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Instant callouses

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Penny S. 16 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM
Eric the Viking 16 Jul 02 - 06:33 PM
Penny S. 16 Jul 02 - 06:46 PM
GUEST 16 Jul 02 - 06:47 PM
Morticia 16 Jul 02 - 06:47 PM
GUEST 16 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM
Morticia 16 Jul 02 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jul 02 - 09:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Jul 02 - 10:51 PM
Gypsy 16 Jul 02 - 11:00 PM
Mudlark 17 Jul 02 - 12:12 AM
JennieG 17 Jul 02 - 02:10 AM
RichM 17 Jul 02 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 17 Jul 02 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Penny S. 17 Jul 02 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Penny S. 17 Jul 02 - 05:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 06:23 AM
greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,EtV@work 17 Jul 02 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 17 Jul 02 - 10:24 AM
Penny S. 17 Jul 02 - 05:49 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jul 02 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 18 Jul 02 - 09:45 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 Jul 02 - 11:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 11:28 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Jul 02 - 01:17 PM
Penny S. 01 Aug 02 - 04:36 PM
YOR 01 Aug 02 - 06:45 PM
Amos 01 Aug 02 - 06:57 PM
YOR 01 Aug 02 - 07:05 PM
Morticia 01 Aug 02 - 07:05 PM
Ian Darby 01 Aug 02 - 09:35 PM
sian, west wales 02 Aug 02 - 05:23 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Joe 12 Dec 03 - 03:16 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 05 - 02:54 AM
open mike 27 Jan 05 - 02:10 AM
GUEST 27 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jan 05 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,B 10 Feb 05 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Cait 21 Aug 06 - 09:09 PM
Leadfingers 21 Aug 06 - 09:18 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Aug 06 - 11:13 PM
Clinton Hammond 22 Aug 06 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,g21down 31 Aug 06 - 04:53 AM
Ebbie 31 Aug 06 - 11:04 PM
GUEST 01 Sep 06 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Bluesman Mike 27 Apr 07 - 04:13 PM
leeneia 28 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM
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Subject: Instant callouses
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM

Help, please. It's a long time since I played my guitar - and a long and boring story why. When I had the chance again, I found it too painful to persist during term time. Now its the end of term, and prompted by our end of term do being a Caribbean night, and an article in the Guardian about a calypsonian, I found myself drafting a piece about the staff who are moving on. It's not something to be done a capella, but when I came to try an accompaniment, I raised weals on my left hand. I'm going to stick with it this time, but if anyone knows a way of limiting the pain, so that my hands are more fluent, by Friday, I'd be grateful.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:33 PM

play every minute you can, ignore the pain (not easy I know), try Isopropyl aclcohol (surgical spirit)rub the ends of your fingers, then start playing again. Best of luck-could try paracetomol if it gets that bad or whiskey-by the way you drink the whiskey and swallow the paracetomol, not with the whiskey!


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:46 PM

Thanks Eric. I've got some meths somewhere, for now. But if it gets bad enough for painkillers... I think I might not be improving the playing. Interesting, though. The main fingers do seem to have a thin layer already. Just so long as the joints loosen up. I'm not trying anything fancy. Student teacher stuff. If I sing loudly enough, and the audience laughs....

I sometimes feel a bit of a phoney round here, because I am not a musician.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:47 PM

There have been a couple of past threads about this (put callous in the filter and set for 3 years)

Unfortunately, there isn't any worthwhile 'instant' solution. Eric's advice is probably as good as you'll find.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Morticia
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:47 PM

I have known guitarists who used spots of super-glue on the ends of their fingers....not a long term solution but good for getting you through a gig


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM

Morticia,

Don't their hands stick to the strings?


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Morticia
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:53 PM

*BG*......I think they let it dry first......but knowing guitarists, I wouldn't bet on it ducks, and runs for cover


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM

Well, there are a few tunes you can play with just one chord if you do happen to get stuck to the fretboard.

If it's a steel strung guitar you could try putting on nylon strings for the time being, or borrow a guitar that's already strung that way. They tend to be a little less painful. And lift the fingers a feaction in between strums (if that's how you play), rather than gripping it firm all the time, because that's what really makes it hurt.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 09:57 PM

Penny

You'll never make it by Friday! Borrow an autoharp instead!

