Sticky Fingers!! Help please.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bonafide, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    When I first pick up my bass my fingers are dry, the string feel dry and I can play with terrific touch and technique.
    After about an hour my fingertips begin to sweat a little. Sweat? I don't know but they begin to feel a little sticky and it slows me down considerably.
    I occassional use products such as fast fret or string lube to help this, but in all honesty those products make my strings slick. The 'slickness' helps alleviate the friction but only temporarily and it still doesn't feel or perform like a dry string.
    Any tips or tricks for this?
    I have been playing bass for years and really only started having this trouble as of late.

    Could it be my String brand?
    I am using DR hi-beams and sometimes fat beams, but all of my basses have DR's on them.

    Any help would be massively appreciated.
    Thank you
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Wash your hands. :rolleyes:

    Seriously. Just wash your hands, let them try for five minutes and start again. And stop using all those goos; they're probably just making things worse.
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    What he said + Invest in some wristbands and/or a towel to wipe you hands in between songs and to wipe down your strings.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nothing helps fast playing like nose grease.

    Your face is a very oil prone zone.
    Before you play (and WHILE you play, unless you're in a Slipknot cover band :p), whipe the tip of your fingers on the corner of your face and nose.
    Your fingers will then slide way easier and oil will prevent sweating.

    Classical musicians have been doing this for centuries, and a lot of bass players do the same.
    It's free, you will never forget to bring it with you, and it works perfectly.
    Progfan44 and amusicalperson like this.
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I completely forgot about that! I love that trick. :)
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Wow... I just realized that my post count is over 1000, does that mean I'm not a n00b anymore?
    amusicalperson likes this.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I forget.
    Are these Stainless Steel?
    Personally, I have found S/S "sticky" to my touch(I have tried DR S/S & others).
    Is this something that has just come up?
  8. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Thanks for the replies.
    I should clarify that my basses are spanky clean, my fretboards are clean and I wash my hands before playing.
    I also wipe down my strings before and after each session. I have this habit to help preserve string life.
    The string lube is probably making matters worse but I also suspect those strings. I'll try to keep my hands and basses even cleaner, it can't hurt.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Not a fan of Jamerson, eh?
    amusicalperson likes this.
  10. Wow, I do exactly the opposite as you do, but I've never had a problem with sticky fingers.
  11. didn't Jaco dip his fingers in chicken grease before he played?
    amusicalperson likes this.
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Only before performances of "The Chicken." ;)
    amusicalperson likes this.
  13. Ive started to notice that nowadays like EVERY guitar player i know wears one of those wrist bands ALL THE FREAKING TIME!! Serioulsly every Guitar player i know wheres one of those wrist bands, and like half of em keep a pick in them. Who started this trend? like Blink 182 or something??
  14. the myth was that he kept a chicken bone with him, to grease up his fingers; which no one could really confirm. he was known to eat fried chicken before his performances, though.
    amusicalperson likes this.
  15. oeyj


    Jan 19, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Keeping a small towel nearby is always a great idea. You may also want to try rubbing alcohol on your finger tips to keep the sticky stuff off.
  16. Does the name James Hetfield ring a bell?

    I will wear one if there are hot lights, or if it's an outside show. It seems to help a little, but nearly enough to stop the sweat completely.
  17. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    how about a little talcum or baby powder? just gently to keep your hands from sweating. not a ton no one wants a cocaine bass just a little rubbed between your palms earlier in the evening would probably help. But I don't have any issues with that and my strings are real grungy I don't clean anything. I don't care about string life too much as matter of fact I try to kill them within a week if I can because they are a little too bright. try boomers. Also see if your strings are coated with anything like elixers are that might make a difference. also maybe your skin is getting hard and shedding onto the bass. you could always wear gloves. I was just reading in bass player about a guy who does that.

    and yes I'm a big jamerson fan
  18. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    And, as an added bonus, once word gets around, people will stop coming over and asking to touch your bass :D

    I think I'd prefer the 'wiping your hands' solution...

  19. Hey, if you get angry, you can bust out the talcum powder and pimp slap everybody. :D
  20. Won't the oil from your nose have a bad effect on the strings? Like wearing them out?