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Calloused attitudes

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Sourdough 05 Aug 99 - 02:16 PM
annamill 05 Aug 99 - 02:25 PM
Allan C. 05 Aug 99 - 02:30 PM
annamill 05 Aug 99 - 03:27 PM
Peter T. 05 Aug 99 - 03:28 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 Aug 99 - 03:30 PM
Bert 05 Aug 99 - 03:43 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Aug 99 - 03:56 PM
Art Thieme 05 Aug 99 - 03:56 PM
Roger in Baltimore 05 Aug 99 - 04:45 PM
Margo 05 Aug 99 - 04:57 PM
folk1234 05 Aug 99 - 05:53 PM
j0_77 05 Aug 99 - 06:01 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 Aug 99 - 07:38 PM
Helen 05 Aug 99 - 08:14 PM
Paul Jay 05 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM
Big Mick 05 Aug 99 - 09:17 PM
raredance 05 Aug 99 - 09:57 PM
catspaw49 05 Aug 99 - 10:12 PM
Barbara 06 Aug 99 - 01:10 AM
Sourdough 06 Aug 99 - 01:40 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 06 Aug 99 - 01:55 AM
Sourdough 06 Aug 99 - 02:04 AM
Sandy Paton 06 Aug 99 - 02:33 AM
Lady McMoo 06 Aug 99 - 04:02 AM
Jeri 06 Aug 99 - 09:01 AM
JR 06 Aug 99 - 10:59 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Aug 99 - 12:34 PM
Helen 06 Aug 99 - 09:49 PM
bill\sables 07 Aug 99 - 12:13 PM
leprechaun 07 Aug 99 - 12:46 PM
MAG (inactive) 07 Aug 99 - 01:43 PM
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Subject: How to keep them
From: Sourdough
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 02:16 PM

With the centuries of stringed instrument experience that's represented here, there must be some good advice available on callouses. I've noticed that when I only play once a week, my callouses slowly peel off. If I go on vacation and don't play for two or three weeks, I might as well be starting over with my callouses. After thirty five years, you''d think my callouses would be a little more long-lasting but it seems as though they are eager to flee.

Any suggestions how to develop and keep callouses?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: annamill
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 02:25 PM

I seem to remember something from my 60's days when I used to be around folk musicians a lot was to sandpaper callouses even when your playing or not playing. It strengthens them. You just brought that hought back. I'm going to use that idea myself. Might help me.

annap


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Allan C.
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 02:30 PM

Soak 'em in heavily salted water for at least six days. Then wash them in clear spring water. Then soak them again for a few days in a strong, dark, "tea" made from crushed walnut husks. Next, smoke them slowly over a fire made with green hickory wood. That usually takes care of the problem.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: annamill
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:27 PM

Allan, Did you do that?? You did not! Did you? What to do on your summer vacation... ;-) **BG**

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:28 PM

Read nothing but the Wall Street Journal.
Golf.
Take courses in portfolio management.
Drive rapidly through poor parts of town with the windows rolled up, the air conditioning on, and Baroque flute concerti on the CD player. That should do it.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:30 PM

Gee, and I thought this thread was going to be about people who made sick jokes after disasters. Personally, I believe in taking my banjo with me on vacation: ya never know who you're gonna meet in an airport. --seed


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Bert
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:43 PM

Sandpaper will not help. Years ago, I used to work handling shot blasted steel, many times my fingers were 'sandpapered' until they bled. Didn't build up any callouses or make them return quicker.

When I first started guitar I was bothered by sore fingers so I bought some flat wound strings and lowered the action a bit. Helped a lot.

Now I just suffer for a day or two and don't tell anyone.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:56 PM

Hi there 'dough. I'm afraid that callouses are like fingerprints - everyone's got a different set. I've been playing for many years and have rarely ever had any fingertip pain. The callouses that I have built up are very light, and almost invisible. Best suggestion I ever heard was to soak 'em in salty water. That's what pitcher Al Leiter did, and it seemed to work for him.
Thanks Peter for being first to go in that direction, I'm relieved you got there before me.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 03:56 PM

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I play by ear. After years of that I developed hugh callouses on my ear lobes. Those had to be removed by a painful surgery called the Van Gogh Lobotomy. I saved 'em and gave them to my girlfriend as a gift. Actually I gave her 1/2 and I kept the other half. After 7 years at sea I came home. She still had hers, but I'd lost mine. We got married and had a son. The boy, the pride of our lives) was born with one eyelid. When he was circumcised, we had it grafted on. He's fine---just a little cockeyed.