*G*

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 10:51 PM

The Super-glue thing works just fine...

I got the trick off greats like Garnet Rogers and James Keelaghan... So if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me...

Much better than doping yerself into a coma with booze and painkillers...


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Gypsy
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 11:00 PM

Bang your finger tips on the edge of your desk, i rubbed mine on the surface of my typewriter at work, anything of that nature. builds up calluse pretty darned fast. If it is your JOINTS achin', hot water/cold water compresses, alternated, and of course: aspirin.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Mudlark
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 12:12 AM

Also, Penny, if joint pain and/or flexibility a problem, try some of the topical analgesics. There are several on the market, some more effective than others. They are most effective about 20=30 minutes after application.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: JennieG
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 02:10 AM

I am getting great callouses on my fingertips from hand-quilting (which is what I do when I'm not playing music) but it's not instant unfortunately! However the combination of steel strings and a small sharp no 12 needle are doing wonders for my skin, my middle finger especially. It's probably a girl thing though.
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: RichM
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:25 AM

You are likely pressing too hard on the strings.
Press only as much as you need to make a clear sound;and don't hold onto a chord too long! When we practice, we guitarists sometimes tend to do these things.
And don't ignore pain. It's nature's way of telling you something is wrong. Fingertips have loads of nerve endings. And hands are marvellous instruments in their own right---treat them with respect. You'll avoid accumulating problems with tendons, ligaments and such.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:42 AM

Thanks all. I know it's a short time till Friday, but the fingertips seem to be holding up. It is nylon strung. I might try the superglue though. I don't think I'm pressing too hard - but I'll monitor that. And the topical analgesics, maybe. (Joints may be developing arthritis a bit, it's familial). And I don't need to borrow an autoharp - I don't know if I can get the right sound from it for the tune, though. I like what my right hand's doing with the six strings. (Note the lack of responsibility for it. I find it works best when I leave it alone. Have an idea of the sort of effect I want, but don't intellectualise it. This would make sense if I was a musician who based it on lots of practise and experience, but, as I said, I'm not.)

I couldn't find the meths - I'm using cheap perfume. Yuck. But today is better than yesterday....

Penny S.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:44 AM

And RichM, I will take care of them.

Penny s.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:47 AM

And when I get home, I'll check those old threads - the school nanny software won't let me get the search results!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Instant calluses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:23 AM

The nanny school software might just be objecting to the spelling - the word is callus, not callous.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 07:02 AM


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,EtV@work
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:49 AM

Hope the fingers work out ok-Clinton is right about the booze and pain killers-I didn't mean it seriously! (Don't drink alcohol very often)


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:24 AM

Well, persistance will build up the calluses, but sometimes during a pretty long gig, my fingertips and hands do get mighty tired and sore (even though I've got some pretty respectable calluses!). To get me through the night I find it is sometimes helpful to take a couple of Tylenol or Advil. They don't zonk you out or anything but they do help.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:49 PM

Nanny let me read the thread! Oxford gives both spellings for hardened skin, and when I used a Carnation callous cap to get rid of a verruca, that was how it was spelled. I'm practising for short sessions, and then resting, and using any available spirits. Expensive Estee Lauder as I pass the testing bottles in Boots! Fortunately this is only one song - should have stuck to the usual limericks and parodies on the white board in the staffroom.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 01:49 AM

There is some kind of glue-on skin in drugstores that looks pretty much like normal skin. It's meant to put over a small cut. That would work fine, I think. I just heard about it tonight at the Orillia song circle, and I'm sorry to say I don't know the product name...try at your pharmacy.

Apparently the stuff sticks quite well, but you can peel it off later without damaging your real skin.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 09:45 AM

It's called "New Skin" and it does work to some extent. Useful for sealing up those annoying little paper cuts. I don't know how well it would hold up to an evening of guitar playing, though.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:18 AM

Penny! Don't think about it. I don't play any instruments. This place started because of the songs and the lyrics. So, musicianship is NOT primary here. Your brains, thoughts and opinions ARE, however, so make any and all points you wish to.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:28 AM

At a pinch, and especially if you're just doing the one song, you could always try playing with a rubber glove on your left hand, maybe cut down so it's just the finger ends left.

