Sticky Fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Chaindog, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. I've been playing professionaly for 25+ years now, and I've noticed as I get older (save the old fart comments) something has changed in my body chemistry. When I play a "warm" venue and sweat, my sweat isn't slippery anymore, but rather sticky. It's to the point were it actually forces me to change fingerings because I'm damn near stuck to the strings.

    At this point I just dry off my hands with a towel between songs, but I'm drenched within 30 seconds of the next tune (we spec 120 pars that, depending on the venue, may not be that far away).

    Anyway, I'm seeking some advice from other pros out there who my have experianced something similiar on how to handle this. "Fast Fret" doesn't really seem to do anything but kill my strings.

    Once again, any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    You could wear gloves...:D
  3. Hey! Not a bad Idea! Maybe some latex exam gloves...

    Better yet; Boxing gloves!:D
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I'll bet a hundred bucks that something that you put into your body has changed. Your diet, what you drink, prescription meds - something.
  5. Hi Chaindog

    Don't know if this will help - but if you've got sticky fingers you can try wiping them on the side of your nose (where it's oily)!

    Seems to help me anyway? Good luck.

  6. Yes, that does work. I did that outside when the weather was cold and all my hands did was stick or the breeze made my hands dry. It works very well.
  7. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup, read the same thing in a BassPlayer interview or something like that. Works like a charm. Give it a try.
  8. the great one

    the great one

    Jan 25, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    Have you tried vaseline?:D :eek: ;)
  9. Actually somebody mentioned latex examination glove and somebody else mentioned about you combine the two? Just wear the gloves to the show and bring a big tub of vaseline, might want to bring a turkey baster too just for good measure.
  10. Thanks for all the help, guys :rolleyes:

    I'm thinking talcum powder actually... or, then again, a gallon jug of vasoline on stage does sound kind of appealing.

    And I think it's this damn Lipitor that's caused the change.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Dead on, it's amazing how your diet influences your sweat.
  12. I was just about to suggest talcum powder. Rock climbers use it so why can't bassists? Either that or try shoving your hands in cold water for a short while whenever you have the oppertunity between songs. This should close the pours in your skin and stop you from sweating so much.
  13. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Vasaline is a bad idea. In that same article I reffered to earlier it mentioned in it that vasoline really gunks up the whole works. They also mentioned that hemp oil works very well. Im seriouse about the nose oil though, but ya know, you dont have to use what works.
  14. Because what you put in your body does affect your perspiration and skin oils for that matter, I've used the nose oil thing too. But it seemed to have a certain acid content and discolored metal, like strings and such. I still do that (nose grease)for lack of something else more convenient. I haen't tried powder yet, sounds interesting though. I'm not sure how the sweat, oils and powder will mix though. Could end kup stickier than ever!
  15. Mickster

    Mickster Guest

    Jun 23, 2002
    Detroit,Mi. area
    Has anybody tried Olive Oil??? (non petroleum base product) I had the same problem last night, I was seriously hindered was like a damn battle, I need ideas or answers .. Oh yeah I am taking prescription drugs (monipril/lipitor)...*%#& aging,...thank goodness for this web sight :cool:
  16. I agree with the nose wipe that deanobg mentioned. I have only been playing bass for almost 11 months but it is what I do, and it works.
  17. Everybody knows the nose oil. :)

    What you want to do is find a safe, chemically inert oil of about the same viscosity. Vaseline is way too thick if you worry about killing your strings.

    I'm actually considering looking into WD40 after reading another similar thread, so maybe you could give that a try. That shouldn't kill your strings. Though you might need to be careful about the finish on your bass.
  18. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    For me, the problem, (when it occurs, that is), is having too much oil, sweat, funk, whatever on my hands. I like them to be very clean and dry... not for everybody, I know.

    A trick that I used when switching from my Ashbory, (where I used talcum to alleviate the strings stickiness), to my regular bass, (where I wanted no talcum on my hands), was to keep a small bottle of rubbing alcohol for a quick hand rub... pour a bit in the hands, rub 'em together, wipe 'em off! Now I keep a bottle with a mixture of 3/4 alcohol, 1/4 after-shave for this purpose, even when not using the Ashbory... I usually only have to resort to this once or twice a night, as I wash my hands at each break...

  19. I've been using witch hazel for years - the alcohol can dissolove the expoxy in your frets. The witch hazel has much less alcohol.

    I keep some in a tiny spray bottle, and just spray it on between tunes. Also good for cleaning strings.