The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,619

    Help for sticky hands!

    This question is for the pro players...

    I have started to play out more in bigger clubs but have a problem now. Under the hot lights on a humid stage, my left hand seems to get sticky on the neck, resulting in my having increasing problems playing my leads or even cords that require me to use my thumb (when my hand is surrounding the neck).

    I have the guitar in my avatar, a custom shop standard with deep green paint and ebony board. I'm not sure if this is a nitro finish on it.

    But I don't really think it is a problem with the guitar. When it is cool and dry, the neck is silky smooth and fast. And I wipe it down with a clean cloth (both neck and strings), so I don't think it is just dirty. I have used a Martin guitar polish in the past on the neck, but now it seems to normally be clean and soft without it.

    Plus, it seems my fingers will even start to slow down on the strings (D'Addario 10s) as heat and humidity rise in the club.

    I have begun to wonder if it is some reaction between my sweat, the oil in my hair, and maybe the light spray gel I use on my hair (I do often run my left hand through my hair to get it out of my eyes).

    Any tips for the semi-pro with sticky hands? :dead:

    I have read the posts about sanding the neck down. Don't make me do it! Also, some have suggested talcum powder. I assume that won't hurt the finish.

  2. #2
    It might be that you have nitro finish, many people complain about it being 'sticky'. We were playing an open air show a week ago and the other guitar player was freaking out about the opposite, that is a slippery neck due to too much sweat. He kept pouring talcum powder during the show, and later said he was glad he bought the powder just before the gig because otherwise he would have been in trouble. So that's one testimonial of the powder doing the job. I'd personally never do that. Never had such a problem. To each his own, but I've never had any problems with sticky or slippery necks, or neck profiles either. baseball bat necks, thin necks, that's the last thing I notice on a guitar. I have nitro finished guitars that I played both in ice cold a/c venues and 100+ degree outdoor situations and never even thought about the neck being sticky (or slippery). All that matters to me is the sound. So in my very limited experience, the guy playing in the band with me used the powder thingie and it worked well, according to what he said.
    (maybe it's the hair gel?) spin

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Classicplayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    202

    Help with sticky hands.........

    D'Mule:

    I had the same problem years ago with a Martin guitar which had a nitro finish on the neck. My solution was to use corn starch that you can buy at the supermarket. It is less expensive than talcum powder and does not contain any of the additives like oil and perfumes. I used to carry some in a small empty asprin contianer inside my guitar case and used it all the time with great results.......although you'll leave a telltale trail of dust wherever you've been. These days I don't seem to need it, but I think in prolonged humid conditons, I'd try in on the neck of my Les Paul and Strat. These days I don't play out, so when it gets humid I usually just keep the guitars in their cases.

    Classicplayer

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    franklin, WI. USA
    Posts
    209
    Welcome to the wonderful world of nitro finishes.
    With all it's benefits it does have a few drawbacks.
    That sticky, grimmy feel after playing for a bit is one of them.
    Your own body temp heats up the nitro, thus making it feel sticky.
    My understanding is that this is because nitro takes a long time to fully cure. But, as it ages and hardens, this problem eventually goes away. So, for now just keep a cloth handy to wipe it down between songs.

  5. #5
    Did a bit of reading on nitro finishes and discovered something that should have been obvious to me: Cellulose = sugar! Our guitars' finishes are sugar! They're glazed like candy canes! So if you get your Krispy Kreme glaze hot, it sticks. After awhile, though, as said above, the sugar will petrify. Frankly, I'm a fan of polyurethane finishes. No sticky, no rubber burns, no melt.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Mathieu Rainville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,896
    What kherman said. I always keep a small towel around so I can wipe down the neck and my hands after every song. I sweat a lot.
    The tone is in your head. - Zappa

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,531
    Nitro cellulose is not sugar and it is not cellulose but cellulose nitrate. I wouldn't suggest you lick it to try.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member 58burst's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    No. Cal
    Posts
    2,164
    I've always used "fingerease" spray- It doesn't hurt the guitar, and gives a fast, slick feel, just wipes off-
    I've been using it for 30 years, no ill effects to my guitars (or me!)
    -Pete

  9. #9
    Yelly, you ruined the moment, Artyboy's post was so much fun to read ;) Guitars made of sugar! That's why we keep buying it spin They probably throw in some nicotine in too, to feed our addiction and GAS so they can make more money spin Now when you think of it, tobaccoburst, that sounds a little bit suspicious, doesn't it? spin

  10. #10
    Am I wrong? Cellulose is sugar, right? So what's the difference?

