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Clean hands....can't play

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by enzedal, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. enzedal


    Aug 27, 2012
    Everybodies noticed I'm sure that immediately after you've washed you hands you can't play worth a damn...
    How do you cope with this deal....wait half hour till you hands oil up or use lotion or routinely oil the strings ?
    J_Bass likes this.
  2. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    I like playing with clean, dry hands. I had no idea.
  3. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    I have never experienced this in my 40 years of playing. What kind of soap are you using?
    Atshen, bkbirge, rtav and 6 others like this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Most of us have no problem playing bass with clean, dry hands. :)
    If you can't play without oily hands, maybe there is a problem with your technique? Do you have a teacher who can help you with this issue?
    MattZilla, JRA and fearceol like this.
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Nope !!!....I have not noticed. :thumbsdown:
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  6. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Whachootogginbout enzedal?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    DiabolicLow B, kobass, BAG and 2 others like this.
  7. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    If it's about your hands being dry, try running them through your hair or rubbing them on the outside of your nose.
    Eric66, Tenma4, Andre678 and 7 others like this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    00 images2b2.
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  9. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Uh, no. I always wash my hands right before playing.

    - John
  10. enzedal


    Aug 27, 2012
    Herrick likes this.
  11. enzedal


    Aug 27, 2012
    Let me expand my question....firstly I apologize for assuming everybody had this issue..I was wrong obviously
    If your hands are dry and oil free there's a bunch more friction on the strings so slides become tricky because it throws off your muscle memory. Your fingers on both hands are hanging up on the strings increasing effort...decreasing speed.
    Also there is a bunch more string squeaking
    You will play consistently better if friction is constant and preferably lower rather than higher
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  12. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    It's only ever an issue in a chilly room. In those instances, hair/face grease does the trick.
    Eric66, MrLenny1 and Nashrakh like this.
  13. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    Try goats milk soap. I have no idea. I can hardly play without washing first.
    Aladinsane1969 likes this.
  14. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    As mentioned above, nose/forehead 'grease' should solve the problem … I usually also have a mini bottle of baby powder on hand also just in case it is needed … about the only issue after fresh washing though is if the hands didn't get dried well … or if it is really damp out, then I may use the baby powder

    Or, just wash your hands before you eat a bucket of fried chicken, and then skip it after eating/before playing … just stay away from the end of the stage, you may slide right off …
    dannydabiker and gebass6 like this.
  15. Btbp


    Mar 2, 2008
    Everywhere at once
    I prefer to not play with hands that have been wet just before playing. Softens the calluses., softens the skin, fingers glide differently over the strings than when dry. Nothing to do with clean or not clean, or oily anything. YMMV, this is how it is for me.
  16. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA
    My style has been characterized as "greasy".....I work with a lot of slides. But, always clean, dry hands for me. I find stickiness without them that way. Those dreaded, old fashioned flats probably help me slip and slide.

    Anyhow, clean and dry works best for me.
    lz4005 and bassfran like this.
  17. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    OCD here. Wash my hands like it’s my job. In the winter, my thumb cracks from resting it on top of the pickup. Never an issue otherwise... though I believe my issue is issue enough.
    whero and Element Zero like this.
  18. Jolagh


    Nov 29, 2012
    This right here is the reason I always bring my tub of KY to practice. Youve never really slid a note till you glissando with KY jelly. Ill slide that note all over the fretboard. Id slide that note right in some places no ones expecting.
  19. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    I remember back during my early playing years, when I used Rotosound 66's exclusively, it always seemed to me that I played smoother and faster after eating some fried chicken but perhaps that was just a function of marginal technique. Now, whether using flats or rounds, I only play with clean hands and really haven't noticed the phenomenon you describe. (not that my technique is tremendously improved, mind you...);)
  20. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    I know what you're talking about, but it's not clean hands that is the issue.
    It's the strings.
    I have 1 bass that still has factory cheap strings on it (8 years by now) and those and only those are like that. After 10 min. it goes away.

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