How To Tape Your Fingers For Guitar Playing - intro image- greyscale image of someone playing guitar

How To Tape Your Fingers For Guitar Playing (Five Simple Steps)

Guitarists often tape their fingers when playing the guitar, especially when they are first learning to play the instrument or have started playing more often than usual. How do you tape your fingers before playing the guitar to avoid injury?

Get masking or finger tape to tape one’s fingers before playing guitar. Wrap the tape around each finger and over the fingertip until most of the fingertip is covered. Guitarists tape their fingers to help them avoid getting cuts or bruises on their fingers.

Below are the reasons why you should tape your fingers before playing the guitar, the advantages and disadvantages of taping your fingers, and exactly how to tape your fingers!

How to Tape Fingers for Guitar Playing

Taping your fingers before playing the guitar is pretty easy. Below are some tips on taping your hands and fingers before playing the guitar.

Taping the Fingers

  1. Get masking, finger, or medical tape.
  2. Cut it so it is long enough to be wrapped around each finger. You can also cut the tape after you wrap your finger.
  3. Wrap the finger carefully, ensuring the tape is wrapped around the top of your finger.
  4. Ensure that the edge of the tape is completely stuck so it doesn’t get caught on the strings of your guitar.
  5. Repeat the process until all of your fingers are wrapped in tape.

Remember, the tape will become ripped or stick to the strings over time. When this happens, change the tape.

You’ll also want to wrap them around your fingertips, protecting your nails. You can wrap your fingers below the nail, but it will still harm your tips.

Just like fingers, knuckles need to be taped as well! Some guitarists play aggressively and frequently brush their knuckles against the guitar strings. This leads to dry skin, callouses, and cuts. Follow the below steps to protect your knuckles.

Taping the Knuckles

  1. Grab a thin piece of masking or finger tape.
  2. Take the piece of tape and tear it off enough to wrap around your knuckles.
  3. With your hand lying down completely flat, wrap the strip of tape around your knuckles.
  4. Place the tape on your skin securely but not too tightly. Ensure moving your hand feels comfortable to prevent pain from overly tight tape.
  5. Change the tape after playing for long periods.

Why Should Fingers be Taped for Playing Guitar?

Guitarists usually tape their fingers before playing their instrument to protect their hands and fingers from painful cuts and bruises. Many guitarists press their fingers very hard and firmly onto the strings. Most musicians press their fingers on the strings of ukuleles, bass guitars, and acoustic guitars to get the best, crispest notes while playing.

Unfortunately, this pressure on the fingers can easily lead to hand and finger injuries. The hand and finger callouses, sharp cuts, blisters, and bruises that occur because of this pressure can hinder or halt a musician’s playing.

Some guitarists prefer not to use a pick if they feel they play better with their fingers. You might like the sound of fingerpicking. Placing the tape on your fingers can protect your hands from damage while playing. Below are the most common reasons why guitarists tape their hands.

  • It protects the hand that is strumming from being cut open or damaged by the guitar strings.
  • Tape reduces the amount of friction between the strings and fingers, which means the strings can be played faster.
  • Nails can be taped over to help guitarists pluck strings without a guitar pick.

Guitarists who mute their guitars with their palms generally find taping their knuckles helpful. This is because guitarists who play with a lot of palm muting or aggressively strum at fast rates expose their knuckles to the strings. By taping the knuckles, live performers can prevent injuries, dry skin, and sweat from building up on the hands and knuckles.

Many guitarists place tape on their fingers, hands, and knuckles to prevent pain, especially for longer guitar-playing sessions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taping Fingers

If you are taping your fingers as a beginner intending to prevent cuts or bruises, the taping process has many advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Playing Time: Taping fingers before playing the guitar can extend how long you can play, especially if you don’t have much experience playing the guitar. It is often difficult to keep playing the guitar when your hands are blistered and sore.
  • Style: Every guitarist has a different style when playing the guitar. Some professional guitar players tape their fingers because it helps support their guitar playing. Guitarists’ play can greatly determine how often they need tape when practicing or playing.
  • Temporary Support: When you need protection, or if your hands are dry, cracked, or sensitive, taping can help with the pain dramatically. Applying tape to your nail when playing can prevent the nail from getting worn down too fast.

Disadvantages

  • Calluses Build Up: Calluses form on the fingers and hands, especially after playing the guitar for a long time. Even though it is important to build up calluses when playing, they can cause cuts on your skin. If your calluses haven’t caused severe scratches or other damage, it is best not to use tape.
  • Accuracy: Taping your fingers affects the accuracy of your performance, as it is hard to tell where your fingers are.
  • It Affects the Sound of the Guitar: Since you cannot touch the guitar’s strings directly, taping your fingers will affect the guitar’s sound when the strings are played. Taping fingers may also limit the movement and amount of control you have over your fingers.
  • Tears Easily: Tape can tear easily when playing a guitar. Tape is generally not made to be used on your fingers for protective purposes. After it tears, you must replace the old tape and repeat the process. This can take time, which is bad if you have to re-tape your fingers while performing.

While taping your fingers can prevent cuts and bruises, it is ultimately up to you whether or not you tape them before playing the guitar.

Alternatives to Taping Your Fingers

If you don’t like the feel of tape on your fingers, here are a few alternatives:

  • Building calluses: If you love the feel of fingerpicking, you’ll build natural resistance over time. Keep practicing until you get used to using your fingers.
  • Using a pick: An alternative to fingerpicking is an actual guitar pick. This won’t protect the fingers used on the frets but will protect you from fingerpicking.
  • Getting guitar gloves: If you aim to protect your knuckles, wear practice gloves while playing. It might feel unnatural, but you can transition to bare hands eventually.
  • Using lighter gauge strings: Lighter gauge strings are easier to press down. The less work you put into pressing the strings, the less stress you’ll have. Just be aware of the different sounds that might come from lighter-gauge strings.
  • Using nylon strings: Many strings use metal-coated strings, which can be rough on your fingers. Nylon strings are much lighter but are mostly only used on acoustic guitars.
  • Adjust your guitar action: The higher your strings are from the body and neck, the more you must press down. This is known as guitar action; you can adjust it to make things easier.
  • Use guitar finger protectors: Finger protectors (sometimes called finger picks) are silicon covers for your fingertips. Below, you’ll find a list of picks. They might feel weird at first, so practice before going live.

Bestseller No. 1
Guitar Fingertip Protectors – 40 Pcs Silicone Guitar Finger Guards Protection Covers Caps for Guitar Ukulele Bass, Sewing and Embroidery (5 Sizes) (Transparent)
  • Package Included :The package includes 40 pieces clear guitar fingertip protectors in 5 different sizes,8 pieces for each size,XL,L,M,S,XS. With extra 10 pieces celluloid guitar picks(random color), it will bring more convenience for you.
  • Quality Material : These finger protectors are made of soft silicone, sturdy and tear-resistant, assures beautiful tone and durability, durable in use and not easy to get deformed, providing a long service life.Comfortable, easy to apply and remove.
  • Protect Your Fingers: Protect your fingers from pain when playing guitar, reusable and durable; 5 sizes fit most person.
  • Wonderful Gifts: The clear guitar fingertip guards can be sent as gifts for your friends who are guitar or mandolin players, or good presents for yourself to protect fingers from pain and sweat, make sound more full, more real, and won’t grind your fingers.
  • Suitable For Guitarists And Beginners : Multiple size is suitable for both children and adults. These finger protectors for guitar not only can protect your fingers from pain, but also enhance the flexibility of your fingers as they are soft. Works equally well for other stringed instruments, banjo, mandolin, ukulele.
Bestseller No. 2
30pcs Silicone Guitar Finger Guards Fingertip Protectors Fingertip Protection Covers Caps for Stringed Instruments, Sewing and Embroidery (5 Sizes)
  • Package Included-The package includes 30 pieces clear guitar fingertip protectors in 5 different sizes,6 pieces for each size,XL,L,M,S,XS. With extra 5pcs thumb finger picks and 5 pieces celluloid guitar picks(random color), it will bring more convenience for you.
  • Quality Material-These finger protectors for guitar are made of soft silicone, sturdy and tear-resistant, assures beautiful tone and durability, durable in use and not easy to get deformed, providing a long service life.Comfortable, easy to apply and remove.
  • Protect Your Fingers-Protect your fingers from pain when playing guitar, reusable and durable; 5 sizes fit most person.
  • Different Colors of Guitar Fingertip Protection-Each size of these fingertip protectors has a color that is easy to distinguish and use.
  • Suitable for Guitarists and Beginners- These finger guards for guitar not only can protect your fingers from pain, but also enhance the flexibility of your fingers as they are soft. Works equally well for other stringed instruments, banjo, mandolin, ukulele.
Bestseller No. 3
SUNLP Thumb Finger Picks, Guitar Finger Fingertip Protectors, Guitar Picks, Pick Holder, Gift Set Kit useful for Acoustic Guitar Ukulele Kalimba Starter & Other String Instruments
  • Say bye-bye to finger pain, farewell to ugly calluses.High quality Silicone guitar finger protectors, comfortable to wear and protect your fingertip for long time practicing.
  • Frivolous and ventilated, free and relaxed without impairing the timbre of playing: Guitar fingertip protector close to the skin, and don’t influence feel and the timbre & Say no to allergies and smelly smell by using green materials and never hurt your skin.
  • ADJUSTABLE & COMFORTABLE: Are you being bothered that the finger picks are unsuitable with your finger size? Our thumb finger picks are made of Celluloid Material, which can adjust size easily. And the thumb picks are COMFORTABLE to wear and can ALLEVIATE finger ache while long-time practice.
  • 5 sizes guitar finger protectors perfectly meet needs for both adults and teens and suitable for all kinds of instruments.
  • Picks Case Can Stock More Spare Picks At Home And Carry Easily: We Made of Super Durable Reinforcement Plastics, It Passed Drop Test, 100% Assure Of You Will Not Receive Some Picks With A Pile Of Plastic Fragments High Quality Buckle 100% Assure Of Your Case Will Be Not Open While You Carrying Picks Out.
Bestseller No. 4
4 Pcs Silicon Fingertip Protector for Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Bass and Other String Instruments (S Size)
  • Material: silicon
  • Size: for women
  • Comes with a portable small box
  • High quality silicon with large flexibility that fits your finger properly, reduce your pain while practicing
  • Perfect for beginners and long-time players. Ideal for Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Bass and other string instruments
Bestseller No. 5
20 Pcs Guitar Fingertip Protectors Guitar Finger Guards Protection Guitar Silicone Covers Caps for Guitar Bass Ukulele with 2 Pcs Guitar Fretboard Stickers and Guitar Chord Chart
  • ✔Great Learning Packages: The package includes 2 colorful guitar sticker fretboard,20 guitar fingertip protectors, 1 guitar chords scale chart and 6 guitar picks, this is a useful set to help guitar beginners get started quickly.
  • ✔︎Good Material:These finger protectors are made of soft silicone, sturdy and durable, not easy to deform, long life.
  • ✔Easy To Use: Detachable guitar stickers, the note back glue is clean and durable, can be removed/pasted many times without leaving any residue, it will not harm your favorite guitar at all.
  • ✔︎Wide applicability: Guitar fretboard Sticker are great for classroom teachers or private studio teachers, and for kids and beginners, it’s a great learning aid to help guitar beginners get started quickly.
  • ✔︎Gifts: The Beginner’s Gift Pack is perfect for gifting to your family, friends and students, whether they are beginners or ready to learn from professionals, they will be happy to get it.

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