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what if ya just can't build calluses?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fr0me0, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    Didn't really know where to put this so i figured it goes here. I've been playing for not too long but more then long enough to have calluses. For some reason i just don't have one, they kinda of develope a bit then rip off. Same thing happens with those calluses you develope at the gym right below where the finger meets the hand they just rip off. Is there anything that can be done about this? I mean its not like I uses handcream on them or intentionally file them down or anything. Do i have to put something on my hands to try and dry them out or something? Or should I wear some gloves in the shower and avoid getting my hands wet at all costs. I'm really at a loss I have no idea what to do. I mean the skin is a little tougher but its just not a real calluse.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    After a few years, my skin is just really tough. I dont have bulging lumps or anything. Dont know how many people actually get large bumpy callouses.
  3. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan would soak his fingertips in
    pickle juice to toughen up the skin. Seemed the friction
    from releasing the baseball on a 100MPH fastball was tearing
    up his skin. Stevie Ray Vaugh used KrazyGlue and would
    make his own skin patches torn from various parts of his

  4. your [removed by mod]
  5. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Don't worry, the skin will harden up eventually.

    Just keep on playing when the skin rips off and the calluses will build up.
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    who cares?
    i used to getcalluses but really dont any more
    why? i dunno - maybe cause i dont play 6 hours a day liek back when i was in high school and had no other responsibilities.
    the bottom line is i don't experience pain in my fingertips when playing, and i play well, so who cares?
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    It sounds like you're in that "halfway" state where your callouses are just starting to bud, but maybe you're not quite playing enough to build them up to full stature. Try putting a set of Ken Smith rock master medium's on your bass, those will build your callouses faster than anything (except an upright maybe). If you're really serious about building callouses, keep a reasonably fresh set on your bass at all times (maybe two or three weeks at most, no more). Pretty soon your fingers will be round on one side and square on the other. :D
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Stanley Clarke used to recommend sanding with something like #400 wet/dry, which I've found to work pretty well. Don't let 'em get rough, and they won't rip off. Less string noise as well. YMMV, as always, though.
  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I thought you left this place for a "much better forum?" This post really served no helpful purpose other than to smart off anyway, but I'd reccomend you read the rules about language. It's needs to be FULLY masked, not just enough to get by the language filters.

    While I have your attention, it's "you're", not your.

  10. BassBrace James

    BassBrace James JBH Enterprises / www.BassBrace.com

    Jan 17, 2005
    Cookstown, Ontario
    I tend not to get big thick callouses either, and have often felt it was a minor hinderance, especially when playing upright. I recently came across something on the internet about soaking the fingertips in alcohol (the pharmacy kind, not Jack Daniels!) to keep the fingers dried out. I've been trying it for a month or so, dipping 'em in alcohol after I've washed my hands, and it does seem to help some.

    Good luck!
  11. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    I'm not suggesting you probably have a 'condition', but some people simply can't build calluses. I remember hearing a short bio on NPR's 'Performance Today' about one of the famous composers. Apparently, he first wanted to play the violin, but his inability to develop calluses forced him to instead play piano and write music. I did a quick web search just now and couldn't find info on that person, but I did find this snapshot of a conductor in a similar situation from Fast Company: http://www.benjaminzander.com/news/detail.asp?id=17
  12. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    It's probably just super glue.