Touch the sound

I remember maybe a decade ago there was a big trend toward body mods of folks inserting tech into themselves. I’m guessing this is probably something still going on today.

But as I’m learning guitar I’m paying a lot of attention to the more organic modifications I’m making to myself.

I’m working on my posture. Electric guitars are relatively heavy and I have to watch for back and neck strain, as well as hand strain. So, there are muscles building up there to compensate for this new factor.

But the more extreme thing I’ve noticed is my finger callouses.

If you’ve never played guitar before, you may not know that pressing down metal strings can be a bit painful. At least at first.

It’s not bad, but it’s enough that your body starts to compensate. It says “okay, you keep doing this painful thing over and over, not just once like an accident” so it goes about toughening up that area.

So I’ve now got baby guitar player callouses on my fingers.

The interesting side effect of this is that, while it makes it much easier to play the guitar, it makes every other tactile interaction with the world a more muted experience. I can very clearly tell the difference when I touch something with my right, callous-free fingers vs my left.

I feel a lot more details with my right now. My left hand fingers feel like they have little pads on them. It’s weird and something that are part of a choice I’m making in playing. A small sacrifice to be sure, but a sacrifice nonetheless.

tl;dr bodies are weird and smart.