Surprisingly, playing guitar takes some to used to, despite the fact that it appears as a fairly simple instrument to play. One of the biggest issues beginners have when learning how to play the instrument is the effects it has on finger-tips.\n\n\n\nAfter a few weeks of playing, however, the fingertips harden due to calluses forming. After this point, especially with repeated playing, the calluses only get harder and harder and suddenly the pain completely disappears and you don't have to think about it again.\n\n\n\nWith that said, guitar calluses are not permanent, and they will go away if the guitarist stops playing the instrument. It usually takes around one month of inactivity for the calluses to finally go away, depending on how solid they are.\n\n\n\nIn this article, I'm going to explore this topic because of how important is to beginners that are first learning the ins-and-outs of the instrument.\n\n\n\n\n\nThankfully, after playing for a certain amount of time, it's not something that a guitarist thinks about it anymore, because the calluses have been formed and you simply move on.\n\n\n\nBut there are a lot of people who struggle with playing the instrument because of how tender their fingertips are and how much the strings can hurt one's fingers.\n\n\n\nAs I mentioned above, it takes about two weeks of continuous playing, around 1-2 hours per day, 7 days per week, for the calluses to form and calcify.\n\n\n\nThere are a number of factors at play when it comes to calluses forming and how long they last, including whether the guitarist uses an electric or acoustic guitar, in addition to the string gauges.\n\n\n\nIn my personal experience, the thicker the gauge of strings, the harder the calluses get, which makes total sense. Additionally, this point holds true as well when playing the acoustic guitar because of its much heavier strings.\n\n\n\nAcoustic Guitar Strings Are Harder On Fingertips\n\n\n\nBecause acoustic guitars, on average, have much thicker strings, I find there are times when I make a switch to playing the acoustic for a little while and it takes several days for my fingers to respond to the additional tension and pressure.\n\n\n\nKeeping that in mind, however, it's possible to choose a lighter gauge string which will make playing the instrument a little bit easier.\n\n\n\nLight Acoustic Guitar Strings (0.012 - 0.053)\n\n\n\nLight Acoustic Guitar Strings are a bit thinner, measured at 0.012 - 0.053. These are quite heavy for an electric guitar, but they're going to make playing the acoustic a little bit easier.\n\n\n\nMedium Strength Guitar Strings (0.013 - 0.056)\n\n\n\nIt's common for acoustic guitars to come stock with 0.013 - 0.056 gauge strings.\n\n\n\nThese are medium-strength strings, and they're quite hefty. For instance, if you were to string an electric guitar with the aforementioned string gauges, it would make bending a lot harder.\n\n\n\nHeavy Acoustic Guitar Strings (0.014 - 0.059) \n\n\n\nHeavy acoustic guitar strings are typically 0.014 - 0.059, and they're extremely heavy. It's going to be a real challenge to do any kind of bends on these strings.\n\n\n\nMoreover, if you start off playing guitar strings such as these, it's going to be a real challenge to get your fingers used to them.\n\n\n\nFingertips are sensitive enough for a beginner, that using strings such as these are going to practically shred your fingers.\n\n\n\nIn fact, I find that if I haven't played the guitar in about a month, and I jump right into shredding on thicker strings, it's possible that I'll have blisters on the ends of my fingers and I'll have to wait at least a day or two before I can start playing again.\n\n\n\nMaybe even a week.\n\n\n\nWith that said, I can count on my hands how many times this has happened. Regardless, heavy guitar strings such as these will definitely contribute to the strength of the player's calluses and how long they last.\n\n\n\nWith that said, I used to use thicker gauge strings all of the time and didn't mind using them at all. These days, I tend to use Ernie Ball's Slinky Top and Heavy Bottom strings, which are around 0.010 - 0.052.\n\n\n\nAs I mentioned above, the thicker the guitar string, the harder it is to press down on them and also perform bends. The added pressure and tension the string needs to bend and shake come from the finger.\n\n\n\nFor that reason, there is more pressure on the finger and thus, more calluses.