Getting My Guitar Callouses Back

A longtime friend and former pastor recently invited me to provide worship music and campfire music at a retreat for people of “a certain age.” The folks were delightful.

Here’s an irony. I mostly play banjo when I play “out,” and you form different callouses when you play banjo. The strings are lighter, you hit them at a different angle, and you almost never use your pinky.

So I’m glad to say that leading choruses and hymns in 5 sessions, plus playing for about 45 minutes at a campfire, I only developed one small blister – on my pinky.

A few days later, I played guitar for an hour and a half straight at a singalong I usually take my banjo to, and – except for my pinky, my guitar callouses are pretty much “back.”

Plus my right hand is getting used to flatpicking and 6-string fingerpicking again.

Maybe something fun is in store!


About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like,, and to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

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