bloody fingers

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by 5SRiNgSuiCiDe, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. 5SRiNgSuiCiDe


    Mar 21, 2002
    I've got a question. My fingers always bleed when i try to play fast. How can I stop this? I will apreciate any help you guys can give me .

    Thanks!!!:confused: :confused:
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Your question begs some other questions;

    - Have you been playing for very long, or, do you rarely play??? (need to build up some callouses)

    - Do you let your fingers fully heal before going back at it???

    - Do you know how to lower your bass's action??? (sounds like it could be too high action and roundwound strings)

    When you see blisters starting to form, it's time to back off and play for shorter periods of time so they can turn into callouses. It sounds like you may be letting the blisters get too soft and, of course, they tear open when you continue to play.

    Super glue on the finger tips can really help protect sore blisters. But, I wouldn't use it in your case because you obviously have open wounds.

    If all else fails, Lakland could probably use your hand in their Skyline ads. :D
  3. 5SRiNgSuiCiDe


    Mar 21, 2002
    thanks dude. i've been playing for just over a year. The thing is i play aleast an hour ever day and this is just starting to happen.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Not to be condescending, 5string, but a single year and one hour each day isn't squat. (Shoot, I take 5 mnutes every time it comes out of the case just to make sure my tuning is dead-on). Perhaps your schedule doesn't allow more playing time and I appreciate that. (That's one reason I can do this for a living! :D ).

    As the bass wisdom goes, "It's an easy instrument to learn to play.....and a very difficult instrument to learn to play WELL"

    What about knowing how to adjust your bass's action and the roundwound strings I mentioned???
  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Playing to wear you bleed isn't a sign that you are good or that you are really fast.. When you feel pain, you need to back off. you are going to do more harm than good if you keep doing that... Try playing with a lighter touch.. you don't have to dig in so hard to get a good sound out of your bass
  6. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I couldnt agree anymore...

    As Idiezman said, dont play too hard, you dont need to dig right into the strings to get a decent sound.

    If you feel like this is what you are doing, turn the volume on the amp and bass right up, and try to get the quitest sound possible. Keep that going and slowly turn the volume down after you have played at a certain level for say, 10 minutes, then try and keep the same sound that YOU produce, and you should be right sooner or later...
  7. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    At 1am-3am on a main road, go and draw chalk outlines of people at a main intersection (I'm talking 20 or 30 people) Then sit back and watch as peak hour comes along.

    I'm going out to do this in about two hours! Anyone wanna help? (thanks kirby)
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    ummm.... ooooooooKKAAAAaaaaayyy....

    Is this happening from BLISTERS or from a crack/rip in the skin? And is this an electric or a string bass? Heck, every time I play a string bass I raise bood blisters, but that's because I never play it.

    Stainless strings are very rough -- if that's what you're using, try switching to nickel if you can stand the sound, not quite as bright but WAY easier on the fingers.

    I agree with kirbywrx -- you need to let the amp do the work, not try to blast through with your fingers. If your mp is small (50 wats or less), there may be no other remedy but a bigger amp.
  9. I used to have this happen from time to time when my previous band would come back from hiatus. Even if we rehearsed for hours in preparation for the show, inevitably by the end of the gig I'd have blood blisters on my picking fingers. My guess is that I simply played harder because we were in a venue as opposed to a small rehearsal space.

    Of course, what really sucked was that the blisters made subsequent gigs very painful if they hadn't healed. About the only thing that would help would be to drain the blisters, take off the skin and put superglue on them.

  10. 5SRiNgSuiCiDe


    Mar 21, 2002

    I've tried this before, verry funny.

    ever been logging
  11. i'll be doing that in the summer.. there still snow on the ground right now.. looks fun! :)
  12. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    use a pick??? (don't kill me)

    don't play fast

  13. Play slow?
  14. I think there are many people here that will concour with what i am about to say.

    Why should you have to play so aggressively or hard, so as to force your skin to break?

    Think about it, unless you have some kind of congenital skin defect that causes you to bleed and bruise easily, its not the easiest thing to do.

    Bleeding is not a natural thing to have happen after playing your bass. The skin on your hands should be quite robust, if you have dry skin then your more prone to the skin braking.

    If this is happening to others out there, i would look closely at what your doing, and what it is thats wrong about it.

    Theres no bravado about bleeding, it doesn't mean your a better player, you practice more or your more dedicated.

    In some cases your really hurting yourself.

    Also, many people can be allergic to their choice string material. Some are unable to mplay nickel strings without breaking out and bleeding. The same may be said for plain stainless strings, so look at all the possibilities.

    Look after your hands! there the things that will ensure you have years to come in the bass playing world.

    5SRiNgSuiCiDe, you've only been playing a year, but be careful you don't want to be shot down in your prime!

    There will be some people out there who think i'm over reacting, and thats fine with me, i can only offer advice and highlight the areas that need to be addressed. However withing the 20,000 + plus people on the board there are many stories of pain and problems to be told, either because of bad technique or inexperience.

    Keep it real and listen to your body, it knows best



  15. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I'm in agreement with everyone else - take it easy on your fingers. I just came off a week-end of bleeding fingers, and it's no fun playing that way. It really didn't hurt that much, but blood tends to get sticky on the strings. In my case, it was because of a skin condition, coupled with extremely dry weather and cracked skin. I used the ol' Super Glue, and adjusted my playing to get through the sets. My second night actually went better than the first for this. You'll find as you get more experience that you can actually play better and more comfortably if you ease up on the "grip". Remember that you're playing an instrument, not swinging a bat.