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! :)

Toxic hands

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Snarf, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    My dad kills guitar strings in two hours, and I think I have the same problem; I kill my bass strings in less than a week. The strings I currently use are Dean Markley Blue Steels. I wipe them down with a Musician's Friend treated cloth every time I put the bass down, but it's not enough to save the strings. I do a fair amount of practice, being Berklee bound and having just come off a stint on my school's production of Seussical.

    So, my question is, does anyone else have seriously corrosive hands, and will Elixers last long enough to justify spending twice the money on them? How else can you deal with this problem?
  2. AB53211


    Apr 15, 2004
    Welcome to my world. I used Elixirs and they do last longer than regular strings, there not really my style. When I play I always keep a rag around to wipe the sweat off my hands after each song, and when I'm completely done playing I wipe my strings and neck.
  3. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Thanks for the response. A couple more questions: Do you think the Elixers would sound good in a jazz and funk setting, on all passive basses? And do they last longer than twice the life of other strings? This would justify paying the crazy prices for Elixers.
  4. AB53211


    Apr 15, 2004
    IMO, Elixirs sound good in a jazz and funk setting. And with my experence, they did last longer than twice the life of other strings.
  5. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.

    >>>GHS FastFret. Cleans and extends string life.

  6. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
  7. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    When I first started playing, I jammed with a guitarist-friend whose sweat would actually corrode all of the metal parts on his Gibson SG. Every three months or so he was laying out cash to buy all new bridge parts, pickup covers, screws, etc... not cool, and not smart economically speaking.

    Isn't there a medical procedure nowadays that can alleviate the problem of sweaty hands... or at least sweaty palms? I seem to recall seeing something about this on TV sometime back.

    Look into the possibility of a medical solution... especially if your sweaty hands are going to constantly be negatively affecting your ability to perform comfortably within your chosen profession.

    At least your heading to Berklee makes it seem like a career choice to me! :D

    Just my .02...
  8. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    I use FastFret on my electric guitars, and it works fine for that, since I don't really care if my guitar strings feel all greasy. But I don't want my basses to feel like that. I've also been warned against it by a few people who say the FastFret tends to get stuck in the winding, and kills the string faster. I'll give it a try, though, I've got one more set of Markleys before I have to get new strings.

    As for the medical solution, I'll definitely look into that. But not immediately, since it's really late and I need sleep. ;)
  9. random bassist

    random bassist

    Jan 21, 2005
    You can clean your bass strings by soaking them in denatured alcohol. works good they come back bright and they already have that smooth worn in feeling afterwards. its wort a try if you go through strings as fast as you say. you can prolly find instructions for cleaning them on this site.
  10. Go to a Walgreens drug store and by some Purell waterless hand cleaner. This removes the chemicals, oil, etc from you hands. I just squirt some on my hands, rub them together, then wipe dry on clean cloth. This in addition to wiping your strings down when through will go a long way to prevent this problem and increase the longivity of your strings.
    $3.99 an 8oz. squirt bottle.
    They have a generic that works the same for less but I do not like its smell. Flat stinks!
  11. mrelwood


    Dec 15, 2004
    Oh how familiar all this sounds. I used to dampen a set of strings during a gig. I was down that road, hand cleaners, talc, string cleaners, boiling strings... Awful lot of trouble with some help. I later noticed that washing my hands every time before grabbing the instrument, and using a Dunlop 65 String Cleaner (or the DR equivalent) was the best help I could get.

    Until I tried a set of Elixirs. The first set was in my Strat for a whole year, and then I sold the guitar. I did replace the plain strings every now and then. For bass, I used to use the cheapest ones and they died in one night. Elixirs go usually way over 6 months, almost played daily. I wouldn't have even tried them if they'd cost 5 times a regular set, but I actually would use them now even if they cost five times. It is so much easier now, and the sound and feel is extremely consistent, they get dark so very, very slowly.

    Some people say Elixirs sound too rough. I don't give a puck, they made me love playing again! It is priceless.

  12. :smug:

    talc is as bad or worse than greasy hands. One of the problems with shortened string life is that crap gets built up between the windings and causes the strings to go dead.
    I am not talking standard hand cleaners. Purell leaves your hands devoid of chemicals, grease, acids, dead skin, etc etc etc. I never considered squirting something on my hands, rubbing, and wiping to be a problem though.