Can Guitar Strings Cut Your Fingers?


While plucking or playing riffs on your guitar, you might think, can guitar strings cut your fingers? As a guitarist, the chances are you practice for long hours daily. In such a situation where you exert your fingers continuously, you might have felt pain in this area several times.

Yes, getting your fingers cut by the guitar strings when playing is possible. But while it is possible, the chances of this happening are low. This article will guide you on all the basics of preventing and treating any finger injury or cut sustained from playing the guitar.

Finger Injuries While Playing The Guitar

Getting a Finger cut is an occupational hazard of being a guitar player. A few seasoned players submit that they have never had a finger cut in their years of playing. Many guitarists even call it a rite of passage.

The finger of the guitarist from hard training with sunlight

As a newbie, there’s a high chance you aren’t used to the manual dexterity that strumming a guitar entails. Due to this, you can be susceptible to different injuries. Even if you’re a seasoned player, using a fresh pack of guitar strings can take some getting used to. The possibility of sustaining injuries arises from prolonged practice. Practicing for an extended period would mean more hand movements, plucking, bruising, or bleeding.

The more you know about the risks your fingers are exposed to when you strum or pick, the easier you can prevent any potential injuries.

First of all, the finger injuries you can sustain from playing the guitar differ depending on the material of the guitar’s string. Like most stringed instruments, guitars have assorted types of strings used for playing them. Some strings are thick with coarse surfaces, while others can be thin and sharp. Blunt instruments are less likely to injure than sharp lots.

For instance, Playing on steel strings will wear your fingers out faster than on a nylon strings guitar.

Sore fingers

You will likely develop sore fingertips in your first few weeks of playing the guitar. These sore fingers are because you are yet to build up the proper callouses that’ll shelter the nerves in your fingers from the pressure of the steel. If not appropriately treated, sore fingers can quickly become unbearable. However, with icing and numbing creams, fingertips’ pain is temporary and can persist for a week or longer.

Callus Formation

Calluses are the natural consequence of repeated contact with a rough surface like guitar strings. Calluses take 2 to 4 weeks to form on average. To develop calluses, Make sure to play every day, even if it’s just for a short while. Don’t take long vacations from playing the guitar once calluses start to form because they’ll need upkeep.

Finger cut

Generally, Unless you are plucking the strings wrongly or with excessive pressure, you shouldn’t get a finger cut. The possibility your guitar strings can cut your fingers is low. The result will, however, be different if you’re playing out of control. The thinner strings, especially the last two strings, the E and B strings, tend to cut the fingers more. You have nothing to worry about, though. Calluses quickly form to stop this sort of occurrence.

These are rare cases in which you might injure your hands or fingers

  • Playing the guitar in an improper posture.
  • Carrying the guitar in the wrong position.
  • Plucking the strings with your fingertips using excessive pressure. Especially if you have delicate fingertips.
  • Sliding too quickly over the thin strings of the guitar.
  • Leaving the loose ends of the six strings attached to the tuning pegs free without clasping them.

Whether you’re handling acoustic, electric, or metal guitars, these are tips to avoid any hand injuries:

Hold your guitar the right way

Learning to play the guitar painlessly can be facilitated by holding your instrument correctly and maintaining good posture. Experts recommend a perfect position for holding a guitar, whether sitting or standing. When sitting, sit up straight, keep your back straight and your leg at the right angle.

Get authentic strings

We recommend using high-quality nylon strings from trusted guitar brands. Additionally, exercise care when you’re using a string with a different material. Some materials tend to be sharper than others. Use lighter-gauge strings.

Don’t press down on the strings too hard.

New guitar players tend to press their guitar strings down too hard. Many guitarists will tell you that a light touch produces the desired sound. Adjust the space between your guitar’s strings and fretboard so you don’t have to push down too hard. Also, try switching it up with a guitar pick from time to time. 

Use Finger Caps or Protective Gloves

Other solutions can lessen the pain you’re feeling if the injury in your fingertips is uncomfortable and it’s affecting how you perform. Try donning a pair of finger caps or protective gloves if your fingers are sore. These affordable items are comfortable and would not inhibit your style of playing. The downside to using these protective items is that it takes longer for calluses to form on your fingers, and you become reliant on them with time.

Steps to take immediately after sustaining a guitar string cut.

If you cannot avoid getting a finger cut while playing, here’s how to relieve the pain after getting a cut. Apply an antiseptic and a bandage. Allow your fingers to heal and harden a little before continuing. The pain will eventually subside, your fingers will develop calluses, and you’ll be able to play your guitar easily.

Bleeding from the cut finger by guitar


The guitar is an enjoyable instrument to play. But as a beginner, dealing with finger injuries while playing can be frustrating. New guitar players sometimes abandon their instruments simply because they can’t handle the pain. However, if you’re passionate about the guitar, stick with it. In the long run, you’ll develop a resistance to it.

The chances of sustaining a finger injury while playing the guitar are minimal. Guitarists can easily avoid finger injuries and get rid of the pain by adhering to the tips provided in this article.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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