Getting my fingers ready quickly

The Bass Player's Toolbox
User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by timi » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:39 pm

Basically I need to get my fingers hard so I can play for extended periods of time.

I used to play with fingers, but I have been using a pick for so long that now when I use fingers they start to hurt after about 30 mins.

Obviously I just need to practice, but if anyone has any tips on how to speed up the process of me hardening up my fingers, do tell!

User avatar
Dan
Moderator
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Auckland
Contact:

Post by Dan » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:03 am

Just play lots, but not too hard. If you play lightly you probably won't even notice anything happening, and after a while you'll be all hardened up and able to thrash the strings with your fingers.

Another thing I used to get told was to dip my fingers in Methylated spirits...dunno if it helped or not! Worth a try though :D

foal30
Gold Member
Posts: 1749
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:36 pm
MySpace Page: myspace is owned by Lucifer himself
Bands / Groups: Pony Jones
Location: Chch

Post by foal30 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:51 pm

I'm not sure if you want Hard Fingers or extended pain free playing time.

so as a 2nd guess I tend to use 3 fingers and my thumb. None of which are particulary callused or hard. I think the trick is in utilising all the different tonal characteristics of the entire right hand. as above Practice is where it is at to get comfortable, but the time spent can get some really cool sounds, that might become your favourites. The by-product of this is I increase my pain free playing time, not with callouses but with variety. If it's all about getting "Hands of Iron" well , you know what to do, and it involves that Rickey you scored.

There is a couple of different stories around the old Spirits to harden the tips, I don't know of anyone who has (or will admit ) doing this.

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2299
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Post by beagle » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:17 pm

hmm... I don't know anything other than lots of playing. Finger stretching before playing tends to help me.
If I was going to spend a lot of time getting my right hand humming then I'd think about how best to excersize the left as well. Scales? Popeye theme tune?

User avatar
Jazzbass
Gold Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:04 am

Post by Jazzbass » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:54 am

A quick way to ease extended playing pain is to change to low tension strings. These are significantly easier on your body, once you get used to them. High tension sets can be murder on hands if you're not fully conditioned.

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Post by timi » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:04 pm

Low tension = thin strings = no tone.

But I might try it on a backup bass just for practicing at home, thanks for the idea.

User avatar
Jazzbass
Gold Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:04 am

Post by Jazzbass » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:01 am

Low tension = thin strings = no tone.
Not so. Have you tried these:
http://www.vintagebass.com/t-i.htm

Low tension, but can be a bid 'middy' which requires some different EQ.

User avatar
Randomplay
Silver Member
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:48 am
Location: Taranaki

Post by Randomplay » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:32 am

Im afraid i cant add much to help... but im a farmer and have hands like leather... on the up side ive never had sore fingers from playing bass.. however i get a lot more string noise comparativly to others using my basses on same settings, and a harder sound, and i dont think its a good thing really. So if that meths works dont go over board on it :wink:

ryla
Gold Member
Posts: 491
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:36 am
Location: auckland

Post by ryla » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:52 pm

dipping your hands in meths works for endurance paddling(kayaks)

User avatar
James
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by James » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:37 pm

Lately I've been cranking the gain up on my amp (used to play with gain at about 1 o'clock, now playing with it at 3 o'clock) and then playing with a lighter touch. My amp has some sweet sweet break up when I dig in as well.

This doesnt help much if you struggle for volume with your rig, in my previous band vs a marshall half stack and a loud drummer I had to thump the strings to be heard, but now playing with some slightly quieter musos I can get away with it.

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by timi » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:16 pm

James wrote:Lately I've been cranking the gain up on my amp (used to play with gain at about 1 o'clock, now playing with it at 3 o'clock) and then playing with a lighter touch. My amp has some sweet sweet break up when I dig in as well.

This doesnt help much if you struggle for volume with your rig
Haha, trust me thats not a problem 8)

I've tried playing with a lighter touch, just not into it.

User avatar
James
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by James » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:16 pm

in that case you're just gonna have to grit your teeth and deal with sore fingers.

I was in the same boat ... played fingerstyle for years, from school, and couple of uni bands, had hard calloused fingers for years, then had a few years out of bands. When I got back into it my fingers were pretty sore and had trouble keeping an even rythm on a fast beat for an extended period of time - fingers just got too tired. So I played with a pick for a couple of years which was fine for the music I was playing - had an even and compressed bass sound, plenty of attack, but not much dynamic.

With the stuff Im playing now I need the extra dynamics from finger style and the extra punch from playing with a pick just doesnt sound right, so its been back to fingers and dealing with blistered and bleeding fingers. Its been a few months and my fingers are hardening up nicely again now and playing with the gain cranked and a softer touch is helping alot too. Even with the callouses its fine for an hour long gig, but we practice in 4hr sessions, so the fingers still feel a bit worn by the end of it.

implandnoises
Bronze Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:25 am

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by implandnoises » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:18 pm

If you've been playing Timi, your fingers should have gone through the tough period by now since that first post.

To keep them hard, when you are away from your bass, scrape them on rough surfaces like concrete and the foot path. Perhaps put them over an open flame just briefly. Just walk them as you would when playing on things like sand paper and broken glass. There are plenty of easy ways to keep them strong after the blisters have healed, but the only way to get through the blistering period is to keep playing. Take drugs and then you won't feel the pain. Or drink the meths as suggested above - this numbs most feeling - physical or otherwise. Rock 'n' roll!!!!



Disclaimer: The above post is satire. This poster neither drinks alcohol nor takes drugs and refuses to take part in the other unwholesome aspects of the so-called "rock and roll lifestyle". Nothing here should be taking seriously.

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by timi » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:52 am

Hahaha...I've been playing with a pick the whole time since the first post :oops:

User avatar
Jazzbass
Gold Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:04 am

Re: Getting my fingers ready quickly

Post by Jazzbass » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:21 am

Het Timi - you know those finger picks banjo pickers use?

Get the best of both worlds - LOL!!

Post Reply