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do you lotion your hands??~??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Impulsee, Mar 11, 2003.


  1. The other day i was playing some bass, and i got an idea. Why not take some hand lotion, and start softening my hands??~?? Does anyone else do this??~?? I figure, if i lotion my hands, and they become super soft, and my tone will be a little bit warmer. My girlfriend, who knows nothing about bass, told me "hey, dont you need to have calisus on the end of your fingers". Im not sure how she knows that. But when i thought about it, i thought by putting lotion on my hands and stuff, the calisus will still be there, just soft ones. Anyone else do this??~?? Is it a good idea??~?? not to mention, iv discovered if i wash my hands like...a minute before i play bass, it feals better, or if i lotion my hands before playing, it just..feals good to play. I dont know, anyone do this??~??
     
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I use Skin Firming lotion daily, it moisterizes and makes your skin tougher....I like it cause I have dry soft skin naturally.
     
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Softening the skin would have a detrimental effect to bass playing, unless you're using flats and play folk. Any kind of digging in for more than a couple minutes would hurt, and your calluses would just...well, come off. Soft, dead skin doesn't stay on for very long.
     
  4. I use lotion on my hands... But I have no calius'...
    When I first saw the name of the thread I really thought you might be talking about a different application for hand lotion :eek: my mistake...
    But seriously... No need to make them softer.. you should be trying to make them harder...
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I suppose it depends what you want to play, but generally people are asking about making the skin on their hands harder rather than softer.

    So, I go to a Jazz Summerschool which is a lot of playing - playing all day, every day! At the bass classes, each year, the younger, newer bass players often complain about how their fingertips have become too painful to play. So the tutors/teachers recommend trying to toughen up or harden your fingertips - so one of the things mentioned was soaking them in a small jar of white spirit (paint thinner) to toughen them up - and this was from a female bass tutor!! ;)

    Of course there are always other solutions - so one year at the Summerschool there was this guy playing a Warwick with a great sound, but after a few days he was getting a really strange tone - pretty horrible actually.

    So I asked him what he was doing and he explained how he started off the week playing fingerstyle but that his fingertops had got too painful to play - so he had got a piece of foam, stuck it under the bridge and was playing with a pick!! :eek:
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Actually, on my right (plucking) hand, I'd like to soften the skin.

    I've got proper callouses on my left hand - which come from playing guitar & particularly 12-string guitar for years - the thinner guitar strings really cut into the fingers and toughen the skin up. And the high action on the 12-string really helps.

    But for playing more gently on bass - particularly up above the 12th fret (e.g. these Jaco lines I've been playing - A Remark You Made, Continuum etc.) - I'm finding the skin on my index finger and middle finger is too hard! The tone is nicer when I use my ring finger, which doesn't have a callous.
     
  7. steve_man

    steve_man

    May 15, 2002
    hand lotions from what I have experienced

    1. Gunky strings

    2. Sore fingers

    I have heard though that my friend used a hemp oil hand cream. Fender bass street magazine put out stuff on that one (I think it's supposed to be like the oil on the sides of your nose). He said it works.

    I recommend just build up your fingers. If they start to hurt stop playing for a while. try a lighter touch on your fretting hand. Also practise in for about 15 min to 45min frequently (2 - 3 times a day) until your fingers build up.

    I think this is what I did when I was conditioning my fingers
     
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Supposedly if you place your fingers lightly over a flame it hardens your calluses.
     
  9. I find the same thing to be true for me. My index finger is more pointed and thinner than my middle, and it produces and sharp attack, while my middle sounds less pingy and noisy.
     
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I would NOT recommend this, as mineral spirits can be absorbed into your skin (harmful and cancerous), and extended exposure to the smell of it alone can cause depression and brain damage. I'd tell that teacher to advise a different method if I were you, Bruce.
     
  11. that'd work, maybe, but it might make your fingertips really dried out and the skin might start cracking. actually, i do this sometimes with lighters, when i'm bored. mainly because i like putting fire on myself (but not my crotch...matt!)
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm pretty sure "white spirit" is OK - it's not cancerous; I wasn't recommendning paint thinner - but last time I mentioned this on here, nobody in the US knew what I meant by white spirit!! ;)
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Here's a quote from IPCS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY

    http://www.inchem.org/documents/hsg/hsg/hsg103.htm


    "The International Agency for Research on Cancer evaluated certain petroleum solvents, including white spirit, in 1989 and found these solvents not classifiable with respect to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3). There was inadequate evidence for carcinogenicity in humans and no experimental animal data on white spirit were available (IARC 1989a).

    Here's another one from Australia :http://www.solvents.net/MSDS/WhiteSpirit.htm

    "The ingredients are not listed as carcinogenic in Worksafe’s document “Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environment” (May 1995)."
     
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    There's no need for lotions. Either you don't have hard enough callouses or some other (skin) problem, or bad strings, or you're playing too hard.

    I don't even have real callouses, the skin is just a little thicker than usual on my finger tips.
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with that entirely and have never used anything myself - no white spirit or lotion for me - but I think it can be harder for people who are new to Double Bass, as you don't have the option of playing more softly - you just won't be heard or get a decent tone!!

    So - for people who are playing Double Bass, solidly for a week, then there is a problem with toughening up your fingertips - you can't use a pick and foam mute!! ;)
     
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Pretty much ALL petroleum distillates are toxic and hazardous (I use different forms of the stuff quite often in painting). White Spirit is just a different name for a common solvent that has many others. A good rule to follow is that if it's strong enough to melt oil paint, then it's bad for you to either breath or touch. Here's a link I found:

    http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/WH/white_spirits.html
     
  17. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    People have talked about putting superglue on your fingertips too.

    Doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Anyone tried it?
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well that link just pointed out that it is an irritant and should not be swallowed and the two links I provided said the same and that it was not carcinogenic.

    So - the idea is to put a small amount in a jar - just enough to cover your fingertips - not to swallow or inhale it - this just toughens up your fingertips, especially needed if you are playing Double Bass for long periods.

    I've never felt the need to do it myself - although I have used it to clean my hands after DIY - painting and stuff like that with no after-effects. But several of the "newer" bass players on the summer school reported that it had the desired effect!
     
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Trust me; this is a big part of my job. I've sat through hours and hours of safety seminars back in art school, and the stuff is carcinogenic. They won't put that label on every container until they're forced to either; just think about how many were affected my asbestos and they denied its toxicity for so long. I use it every day too, but I've trained myself wear latex every time I use it now. And washing your hands with it to clean them after painting is a TERRIBLE thing to do to your body; buy a jug of Orange Cleaner soap with pumice in it (available in different forms in most hardware stores). Soap in an emulsifier, which makes the oils in paint water-soluable (you can just use plain old soap as well), and the pumice helps get out the hard-to-get paint. You never need more than that.

    Back on to the subject-would dipping your fingers in pickle brine have any hardening effect because of the pickling salts?
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just don't believe it from personal experience and from things like I quoted where international studies have been done. I read about "scares" for something every day - if I took notice of every one I would never eat anything or go out of the house!! ;)

    My father used white spirit for many years and is in his 70s and never got any problems and I must have used it hundreds of time over 3 decades - and this teacher tells all her bass students and has never had a problem.

    Everything I have read has said that as long as you don't drink it or deliberately inhale it, then there's no problem and I will stick with this, until you can give me solid evidence to the contrary.