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Fingers sticking to strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SBassman, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    There have been some Sticky Fingers threads, but most have been related to having a fretboard or back of neck that felt sticky.

    I have problems with my fingers sticking to the strings.
    It's the worst when it's summer and humid.

    Now it's cool and dry, and my fingers shouldn't be sticking. But they do sometimes, and last night, for whatever reason, it was particularly bad.

    [Normally, our bars are smoke free - we're in NY - but last night, lots and lots of smoke made it from their *porch/deck* to inside the club. Lots. I guess that didn't help.]

    I always play with clean hands.

    Sometimes Fingerease helps. Sometimes it's not enough.

    Any other remedies?
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Fretting hand, plucking hand, or both?

    What kind of strings are you using?

    In his video Rocco Prestia says he applies lotion to his hands to avoid sticking problems.
  3. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    A little Vaseline goes a long way.

    Read this in bass player in an article about Tommy Cogbill , said he kept a jar of Vaseline in the studio and stuck his right fingers( right handed player) in it to help facilitate his technique.

    I don't swim in it little goes a long way and it stays with you, it helps me a lot when my hands get all dry and hooky.
  4. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Both, but it's more of a problem for my right/plucking hand.
  5. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I guess it's time to try some lotion or vaseline.

    But, there's a problem with this for me. At the gigs, people often like to shake hands.
  6. Taurus


    Feb 2, 2001
    I go in the opposite direction. I sometimes have to use, in the summertime, 97% pure alcohol on my plucking fingertips to dry them out to reduce the problem. Buy the alc. in drug stores and dip your fingertips in the bottle. Couldn't imagine using vaseline, would soften up the ol' callusses.
  7. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
    When on stage and experiencing that problem I'll run my finger tip along the side of my nose. The oil from the skin there works great.

  8. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    maybe i missed it, but what kind of strings are you using?

    this used to happen to me when using flats. i started trying pressurewounds, half rounds, etc., and finally found ti flats work well even in high humidity conditions...
  9. brianbj46


    Aug 11, 2006
    madison, wi
    The funny thing is, whenever i've picked up a Warwick, i've always felt like they've had sticky strings on in stores. That's why i've always been turned off by them. But i'll agree with keeping hands dry, i think dry hands are the best for playing.
  10. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I've always found I hated steel strings for this reason. I go with nickel strings, or Elixir Nanoweb coated strings. I can play easier, and I like the sound much better. Additionally, if nose or forhead grease can't do enough for my right hand, then I'll put New-Skin (liquid bandage) on my right hand fingertips. Once it hardens I like the attack and the smooth feel. YMMV. Beware though if you use it. It can stain things, it stinks to high heavens, and it takes a few minutes to dry.
  11. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I use flats.
  12. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    what you're feeling is likely just more surface contact. i suspect that's why ti flats work better for me than other flats - for example, the ti flats's e string's wrappings are a bit further apart, creating less surface area (drag).
  13. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    But, this is an intermittent thing. I have used flats for years, and there are occasionally conditions that lead to the sticking. Very often, though, everything is fine.
  14. am i the only person that hasnt experianced this?
  15. bhawk1


    Oct 9, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    No, I haven't had problems recently.

    A decade ago, before I was playing regularly, I used to have bad problems with my fingers sticking a lot and developing blisters (especially in certain climates/temperatures).

    I think it was because I just wasn't playing very much, so good calluses never really developed on my fingertips. I fixed the problem in the short-term by using Elixir strings.

    Now, my fingers are pretty well callused up, and I don't have a problem whether it's cold, warm, I'm using rounds, flats, etc.
  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I play every day. Whatever toughening of the skin that was going to happen would have happened a long time ago.

    I just think it's my own body chemisty combined with weather factors. My hands sometimes sweat up, then dries, and that combined with humidity or - I think - smoky conditions at times leads to the sticking.

    I think my best bet is the Rocco lotion method. It's just going to be embarrassing when someone shakes my hand at a gig
    and gets a hand of grease. :) :help:
  17. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    This is why I always dread shaking hands with people before shows, and during breaks. :eek: Then I have to run to the nearest restroom, drinking fountain, or water source to try to get some of that gunk off my hands. :p

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