Art


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 04:45 PM

Oh, God! Art has fully recovered! Everybody, watch out! We are in for a great deal of pun-ishment.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Margo
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 04:57 PM

No, Roger. It just shows how callous he is!
What on earth does soaking in salty water do for callouses? When I went on vacation, I found that I was pressing my thumbnail against my fingertips, as though I was playing....does it help? Dunno, but I did it anyway.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: folk1234
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 05:53 PM

Allan C: Did you use any herbs in the salt water and tea solutions? I've found tarragon in the water and irish lavender in the tea works fine. Regarding the fire, you get great smoke with soaked rosemary branches. For all: Many years ago I had a Navy doctor say to me as he had his flock of interns probe my open wounds, "Shut up Lieutenant, pain builds character". Perhaps there's message there for those of us, including me, now seek comfort & sympathy to heal our dainty pinkies.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: j0_77
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 06:01 PM

softening the skin makes my finger tips work better :) Never have any callouses except when I play for a long weekend - then they do get sore :(


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 07:38 PM

Maybe silicone injections at your fingertips would help, he suggested, laughing crazily before they slammed his cell door at the Neil Young center. --seed


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Helen
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 08:14 PM

Hi all,

I was told when I was doing African drumming classes that the best method recommended by hand-drummers is to pee on your hands.

This is fair-dinkum, but I guess I have just opened up the BS field here for all jokes about drummers and peeing and everything else in that vicinity. All right, I'm a mature adult - I can handle the onslaught of puns and jokes - but it *was* a serious suggestion. *BG*

Helen


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Paul Jay
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM

I go away for a few days and come back to things like "cockeyed, I guess the heat gets to everyone ocassionaly.

As for the callouses, Sourdough, when I was growing up in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas I was told to soak my sore fingertips in turpentine.(Hey Max, how about your next new wiz-bang is a spell check?) Anyway, that ,strange as it sounds, actually seemed to help!


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 09:17 PM

Art, my dear friend,

I have missed that. I am whole.

Has the thought ever occurred that instead of all these machinations, you could just play your instrument at least a half hour a day? Naw, Mick, why do that when you can piss on your hands and then shake hands with management............not all of them mind you, just the pissy ones. LOL

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: raredance
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 09:57 PM

When I'm away on vacation on Lake of the Woods, I go fishing a lot. One way to keep the "grooves" in the fingertips is to turn off both the anti-reverse and the drag on the fishing reel. Then use the finger tips to slow the run of a hooked fish. The Canadian I learned this technique from referred to it as digital brake lining.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 10:12 PM

Art my friend, even I was getting a bit concerned, but here you are in fine fettle once again. You look damn good in fettle too...so many people just can wear it. Seems an excellent cut and hangs well......and speaking of hanging well......................Seems this woman was at the optometrists and couldn't read the eye chart at 20 feet, not even the first letter "E"...So the Doc moves it to 15 feet, still nothing. He moves it to 10 and then to 5 and finally only a foot away.....still can't see a thing. So the good doctor goes 5o feet away at the opposite end of the place and airs out his Willie. The woman leaps to her feat screaming, "My God, you're WELL HUNG!"....."Aha," said the doc. "It's just as I thought, you're cockeyed."

One old joke to another.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Barbara
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 01:10 AM

I've heard that superglue will get you through your first all weekend jam session when you're out of practice.(Haven't tried it myself) On the fingertips, you clowns.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Sourdough
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 01:40 AM

I had a roommate who is a jazz bassist. Before he developed a strange 5-string electric bass, he played a regular wooden 4-stringer. He had some gooey liquid that he put on his fingertips. I had forgotten about it. It made a layer of tough skinlike protection that he said really helped.

