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finger hardness

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Asa Samuel, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. i guess this goes in here, not sure.

    is there anything to make the tips of your fingers harder?
    or at least tougher?
    i once heard dipping them in vinegar helps but i was wondering if it does actually work?
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    Yes !! Playing the bass :)

    I've heard of people using methylated spirits and such like but IMO there is no substitute for playing to toughen the fingers.
  3. i have been playing for nearly 2 years now and my fingers still aint toughened up =[

    thats why i am looking for something else.
  4. Do you get blisters and swelling?

    I used to for years, the drummer taught me his trick - use a pin to pop the blister and drain then use a lighter to burn the already dead skin.

    sounds pretty messed up but it works well.

    Tough fingers ain't all that - at the advice of a female bass player I have started using hand cream every day to keep my fingers softer. No more Calluses and have never looked back.
  5. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    my fingers now are hard but smooth, if they do blister its underneath the hard skin. i hardly ever have my fingers falling apart anymore. for about two years though they were constantly shredded, not to the extent of bleeding! but bad ripped blisters. u wanna do what i did, buy i **** bass amp so u can hardly hear yourself, join a metal band with a really loud drummer and guitarist and try your best to be heard, a few hours at a go a few nights a week. hard fingers in no time.
  6. jackcregg

    jackcregg Guest

    Feb 25, 2007
    Im surprised at this!

    After 2 years your getting blisters???

    I was playing fingersyle for about 1month and my fingers never blistered but are now tough as nails.

    And this is from a 13 year old boy
  7. my fingers dont get 'shredded' they're quite soft though, still not tough, i dont understand it :/
  8. The green shell from walnuts will toughen your skin. I have never tried it but boxers used to use it. I saw Kylie Mynogue's bass player wearing tight cotton work gloves. I tried that and it's not bad. My fingers make a lot of string noise because they are so calloused, and the gloves quietened that a bit.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Don't worry about it. The only time I've gotten callouses on my fingertips is when I used to play guitar. Since switching to the bass many years ago, I've never gotten callouses from playing - and the lack of callouses hasn't hampered my playing one bit...

  10. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You need to go study with a martial artist and learn the "iron fist" technique, the training usually starts with stabbing your hands into a bowl of sand and and gradually working your way up to rocks. You'll be ready for anything then, don't know what it will do for your tone though.
  11. Depending on your need...

    I've used superglue to build an "emergency callus" when my fingers were shot but I had to keep on playing. Fret hand or plucking hand.

    It wears off after a while but it works as a temporary fix.

    Careful though! It glues skin really well...
  12. PrimusNut


    Mar 23, 2006
    Nova Scotia
    I found that when I switched from stell string to nickel, that made a huge difference. Nickel is much smoother to the touch, and doesnt shred the hell out of your fingers like steel does, not to mention yor frets will last longer with nickel. If you are already using nickel strings, I can only say one thing, just play! I still get blisters, but its under the callous, and doesnt raise up, so I can keep playing with only a bit of pain. I play with a very hard right hand approach, near the bridge (where the strings are tighter) and that helps a lot too. For left hand, just do a lot of slides when you're practicing, it should toughen up the skin a bit more than just playing without slides.

    That's all I can reccomend, but I'm sure its nothing you haven't already heard, or tried.
  13. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    Play the upright bass for a month.
    Then your electric will feel like a toy.
  14. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I'm a little unclear as to what exactly is the problem. If you're not tearing up your fingers your fingers should be alright.
  15. I almost forgot that I scrub my strings with a scotch bright when I put new ones on. It helps smooth the surface and removes burs. And I use a lot of string lubricant.
  16. they just hurt after a little while of playing, turn red and start hurting from any pressure, but not blisters, as i wouldnt not be able to pop these as they are under my skin.
  17. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Is it your fretting hand fingers, your plucking hand fingers or both that starting hurting?
  18. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I'm kind of assuming that you mean your fretting hand fingers (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    It could be that your applying too much pressure when pressing down the strings. I've seen this quite a bit. It doesn't really take much pressure to get a clean "fretted" note. I've noticed that a tendency with players that are relatively new to playing bass is to press harder with the fretting hand/fingers when attacking the strings harder with the right hand. I feel that independence needs to be developed between the hands to keep this from happening. Try to experiment with the amount of left hand finger pressure you're using to play a note and strive to use only the amount necessary, regardless of how hard you're playing with your plucking hand/fingers.

    Not sure if this is the problem but figured I throw it at you.
  19. sorry, i forgot to say, both my fingers are soft but its my plucking hand that really hurts.
  20. Linkert

    Linkert Guest

    Oct 24, 2006
    Do you eat lots of vitamines? The more vitamines you eat the more skin can the body create. So eat you veggies boy!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 25, 2021

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