Before posting here, I have searched the net but could not find any related posts. I have been attempting to play guitar for a few years now. While I am a total amateur, right from the time I started fretting, I realized that the callus on my pinky is in fact developed on far right from the center.

Invariably what it means is the right corner end of my pinky tip (not the center) is hitting the strings. This seems to be what I have naturally developed. When I used to attend classes, it never occurred to me to ask this to the tutor, but today I am wondering if it’s normal?

Is it normal or there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way my pinky tip gets positioned on the strings? I think the reason it happens could be that I have a short pinky (or may be not enough muscle strength in thumb) and it naturally tends to hit the strings at an angle rather than straight at center of tip.

I am making a conscious attempt to see if my pinky tip center can hit the strings but it looks like it’s not so easy. It puts unwanted strain on the base of my fingers then.

2 Answers 2


We all use different parts of fingers, and indeed hands, when fretting chords and notes on guitar. Guitar necks are different in shape, and it almost goes without saying that players' fingers and hands are different in shape.

Regular readers here will possibly know my feelings on calluses - main causes - guitar not set up well, pressing too hard, (partly because of that), badly thought out fingering techniques, etc. Several reasons come to mind. You mention strong thumb: not needed - don't use your hand as a vice on the neck, it just shouldn't be neccessary. If it is, guitar set up is looming.

May be that your hand anatomy just doesn't allow much change in how you finger. May be a badly set up instrument. May be the angle you hold the guitar at when playing. May be you haven't considered using different fingers for, in particular, chords. May be simply because you have to press harder as your pinky is too weak right now to do what you expect.

Without a video of you playing, it's pretty well impossible to pinpoint where the problem lies. Going back to a teacher is a sure fire way to solve the problem. And right now, I guess the only way.

But having developed that callus, you'll tend to rely on it to press down a string, exacerbating your problem - a sort of 'catch 22'. Find a teacher who will help you out of the situation!

  • Thanks. In fact I found the answer here. May be I should have been more clearer in my question. music.stackexchange.com/questions/106951/… I am in same position as the OP there. The picture shown almost is similar to how my pinky gets positioned on freatboard. @Tim you have already answered there and it's accepted by OP.
    – user87564
    Sep 1, 2022 at 12:03

Even without seeing you play I can say you are very likely not doing anything wrong. When you spread and curve your fingers to put them on the fingerboard it is only natural that the outer fingers will make contact on the outer edges. Our individual anatomies also play a role but I would guess that most guitarists have their calluses towards the outer parts of their index fingers and pinkies. I have been playing bass and guitar for decades and I have zero calluses on the inner side of my pinky.

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