How long before the Superglue comes off?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 01:55 AM

That's the thing about superglue: it doesn't come off, so if you try Barbara's suggestion, make sure the glue is dry before you touch anything (it's hard to sleep with your guitar glued to your finners). --seed


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Sourdough
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 02:04 AM

Seed -

You're right. Playing guitar with wet Superglue on your fingertips is a good way of getting strung out.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 02:33 AM

Remember the product sold in drugstores called "NewSkin?" It was supposed to be an instant substitute for a genuine band-aid. It resembled super-glue, but without the risky side-effects. Perhaps it would work the same way.
      I use super-glue and a small patch of either Kleenex or toilet paper when I need to repair a split fingernail on my "picking" hand. Gordon Bok does the same, but he uses a very fine silk instead of the toilet paper. Different social class! I believe it was Gordon who told me that fishermen in Maine soak their hands in brine to toughen them up for hauling lines and nets. Probably seeking the same effect as the saltwater callous treatment.
      Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 04:02 AM

Hmmm...interesting. I've been playing regularly 40 years and still find the fingertips hurt after a long playing session. I thought we just had to suffer for our music. And it does help you pull the necessary excruciated-looking face that the punters so much like when reaching for that special note,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 09:01 AM

I have a theory about why salt water works. Osmosis. When you sit in a bathtub for a long time, you resemble a prune because the water outside your skin is less diluted with other stuff than the water inside your skin. It passes through your skin until the ratio of water to stuff is equalized. (at which time you would look like a zeppelin and probably not be breathing.)

If you soak a body part in salt water, it has the reverse effect of pulling water out of the tissue. In effect, you're drying out the skin you soak in it, killing and forming a layer of dead skin cells.

And now, answers to possible questions:
1) No, I'm just guessing - does someone know for sure?
2) I don't know Catspaw, why don't you try it and tell us what happens.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: JR
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 10:59 AM

Sandy... as much as I hate to offer public advice in this area... I've got a nail that splits also.. there a nail polish called Nail Envy that keeps that from happening, & I'm sure it's a LOT less obvious than super glue and toilet paper. You can't see it, it lasts for days, & it's really tough stuff.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 12:34 PM

Sorry,I forgot two of the prime ingredients for the salt water. You must place a fish and a dill pickle in the water first.
Now this may be obvious (or not). Your instrument should be set up to suit your style and abilities. Maybe it's not so obvious. I've found that very few folks (professional or hobbyist) really set up the instrument properly. As an example..all those old very expensive Martins that folks drool over usually have terrible intonation problems at the twelfth fret. People spend lots of bucks getting them to play in tune properly. But it would seem that the previous owners over the 30-70 year period, didn't notice or care.
On my (now retired) 20 year old Lowden, I went through at least 25 brands and guages of strings before settling on ones that sounded good and played comfortably. I suspect that at least some of the ones I rejected would have hurt my fingers over any prolonged period. Same thing with the action. If you get it JUST low enough not to buzz, it should be much easier on the hands.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: Helen
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 09:49 PM

Jeri,

I think you might have found the answer to the catspaw phenomenon - answer his questions before he asks them. Then it doesn't matter what question he asks - you get the last word in *first*. I like it! *BG*

Helen


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: bill\sables
Date: 07 Aug 99 - 12:13 PM

One solution for sore fingers I heard of many years ago was to soak your finger ends in surgical spirit I learned this from a ballet dancer who used to soak her feet in order to harden the skin and reduce the pain when standing on her toes. Another method of using spirit is to buy a bottle of Scottish or Irish Whisky, drink it, then play your guitar. You won't feel a thing. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: leprechaun
Date: 07 Aug 99 - 12:46 PM

Many years ago my TaeKwon-do teacher taught us how to harden our knuckles.

1. Punch the heavy-bag (canvas) until your knuckles bleed.

2. Apply tincture of benzoin. (sticky stuff, smells like pine.

3. Scream really loud.

4. Punch the heavy bag some more.

5. Scream really loud some more.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5.

My knuckles stayed calloused for about fifteen years. I thought most of the nerve endings were dead, but some of the feeling has come back recently.


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Subject: RE: Help: Calloused attitudes
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 07 Aug 99 - 01:43 PM

I tried all that nail stuff and it never worked; my nail just hurt more when it finally ripped all the way off. I have been toying with those finger picks someone recommended awhile back, but I have trouble pinching them correctly so they don't slip around. (and yes, I am wearing them right.)

Only solution I have found for peeling callouses is to play some more before they peel.

MA


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