Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Raimundo104

Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Raimundo104 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:56 pm

I find that when I first start my practicing ,fretting is relativly easy, but after about 20/30 mins I have to apply more and more pressure and it becomes difficult to obtain clear notes, I find grooves have been made in the finger tips, also the finger tips seem to be softer in the evenings compared to daytime
I have been playing for 1 year with at least 1 hour per day so there are callus on the finger tips.
Is this a common experience ?
Thanks

Rick714

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Rick714 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:34 pm

I don't know, but if you don't mind me guessing, I don't think it's likely to be common and your probably squeezing the heck out of the neck. Try slowly pushing down on a string, maybe 4th and 5th string at the 5th fret to start, start just touching the string, no pressure and then gradually build the pressure until you get a clean sounding note, and take note of how little pressure it takes to sound a clean note. Strive for that amount of pressure.

pmiklitz
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Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by pmiklitz » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:49 am

Also make sure that each LH finger stops the relevant string as close to the fret as possible without muffling the note. This is the ideal point as it requires the least amount of pressure for producing a clear note. It's really important to train your LH fingers accordingly.

Cheers,

Peter
Last edited by pmiklitz on Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dringt durch des Aberglaubens Nacht, die Euch zu finstern Köpfen macht. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715 - 1769)

Raimundo104

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Raimundo104 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:00 pm

Many thanks pmiklitz and Rick 714, much appreciated. (I was thinking it was a physiology problem).
I will put more attention on pressure and accuracy. It's good to catch these errors as soon as possible.

Aaron Elkins

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Aaron Elkins » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:56 pm

My fingertips develop those grooves too, and although they don't seem to bother my playing, I was taken aback to read that they are a sign of pressing too hard. Can this be true? I thought I had pretty much cured my tendency to press too ... I feel as if I have...but there are those grooves. Not that I don't have the utmost confidence in Rick and Peter, but would anybody else care to weigh in on this?

daveb123

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by daveb123 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:37 pm

Wow, I guess that puts me in a really bad position. I have permanent grooves in my finger tips from playing a steel string acoustic. They're visible even if I skip playing for a day or two.

David

Jamessturdy

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Jamessturdy » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:32 am

I've found as my hand muscles have developed and I've become more comfortable with LH finger placement, my tendency to press too firmly down on the fingerboard has eased and I'm finding it easier to play with a lighter touch.

A quick exercise to try (others have explained it elsewhere on this forum) is to run through a few scales using LH finger pressure that is just light enough to produce a buzzing sound and not quite sound the note. Then, ease up the pressure ever so slighty until the notes sound properly and you should have arrived at a perfect finger pressure.

Another way i sometimes think of it is letting my finger tips 'fall' onto the strings rather than 'press' them.

hope some of this is helpful!

James

Raimundo104

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Raimundo104 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:04 pm

Thanks ,James for that , I tried the exercise this evening with a Sor study, it's surprising how little pressure is needed.

David

JohnGrinsted

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by JohnGrinsted » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:24 am

Yes well I have always had this problem of soft finger tips, even after playing for over 20 years. I agree with all comments about applying too much pressure to the fretboard but this can be a seriously intricate problem involving motor responses that we are not even aware of most of the time. The Alexander Technique can offer good remedies but you have to be committed to it and find a good teacher. I also think that some of us just have softer fingers than others. I am still working on letting go in so many ways, letting go of the trying to play the notes for example and just play them and also letting go of applying too much pressure to the fretboard. Which is why music can be a lifelong pursuit. In a way it's a practice towards perfecting the fine use of our own bodies, of our own selves, and the result we hope for of course is beautiful music.

Raimundo104

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Raimundo104 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:44 am

johngrinsted wrote:Yes well I have always had this problem of soft finger tips, even after playing for over 20 years
I definitely find my finger tips are much "tougher" in the morning compared to evening. Have you noticed this ?

David

Jamessturdy

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Jamessturdy » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:27 am

David

Another consideration that ocurred to me is that this problem might be related to the type of guitar you are using. I use a fairly basic guitar (saving up for a much better one so recommendations welcome!) which luckily has a reasonble action - up until the 5th position at least (!).

On very basis guitars the action can sometimes be far too high and the result is having to press more firmly to achive a clean note as you have to move the string further downwards before it meets the fretboard. This could be the cause of muscle fatigue which would probably present itself after a hour's playing??

Raimundo104

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Raimundo104 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:40 am

Jamessturdy wrote:On very basis guitars the action can sometimes be far too high
Jamesssurdy
I think you may have something there, a friend of mine who has been playing CG for 30+ years commented that the action on my guitar was very high.

David

Carlos Sáez

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Carlos Sáez » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:09 am

Thanks for the advice about the left hang finger pressure,
I found out by reading this thread that I had the same
problem and now I'm working on it. I hope I can fix it.

LFP

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by LFP » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:53 am

acelkins wrote:I was taken aback to read that they are a sign of pressing too hard. Can this be true? .... would anybody else care to weigh in on this?
Permanent grooves here and certainly not due to too much pressure. JW has similar finger grooves. Most good players have them.

Michele

Re: Fretting finger tips becoming softer after playing

Post by Michele » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:28 pm

I just started playing and find that my LH fingertips are quite sore just from playing my warm up and strengthing exercises. I have developed very hard calluses and the groves are quite deep after I practice. It makes me not want to play for fun. I will try to lighten up on the pressure to see if after an hour my fingers are not as sore.

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