Calluses help!

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by fifteenrabbits, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. fifteenrabbits

    fifteenrabbits Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I keep playing to hard, getting blisters, and then the blisters pop and it starts all over again! how do I develop calluses?!

    I'm a guitarist moving to upright bass. please help.

    tricks, tips, anything!
  2. Just keep playing, your hands have got to harden up some time. If you need to play and the painful, popped blisters are in the way, you can do a few things. People use super glue or tape, and that can help out alot if you need to play through the pain.

    For some reason I never had a blister problem on electric or upright bass, but when I started playing guitar, I got ripped to shreds. A few weeks of playing and my fingertips are quite hard.
  3. mpoppitt


    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    If you havn't allready, you might want to get some low tension strings. Learning to slap on stiff steels is a struggle.
  4. screamkingart


    Apr 27, 2006
    i think it has to do with a number of things

    technique, action, strings,

    on technique, instead of grabbing the strings, like if you were trying to pull a piece of rope, use only your fingertips to barely grab the strings, and just let the string roll off your fingertips,

    depending on the style of slap your playing, your action will be your best friend, if your playing fast psychobilly stuff, the lower the better IMO if its some slower rockabilly stuff, then you can have higher action without struggling, and ripping your fingers to shreds, and like i said before, let the string roll off your finger tips if your actually grabbing the strings your letting more meat get pulled around (that sounds funny :D )

    and strings, I wouldnt play any steels that werent a solo set, I play fast psychobilly most of the time and it would be to difficult for me, I think you should be able to slap just fine on any strings though, nylons, guts steels that were mainly used for slap playing, I noticed roundwound strings give more potential for blisters

  5. MatthewS


    Jan 25, 2007
    Art, haha, its funny.
    When I started telling people about this a couple years back, I would get laughed at.
  6. screamkingart


    Apr 27, 2006
    what specifically?

    not the meat part right? :D
  7. MatthewS


    Jan 25, 2007
    You like meat art? I know what your getting at, I am not like that :p

    No the roll of the finger tips, lower action. I have made a drawn out science as to why this theory works.
  8. kevtexbass


    Jan 2, 2007
    Austin ,Texas
    Endorsing Artist:Reunion Blues, DR strings, Fender,Radial,Genz Benz.
    Whenever I get blisters, I use a sewing needle to drain the fluid. The trick is to push the needle in through skin that hasn't blistered yet, and keep it drained. That way it heals faster, and the skin that actually blistered turns into a great callous that will usally last a while.
  9. Son


    Apr 13, 2007
    I know how you feel fifteenrabbits.

    When I first started slapping instead of playing my electric bass, my fingers were getting owned. Steel strings are like barbed wire to unexperienced fingers. I just played a little bit every day, and slowly but surely I was able to play longer and longer without getting a blister, and having to stop.

    Of course, you may want to hold off a couple of days so that your blisters can heal, but for the most part, keep practicing for fifteen minutes a day, four or five days a week. The more you do it, the longer you'll be able to go. And if you stick with it, you'll be ready to play a three hour set!
  10. bluegrasscat


    Aug 9, 2006
    dont pop the blister!! calluses only come from hard work..over time.. if i start to get a blister, i use a different part of the finger.. the blister usually turns into a calluse... (example=or try hauling a bunch of bricks,blocks. after awhile, what you thought were blisters soon turn into calluses! digging also makes calluses). dont do dishes!!! soft hands=blisters and rough hands=calluses!!lol. time i think is the answer!! just my thought....
  11. I used a similar technique. but, I don't get blisters anymore. drain the fluid w/ a needle. then soak your hands in Epsom salt and water. tightens up the skin and toughens it. I'm sure its primarily some osmotic pressure thing. a milk carton of epsom salt is dirt cheap at the drug store or grocery store.
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