Fingers turning black from playing...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Selta, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hey all TB'ers. I have a question. Everytime I play my bass (Ibanez SR305) My fingers gradually turn black...It whips off my fingers really easy...I whip down the strings real good after each time I play but it still comes off on my fingers (and yet, it doesn't come off onto the cloth). Any suggestions as to what this **** is and how I can get rid of it?
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My brother Peter and I have the same problem with our acoustics (he plays guitar of course I play a Tacoma acoustic bass). We both use Elixers and both our fingers get black while playing. :)
  3. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I get this when using steel rounds but not with nickel.
  4. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    I have this same problem, except mines a dark gray :)

    I think its just the type of string you use...
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Wow, I never heard of anything like this - or experienced it - and I use stainless steels for almost a decade.
  6. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    I noticed that it happens when I play my friends guitar, I dont know what kind of strings he has on it though. Man, this is odd. Maybe it has to do with the way the chemicals in your sweat reacts with the strings metals
  7. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Wow, I think you're right about the steel part. On my other bass I have nickels and they don't do that and I'm pretty sure these are steel (they're factory and have black silk stuff at one end), but they feel like steel ones. I hate it though, it almost makes it look like I don't take care of my strings when I do.
  8. This only happened to me once. I bought my Epi Jack Casady brand new from M/F. It was in a factory sealed box, so I assume the strings on it were installed in Korea. Anyway when I opened the box and started playing, I could feel something on my fingers, and when I looked, the tips were black.
    I had only played for about 10 minutes. I washed my hands, played a little more; same nonsense. This went on for three days until I put a different set on the bass. This never happened to me before, and I still don't know what brand of strings were originally on it. They also were the worst set I've ever played; very light guage and they had an almost banjo like twang to them. Horrrible, simply horrible.

    Mike J.
  9. Kzoo Detector

    Kzoo Detector

    Sep 2, 2018
    I was just rehearsing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen for about a half hour on my acoustic/electric Ibanez bass strung with phosphor bronze strings. The tips of my two plucking fingers were pitch black!! I know it's just a reaction of the metal, and I haven't changed the strings in over a year.
  10. "String stain" is a badge of honor! Remember to wipe it of prior to picking your nose or licking your fingers.
    Kzoo Detector likes this.
  11. Sometimes it’s not the strings but dyes used on the fretboard. I’ve seen it from both.
    Kzoo Detector likes this.
  12. Yeah, I do remember black finger tips from when I was an acoustic guitar player way back in my younger days.

    By the way, congrats on an 18-yr-old thread being brought back to life! ;):D
  13. With acoustic strings, you can even get green fingers. 18 year old thread?! TalkBass rules!
  14. jeffb28451

    jeffb28451 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    That happens with me when my fingertips exceed the speed of sound and leave little smoke contrails. Fortunately, the lights are usually on at the gig and the PA up high, so the Lightening flashes and sonic booms don’t frighten children and drunks., so ...
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