Calluses and Sore Finders...Solution?


Gold Supporting Member
Due to years of kidney dialysis, my chemical balance is pretty whack and I can't keep calluses on my fingers. I can't keep from playing either, cause I'm an addict ya know, so I'm researching alternatives as my fingers are getting worse.

Has anybody any experience with these?

I gotta do something, because while my slide playing has improved by leaps and bounds recently :))), it would be nice to play regular guitar once in a while, blast out a nice deep bendy bluesy solo.

Guys, do not take for granted everything you can do on the guitar. ;)

I've ordered both a glove and a set of the fingertips and will follow up on this thread.


What do you mean by callouses?

Some people think they need to have callouses on their fingers that look like this:

When reality, all you should have is a slight thickening/toughening of the skin that looks more like this:

Though I have to say, my fretting hand fingers don't look any different from my other fingers - not even as smooth and shiny as the ones in the 2nd pic.

It's a myth that you need the white hard peeling skin.

You may get that if you're over-zealous or work out a lot harder suddenly, but otherwise, it should just be a natural thickening of the skin.

I don't know how your condition affects that but is it possible to create a regimen that builds up endurance over time?

And if it is such that you just can't get any toughening of the fingertips, then yes, you might very well need to investigate alternatives. Sorry I don't have any experience with them, but you're in good company with Iommi, Django, etc.


Gold Supporting Member
When I was playing for a living my fingers looked almost normal. I'm 55 and have been playing for 45 of those. It's just recently my fingers have become raw and uber-sensitive, plus the small splits on occasion.
My Phosphorus is a little high at the moment and that has something to do with it, but this is nuts. I can't even type using all my fingers right now.


Tone is in the Ears
It is really tough when you can't play. Right now I have a very sore thumb on my right hand - not related to your problem but I certainly understand your frustration.

When I cut the tip of my finger before a big gig I tried everything. Finally, the only thing that worked was using tight rubber gloves fingers over the tip of my finger, pulled tight, and held on by flexible bandage tape. This kept the strings from making direct contact with my skin, but also gave me enough dexterity and tactile sense to control my playing. You might want to go to lighter strings as well.

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