If you’re beginning your guitar journey you might have heard, or finding out for yourself that you need to build up calluses in order to get used to playing guitar.
How long does it take for calluses to form from playing guitar? After about 2-3 months of regular playing you’ll be passed the point where your fingers are a little sore.
If you stop playing for a couple week you’ll also lose the callus build up and will need to build them back up.
For season guitarists you likely won’t find their fingertips look any different, as over time you fingers will return to normal appearance but still be a little tougher from fretting the strings.
Nothing In this blog post is medical advice, nor should you take it as such, I’m a guitarist of over 15 years and this is the knowledge I’ve gained and the opinions I hold over the course of years of playing guitar.
If you think your finger are unusually sore or something is wrong, check with your doctor, which I most certainly am not.
How to get guitar calluses quickly
The more you play the faster you’ll build up calluses on your fingers. You’ll also progress your guitar skills quicker too.
Honestly, this isn’t an area of too much concern, and shouldn’t be for you either.
What you’ll find if you stick with guitar for a few months is that one day your fingers just stop getting sore.
You’ll sit down at to practice one day, and after you finish you won’t notice any soreness, congrats, you’re a “seasoned” guitarist.
It will only take at most a couple months of regular practice, and not to be mean, but most guitarists laugh light-heartedly at beginners complaining about their fingers.
It’s not because guitarists are mean, it’s because you will super quickly move passed it being a concern, trust me.
Can you play guitar without calluses
Yes, of course. Calluses simply make the tips of your finger a little harder, which makes fretting easier. However, there’s no reason you can’t play guitar without them, how would they form otherwise?
There are gadgets that rough up your fingers and are suppose to help you build calluses, those are very silly, please don’t use them.
Calluses aren’t required to play guitar just like knowing how to play guitar isn’t required, you have to start somewhere.
How to play guitar without getting calluses
You can’t, or at least it isn’t reasonably possible to play guitar without forming calluses. You will build up calluses over time.
After a couple year most guitarist’s fingertips visually look normal, but are harder to the touch.
Yes, you could play once a week and do some strange skin care routine to avoid calluses, but that isn’t ideal for actually playing.
You’d only be extending the amount of time your finger will be sore. It’s best just to get it over with.
Why are my guitar calluses peeling
Calluses are just hardened skin, and skin peels off eventually. It’s perfectly normal and to be expected.
The skin underneath will probably be a little more tender than you’re used to, but this will happen a few times.
Each time it happens you’ll notice it less and less, this is what is to be expected when playing guitar.
Will guitar calluses hurt piano playing
No, guitar calluses will not impede your piano playing. In fact, learning another instrument will only make you a more well-rounded musician, so in truth it will make you a better pianist.
You might be concerned that your fingertips will have a different grip while playing piano, if they have calluses.
While that may be true, even in the worst scenarios, you’ll quickly get used to the new feel.
It isn’t a negative effect, just different, if you were to notice in the first place.
Learning another instrument FAR outweighs the concern that calluses might impede your ability.
Also, the very end of your fingertips will be where the calluses are forming, which isn’t typically where your fingers contact the piano keys.
Guitar calluses and touch screens
Guitar calluses might make it a little awkward to use a touch screen in some instances, but the area where your actual fingerprint is, won’t be affected.
You can simply change the angle in which you touch the screen, and you won’t have any further issues.
Guitar calluses and using touch screen displays really isn’t an issue.
Guitar finger callus building
It isn’t a bad idea to want to get you finger calluses built up quickly.
However, there’s not tips or tricks you should use, just practice.
Practice a variety of different material, chords, riffs, soloing, and anything else you can think of will speed things up.
If all you do is strum the same four chords, you’ll build up calluses for those four chords, but might still have soreness when switching to different chords or another riff.
It takes time, I had calluses myself, very obvious ones. Now you can’t even tell I have calluses until you touch them.
My fingertips are a little harder or tougher on the ends.
Once I broke my fretting hand, after getting the cast off my first few practice sessions I could tell my calluses had diminished.
Calluses take a couple months to form, and get past the soreness phase. Expect 6 months to 1 year to have your fingers visually look normal, but with calluses still.