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Holy Crap! What happened to my callouses?!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Blue Dragon, Aug 28, 2020.


  1. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    I've been playing with Chromes. Sorry, forget which ones. They've been like butter on my fingers, but I'd noticed the sound just wasn't cutting through lately. Even with Covid, I've been practicing with the mates pretty regularly. Anyway, I decided I wanted to go back to good old roundwound stainless so I put a set of Duncan Marcus Miller's on my old trusty just before practice this Tues.

    First and foremost, they sounded AWESOME. The difference in clarity was amazing. Even the others noticed. I did scoop the eq a bit more than normal, but I'm convinced it was the strings that really made it shine.

    About 1/2 way through, I noticed my fingers were getting a bit sore (plucking hand). But I soldiered on. Got done and I had some nice blisters going on. Still healing today! I swear I used to have rock-hard fingertips, but those stainless roundwounds REALLY did a number on em. I think the chromes were just too mild and my fingertips got lazy and soft.

    This really isn't a complaint! The sound is worth a little bloodshed IMHO! Okay, not blood but some pain for sure. But I'll get back to my rock-hard former self. (fingertips, not abdomen unfortunately). As much as I liked the feel of the chromes, I love the sound of good old steel better.
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Rounds are tougher on your fingers, simple as that.
     
    BrentSimons, gebass6 and nbsipics like this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :D yeah, i just strung up my first ever flat wounds (in 40 years) and i'm already feeling like a pansy. i feel guilty about it...and ashamed of myself. i feel like i've abandoned at least 8 old friends at once --- and all of them reside on my fingertips. :( i know i can rip those flats off any time, give them to someone who doesn't know any better, and pretend it never happened....i'd just deny it. ;)

    the physical pain is nothing. the emotional pain can leave scars! :laugh:
     
  4. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    I suppose the elite could string up a different bass with pansy strings, but alas I'm pretty much a single-bass guy. (You don't suppose calling flat wounds and chromes 'pansy strings' will cause any commotion do you?)
     
    bassrique and Guild B301 like this.
  5. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Neustria
    Good sound comes at a price ;)
     
    Blue Dragon likes this.
  6. If you are referring to Marcus Miller Dunlop Super Brights, they are my favourite string. On the bright side, I have not come across rougher strings, other than Roto66s, so it shouldn't get any worse if you are on a string search journey.
     
    BrentSimons and Blue Dragon like this.
  7. Cut the middle

    Cut the middle

    Apr 17, 2020
    All for rock and roll!!!
     
  8. Cut the middle

    Cut the middle

    Apr 17, 2020
    You can get instant calluses buy putting a light coat of superglue on your fingertips.
     
    RattleSnack and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Fighting blisters on your fingertips isn’t fun. I had some major surgery last month, then a complication, so I haven’t played at all until this week. I’m glad I read your post. It reminded me not to overdo it. I have to not only rebuild my calluses, but I also have to rebuild my hand strength and my coordination. I’ll be sure to take it easy at first, and gradually get back into the swing of things.

    Best of luck with your fingertips. My eldest daughter is in Nursing School. I kept getting blisters on my right hand ring finger, while I was working on a more fluid three finger plucking technique. I asked her if I should pop the blister, and she exclaimed: “No!” “Let it heal naturally!” I’m glad I asked her. Within a couple of days the blister turned into a rock hard callus.
     
  10. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    True story!

    Another thing Super Glue is great for is if your callus ever develops a crack. It gets really dry here in the Winter, and I sometimes forget to use hand moisturizer. My fingerprints will actually crack. I always have Super Glue handy for this. I also have had good luck with a liquid bandage called “Nu-Skin”. I use Super Glue for the severe cracks, cuts, and Nu-Skin for the minor ones.
     
  11. Cut the middle

    Cut the middle

    Apr 17, 2020
    Same here. I find new skin burns like hades though.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  12. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Omg Nu-Skin I remember using that, feels like you are using sulphuric acid to seal your cuts
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  13. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Roto 66 rounds guy here - only my palms make my finger tips look good.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    And Nu-Skin doesn’t sting nearly as bad as dumping Super-Glue into a cracked callus!
     
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Fingertips of Steel!! :)
     
    nbsipics likes this.
  16. gigetto

    gigetto

    Sep 25, 2019
    Italy
    With roto 66 light gauge roughness diminishing a lot and after some use tends to disappear
     
    nbsipics likes this.
  17. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Whenever I go on vacation, I make sure that I find concrete or stucco or something similar to scrape my fingers on on a fairly regular basis, so when I get back, I still have decent callouses.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  18. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    That’s an idea! I’ll have to try that. I just put a new set of Rotosound SB66’s on my P-Bass. I probably spent two hours yesterday working on plucking hand exercises. Then I switched over to my main bass that has GHS Pressurewounds on it, and put down at least 45 minutes on it. My calluses feel a smidge harder today. I’m going to keep this regimen up.
     
  19. PWRL

    PWRL

    Sep 15, 2006
    I hear you. I worked with glass for almost 20 years, and those grinders will build up your callouses fast. It was easy to take them for granted. Quit that job and whooooosh- that was the sound of my callouses vanishing. Lately I've been playing a lot more, especially with rounds again, and they're slowly coming back.
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  20. Tvrtko

    Tvrtko

    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    That happened to me when I was digging deep in strings.
    I learned to play with light touch and let the amp do it's work.
     
  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 26, 2021

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