Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: hardening your fingers for guitar playing ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: hardening your fingers for guitar playing
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: declan-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2002 23:46 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2002 23:46 PDT
Question ID: 56853
Is there a way, outside of playing the guitar,  that a guitar player
can work on hardening his finger tips so that it becomes less painfull
to play the instrument?
I play the sitar . Apart from regular playing, I keep my fingers out
of water and sometimes I wear a  glove which has a wire string I fixed
to it to make a groove on my fingers. Still hurts a lot to play for
more than 15 minutes. Is there a chemical or natural substance I could
put on the fingertips to harden them up quick?
Subject: Re: hardening your fingers for guitar playing
Answered By: siliconsamurai-ga on 21 Aug 2002 04:48 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, actually there is a pretty good way I know of to toughen just
selected skin areas. There are also ways known in martial arts to
toughen the entire hand but I don’t recommend any of those.

To pre-toughen just finger tips you can turn to man’s best friend, the
dog. I don’t know where in the world you live so I can’t provide a
specific source but here in the us, as well as in the U.K. and
probably most counties there are supply stores for hunting animals.

Simply ask for the product used to toughen the foot pads of working or
hunting dogs. In the U.S. a popular brand is Blue Foot Pad Conditioner
but any brand will work. Just brush a bit of this on your finger tips
periodically and the treated area will become tough.

A slightly messier way which can provide an instant fix is to get
something called Nu-Skin and New Skin, a brush on bandage which will
provide a tough but flexible coating that dries in about five minutes.
This is found in drug stores.

Other ways which will work include soaking in strong salt water or
even strong tea (the latter actually tans the skin as in tanning
leather) but neither is very fast or effective.

I know this works but it doesn’t seem to be widely used, for example,
this is one of the few quick sites I could find which mention the
topic and none of the top professionals interviewed had much more to
say than that practice will toughen the fingers.

Blue Pad Conditioner is available in 4 oz. bottles from
at $5.39 U.S.
Orders Only: 1-888-738-3976 (toll free) • Inquiries:(512) 282-0624 •
FAX..(512) 292-7957
11600 Manchaca Rd. Suite 101, Austin, Texas 78748

Another online source is Army Surplus For Less

Since this or similar products are widely available in stores with
hunting sections and because I don’t know your location, I only
included these sources but there are many more.

Search Strategy.

Google search terms 

Dog pad toughen

I have suggested these dog pad products to other beginners and several
have tried it, all with good results. I hope you find this useful. The
New Skin bandage is especially helpful once your fingers have
developed sores because it allows you to continue practicing. Good
luck; I still have my Ravi Shankar record.
declan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: hardening your fingers for guitar playing
From: cephalic-ga on 21 Aug 2002 09:16 PDT
Stevie Ray Vaughan used super glue to fix his fingertips when they
TORE playing guitar!
Subject: Re: hardening your fingers for guitar playing
From: siliconsamurai-ga on 21 Aug 2002 12:59 PDT
Superglue works but is less flexible and doesn't work as well as New
Skin in my experience, however I've never heard anything about toxcity
so if the other options don't work then superglue is a possibility,
although it's a heck of a lot more expensive and far more difficult to
apply. New Skin (Nu-Skin) is another brand, both come with brushes and
are simple to apply.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy