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Tech: Soft finger tips

GUEST,Cappuccino 08 Oct 19 - 05:16 PM
Jeri 08 Oct 19 - 05:58 PM
gillymor 08 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM
Tattie Bogle 08 Oct 19 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Oct 19 - 12:26 AM
Jack Campin 09 Oct 19 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Starship 09 Oct 19 - 09:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Oct 19 - 10:01 AM
gillymor 09 Oct 19 - 10:07 AM
JHW 09 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM
Johnny J 10 Oct 19 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,bsondahl 10 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,bee from years ago 10 Oct 19 - 09:42 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Oct 19 - 12:17 PM
JHW 11 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM
gillymor 11 Oct 19 - 05:18 AM
lefthanded guitar 11 Oct 19 - 03:30 PM
Cappuccino 13 Oct 19 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Starship 13 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM
Nick 13 Oct 19 - 09:26 AM
leeneia 14 Oct 19 - 11:18 AM
punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM
punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 19 - 12:23 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Oct 19 - 04:57 PM
Johnny J 15 Oct 19 - 05:52 AM
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Subject: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,Cappuccino
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 05:16 PM

I have a puzzle. I have a show to play on Saturday and suddenly, unexpectedly, the tips of the fingers on my left hand have gone soft. (I am a right-handed guitarist, and that's my fretting hand). Tonight's rehearsal was painful. I have four days to go - any suggestions what I can do?
Thanks.
Cappuccino (probably showing as 'guest'.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 05:58 PM

Superglue, but let it dry before you try to play.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: gillymor
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM

Perhaps you could try a lighter string gauge or lower the action on your guitar or do both.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 08:08 PM

Surgical spirit, but not if skin is broken or it will sting madly! But not much time for it to work!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:26 AM

I agree with the two posts above. (Jeri and Tatti)

Super glue will work. (solvent acetone) Jeri

And Collodion (solvent ether) Tatti = surgical





Add to the list... Gorilla glue (solvent vegetable oil)

Add Spirit Gum (solvent alcohol) makeup for theater

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I can spin a story and use about each of the four...for two above I called the poison control hot-line to find the solvents.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:29 AM

A technique used in karate training is to stab your fingers repeatedly into a bucket of wet sand. Keep it up for a few years and you'll be able to rip people's lungs out with your bare hands.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 09:28 AM

If you don't mind a bottleneck sound, use steel thimbles.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 10:01 AM

I can spin a story and use about each of the four...for two above I called the poison control hot-line to find the solvents.

Clever Gargoyle . . .


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: gillymor
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 10:07 AM

I've experienced pain in my fretting hand fingertips and it only seems to occur when I've been playing much more than usual. A brief respite from playing clears it up and then gradually starting up again and shorter practise sessions keeps it at bay until I go overboard again. Lower tension strings also help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: JHW
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM

Playing a bit does toughen the finger ends, just felt mine. Overdoing it harms them but no playing lets them get soft. Play a bit every day up to Saturday but not too much.
Coating with glue I've not tried as there'd be a new feel to get used to, also I pull notes with those left fingers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:48 AM

Buy a dishwasher.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,bsondahl
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM

I've bewn using strips cut from KT tape (used in physical therapy)in both fretting and picking fingers with good results.    It conforms well to the rounded shapes and adheres well. The picking fingers tend to need retaping every set or so.   Big advantage over glues (including Rock tips marketed particularly for this use) is that you peel off the tape at the end easily...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,bee from years ago
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 09:42 AM

I practice/play a minimum of 3 hours a week. I use light strings and low action on my dreadnaught. It's years since I had problems with my fretting fingers going soft, unless I've just had them soaking in dishwater.

A friend who's been playing guitar, fiddle and mandolin for half a century advised lightly drumming your fingertips on any convenient surface whenever it occurs to you. It becomes a habit. I'm not sure it works, but it can't hurt!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 12:17 PM

Dip fingertips in boiling tar, let it harden...

Or buy some metal Segs from a shoe repair shop
and hammer them into your finger tips..

Drawing pins might do in an emergency...

Losing finger tips in an idustrial accident and replacing with prosthetics
seems to have worked ok for Tony Iommi ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: JHW
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM

The dishwasher might help but as its Saturday tomorrow - too late. I handwash my dishes so that may well lead to softening of the paws.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: gillymor
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:18 AM

I read in a biography of Stevie Ray Vaughn by Andy Aledort that Vaughan used to use really heavy strings at one point in his career, .013 to .014 on the high E. and would develop deep cracks in his fingertips which he would fill with baking soda and then soak with super glue, similar to the way you fill in a guitar nut that's been filed too deep. Later on, after he got sober, he reverted to lighter strings and when asked why he used to go so heavy he replied that he did it to get a better tone and that back then he was using so much coke he couldn't feel his fingertips.Of course I'm not suggesting anyone should go out and score an 8 ball.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 03:30 PM

It's probably too late to mention, but if you're still here cappachino ; you can try :

1- using a capo, which lowers the action and makes it easier to play the fingerboard.

2- - switch to nylon strings , they're softer and easier on the fingers

3- I have never tried this but I' m wondering if surgical or kitchen cleaning gloves would work? Wouldn't hinder your flexibility and the kitchen gloves are cheap and readily available at any supermarket, drugstore or dollar store.

In the future, you can make your fingers calloused by playing your guitar every day , even for a couple of weeks just before the gig . Btw, if it were your other
hand ( strumming hand), finger picks will totally help and protect your fingertips when playing and picking the strings.

Good luck, let us know how it went.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Cappuccino
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:06 AM

Oh joy, I've been entered again as myself, not as Guest!!!!   Apologies for not responding earlier, and thanks for all the help.

As JHW suggested some way back up there, I did continue playing until the Saturday, and my tips did indeed harden up again enough to allow me to get through it.

As our left-handed friend suggests above, I was using a capo - at the second fret for all my songs - so it was fairly comfortable. I had thought of moving over to my nylon-strung guitar, but I would have caused the sound desk some problems. I'm afraid fingerpicks on the picking hand have never suited me...

The last time I had this fretting-hand problem was a long time ago, playing bass; I moved to flatwound bass strings, and never had any problem from then on. This time, I had only just changed my strings (to my usual Martins, 10-47)... perhaps I should have stuck to old strings!

Many thanks
Cappuccino, Norfolk, UK


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM

Happy it worked out for you and that the gig was successful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Nick
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 09:26 AM

There used to be some discussion that urine might work. But I believe the jury is split on that. Keeps them warm in the winter I guess


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 11:18 AM

To keep your calluses you could buy a dishwasher for several hundred dollars. Or you could buy dishwashing gloves at the supermarket for a couple of bucks.

The gloves don't last as long as the dishwasher, but they don't require remodeling the kitchen.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM

I could have mentioned these earlier,
but waited in case any mudcatter thought they were a great idea...


Fingertips Protectors For Guitar Players

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5mjGOn3VtM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vee2gbVIq_s&t=527s



.. other youtube videos on these products are available...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 12:23 PM

.. and now here's advice from a sensible wholesome neat tidy looking guitar teacher..

[just the sort who might be a serial killer...???]...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdWP57zJCSc


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 04:57 PM

As a slight aside to this, I have several musician friends who have had problems playing their instruments as a direct result of chemotherapy. Some of the drugs seem to induce a peripheral neuropathy which make their fingertips hypersensitive. Not sure which drug(s) are involved, but it does seem to affect particularly string players and one accordion player that I know of. One hopes that these symptoms will subside once their treatment is completed. (and that said treatment is successful in curing their diseases.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Soft finger tips
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 Oct 19 - 05:52 AM

Oxaliplatin, perhaps?

My kind oncologist agreed that I didn't actually need this particular drug when I "claimed" to be a musician. So, it's often worthwhile discussing alternatives if one is unfortunate enough to be in that position. I still had to take something else though and, of course, everyone's circumstances are different.

On a less serious note, as has been said, it's best to not allow hands to get too soft in water. Having said that, I've always liked to do a lot of swimming but if I play and practise enough in between, this isn't usually too much of an issue. Perhaps, it's not a good idea to swim 50 lengths on the morning of a gig, of course.
:-)


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