\n\n\n\nElectric Guitar Strings Are Much Thinner And Easier On The Fingers\n\n\n\nElectric guitar strings are much thinner than acoustic guitar strings and a side effect of this is it's going to put less stress on your fingertips.\n\n\n\nWhile you can choose super heavy strings like 0.012 to 0.053 gauge strings, these are less common, even among professional players.\n\n\n\nStevie Ray Vaughn famously liked to use thicker strings, and after he went that route, a lot of other people changed to thicker strings as well. The idea behind it was to increase the tone.\n\n\n\nThe thicker the string, the stronger and longer-lasting the calluses will be.\n\n\n\nAssuming you already know how to play the guitar, a great exercise is to play fast lines on the acoustic guitar and then go back to the electric guitar afterward.\n\n\n\nThere is a world of difference in terms of playability, mostly on account of the acoustic guitar's much higher action and thicker strings. Additionally, it's going to help a lot in terms of forming calluses.\n\n\n\nSuper Light Gauge Strings (0.009 - 0.042) \n\n\n\nThese are arguably the lightest gauge strings on the market, although, you can find even lighter strings all the way down to 0.008s. \n\n\n\nSuper-light gauge strings are the easiest to play with the least amount of tension on your fingers. \n\n\n\nLight Gauge Strings (0.010 - 0.046) \n\n\n\nLight gauge strings are more common, and these are the ones that come stock on most guitars. If you want to know the truth, I haven't played guitar strings this light in many years, but I think I might go back to them soon. \n\n\n\nMedium Gauge Strings (0.011 - 0.050) \n\n\n\nNow, we're starting to get into the thicker gauge strings. Strings like the 0.011 - 0.050s are going to produce much thicker calluses that will take longer to go away. \n\n\n\nHeavy Gauge Strings (0.012 - 0.054) \n\n\n\nHeavy gauge strings take the most amount of time to get used too. \n\n\n\nIt isn't advisable to use strings such as these ones right away, because it's going to take a lot of work just to fret the guitar, and bends will be practically impossible. \n\n\n\nOnce you've played guitar for some time and your fingers are used to it, you could probably move up in string gauge. \n\n\n\nMore Bends Equals More Calluses\n\n\n\nAnother factor that contributes to the longevity of calluses is how much bending the player employs.\n\n\n\nLike I said already, bends require added tension and force which comes from the fingertips. Putting it simply, if you bend a lot, there is more force on the fingertips, therefore, more calluses.\n\n\n\nNot every guitar player does a lot of bends. For instance, on Animal as Leaders' first album, Tosin Abasi barely used bends at all, however, he has since changed his style just a little bit, including some bends on a track every now and then.\n\n\n\nIf you do want to form calluses on your fingers as soon as possible, a good move is to use as many bends as you possibly can. This will definitely speed up the process.\n\n\n\nHow Do I Get Rid Of Guitar Calluses?\n\n\n\nFrankly, if you want to get rid of calluses from playing the guitar, you just have to wait about a month.\n\n\n\nThere are probably some home remedies for making them go away sooner, but at the end of the day, they'll go away if you stop playing the instrument.\n\n\n\nI imagine someone out there will recommend soaking your fingers in lemon juice or something like that, but this isn't really necessary. All you have to do is wait for time to heal all wounds.\n\n\n\nYouTube Video\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=edRm6vDQRO8&t=1s\n\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nAll-in-all, there are a few key takeaways from this article.\n\n\n\n1) No, guitar calluses are not permanent, and they definitely go away with some time.2) Thicker strings contribute to calluses more because of the added tension needed to fret notes and bend them as well. Stronger calluses mean they take longer to go away too.3) Acoustic guitars, because they use much thicker strings, tend to be a bit harder to play and therefore need more time to grow accustomed to. Although, you can switch them out if you want too for lighter-gauge strings.4) The more bends that a player uses, the stronger the calluses.\n\n\n\nIf you want the calluses on your fingers to go away, stop playing the guitar for a month or two, and your fingers will go back to normal.