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BLISTER PROBLEM - IS IT ME, OR THE STRINGS? ASSIST PLEASE?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Milstein, Jan 7, 2013.


  1. Joe Milstein

    Joe Milstein

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Gamma Bass Guitars
    OK friends. I am sure there are other threads on this topic, but I am adding one...feel free to chime in.

    I have a habitual problem with blisters (see the one pic attached). And this photo is after resting my fingers for 2 weeks and playing with medical tape and regular tape wrapped on them.

    Even if i play through the blisters, the skin gets caught in the strings and makes it tough to play.

    I can't use a pick. I love roundwound, but use light gauge strings for the most part. Buddies have recommended flat wounds, but not my thing.... will try Tapewounds next. I am NOT that hard of a plucker, but need to find something other than tons of tape...which falls off after a few songs anyway..plus tearing and interrupting...

    Glue? New Skin?
    Other?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers!

    Joey
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Joey-

    I'd venture that the problem is not with your strings, it's in the fact that you playing much too hard, probably harder than you realize - either due to technique, onstage adrenaline or you are fighting to hear yourself in a band setting.

    I'm not sure what kind of amplifier power you currently have on hand, but a suitably sized rig that does the hard work for you really lets you lighten up your touch while being heard just as easily. Might be worth having an instructor or knowledgeable player watch your playing to evaluate.

    Lonnybass
     
  3. kevteop

    kevteop

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    York, UK
    Are you using nickel strings? Try steels?

    When I was in that situation I used to pluck down by the bridge (resting my thumb on the rear pickup - in fact I always used basses with two pickups purely because I put my thumb back there), because plucking any further forward the string just bounced around and rattled too much. I used to break strings pretty routinely but I still never got blisters as bad as this guy. And I have soft hands.
     
  4. meatwad

    meatwad

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    I only get blisters like that if I stop playing for a few weeks, then go do a gig.. or maybe even a long rehearsal. And, I admit to playing harder than I should in live situations. :D

    I feel your pain, but the only remedy I know of is callouses through regular playing.
     
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  6. Joe Milstein

    Joe Milstein

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Gamma Bass Guitars
    I wouldn't deny any of this.... Perhaps....But still hoping there is a short term cure/fix to deal with it while i DO have the blisters...and to avoid the future...
     
  7. zbasstringer

    zbasstringer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I've played some round wounds that are "rougher" than others, if that makes sense. What brand are you using? My younger brother was having blister issues, so I put some coated DR's on his bass and that seemed to help him.

    Also, I may be weird for doing this, but to help with the blister, pop it, drain it, soak it in warm salt water, drain it, soak in salt water again, then dry it out. Dry it out all the way by cutting a bit more of an opening in the blister. Then, using super glue, fill the blister with glue. This will allow you to play in about half an hour without the annoying sensitivity.
     
  8. iamlowsound

    iamlowsound

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Listowel/KW Ontario
    Try some Elixer strings. I have never gotten a blister from playing, but I have a really light touch. Also, maybe a ramp would help you.

    lowsound
     
  9. Joe Milstein

    Joe Milstein

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Gamma Bass Guitars
    I use DRs and Rotosounds... nothing higher that 100s gauge E string...

    Thanks for the tip...
     
  10. zbasstringer

    zbasstringer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I don't know if it will help, but what about going thicker?
     
  11. terranova

    terranova

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Arlington
    earplugs may help also.
     
  12. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Hey Joey,I feel your pain..I practice daily,rehearse once a week,and gig nearly every weekend..I shed fingertips like I'm gonna win a prize. I also prefer rounds and agree with zbasstringer that some are more abrasive than others. There's also body chemistry to consider..perhaps you have a sensitivity to the metals in your preferred strings? I'm a fingers only guy and I hate taping them because I lose my feel for both placement and striking force. I've tried super-glue,and it works but usually wears off by the end of the second set. I don't care for flats either and decided to try pressure wounds recently. I find them to be much easier on the fingers and fairly comparable to rounds in usable tones..pretty much just lacking the upper register 'zing' and piano-like sustain you find with true rounds.
     
  13. Joe Milstein

    Joe Milstein

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Gamma Bass Guitars
    Sounds like we have similar situations! I am going to try to make a conscious effort to play a bit lighter, and will try a new set of tapewounds... For starters...


    Thanks all!
     
  14. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Hey Joe-

    Try boosting the volume setting on your amp while maintaining the same volume level - it will force you to play with greater control and a lighter touch. Also might help if you boost your mids around 500 hz - you'll probably be able to hear yourself better.

    Lonnybass
     
  15. Joe Milstein

    Joe Milstein

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Gamma Bass Guitars
    I wish I were AMP savvy, but will give it a shot and ask my mates for guidance. Appreciate the input and great feedback!

    Joey
     
  16. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree with lonny, good post.

    As an interim solution, try GHS fast fret. It will eliminate alot of friction that contributes to the blisters.
     

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