Hand care?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by schmittuml, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. schmittuml


    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    I have been playing for about 4/5 years now.....everything i know is self taught im getting decen at slapping, tapping, learnin thump now.....startin to take lessons to get the theory out of it and such, but my hands are lripped to shreds my fingertips are peeling like crazy...i was wondering what all you guys do to keep your hands in some prime condition or how you get them ready for shows?

    -Brian Schmitt :bassist:
  2. first get a good moisturizer, and apply it many times a day (if you can get it medicated because you are peeling). At night for a few days before you have to show off your wonder hands, apply a large amount of moisturizer to your hands and then put them in a pair of mittens, then go to bed. This is a quick meathod to get your hands looking nice if you dont have much time. Also, tho it may not be very manly a manicure is always nice once in a while, only because our hands are our tools to the bass and they should be pampered once in a while.
  3. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I used to glue my finger tips to a table top and then rip them off to get tougher callouses. Someone told me SRV did this so I thought it was a good idea.

    I don't recomend it :)
  4. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    Dude, that's insane LOL.

  5. He's just hardcore, not insane.
  6. No thanks for me, that's craziness.

    All I do is practise regularly, its when I haven't practised for a while and I do a long set that it starts to hurt. The outside of my pinky and top of my forefinger sometimes peel but there's enough calous there to survive like that for a while. Its just a few layers so I just pick the skin away, I don't use any moisturiser or anything. I'd say that using moisturiser was a bit pansy but I use most of a manicure set when clipping my nails, so I can't really speak.

    In the leadup to any gig I try not to practise too much, it takes a little while for the skin to recover, so if they're sore the day before, they'll be sore the next day too. Don't dislocate fingers either, I did just before New Years and its still not completely healed, luckily it was my right pinky.

    Josh D
  7. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Don't work automotive or anything that tends to beat up and dirty your hands regularly. Nothing like dirt black calouses that just won't come clean. I regularly wore gloves, but someones you just don't have them on, or can't and get dirty.

    Constant knuckle busting and burns were also common, and the daily grind and use leaves them tired for playing. Ugh. I'm glad to be out of that business. Although working with computers for years after didn't help either... Eh...

    Just keep playing and keep the calouses and muscles fresh and in shape, shouldn't be any problem.

    Why moisturize? Wouldn't that kill calouses? Eh, I guess if you're peeling, you're pretty dry though... Never had that prob myself, so I wouldn't know. I try to keep moisture away, to preserve what I have. But I've never been flaky, or peely.

  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I should probably add that I was 15 at the time. There's a whole lot of things that fall into the "It seemed like a good idea..." category when you are that age :)
  9. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    Oh, definitely. We're all guilty of silly stuff like that when we're starting out. I still have permanent damage in my right-hand middle finger from my * play through extreme pain because it seems like a good idea --- you know, the "no pain, no gain" philosophy :scowl: " *.

    In the "Numb index finger?" thread I described to the original poster that he seems to have what I have. Permanent damage in a nerve ending on the very tip of my middle finger. Just gets really numb from time to time. I wrote that it comes back for about a day at a time every few months or so, but I thought about it and it's actually more like 6 months to a year. Very rare and it really has no impact on me whatsoever, but it is permanent because I've had it for many years and it's always the same thing in the same exact spot.

    But yours seems as goofy as Yngwie Malmsteen practicing until his fingers bled. Then when they'd start bleeding, he'd keep on playing. Is that goofy or what? Devotion like that is commendable, but I think we all look back on our beginnings and can't help but have a good laugh about it!
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    If we're discussing "stupid things we've done to permenatly injure ourselves" I'll have to toss in slicing the tendon in my left pinky so that its paralyzed from the first knuckle onwards, and breaking my ankle falling off a shopping cart (not bass related, but still dumb).
  11. I've tried to keep my hands in good condition and so far I've succeeded. Stupidest thing I've done was falling off the front of a moving car. Actually took a small chunk of flesh out of the top of my ankle, pulled all the tendons around my foot and lost a fair bit of skin off my knees.

    Fortuneatly its all healed up with no loss of any movement but its only by the grace of God that I didn't have my foot run over, it would've gone straight under the wheel and would've easily been mangled bad because he would've stopped right on top of it.

    Josh D
  12. Normally I just use a finger nail file to file off the excess calouses on my fingers because if I let them get to thick it seems I lose some feeling in my figertips which I need to play.....Make sense?

  13. Well it may be pansy for you guys but i am female and have very nice hands! :p
  14. Thats more than fair. There's little thats freakier than man-hands on a female. Except maybe pansy-hands on a guy.

    Josh D
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Ok, I'm gonna do a big favor here and tell you what I've learned from the past few years...ol' Burning Skies has been battling this hand problem for the past 3 years and I've gone through everything everyone here has mentioned minus the skin-ripping glue torture. None of the have been effective at stopping the peeling hand type disorder (which may in fact be a form of *gasp* exzema). For a while I even had to play with my 2 fingers on my right hand bandaged and taped (nothing like playing through a few layers), although I have this happen to both mitts.

    What I have learned is that regular moisturizers (cheap or pricey) won't do the job, neither will any vaseline type product either.

    My big revelation is Cortisone. It works wonders. My favorite is the Cortaid 'intensive therapy moisturizing cream'. This stuff heals within a work-week. Now, they'll tell you not to use it more than 4 times a day, but I find that to be a bit conservative ;) . Make sure you put it on after showering or washing your hands etc.

    Beyond that, I also do my best to limit my caffiene intake. This helps quite a bit too, once you've healed yer paws. Coffee dehydrates and if you don't replace that moisture (especially if you live amongst forced hot air heat or full time AC) it can definitely contribute to the problem. Make sure you're downin' a big helpin' of H2O during your day too!
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