Higher finger pain is for sure, if you are strumming and dropping bars consistently for few minutes, this hurtful experience happens with everyone, it doesn’t matter if you are a pro or a rookie the strings will devour the aesthetics of your beautiful fingers and will create mess out of it, but you know what who cares when you can drop some cool bars and have some good time playing.
The painful experience while playing can be caused due to multiple reasons, first being the bad action setup, by this i mean if the action and relief of the guitar is not well balanced then higher action will result in deeper pressing of the frets and hence the deeper pressing will diminish your arpeggios and chord progression speed, as a result you have to press more deeper/harder to get the right sound due to which your fingers will get small cuts/marks which will hurt but not that much to be honest, it will be a little painful thats all, man up and hit the bars, don’t care about pain, it is part of the game.Secondly, when we strum we tend to get into the feel of the song and put a lot of energy in strumming which is not required at all and that energy is transferred to the fret board where we will be holding the chord, so that hard strumming will result in more deeper marks and cuts, which is quite obvious as the energy that you are delivering through the strings to the soundboard and eventually to the fret board will be radiated via your fingers.
So we all agree that your fingers can be a total mess after long practice sessions, so now let’s talk about the ways in which we can reverse this situation.
First, be consistent, practice a lot, initially it will hurt but after hours and hours of constructive practice sessions the pain will subside and the finger tips will start getting harder and harder day by day, your chord grip will get more optimized over time and will not pain at all after a while.
Second, mostly guitarist are aware of the chords they have to play but are usually unaware of the amount of pressure that has to be applied to get the right sound, or lets say hit the right resonance frequency.
Pressing the frets with the right amount of pressure is the key, more pressure will result in more finger pain, on the contrary less pressure will result in fret buzz which is super duper annoying , so the right way is to apply the right amount of pressure, please check the right amount of pressure required to make the right sound and once you are aware of the pressure, then try to incorporate the same calculated pressure in your playing, it will add more smoothness and dynamism to your playing.
Third, keep the guitar in the right shape, wax the guitar and especially the neck, because when you are sliding and moving up and down the fret board, if the neck is not waxed or lets say smooth, then going up and down the fret board will be difficult, better to wax it up and make the neck friction less and then slide like a butter.
Fourth, apply coconut oil and Aloe Vera oil to you finger tips, both the oils have many medicinal properties, applying them will help in faster recovering of skin and a better skin growth.
Fifth, picking the right gauge is very important, the right string gauge will dictate your playing, so usually when we buy guitar usually it has 12 gauge strings, but if it seems pretty hard, as you have just started playing then better move to lower gauges, as you will have to apply less pressure on them because the volume of 11 gauge string is less then 12 gauge string hence less pressure and more flexibility.
Sixth, practice techniques, scales and finger exercises as much as you can, because in the long run you will understand it isn’t the songs that make you a good guitarist but consistently grinding down finger and scale exercises that makes you a champ.
By practicing scales a lot, you will develop a strong muscle memory alignment with the motor, auditory and visual cortex of your brain and which will result in clear, refined, accentuated and dynamic playing.
Seventh, get better access to the fret board , which can be achieved by observing you body stance, hand position and finger positions on the guitar.
I will keep on sharing the tips and tricks to make guitar playing wonderful and refined experience for yall. These steps have helped me to enhance my playing over the years. Hope it does magic with you guys as-well, keep hitting bars!!!
Try to lean in towards the guitar, lean in the elbows a lil bit, avoid any kind of muscle stress on arm, back or leg, if you feel stress you ain’t doing it right, always remember muscles have to be very relaxed in order to get the right dynamism while playing, on many occasions even pro guitarist’s foot position can be a big problem hence they use foot still, using a foot still if you want , it will help in balancing the guitar real well and thus rendering a better playing experience.