Guitar finger protectors are designed to protect the fingers which can be extremely helpful for beginner guitar players. One of the main reasons why guitar students struggle in the first weeks of learning guitar is because of the constant pain in their fingertips. This is one of the main reasons why learning guitar is so difficult and frustrating. Although guitar finger protectors seem like the best solution for this common problem they can do more harm than good.
Why guitar players use guitar finger protectors
The constant pain on your fingertips is something that most beginner guitar players have to get used to in order to learn how to play and master guitar. This is common for every beginner and it can lead to guitar blisters, and in extreme cases, it can even make your fingers bleed. Guitar finger protectors seem like one of the best solutions for this common problem.
They are made of soft silicone and protect your fingertips while you are playing. However, this is a simple fix for a complicated problem, and there is no way to prevent your fingers from hurting when you are learning guitar. It is common for every player, and it is something you will need to overcome.
There are also a few disadvantages of using guitar finger protectors that show how it can harm you more than help you in the end.
Why you should avoid using guitar finger protectors
1. You don’t build guitar calluses
The main reason why you should avoid using guitar finger protectors is that you will not be able to build guitar calluses if you use them. This defeats the whole purpose of the painful process of learning guitar. The reason why your fingertips are hurting is that you have not built up the calluses to play for long hours without hurting.
Trying to skip this process by using guitar finger protectors will not help you at all to build calluses. This is something that can only be done by constantly practicing, and it takes time.
Guitar finger protectors will keep your fingers from getting used to the strings and make it harder to develop the necessary calluses.
2. You will have a flawed technique
Guitar finger protectors do not allow the guitar to sound the right way, and also you do not have the same control over each individual string. For this reason, it can help you to develop a flawed guitar technique, that will only hurt your playing in the long run.
By preventing your fingers from gripping the strings as tightly as they should, you will find it difficult to produce the correct notes and chords. Using finger protectors can also lead to sloppy playing habits that are difficult to break. For these reasons, it is best to avoid using guitar finger protectors and instead focus on developing a strong technique.
3. It does not allow you to control the strings in the same way
Because you are not touching the string directly, and you have this silicone surface in between the string and your skin, finger protectors do not allow you to have full control over the movement of your fingers.
This can be extremely damaging if you are trying to learn certain techniques such as bending, and vibrato.
4. It affects the sound of the guitar
Another thing to keep in mind is that guitar finger protectors affect how the guitar sounds, and this can have an impact on how you perceive your own technique and ability to play. This is why most guitar players also choose to wear finger tape instead of finger protectors because it deeply affects how the instrument sounds.
5. They can tear easily
Guitar finger protectors are made of soft silicone, they can easily tear apart especially if you play for long periods of time. This makes it both expensive and annoying to keep replacing them, as they slowly tear while you play.
They will also start to stretch if you use them multiple times, and become thin over time, which accentuates the pain you already have. So why not ditch them and start building guitar calluses right away?!
Finger tape vs guitar finger protectors
Two of the most common ways to protect your fingers from the constant pressure of pushing the strings on the fretboard are finger tape and finger protectors. However, there are some clear differences between both ways of protecting your fingers while playing guitar.
Comparing guitar finger tape and finger protectors
Finger tape is a thin adhesive bandage that is wrapped around the fingers to protect them from cuts and blisters.
Guitar finger protectors are usually made of silicone and fit over the tips of the fingers and protect them from being injured by the strings of the guitar.
Finger tape is less expensive than guitar finger protectors, but it does not provide as much protection. Additionally, finger tape also allows you to have more control over the strings, and it does not affect the sound as much.
Both can be helpful in preventing finger pain from playing guitar, however, finger tape seems to be a better choice. There is a reason why professional guitar players use it instead of finger protectors.
Should you wear finger tape or guitar finger protectors?
If you really have to use something to ease the fingertip pain of playing guitar, then finger tape is the best solution. Here is why:
- It is cheaper
- You can have more control over the strings
- It does not affect the sound of the guitar as finger protectors
- You can still build calluses if you use just a little bit of tape
While guitar fingertip pain is extremely uncomfortable and frustrating, it is a natural part of the process of becoming a guitar player. You should not try to fight against it, and instead embrace the pain. It should not take more than 1 month before your guitar calluses fully develop, and then you will not need finger tape or finger protectors at all.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.