Re: Blisters!! What should I do.

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Posted by Karl Friedline on May 28, 2000 at 15:12:30:

In Reply to: Blisters!! What should I do. posted by Sac on Bass on May 11, 2000 at 15:27:19:

: I'm a new upright player, been playing for about 2 months and I find myself getting these really bad blister on my fingers (filled with both water and blood). I would like to know how do you get rid of them properly and is there any way to provent them. Thanks

Maybe this will help someone:

I have been playing upright bass for over fifty five years,(that's before bass amps). There have been times that I had to layoff playing for a year or two because of school, military or day job profession. When I started back playing it was always like starting over because of the loss of caluses.

The one thing I found that was a real help was a product called GAUZTAPE. It is available at Walgreens. It is a gauze that has a latex finish that will stick to its self and allows you to form a gauze thimble around you finger. It is still plyable enough so that you can still get a good sound without getting blisters. There are times when I will also tape the index finger of my left hand. You need to develop your left hand fingers also.

Caution, do not depend on this tape for the rest of your playing career. You still need to start building hard skin calluses without blisters underneath. I would practice everyday without the tape to the point where you can feel that your fingers are burning. Stop playing and apply the tape, continue practicing using the tape. Next day do the same routine. Eventually you can eliminate the tape. If you are going into a job for three or four hours, I would start out with the tape. After applying the tape wipe the dust off of your bass with the newly taped fingers. This takes away the stickyness of the outside of the tape. At the end you the job you can merely pull the tape "thimbles" off.

Another tip. Try to use the side of your index finger instead of the tips of the finger. Some young upright players are converts from electric basses and they use the tips of the finger. By using the side of the index finger you have more finger surface and less pressure per square mm on the skin. For me, the side of the finger also gives a less "dingy" sound.

Even though I now use an amp I still carry some Gauztape in my gig bag.

Good luck. Karl

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