‘Arrggh the pain!’ you scream as you bravely struggle through that solo when the burning in your fingers is impolitely telling you to stop.
You wonder how anyone got through it to ever become a guitar great. Your own trajectory needs a boost to give you the practice time you crave.
You’ve heard of wild solutions; some of them border on degrading yourself to the point you’d rather give up learning the guitar. We have a pick of the myths and truths to develop strong guitar calluses fast.
You practice and then file down the skin on your fingers: MYTH.
Tearing down the entire surface of your current callus just destroys what you have and doesn’t create the pressure needed to make them grow faster. It is also madness.
Salt and water
Mix together a saline solution and dip your fingers in it three-times a day: TRUTH…ish
You’re on the right lines but the key is to get a good amount of salt in the solution. Salt draws moisture from the skin, explaining why a mixture of saltwater and pulling on a lot of rope makes fishermen the greatest guitar players on earth.
Well, you can try this however you like but it’s probably best to use a pot of some kind. Keep them submerged three times a day: MYTH.
Your older brother is playing a poor practical joke on you. If you believe this, also be wary of people who ask you to buy them a tin of tartan paint.
Swab the solution on your fingertips with a cotton bud three times a day: TRUTH.
The highly concentrated fluid will help to reduce moisture around the fingertip, which usually causes them to soften. Buy a bottle today!
Apply the glue to your fingertips: MYTH.
This is a radical approach, which could cause you unnecessary additional pain. It will provide a helmet over your fingertips when you play but will not result in the faster growth of calluses.
Play your guitar: TRUTH.
Just play man, you know? As simple as it sounds, this is the most effective way. It takes perseverance and determination but your calluses will be won gracefully. Practice 20 to 30 minutes every day or until they really start to hurt; this ‘natural’ pressure will build them exactly where you need them because of where you repeatedly place your fingers on the frets.
Additionally, try bending the G or B string in standard tuning up towards you. Hold it there as long as you can until it really starts to burn. Try this with each of your fingers.
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Guest Post: Tom Siddle is singer/songwriter who blogs on behalf of www.bimm.co.uk.’