Koussevitzky and bloody fingers

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by ajbass, May 27, 2005.

  1. I think the title says it all. I've been beating the concerto to death and my calluses (sp?) have split. Having just rinsed the blood off my strings, I was wondering if anyone had an advice other than relax with the practicing.
  2. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ouch. I use the Burt's Bees products - they have a Hand Salve for regular use as well as Res-Q ointment which would be good for your current situation. I use the Hand Salve regularly (multiple times a day typically) and in addition to being good for the hands, the Almond Oil in it is good for gut strings! The Hand Salve is not greasy - you put it on and the skin absorbs it very quickly. Whenever I get a hand on my hands, I use the Res-Q stuff. Good luck and make sure you let them heal fully before you start playing again. In the meantime you can still practice string crossings, harmonics, etc.
  3. If you need to keep playing, super glue works great to repair damaged fingertips. If it's to the point of bleeding you might want to use the sterile kind intended for medical use. It's sold under the brand name Dermabond and can be purchased in small single use containers. If I know I'm going to be practising and playing a ton in thumb position, I'll usually beef up the side of my thumb with a little super glue just to be safe; I've never been able to build a very good callous there and it often gets sore.
  4. That's probably because you're super gluing it when you don't need to. You have to keep working on your raw fingers if you want them to callous up. No pain, no gain.
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The thumb is a special case. I've found that every player needs to find the right spot on his thumb to touch the string. If you are using too close to the tip of the thumb, it could be hard to form a sturdy callous.

    But in general yeah, I'd say wait until an emergency scenario to use superglue. I've had to do that a couple times and it isn't ideal...
  6. Thanks for the thought, but after fifteen years, I think I know what's what with my fingers. :p The rest of my fingers feel like concrete, but my thumb seems to be particularly boney and instead of developing much callous, it just gets chewed up. It's not a issue most the time, but if I'm using it all day every day for whatever reason it becomes one. I'm not suggesting using superglue as an alternative to building callouses, but in some situations it works quite well.
  7. you could try surgical spirit (or surgical alcohol) which is sold here as helping "to harden the soles of the feet", among other things. failing that, it probably makes a mean painkiller... :p
  8. Well the auditions over and the fingers are healed. For anyone who cares, bag-balm (cow uder balm) really helped. Pick it up at any gardening store
  9. so how did the auditions go?
  10. Really good actually. New York All-State audition ( Nyssma solo). No figure problems and I even did the piece a little justice. Looking forward to All-state in the winter.