I hadn’t played a guitar in several months. Last week my church asked me to walk and sing like a hippie at their upcoming block party. So I’ve been going through my songbooks picking out appropriate songs for hippie-like-walking-and-singing. The main problem isn’t my skill – that never leaves, even if I don’t play for years. It’s the skin on my fingertips. Since I’ve been playing for about 4-5 hours a day, every day, the fingers of my left hand are now swollen, red / purple / black / white, shiny, throbbing, and covered in blisters. It isn’t terribly pleasant. But I know that the only way for it to get better is to play through it. Eventually, all the blisters will break and the raw skin underneath will start to die and then it won’t hurt anymore.