to play only left hand, I tried it and realized I used much more force than I needed to. It was much easier after I was aware of that.

However, I realized that for chords like A(the one where u need 3 fingers on 2nd fret) will need two of my fingers to press harder than usual due to them being further away from the steel bar. When that happens, those finger will hurt. The longer I play that chord, a 'dent' will form from the fingertip flesh being pushed inward. The deeper the dent, the more painful my finger will feel. Those fingers need to use more strength to get a clear sound.

How do I deal with this?

#8

Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

One of the main causes of the usual beginner fingertip pain being worse than it has to be is pressing much harder than you need to.

Experiment a little to see exactly how much pressure you need to apply in order to get the note to sound. Pressing any harder is just wasting energy. Also make sure your fingers are just behind the fret, which also allows you to get away with applying less pressure whilst still getting a good tone.

Someone suggested to play only left hand, I tried it and realized I used much more force than I needed to. It was much easier after I was aware of that.

However, I realized that for chords like A(the one where u need 3 fingers on 2nd fret) will need two of my fingers to press harder than usual due to them being further away from the steel bar. When that happens, those finger will hurt. The longer I play that chord, a 'dent' will form from the fingertip flesh being pushed inward. The deeper the dent, the more painful my finger will feel. Those fingers need to use more strength to get a clear sound.

How do I deal with this?

Music_Maestro

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Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 161

Originally Posted by: Benjamin
Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

I would explain here, but it's pointless as all GT tutorials work best where you're following along visually. Do you see now by skipping essential fundamentals you're not doing yourself any favours? You have a full subscription, so you should have access to them.

Best of luck.

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

#9

Originally Posted by: Benjamin
Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

I would explain here, but it's pointless as all GT tutorials work best where you're following along visually. Do you see now by skipping essential fundamentals you're not doing yourself any favours? You have a full subscription, so you should have access to them.

Best of luck.

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

Benjamin Tan

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/20

Posts: 25

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro
Originally Posted by: Benjamin
Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

I would explain here, but it's pointless as all GT tutorials work best where you're following along visually. Do you see now by skipping essential fundamentals you're not doing yourself any favours? You have a full subscription, so you should have access to them.

Best of luck.

Spider exercise isn't part of Guitar Fundamentals course. It is part of the warm ups section iirc. How hard is it just to mention that?

Like that has a lot to do with me skipping fundamentals? Months ago when I was still at fundamentals I don't even know this exercise existed. I also have the same finger tip pain but I didn't use forum much. Now I feel a lot more focused and purposeful, and I make more posts/ask more questions. If I make a similar post that time on finger tip pain what you're gonna say? Apparently me skipping fundamentals is out of the list.

Since joining fingerstyle right away I am able to learn chords faster, muscle memory builds much faster than when I was learning GF1, if you wanna know why, go back to the thread where I asked about skipping learning chords.

#10

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro
Originally Posted by: Benjamin
Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro

Do you practice spider fingers exercise, for at least 5-10mins before learning?

No, and I never heard of the exercise before, how does it work?

I would explain here, but it's pointless as all GT tutorials work best where you're following along visually. Do you see now by skipping essential fundamentals you're not doing yourself any favours? You have a full subscription, so you should have access to them.

Best of luck.

Spider exercise isn't part of Guitar Fundamentals course. It is part of the warm ups section iirc. How hard is it just to mention that?

Like that has a lot to do with me skipping fundamentals? Months ago when I was still at fundamentals I don't even know this exercise existed. I also have the same finger tip pain but I didn't use forum much. Now I feel a lot more focused and purposeful, and I make more posts/ask more questions. If I make a similar post that time on finger tip pain what you're gonna say? Apparently me skipping fundamentals is out of the list.

Since joining fingerstyle right away I am able to learn chords faster, muscle memory builds much faster than when I was learning GF1, if you wanna know why, go back to the thread where I asked about skipping learning chords.