Slicing up my pinky?

I’ve been playing bass for about two and a half months now, and it’s my first string instrument. When I started, I expected that my fingers would get sore, and maybe I would get calluses. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t play enough, or don’t play “hard enough,” but my fingers don’t get sore and I don’t think I’m forming any calluses.

However, periodically something happens where my left pinky is…cut? It’s too painful for me to pry on and find out whether it’s literally cut, but I think it’s like a papercut. And the cut seems to be vertical, which is really weird to me. I would think it’s more “burned” (not literally but like a rug burn) from sliding on the strings, but it seems more like a cut and this hasn’t happened to my other fingers.

Is this normal?


@tamaraster - I have not experienced this, and haven’t heard about it before from students. I have, on occasion, felt a cut or burn like sensation that I think I got from a metal shard, or rogue piece of whatever on the string/fret/something or other.
But not regularly, and not necessarily according to your description.

Interested to see if anyone else can identify.


I’ve had my fingers black where they’ve been on the strings and “ridged “ where I’ve probably been pressing too hard but never cut.
Are your strings “good”? Just wondering if they’ve got a sharp bit on them somewhere?


I’ve had what looked like a “burn” on my index finger when I started playing. It looked strange because it’s not in the direction I would slide along the strings and it doesn’t really go away.

I only recently came to the conclusion that it might be due to scar tissue that I got after a deep cut and that the skin hardening because of the regular practice brought it back to notice. Could be something similar in your case?


I have had nothing of the above, and as far as my fingers are concerned, I can play for hours on end. I also have no calluses.
So I’m reading all the above with considerable astonishment.

My fretting fingers are only bothered when I play guitar – the strings are too thin!


Yeah same with me. I’ve had wrist tendonitis but no finger issues.

Sounds like you may have a string or a fret with a shard of sharp metal, @tamaraster?

If it’s the strings, the solution is easy - just change them. If it’s a fret, personally I would file it off and polish it with high grit (2000+) sandpaper, but you may want to have a pro do that. I’m not a pro but I have experience polishing metal, which is the only reason I would do it myself.


You know, it occurs to me that about a year ago, I was picking up a Corelle plate, and it got me somehow. I think it was the same pinky, and it hurt like the Dickens for the longest time. It was a cut even though the plate didn’t have a chip or any sharp parts I could find. I threw it away anyway. But it was the same pain. If it was the same finger, I wonder if I have a tiny shard of glass embedded in my finger or something like that, or some nerve damage that’s being reactivated. Shoot!


@tamaraster I had this twice, first time I blamed the guitar, second time I found the culprit, a loose flake of chrome on the fridge. As the cut ran vertical made it the more confusion. Hope you heal quick. I love my guitar glove. :slight_smile: