Softening hard callouses

Posted In: How To Play

  • Participant
    daniellethetexasharpist on #144376

    Have any of you had hard, smooth, almost leathery callouses? How do you soften then enough to play?

    I’m a harp performance major and practice about 4 hours each day. Over the past year, I developed these callouses, primarily on my RH thumb, but the other fingers to a lesser degree. I struggle to control my tone quality and volume because there’s no way of having good contact with the strings. I’ve tried filing but to no avail.

    Any ideas?


    Gretchen Cover on #144377

    Try using Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme. It is available in drugstores and some grocery stores like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

    Tacye on #144383

    What are you filing them with? Most callus care things are marketed for feet, as that is where most people get calluses. Have you had a look at the foot care section of a chemists?

    When I need to file mine I use a pumice-like thing called a chiropody sponge which came with instructions (use on skin softened with warm water and lots of soap as lubricant) that work – be careful not to over do it as that can make playing hurt!

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