Ever found that when you're away from your guitar for a week or so, the skin your fingers loose their toughness and when you return you have to go through the pain until you become used to it again? Well I've found away to prevent this happening, whilst at the same time strengthening my fingers, and even providing stress relief! And it only takes 5 minutes of your time!
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need:

-A Gripmaster hand exerciser http://www.activeforever.com/p-4-gripmaster-hand-exerciser.aspx
-5 inches of old guitar string (Preferably the D string, nothing thinner)
-Wire cutters
-Good 'ol duct tape

Step 2: Measuring up

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Using your fingers, hold the guitar string on the pistons of the Gripmaster. Use the pliers to bend one end of the guitar string at a 90 degree angle downwards.

Step 3: The other side

Picture of The other side
Do the same to the other side but don't make the bend as close to the edge as you did with the other side. Leave about 3mm of horizontal wire. This creates slack for when you push the pistons down.

Step 4: Tape time

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This step is pretty much self-explanatory. Using a half centimeter wide strip of tape, stick both ends of the wire to the side of the Gripmaster as shown. It is important to give the wire slack (using the 3mm of extra wire) so it should have a slight bend over the pistons as shown. Use the wire cutters to trip off excess wire.

Step 5: Last step

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Now, using a small piece of duct tape, cover the edge of the trimmed wire. It's pretty sharp and you don't want to cut yourself.

Step 6: Finished!

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And that's all there is to it! Now when you go away on a holiday or trip, take it with you. When you flex your hand the wires dig into your fingertips simulating a bend on a guitar, and toughening your fingers, whilst at the same time making your fingers stronger. (It's also a handy stress reliever!)

Thanks for reading, and I hope I didn't make it sound too complicated.

a little superglue on each finger tip works as a fake callus...comes off with nail polish remover after gig...works awesome..

eljohn35 years ago
You could cut the guitar string down to about four 1" to 1 1/2" pieces, use a dremel to put two small holes on each button and epoxy each section into the individual buttons themselves.  It'd be a little more invasive, but you wouldn't have to worry about peeling off and getting gross.   I think they also make little caps for the gripmaster buttons that snap right on and accomplish the same goal.  http://amzn.com/B0002H0N26   The diy version is much cooler though, kudos.
good idea, i have the grip master and i use the Ruff caps attachment, they work wonders, hurt a bit if you using the heavy grip master but on a light or med, you can build you callus in no time
You could improve your gripmaster mod by using a thick gauge guitar string rather than a piece of smooth wire.

Also, Gripmaster does make an attachment that does the exact same thing you are achieving. Their's is better because it still allows you to independently flex your fingers. Here it is: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ruff-Rider-Ruff-Grip-Callus-Builder-Caps?sku=423501
Tibboh (author)  The Papier Boy6 years ago
Thanks for the feedback! The string is a thick one (copper coiled) but it is hard to see in the pictures. And with this mod, you can actually flex individual fingers due to the slap and elasticity of the tape. The big bonus of course is that this costs nothing :)
very clever. now somebody just needs to post an instructable on a diy gripmaster so i dont burn $10 lol, ill definatly do this once i get/make a gripmaster
Tibboh (author)  pyelitegamerro766 years ago
Thanks for reading and glad you liked it :D I doubt you'll be able to make a Gripmaster which has the same resistance as the real one. I has the light tension one and it puts 4pounds of resistance on each finger. Tell me how it goes if you make it :)
Chicken22096 years ago
There's one strategy that works better all you need is a guitar and your state of mind First, you grab the guitar Next you practice I like this way better because it actually helps you with other elements like timing and picking....
Tibboh (author)  Chicken22096 years ago
I made this for people who would be away from their guitar for a while :D If you read the introduction again I say: "Ever found that when you're away from your guitar for a week or so..."