1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

RH Finger Tape, emergency use

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by smokinbass, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. I know RH finger tape is bad/lame but I need to do it to get through this weekend because I accidentally double booked myself. If I do the 3 hour DB gig I'll blister and be screwed for my 4 hour EBG gig that evening. Gotta tape my RH 1st & 2nd fingers to make it. I've tried super glue but I don't think It will cut it. Nu-skin is worthless. The cloth first aid tape comes off and sticks to the strings. I need something strong and smooth/slick preferrable not duct-tape. Any recomendations from those who aren't afraid to admit they've used tape before?
    My American Standard restoration
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've tried tape but I find super glue to really do the job for me. Just had to use some last week. I took 3 weeks off in August and headed off into the mountains, didn't even see a bass in that time. Then came back to a pretty crazy playing schedule. Even being careful I wound up with a little blister on my right index finger. I let it puff up a bit then lanced it (needle hole away from the string, as Don Higdon taught us). Covered up the mess with a thick layer of crazy glue, which mostly wears off in the course of a set of tunes. I played the finger quite hard over the next couple of days, always buffering with the glue. Here I am a week later and the finger is back to its bad old self...

    I've also tried icing the finger immediately after playing when I know I'm into overdoing-it-territory. That helps, I believe.
  3. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    You may try Band-aid sticking plaster; that's what Mingus used.

    What I personally do on those extreme occasions is this: on every break there is, I ask for a glass-full of ice, where I dump my RH fingers. That makes them cool off and avoid swelling.
    Another tip: make your amp make up for your playing: if you know you're gonna play long enough, play softly and very relaxed; in that way you'll make your skin go through the deal.

    Once I met a DB player who used pieces of leather or hide (cut out from a leather wallet, he said) with the untanned side facing the strings; in such a way --he argued-- the leather has very nice friction with the strings. They seemed to be similar to leather thimbles (or, if you allow the figure of speech, as leather condoms).

  4. Hey Mike! This is Steve over across Lake Champlain. We have a few friends in common, including the Wizard of Rigel, all of whose men put my old german bass back together again. I got the idea from reading your Standard thread and couldn't be happier with the results.

    I have relied on Superglue for years. Don't lay it on too thick, and use it preventatively instead of waiting for the blister. Also consider your strings. On the electric, roundwounds can be kind of harsh. On the upright, consider changing to lower tension, at least on G and D. I use Golden Spirals, 'cause it don't mean nothin' 'til you prove it all night.
  5. dex68

    dex68 Guest

    May 5, 2005
    I've been using sports tape. Not great, and it has to be changed after each set, otherwise the adhesives leech though on to the strings, yuck! But it has saved my life on numerous occations. Super glue, eh? I'll give it a try...
  6. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I usually experience splits in my RH fingers especially during the drier, winter months. The best remedy is keeping a solid practice regimine in order to keep your callouses strong and happy. Also, invest in a good hand lotion and apply before bed each night.

    But yes, what happens if you take a break for a few weeks and lose all that acquired toughness?

    I tried crazy/super glue and it does indeed work wonders. However, the problem is -- the glue itself is so strong, it can often take a layer of skin off with it -- in the days following application. This leads to ultimately worsening the problem.

    I've had great luck with New Skin. I apply several thin coats a good hour or so before the gig. Careful -- this stuff can totally stink up the room! It's like nasty nail polish or something. Good news is, after the gig, it washes off -- or you can simply use more of the product to remove the first application.

    I literally played the skin off my fingers a few years ago and had to see my doctor. He said I developed a case of eczema and gave me a topical treatment that really helped fix me up.

    If you double on electric bass, it's best to practice both instruments consistently, because you use different parts of your finger tips for both instruments. My problem was, I was sheeding hard on the upright and didn't touch my electric for over 6 weeks! Then, one night on my first high-energy "dance" gig on electric I busted my fingers wide open. What a drag -- don't let this happen to you!

    Now, fortunately, I have two main gigs -- one with upright and the other electric, so I have an excellent excuse to keep up on both and am able to avoid injury -- even when "digging in" and playing less-than-gentle bass lines.
  7. JonB


    May 27, 2003
    masking tape. the old yellowish kind.
    start the wrap at the tip of your finger and go back to maybe the 2nd joint. That way the overlaps won't catch on the string.
  8. Thanks everyone. I've got a bunch of things to try. Looking at it, it seems like the "plastic" tape will work best as it's hard and slippery. Btw I messed up my second finger now trying to lay off my first. I'm working on using the side of my finger but I can only play so fast with that technique at this point in my newbiness.
  9. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    My friend, if its slippery it won't serve you. You'll need some friction, to be sure.
  10. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    I agree. That's why if I need to tape, I use a "waterproof" tape which is rubber-coated cloth tape. I gives me a more skin-like friction. You will probably have to replace it between sets as the rubber will wear off of the cloth.
  11. tzadik


    Jan 6, 2005

    I just play, even as the post-vacation blister-juice drips down my strings. :eek:

    Yeah, it's completely gross, it hurts like a mofo, and I decline taking solos unless there's a musical emergency or an evil eye... but the strings get cleaned, and the blisters become the baddest calluses ever after a mere week (or so) of sad suffering!

    Definitely not ideal, but they hurt a lot less when you take a moment think about all the folks out there who have had to stop playing due to tendinitis/CTS/etc.

    Anyway, PLEASE absolutely crank your amp, play as simply/effectively as you can, and whatever happens.... don't worry, they'll heal. :)