Of course, you might get some caustic or ribald comments, but you could work them into the spot.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 01:17 PM

What I've found after more tha a half-century of playing, is that the need for calluses is a function of poor left-hand technique. A long while back, I made a concerted effort to positrion my fingers close to the frets, and to see how little finger pressure would suffuce to produce clean notes. Result? No pain, virtually no calluses and much less tiring playing.

Works on steel-strung and nylob-strung guitars, as well as banjos and mandos.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 04:36 PM

In case anyone wanted to know the outcome, the fingers acclimatised fine, the guitar skills came back to an acceptable standard, but the words I was not happy with. Just didn't flow. Pure McGonagall. If that. No performance. But I'll keep up the practice. Thanks for all the advice.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: YOR
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 06:45 PM

Super Glue is not for skin contact, please check the warning label. Chemical absorption though the skin can cause serious problems.

Grit your teeth, play one or more hours everyday and remember have fun, pain is only a state of mind.

Roy


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Amos
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 06:57 PM

Gee -- I 've had more skin contact with superglue than I can remember and aside from an obsession or two and a compulsion to compose doggerel I don't think problems any have had I recognize I that!

A


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: YOR
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 07:05 PM

Dang sticky keyboard! LOL!


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Morticia
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 07:05 PM

Amos, is it time to take you back in to NYCFTTS already?


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Ian Darby
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 09:35 PM

The application of Surgical Spirits will harden your fingertips.

You could also try weeing on your fingers every morning, (preferably after you've made breakfast).

I know this works, but have never had the bottle to try it myself.

Ian..


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: sian, west wales
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:23 AM

In her memoirs, the great Welsh triple-harper Nancy Richards made a passing remark about maintaining her callouses: as she sat by the fire in the evening (no central heating in those days) she'd drum her finger-tips on the (hot-ish) iron guard rail. I seem to remember Robin Huw Bowen (triple-harper) telling me a few years ago that he either used, or experimented with, the same technique.

sian


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:06 AM

...her method seems to be an awful lot of trouble to maintain callouses ... more trouble and less enjoyable than sustained playing every day. But if that's not an option ...


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 03:16 PM

There is also a product out there called "FINGER EASE" which is a spray on lubricant for fingertips as well as your strings. It is supposed to even be good for the neck and possibly help prevent fret wear. I've used this some, but very little. However it does work well and helps you slide up and down the neck. Use a small amount though - a little goes a long way, and be careful not to get it on your pick hand as it will give you problems in holding on to your pick. I know that Roy Clark has been known to use this. I suppose baby powder also helps as I know a bass player who used this for his bass. It does leave a little white residue however, but will wipe off.
Joe


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 02:54 AM


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: open mike
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 02:10 AM

nu skin is one name for that product..
and beware of baby powder..the talc
or talcum is actually pulverized bits of
stone, and it has sharp little edges on
each particle...not good to get bits of it
in your lungs...if you do put it on fingers
or strings it is bound to go poof when the
strings go pluck or snap and little clouds
of it might float around eventually getting
in your nostrils.
oh, my!


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM

1. Super glue works okay and small amount on closed skin generally is not a problem.
2. You maybe pressing too hard, check to make sure that you are close to the fret and only pushing hard enough to get a clean sound. Most people dont realize that sometimes this does not even require touching the fretboard
3. Your guitar may need the action lowered
4. Consider lighter gauged strings, or possible if depending on your guitar using nylon. Using a classical guitar would probably solve the problem. Perhaps you could borrow someones?


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:53 PM

Talcum powder USED to be that - but it was replaced by a form of starch powder years ago, when it was found to have moved itself inside the ovaries of pre-pubescent girls.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,B
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:32 AM

wow. a lot of thoughts here.
I have massive build up on my fingers. but the pain comes from under
all that. it feels like it's wear the skin is against bone.
anyone else feel that? I heard that some guys put laquer on their tips...
I guess some of us are just more sensitive than others.
I'm good for a couple of hours but it's when you're into 3-4 hours
that my small finger just starts barking...


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Cait
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:09 PM

I have a quick question, how long did it take you guys to develop calluses?


