perfect hands?!?!?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nickis thebest, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. i dont know if im strange or if this is a common problem but anyways, almost every time i try to play my bass (i play fingerstyle) without washing my hands, both of my hands feel slow and i can play very well at all, its like my fingers get stuck on the strings or something, but after i wash my hands i can sometimes play fast like normal, but most of the time i still get that slow almost sticky feeling where i cant hit really fast bass fills and my playing is forced and my hands get tired really quick, so my question is, how do you get those "perfect hands" where you can play really well without your hands being slow? this also happens after i play for a while and my hands get kinda sweaty, can this be fixed by doing something im missing? thanks
  2. I get a better feeling from playing after a quick shot of Purell (liquid soap w alcohol) on my hands. Plus I imagine it might cut down on some of the grunge that builds up on the strings. Maybe a bit anal to carry around in the bass case, but it works for me. ;)
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I, too, have to have really clean, dry hands to play my best.... I don't know why, but I've grown to accept it.
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I will not play my bass unless my hands are clean. Something about taking care of my instrument.. :)
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    try stretching a bit too - make sure the muscles in your hands are loose, warmed up, and relatively relaxed. that will help big time.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I had a conversation about this recently. Early on in my musical career (;) )my hands sweated so I needed to wash and/or wipe them frequently. My hands don't sweat anymore. As much as I'd like to think that I just decided that they wouldn't sweat anymore, the reason may have more to do with my comfort level on the instrument. Haven't had any issues with my hands, either sweat, sticking or fatigue in years.

    Look inward;)
  7. If it's cool, I wipe both neck and hands with a very dry towel.

    If it's 45 outside and I'm going to sweat regardless, I usually put some oil on the back of the neck, just enough to slide around with. And the strings, too.

    And I always play with warm hands. Sometimes I even use a hot water bottle in summer.
  8. I'm the same way. I'm obsessive with keeping my hands clean and dry when playing. I always keep a dry towel around, and am constantly going back and forth to the sink to wash up between sets.

    Back when I first started playing, there used to be this spray-on stuff that was supposed to help you move on the fretboard faster (can't remember what it was called, Fast-Fret, maybe?). I'm guessing it was probably bad for the wood. Anyway, just something I thought of when reading this. Anyone else remember that stuff?
  9. Chip


    May 2, 2000
    i cant stand playing when its REALLY hot or REALLY cold
    but cleaning my hands, thats a good idea, i think i will do that :)
  10. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    My hands are way dry. My strings last forever, but I am constantly fighting finger noise. At least behind-the-ear grease is cheaper than new strings. ;)

    I never realized how much of a difference there is in "hand moisture" from person to person until I let another guy play my bass. He warned me, but I didn't think anything of it. He only played it for a minute or two, but when he handed it back, it was soaking wet. I had to totally wipe it down before I could play it, which was embarrassing for both of us. A set of steels wouldn't last a week with this guy. But he had a nice, warm tone that my dry, boney fingers have a hard time getting until about the third tune. It really made me wonder how much all of the various factors - moisture, thickness of the finger pads, callouses, etc make a difference in tone. Maybe some guys do have perfect hands. :)
  11. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Yeah same here...I can play really fast like that....problem is, is my hands sweat very long as they sweat alot, then I still can play quickly, but if they are just moistened, then I can't play very fast...
  12. i tried that Purell stuff and it really works, thanks
  13. Hipnotic


    Feb 26, 2002
    CT/NY U.S.A.
    I too like to wash my hands before I play and go through a good warm up but I gotta say nose grease is probably the best "natural glide enhancer"(sounds nasty but it's a great trick) . Just swipe your fingertips across the side of your nose(or any other greasy area, lol) and it will give you that slippin' feel back for fast playing. I've seen numerous jazz guys do this before they play a fast passage during a solo. Jaco liked to eat fried chicken right before he went on stage so he was all greased up, but thats a little too much for me. I play 3 gigs a week, each one consists of 3 one-hour sets and it gets pretty sweaty on stage. I find that the nose grease trick helps overcome the sweaty hand/fingerdrag problem and gets me through the gig whenever I need it.
  14. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I always wash my hands before sitting down with my bass. Though, I usually wait a few minutes after washing because I hate the feeling of of my fingers against the bass strings immediately after washing. They're too soft from the soap.
  15. Misanthrope


    Feb 7, 2002
    if i can i try to keep washing my hands before playing and i use some string&fret cleaner with some towell.. good is also to have a some shots on rehearseals and some big shirt, hair tied somewhere before strap and biiiiig biiiiiig shorts and babouche ;-) hehehe

    well..aslo cigs and some talking with members of band and of course 1 hour long waiting cause of drummers are always too late...

    and i cannot play in a cold places... that hurts.. (metal on bass with freezed hands? neveer again... iam scared have to get out with gigging in 3 weeks... i`ll be coldagain)
  16. Just to go w/ the trend, i'll add to this topic, although my reply will probably be worthless :D

    I wash my hands before playing. Also, I warm up. You dont see sprinters go from sitting around to doing a 100 yd. (or meter for you non americans) dash. They stech, do warm ups, get the blood flowing. I've found this is the main cause of fatige. Although a little bit of stickyness will slow you down, your own tired hands can slow them down as well. I usually wash my hands in warm water (if its cold out) to get the blood circulating better, and still go though some standard boogie lines just to get my fingers working.
  17. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I would tend to agree...when I'm at practice and just relaxing I don't sweat quite as much...but thats not always true, like right now my hands are sweating using this computer...I can tell you I'm not nervous right now