Say Goodbye To Your Fingernails … And Other Guitar Side-Effects

Any long-time guitarist will tell you, as you are starting out as a beginner, that the bits you have to look out for are the ones you wouldn’t predict. You’ll expect to make mistakes as you get used to the instrument, and you’ll expect to fall out with loved ones over your practising in the house. What you won’t expect are the bizarre little side-effects which befall most guitarists – but don’t much get talked about because they aren’t part of the glamorous image of guitar heroes. These are things that will genuinely surprise you. But when you think about them, they are perfectly logical.

For starters, you will be shocked at just how hard the skin on your hands, particularly your fingertips, will become. Even if you use a plectrum to pluck the strings, you will find that the fingerprints start to wear away as the thick skin comes into contact with the harsh strings on the instrument. And then there is what happens to your fingernails. There are few guitarists who have been playing for any amount of time that haven’t lost a fingernail or two. Some will certainly split, and one or two will blacken. Your best bet is to invest in some gloves for when you aren’t playing.

If you didn’t already have some sweet biceps, that’s another thing to look out for. When you are carrying a guitar around everywhere with you, and add to that an amp, then you will get a workout even if you don’t like the gym. You may not end up looking like an Olympic wrestler, but there will be a marked increase in definition in your muscles. Unless you get some roadies, of course.

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