One of the age-old dilemmas with learning the guitar (or any stringed instrument) is the initial pain associated with fretting down strings, especially when you're just starting out and playing a guitar with old rusty strings and an action a mile high. Previous solutions have involved the use of ointment (and by ointment I mean alcohol), glues, bandages, turning your amp up way too loud and not caring, the use of fake finger tips like Tony Iommi (who of course had to because of an industrial accident) or simply not caring, full stop. If you are however quick to give up on this fine instrument because of fingertip pain you may need some help … you may need some (enter booming voice) “Rock Tips” (pun intended).
I'd honestly have to say the whole idea of liquid calluses had me worried at first. It had me thinking of a science experiment where you actually grow the callous like a carrot or potato in water, and I was afraid I'd end up like that guy in Stephen King's Creepshow where the guy turns into a plant. Cast your fears aside; this stuff is a great alternative to solutions of the past, working much better than band aids, or household glues like superglue which are really hard to get off and completely desensitize your fingers. Trust me, once you've become immune to the smell, it actually works amazingly well (help me I'm turning into a late night TV commercial announcer!). That's because Rock Tips claim this product has been developed from a medical adhesive for the skin. The solution takes about a minute to dry and comes off with soap and water. I pulled the bottle out of the pack and slowly applied the solution to my fingertips and flesh underneath the nails. The smell of liquid is just horrible and may have hallucinogenic properties (no sniffing kids), but I soldiered on into the unknown, on my quest for the perfect callus. The solution dries like clear nail polish in about a minute, then you can start playing. At first, the feeling is a little strange; you lose sensitivity but can still feel the strings. After a little while you adjust very well and begin to realise that even everyday guitar playing actually causes a little bit of pain and stress on your fingertips (even with calluses). One coating wasn't enough for me, so I applied another layer. At this point in time I've recently returned from a month-long holiday overseas having barely touched a guitar in all that time (except for a couple of impromptu performances with an Asian cover band), so my calluses are pretty soft right now. The Rock Tips formula gave me the feeling of old stubborn fingertips from hours of steel-string acoustic guitar playing, so you get a definite edge when it comes to endurance. The experience is quite enjoyable, so I decided to cover the fingertips on my right hand as well for a bit of fingerstlye. The formula definitely works better on your fretting hand because a lot more surface area is required on your picking hand, so you'll have to really baste your fingers to get the best results. Just about anyone can benefit from the Rock Tips solution, even seasoned professionals who get cracked, dry skin. So if you're suffering from pain, here's a tip, get “Rock Tips”.