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New Callus Issue...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tyler Hole, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Well, New Years eve we jammed for like 7 hours or so straight - The first time I played for a long period of time in a long time. Well, I started getting this decent sized callus on my middle finger on my right hand and tomorrow we were planning on recording what we have of this song we are working on (or all if we finish it) plus a jam or two and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to keep it from hurting so much when I play. If not, well, I'm in for a long day :meh:
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Super glue on pad of finger.
  3. Same here except I played 10 hours. The blister on my middle finger nearly fills the entire tip. I think I'll name him Winston.
  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    I use super glue on the first three fingers of my plucking hand, and occasionally on my thumb, if it has been or is going to be a long weekend of playing. If there are already blisters forming, it helps to stop them. And if it's gonna be a long weekend, it works as preventative maintenance for me also.

    I have callouses, but they keep tearing off, so the glue forms an artificial one.
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    They keep tearing off?

    Dude, that doesn't sound good.

    Callouses are something you build up over time, it takes maybe six months or so of playing three hours every day to get decent callouses going.

    But, they don't usually "tear off". IMO, something that tears off is probably a blister. You have to go through about a month's worth of repeated blisters, when you're first starting out on your six month callous program. A "prototype" callous will start building, then it'll turn into a blister and "tear off" as you say, then you'll have to start from scratch again, and that'll keep happening over and over for a while. Eventually it'll stop, after about a monh or two.

    But that's just the outer layer of skin. The callous is the part that's building up underneath that, while all that is going on. That's why it takes so long, the force on the skin has to match the ability of the callous to push back on it, and it takes a while for your finger to equilibrate and find the right balance. Meanwhile, the skin takes the difference in force, which leads to blisters and so on. And your iteration time for blisters will depend on how hard you play, since it's mainly the accumulated force (stress) that causes the ripping away of the skin.

    So I hope that's what you're talking about. If you're talking about ripping away a full-fledged callous, I'd be worried. First of all that would leave a gaping hole in your finger (it would take like half your fingertip off), and secondly you wouldn't be able to play for a long long time, not just a day or two.

    IMO the gauge for good callous development is to look at the symmetry of your fingertips. Each finger on your fingerboard hand should be asymmetrical, with the playing surface side noticeably "squarer" than the other side (which should be roughly circular). With a full-fledged callous, your finger is basically square on one side and round on the other.

    Anyway, Tyler if you've got a "blister" going on (like tearing of the skin), there's probably very little you can do, and you should think about rescheduling if possible. If it's just pain due to callous growth that you're experiencing, then my experience is that the pain will go away once your fingers start digging in on the instrument for a while. 'Course, digging in for "too" long is going to make the pain come back again. So you might not last the whole session, and that's okay, you'll know when you've had enough. I'm usually good for about two hours or so of decent playing under those conditions, maybe three if I really stretch it to the limit of pain (and in that case my fingers will definitely be ragged for the next few days). If you have any Vicodin that might help too. :)
  6. It's just pain - Quite a bit. Before I went to bed last night I actually played a lil and after a while the pain wasn't as significant as it was, so I should be plenty warmed up when we go to record and hopefully be fine.
  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    I should have been more specific. It is the hardened area where a blister once was that tears off (or actually wears away, leaving jagged, rough areas on my fingertips that annoy the hell out of me, I use the super glue to more or less smooth that out).

    And it is my own fault, I haven't been putting my time in during the week to keep my fingers in the shape that they once were. We play every weekend, usually both nights, and sometimes a night or two during the week, but that is still not enough to keep callouses (real ones) built up.
  8. I survived. It actually doesn't hurt anymore. :)
  9. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    How long have you been playing? I've been playing for 5 years and my callouses are really thick.
  10. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I don't get blisters... or callouses. Not painful ones, anyways...
  11. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Suck it up is my advice, Tyler.
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I thought this thread was going to be about a new magazine called "Callous". I was interested until I saw that it wasn't about such a magazine.

    brad cook
  13. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I've switched to drums as my main instrument and I have callouses that tear off from time to time. I get so frustrated like, "I worked on that callous for a long damn time!" Luckily with drums I can build a new callous in a week or two.