Blister, are you kidding me?

So I am an old (60 yr) rhythm guitar player kind of getting back in to bass. I played it in an original band for a while about 16 years ago. Back then I played it with a pick.

Tonight I was playing for over an hour messing around trying to learn Whipping Post form Live at the Filmore East. I know that Barry Oakley played with a pick but I am trying to learn basic blues and stuff using my fingers.

Well, I got a blister on the index finger. So I guess that I was going at it either pretty good or pretty bad.

Still it was an enjoyable hour or so.


I’m a longtime rhythm player, too. Good to have a fellow chord man here.

Yeah, dude, Whipping Post is a real workout. I’m not a bit surprised you got a blister on a virginal fingertip or two. Killer tune, though. Good on you for getting on it.


I envy you, not! Well it’s a good sign. I’m just a tad over my guitar finger pain now I gotta figure out how to play a chords without dead notes. Lol.


Lol yeah, A-shape barre chords or A Major open chord, neither are my favorite :slight_smile:


Pretty good I would say! :metal:


I play with a pick too, but sometimes with my fingers but I really prefer the Tone with a pick, and I was a rhythim guitarist player to who just switch to Bass, and I am 60 too…lol


I think that us ex guitar guys may lean towards the pick because of playing the 6 string that way for so long.

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I used to play guitar but began with classical guitar as a child. For me, the bass was all about going back to playing fingerstyle :grin:
No picks that fly away due to sweaty fingers, or get lost, or whatever :rofl:


I played rhythm guitar exclusively for decades before I put down my pick and dedicated myself to learn fingerstyle steel string guitar: country blues.

Alternating thumb classics by Mance Lipscomb, Lightning Hopkins, Elizabeth Cotten, Reverend Gary Davis, a deep dive into the styles of the blues pioneers.

Being a guitarist first, I also played bass with a pick, but it wasn’t how I wanted to play.

I came to B2B to learn proper finger plucking because my other love is jazz. I only pick up a pick for rhythm guitar.


I love both :slight_smile:

I do prefer pick though.


The first ever instrument I ever played is the bass, still playing with a pick most of the time. That is just what my favorite bass players are using.

To the blisters topic: I also managed to get a blister once. On my left hand index finger, when I was practicing a riff with slides from the third to the twelve fret on the E string.
I couldn’t play for a week or so and had to wait until it healed.

But it will get better with time, I remember when I first picked up the bass and went through the first lesson of B2B. My plucking fingers felt like they were on fire after only 5 mins and I stopped to give them some rest :smiley:

I was working on a song last night from SBL called “Steel Maiden”. Really fast chuggin 8th notes and some quick transitions. After working it for a while, I did not get a blister but could tell if I kept on, one would pop up so I stopped and will resume tonight.

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That’s exactly how to deal with a potential blister, Eddie. I’ve done the same thing on occasion and your skin rebounds tougher afterwards. But if you try to push through the warning stage, expect a blister.

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My fingers are tough from years of being a hack on guitar, but the sliding from E string 5th to 3rd to 1st fret using the Ken Smith Bass Burners on the 54P got about two slides away from a blister. I expect, over time, they will grow immune to this type of problem. I just gotta keep working it.

Pick playing is ingrained in me for playing rhythm guitar. Not so for bass. But fingersyle works out fine because the music I play on bass doesn’t require a pick, ever.

That said, I long ago developed a way to play rhythm guitar without a pick at all, by just using my strumming hand’s index finger: the back of the nail on the downstroke and the side of the fingertip on the upstroke. This technique evolved naturally when I felt like playing but didn’t have a pick handy.

I followed that up by playing rawdog fingerstyle guitar (no fingerpicks) for years.

Learning bass finger plucking was a shock at first. The string spacing and overall hand anchoring was like nothing I’d done before. Now it’s second nature.

I actually do fingernail strumming all the time, it sounds great and feels good :slight_smile:

Works on bass too.

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I had a blister last night trying to play “Fascination Street” on tempo.
It’s our badge of honor! Our fingers will learn how to endure!! <3


Never had issues with blisters, but I am a construction worker so my hands & fingers are already thoroughly calloused.

Practicing songs with tons of slides does leave my fretting hand pretty sore but I would be proud if I got a blister, it means you’re really putting in work.

*cue Helter Skelter I GOT BLISTAS ON MY FINGAS


Absutely normal to get blisters, playing with fingers. They will be gone soon again. :wink: