Can playing guitar reduce the sensitivity of the fingers? Yes, but this does not mean that you should not play guitar. This is because although you will feel a loss of sensitivity, it can come back if you stop playing for long periods of time. The type of guitar strings and the type of guitar you use will also have an influence.
While classical guitars tend to be gentler on the fingers because they have nylon strings, most electric and acoustic guitars will be worse.
Does playing guitar make you lose feeling in your fingers?
Playing guitar will contribute to a loss of sensitivity in both your hands. However, the hand that you use to press the strings will be forced to develop guitar calluses, and you will lose some sensitivity in your fingertips.
Additionally, you can also feel that your picking hand can lose sensitivity if you play a lot of fingerpicking styles, or strum with your finger.
The level of sensitivity loss will also depend on the type of strings and guitar you are using. Light gauge strings will be more gentle on your fingers. While heavy gauge strings will make your fingertips lose more sensitivity.
Is the loss of sensitivity reversible?
To some extent, you will be able to regain the sensitivity in your fingertips if you stop playing guitar for long periods of time. This usually gives it enough time for your calluses to soften, and your fingertips will get more sensitive.
However, it is important to mention that you will never regain the same level of sensitivity you had before you started playing guitar. Although it is somewhat reversible, it is not completely reversible.
How playing guitar affects the sensitivity of your fingers
The fingertips of a guitarist are constantly under pressure as they press down on the strings to create different notes. Pressing the strings creates friction between the vibrating string and your own skin. This pressure can cause the skin on the fingertips to become tougher and less sensitive over time.
As your guitar calluses become harder and harder your fingertips will be less sensitive.
Here are some factors that can affect the sensitivity in your fingers:
- Guitar strings
- Guitar type
The type of guitar strings you are using is certainly one of the most important aspects of the sensitivity of your fingers. While some guitar strings are very light, like nylon strings, and electric guitar strings, some are very heavy, namely acoustic guitar strings.
Using heavier strings will make you lose more of your fingertip sensitivity.
The type of guitar is directly related to the type of strings used. While classical and electric guitars tend to have lighter strings, acoustic guitars often have those heavier strings that require more strength to play.
Do your fingers get stronger playing guitar?
Playing guitar will develop not only your finger muscles, but also the strength of your grip, and make your fingertips harder. Playing guitar requires you to have strong and agile fingers and hands, which can be exercised just by playing.
When you initially start learning guitar your fingers are not well developed, and this is one of the reasons why you might not be able to play a certain song. You may have the right technique but your fingers are not physically developed to play the song. This is why it is so important to practice for a long time when you first start playing guitar because you need to develop your finger strength.
How long will fingers hurt playing guitar?
During the first month of your learning process, your fingers will hurt, especially your fingertips. This is a period of time when your fingertip skin is still hardening, and the more you practice the more your finger will develop. However, you want to be careful not to push yourself to the limit. Since this can cause blisters in your fingertips, and even make your fingers bleed.
While playing guitar will definitely affect the sensitivity of your fingers, that should not prevent you from learning guitar. In fact, only a few players feel a considerable difference in their fingers sensitivity, and in most cases, it can be restored if you stop playing for long periods.
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.