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 09:18 PM

Cait - It varies from person to person - In the same way some people develop thick calousies and others , like me , just get to play without pain and NO noticeable thickening of the finger ends ! BUT I had a two week lay off last year and the first couple of Gigs were BLOODY painful !


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 11:13 PM

I'm afraid I must disagree with several who say just ignore the pain and play for long sessions. My experience with mando (the resonant meat slicer) and considerable experience, albeit many years ago, in amateur athletics where callouses grow on every part of the body, provides the basis for my own (and obviously superior) opinion:

Long sessions of abusing tissue results in thick callouses, but they will not "stick" for long, as they'll usually begin to flake off in fairly short order. They can also continue to be painful because the callous itself transfers pressure to sensitive - and injured - tissue beneath it. By playing for a long time you're only killing tissue on the fingertips.

I would suggest short, but frequent sessions of playing. Some people can play until there's "mild pain" but for most it's more a matter of a "until tenderness." Starting with 5 or 10 minutes at a time, after a long delay, usually is sufficient. With nylon strings, and on a guitar, one might start with 15 or 20 minutes(?) depending on how "aggressively" one fingers.

Rest for at least a half-hour to an hour as soon as the fingers feel tender, and then play again briefly as soon as you can pick up the instrument without feeling undue "hurt," usually after a half hour to an hour. By "stressing" the tissue of your fingers mildly, you send the message that "something tougher" is needed, and by giving it even a half hour or so to rest, the tougher stuff will start to form.

I generally find that "practicing" 5 to 10 minutes, then 10 to 20 minutes, then another few periods of about 20 minutes, for about 6 to 8 sessions, which with an hour between can be fitted into a single day, will "toughen" the fingertips enough for a 4 or 5 hour session with my mandolin on the evening of the same day, and with no pain after the evening session.

Without the "warmups" I can manage deeeep and persistent pain for a few days after an hour or two of session play, and the session alone produces "dead feeling" finger tips that peel off the callouses about 3 days later. Then once the callouses start to break up, I've got lumpy tender fingers.

If I do the "gentle" buildup, within two or three days I can get as much toughening as needed to play without regard to, and without suffering from, any pain from fretting the strings.

Superglue, gorilla snot, model glue, alcohol, etc., are all "treatments for abused fingers" or "compensations for inadequate development." A couple of days of careful preparation should be sufficient to allow you to play without pain if you play for short but very frequent periods to build up the fingers and allow "toughened tissue" to grow instead of just killing the skin.

Of course that's just my own opinion; but it works for me and thus is obviously superior all those opinions offered by people who like pain and or enjoy seeing others suffer.

John


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 04:01 AM

Do what ya gotta do to keep playing


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,g21down
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 04:53 AM

I think alot of you are thinking way too much about this.I play electric + acoustic guitars using guage 12 strings which do smart a bit during long sessions, but its not gonna kill me! sleep on it and im fine..meths barely works, and super glue?!?! im not buyin that one....back in the day peeps used to 15's and not whinge about it.I sacrifice having "sore fingertips" for the love of playing and after all when on stage all i think about is the sound not the feeling..that comes after.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 11:04 PM

JohninKansas, your method sounds good. Wish I'd thought of that, back in the day.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 10:27 AM

Particularly in hot, humid weather, I find that rubbing a little graphite powder into my right thumb (I don't use picks) and my left hand finger tips really reduces the friction that causes the pain and tenderness.


ANother trick (nothing to do with calluses) is to keep some of those small handwarmers that you find and Home Depot etc in my guitar case. When opened, these stay warm for hours and work great to keep hands warm and limber when the venue is chilly.

dw


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: GUEST,Bluesman Mike
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 04:13 PM

My first guitar teacher told me to go to a drug store ,and buy some powdered alum.Mix a couple of tablespoons in a bowl of warm water , and soak your fingertips in it as often as you can.It works.


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Subject: RE: Instant callouses
From: leeneia
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM

"I'm good for a couple of hours but it's when you're into 3-4 hours
that my small finger just starts barking... "

I really don't think that anything as complex and delicate as the human hand should do the same task for 3 or 4 hours.

As an orthopedic nurse used to tell me, "If it hurts, QUIT!"


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