    C'mon. I think the finish on my guitar looks much like a kreuller from Krispy Kreme.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    1,531
    Cellulose is what the cell wall of plants are made of. Cellulose nitrate will not have the properties of cellulose. Sugar is a generic term for a range of chemical compounds. Sugars we eat include sucrose, glucose and fructose. Bio-chemistry lesson over.

  12. #12
    The prefix 'nitro' kind of scares me away though spin

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,619

    nitro-cellulose

    ...so nitrocellulose is simply explosive sugar!1

    Seriously, though, this "fingerease spray" sounds promising. Where do you get it? Is this what I ask for?

    I've been playing my guitar pretty hard for a year and a half and most of the time it is silky smooth, but when it gets humid...

    I also like the talcum idea.

    Thanks for all of your responses.

    Dan

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Bob Onit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,208

    Re: nitro-cellulose

    Originally posted by D'Mule

    Seriously, though, this "fingerease spray" sounds promising. Where do you get it? Is this what I ask for?

    I have never tried finger ease but I have used GHS Fast Fret and it really does make the strings feel new again.

    Finger Ease
    Last edited by Bob Onit; 07-20-03 at 09:40 PM.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,619

    Re: Re: nitro-cellulose

    Originally posted by Bob Onit
    I have never tried finger ease but I have used GHS Fast Fret and it really does make the strings feel new again.

    Finger Ease
    Hey Bob, thanks for the link.

    And ya gotta love that avatar of yours..:eek

  16. #16
    Snags
    Guest
    I used to have a serious problem with sweaty hands during the summer gigs. I washed my hands with very hot water and lots of soap about 15 minutes before we started playing, and I kept a small towel on my amp that I used to wipe my guitar neck and hands periodically. I was screwed without the towel.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    42,468
    When it's the humidity problem, it's the hands for me. I have to dry the hands. A little baby powder works great.
    A good wipe of the neck [with cleaner if needed] wouldn't hurt, either. ;)

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Bluespower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    3rd stone
    Posts
    3,390
    a little known guitar prodigy used a dash of talcum powder (like the pool halls, to keep the cue from sticking to your skin) It works like a charm.


    Seems like I just wrote this

  19. #19

    Re: nitro-cellulose

    Originally posted by D'Mule
    ...so nitrocellulose is simply explosive sugar!1
    Umm...Yeah, that's what I thought.

    I have recently begun using Finger Ease. It gives the strings that same feel you get after you put some lemon oil on the fretboard...Makes slightly old strings sound and play like new; inspiring, really. However, it is made of the same stuff as the cream filling in Twinkies. (Not really.)

  20. #20

    Re: Help for sticky hands!

    Yeah, yeah, yeah....I've got the string cleaner wipe down the neck, wash my hands... use some talc powder(maybe corn starch is better) yet i can't stop my palm getting sticky after awhile. Is it my skin? Half italian half Irish....my skin is ginger and its been a curse my whole Italian life.
    But back to the sticky palm and the fact that it just stops my hand in its tracks at time....wth do i do now. Is there a talc m grease out there?

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Bob Womack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Between Clever and Stupid
    Posts
    1,844

    Re: Help for sticky hands!

    Jeff Beck uses powder, I think corn starch. Walks onstage and powders up. At the end of his concerts he takes a handful and blows it at the audience.

    Bob
    "It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
    Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring


    My little site:
    THE MUSICIAN'S ROOM

  22. #22

    Re: Help for sticky hands!

    I'll put this out there....I recently has a itch on my leg, so I went out to the garden area at home and grabbed a couple legs off the aloe plant...well after awhile i realized my hands were so smooth, slippery movement up and down the neck.
    i may have stumbled on to a solution by chance.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!



i