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Blisters and calluses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. Am I a weirdo, or does anyone else here get a real kick out of getting calluses and blisters on their fingers? I don't feel as though I'm practicing hard enough until I can't feel my fingertips when I touch them with a sharp object...

  2. Yup;)
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I play 30-120 minutes per day 4-6 days per week. I haven't gotten a callus or blister on 10 years from playing bass guitar. Once I got a big enough amp, I got pretty light with the touch.

    I think it is all about how agressively you play. There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's.

    I have developed a pretty nasty callus along the side of my right index finger from playing upright bass, but I never get them from EBG.

    It never occurred to me that I was cheating myself until now. Maybe I should go home and try to bleed. :)
  4. whiteshadow


    Jul 3, 2001
    I dig calluses. I get 'em on my right fingers from the bass, the left fingers from dabbling on a guitar, and my palms from lifting. I like every single one, gives me a sense of accomplishment... ya know?
  5. I like to practice with my amp at fairly low volume, so I dig in fairly hard. I do a lot of work with speed drills and I've always thought that if one is fast while digging in, one will be ridiculous with a light touch.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am proud of my callused fingers.
  7. Nothing better than the sweet touch of hardening fingertips in the morning. Wait what?! Well you get the idea.:D
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i think having fingers that are in the middle between non-bassist soft and rock hard are the key to good tone.

    even when i was cranking my URB thru a big band unamplified 10 hrs a week plus practice i didn't get rock hard calluses, just leathery.
  9. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    I've got pretty leathery calluses on my fingertips, nothing too amazing... but on my left hand I have two rock hard calluses on the inside of my hand from sharp frets and a brutally sharp Adjust-a-Nut. One's on the inside of my knuckle on my index finger, the other is between the base of my third finger and the first knuckle. Anybody else have this problem?
  10. I'm starting to rough up the skin on my right ring finger under the nail. It's from playing guitar with my odd pick-holding. Oops.
  11. Calluses do give a sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel good, you feel like a bass player. I love my calluses, I am very proud of them.
  12. I play so hard my toes have callouses
  13. I used to have a session, half an hour every night before bed, where I would just press all four fingers against the E string and run them up and down again and again. I would do this until that spot on my fingers became slightly soft, and then I would move to a different spot.

    Now my fingers are just... wierd. Smooth, but dead.

    I love that.
  14. Me too! My funky thumb is hard as a rock! :eek: :D

  15. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I wear my callouses like a badge of honor! I dig in pretty hard when I play and practice, so I keep good callouses on my fingers. When my callouses go soft, so does my tone.
    BTW, I used to play 5 nights a week for 2 years. I had such callouses!
  16. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I've never developed callouses on my fingers. Just hardened skin, but not real callouses. I feel like I'm missing out on something:(
  17. schmidtt


    Jan 9, 2001
    Left pointer and pinkie, right middle finger on the ring finger side and right thumb from moving from the pickup the strings and back. Love those roundwounds.

    Semi-psychotic but an earned 'badge'.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I hadn't had any major calluses in a long time... then I joined a band. During my first major practice weekend, one day I played so many hours straight, got a terrible blister, woke up... played a few more hours and got a blister on top of that. So it was ultra gross, but now my finger is like a rock.
  19. Got a rock hard callouse on my left index finger, and a leathery one on my left ring finger. Not much on the middle and pinky.

    I used to get welts on my right index and middle fingers, but haven't had those in quite awhile.

    My left index callouse can be burned by a lighter and turn black and still not hurt...until the next day that is :D

    Sometimes you have to play slightly harder than other times, and having callouses won't cause any harm.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree with this and have played for even longer without ever getting callouses/blisters.

    So - each year I go to Jazz SummerSchool and for the bass players there, this is always a problem; as you are playing during the whole day and there are Jams plus "Jazz Club" in the evening.

    So by about the 2nd or 3rd day all the inexperienced bass players - there are about 15 -20 on the course - can't play and are looking for help. A lot of them are playing BG (surprisingly?) - I think it's because of transporting a DB to the wilds of Wales where the course is held.

    Last year I was chatting to one guy and he was getting a weird, muffled sound by the end of the week on a Warwick Thumb bass. His blisters were so bad he could hardly bear to touch anything, but he didn't want to miss out on playing with all the great musicians you get on these weeks.

    So he had stuffed a big lump of polystyrene under the bridge to help with muting and was playing with a pick!! :)

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