Flatwounds + Sweat= STICKY - Does it get better??

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by heavyfunkmachin, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005

    I'm really enjoying my transiton from roundwounds to groundwounds to flatwounds, currently GHS precission flats, BUT I have an issue with their stickyness...

    I'm not talking about the initial stickyness caused by factory goo and dirt, I clean the strings and they are really smooth... until I break to sweat! It's ok at home and most rehearsals, but in long/hot rehearsals or in a stage (indoor, lights, people...), if I start sweating, my fingers get softer and it's like rubber agains glass... :(

    I do dry my hand when this happens, but it's a drag and you can't allways stop midsong to do that... so, Does it get better with time? Is is just getting used to it or is it a different kind o callous that you have to develop?

    In short: how do flatwound guys deal with sweaty sticky hands?
  2. I find rounds less sticky and easy on the fingers compared to flats. If your doing a lot of sliding you may want to try this. You can buy little cloth bags of talc at a billiards supply place or use baby powder. Just rub a bit on the strings and your fingers before playing and see if it helps. You can keep those talc bags in your pocket to tap your fingers on as needed. I used to do this on my Ubass when I had real sticky thundergut rubber strings on them and it helped quite a bit. The thunderguts make flats feel like ice in comparison!
  3. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    In short: how do flatwound guys deal with sweaty sticky hands?
    Your body's natural oil.
    Rub your fingers on side of your nose, through your hair, or over your scalp if you have none like me.
    Works like a charm.
    Any strings will do that when in those circumstances.
    woodyng2 and Yahboy like this.
  4. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    I play flats, and I sure sweat up there on stage, but I've never had that problem. If anything, my strings feel more slippery when I sweat.
    Evil Funk likes this.
  5. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I use GHS Fast Fret on all 3 basses with flats. No more sticking and slides as smooth as butter.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have issues with my flats in humid weather or if my fingers get wet. I use fret ease on them. If I take a drink between songs and say my beer has condensation on the bottle I just dry my hands on my pants.
    jp58 likes this.
  7. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    Also never had that problem, except when I use half rounds like D'Addario..those are super sticky when they are new!
  8. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Nose grease! Nose grease!
    Winton likes this.
  9. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    I've read this before... This won't work for me... HOW GREASY IS YOUR NOSE? :cautious:
    Winton and loopee like this.
  10. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    More than you think. Especially once you've been sweating underneath the lights. If you don't believe me, ask any teenager. :)
    shawshank72 likes this.
  11. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    This is exactly why I don't use flats anymore. Although I hear that the high dollar strings like Pyramid and Thomastik don't have the same issue.
  12. Have never had that issue with chromes,but the labella ltf set i'm using on one bass has to be wiped down from time to time. I use a polishing cloth that has a some oil embedded in it.

    I'm gonna try that nose oil thing,too.:)
  13. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    IT has to do with string smoothness... Thomastik are flats but the winding is not tight, the tiny grooves between wraps makes them not stick, but also not feel so smooth... super-smooth strings like GHS precision flats are a bliss to play whith dry hands, but sticky-hell one fingertips get soft, hot and sweaty :(
    StrangerDanger likes this.
  14. AndreasK


    Jun 11, 2014
    Northern Norway
    Had the same problem with GHS precision flats. Actually got burns on long slides. Nose grease may work, but i went with this:
    Works perfect for me :)
    michael_t and woodyng2 like this.
  15. slagbass


    Apr 5, 2005
    I had this issue with Thomastik flats. And any other flat I have tried.
    oldrocker likes this.
  16. Dougie44


    Jul 1, 2012
    It does get better with time
    loopee likes this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yeah, it takes a little time. You actually have more skin surface touching the strings than with rounds, and even though it seems counter-intuitive, it does cause sticking and rubs a lot of rounds users more sore than rounds. But you can get used to anything if you do it long enough.
  18. ale29


    May 25, 2008
  19. i found that rubbing the strings down with vasoline when they were new helped with this.

    I watched a YouTube video somewhere that suggested it (Scott Devine maybe?) and it worked like a charm.
  20. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    vaseline? I think I'll try that......I usually clean them with rubbing alcohol before installing them...that seems to help with the initial sticky situation when new.....and now use Fret Ease, etc if it gets really bad but since using the rubbing alcohol on my last install I haven't had the problem....bit it's not summer yet and I haven't had gigs, so who knows....:D