11 years ago, my left index finger was caught in a table saw. After some miraculously good surgery, the fingertip recovered its shape, with barely any scarring. Within six months, I was playing normally, and continued to do so for frequently (several times/week) for the next six years.

After a five-year hiatus (during which I would play briefly every couple of weeks), I am back to practicing daily, but this "sawed" fingertip (and only that one) is now experiencing sharp pain after as little as 15 minutes. I am playing .12 to .53 acoustic strings.

Do I just need to give it time for callouses to rebuild?

  • 1
    Not many doctors contribute to this site, which would be of assistance! If you have callouses on the other fingers, then get one for that, but I feel they aren't usually necessary. The problem may be a nerve that is under the tip, but the best place to discover the answer is a doctor's surgery, rather than here.
    – Tim
    Jun 16, 2017 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


Consider lighter gauge strings, particularly for the unwound strings. I love the sound of 0.12's on a steel-string guitar but my hands are much happier using 0.10's or even a 'hybrid Slinky' type with 0.09 on the high E. Ultimately I place comfort ahead of sound.

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