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Drying out your hands before playing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DannyBob, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Sometimes before I play I'll have sweaty hands (sort of disgusting, I know). Used to dry them with a towel, but I found it would never do the job very well, i.e. they would still be slightly damp when playing, especially with flatwounds. Decided to try an 'alternative' way of drying them - sprayed anti-perspirant on my hands. Sorted. Probably damaging my hands and my strings but hey ho, what can you do?

    Any other ways to help this problem?
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Do what Jeff Beck does - Use talcum powder.
  3. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    I was going to suggest this ^^^

    You could also run a small desk fan behind your rig, and use it like a bathroom dryer. May cause cool hands though.
  4. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Haha that makes much more sense than spraying anything on them...
  5. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I use hand sanitizer.
  6. OEW3


    Nov 6, 2011
    I can't imagine that being too good for your hands in the long run. But some people use super glue too so...
  7. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    I love playing with cool, dry hands. Feels like you can feel it better, especially fingerstyle
  8. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    A splash of rubbing alcohol, (a mixture of water, and isopropyl alcohol), followed by drying with a towel, would result in clean, dry skin.
  9. I'm a freak about clean dry hands before touching my basses. Mostly because I don't like what dirty moist oily hands do to strings.

    I always wash with an antibacterial soap and rinse to leave no soap residue. Then I towel dry and wait for all the moisture to evaporate.

    Years ago I used to use talcum powder to keep between my fingers dry...my hands don't sweat much really. Lately, I carry rubbing alcohol in my gear bag and a clean hand towel. If I get into a bind and don't have access to a bathroom with good soap, I will do the alcohol thing.

    Yes, I have dry ashy hands. I like it that way. I change my strings about once a year and they still have plenty of life and hi end when I do change them.
  10. jmverdugo


    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    I'm on the same boat, I have a small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol that take with me to every practice and gig, use between set and makes wonders.
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Talc is great, better than using anti perspirant....try using just cool fresh water. You just need to wash the salt out, that is what will give issues.
    I pour soak my hands in water, or dip my hands in a beer glass of water, wash them out. I dry only my picking hand by grabing the towel and leave the fretting hand to dry under the lights.....i like the "slippey" feeling on my fretting hand.

    If Sweaty hands is an issue, check out the soap you use, it maybe stripping out more oils than needed, try just washing your hands in fresh water. it takes a bit more working in and rubbing, but if your job allows it, try it.

    Powders can be from talc to flour, baking soda to cornflour, any good fine powder will help.

    If on a bar gig, some gin or vodka rubbed in may help, if not, some alcohol based hand tissues or hand cleaner/sanitisers will help.
    If none of this helps then find an anti-persperant as use liberally. :)
  12. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Steve Harris powders his fingers at the beginning of every show.
  13. I always keep a pack of alcohol wipes in my case - too many venues don't have warm water!! Works great for drying out the fingers, keeping them clean, sanitizing knife wounds....

  14. bscenefilms


    Aug 10, 2010
    The active ingredient in an anti-persprint is aluminum. Not good.
  15. WashburnAB95


    Nov 18, 2013
    But it is good for you to use every day on much more senstive more absorptive skin that also happens to be next to important glands and a major blood supply?
  16. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I always wash my hands before I play, but I don't sweat excessively, so I don't dry my hands off very often. If anything, my hands get too dry. I know people who have the sweaty hands problem, and the only drawback for them is having to change strings more often because of all the junk that gets on them due to the sweat.
  17. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    +1 I keep a small bottle of powder in my gig bag. Doesn't take much, not nearly as much as Beck uses, for me
  18. Schmorgy


    Jul 2, 2012
    Since I sweat considerably less through my fingertips than I do my palms (I somehow sweat when my hands are frozen from the winter!) I've taken to wearing fingerless cotton gloves (the kind you can get at target for like, $3) which, while not fixing the sweating problem, at least keep my rather caustic sweat (string changes every 3 weeks!) off of the bass.
  19. Axonic Rot

    Axonic Rot

    Mar 16, 2010
    I wash my hands thoroughly with concentrated dish soap. It removes the oils from my hands and for some reason lowers the chances that my hands will sweat. Give that a try.

    When I play my instruments at home my strings stay bright until the metal fatigues and the frets wear them out.
  20. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    I usually need to use hand lotion prior to playing, as if I dry out my skin it just cracks and bleeds.