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Solutions for sticky strings?


lownote

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I play flatwound strings, a well worn set of Dunlops.  But having returned to gigging for the first time in a long time I'm having trouble with sticky strings.  To be clear, this isn't the stickiness of new flats, these are well worn and smooth.  Also I don't have this issue when practising, only when gigging.  My fingers start to stick to the strings and it makes playing fast really difficult. Any thoughts?  

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1 hour ago, fretmeister said:

Fast Fret is the answer. 

I've been warned off that by my Luthier/ set up guy because it was creating some build up around the frets and yellowing on the frets. I do like the feel of strings when it's applied but he told me it's really bad for the instrument... It can't be horrific otherwise it wouldn't still exist, if there's a knack to using it so it doesn't build up on the frets I'd love to know.

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Fast Fret addict here. Some hate it but I can't gig flatwounds without it... worth a try, I recommend it. 
 

To lownote - I've heard this as well but I think if  you just give the strings a swift swipe then wipe nearly all of it off straight away with the little cloth, you won't get any crud on fingerboard or frets. I've been using the stuff for yonks with no ill-effects. It might deaden strings a bit, I don't know. Flatwounds, eh?

Edited by KK Jale
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58 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

Isopropyl alchol, followed by a mild soapy water solution.  Probably best to do it off the instrument.

 

Agreed, but I wouldn't bother with soap and water. Just use isopropyl, meths or similar spirit, which will remove the grease, etc from the strings. Depending on how sweaty your hands are (or how greasy/sticky said sweat is), you may have to do it frequently.

 

I'd avoid fast fret and the other products that leave a coating on the strings. The coating can react with the sweat/grease from your hands and make the problem worse. Just keep the strings (and your hands) clean.

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I use Tone Finger-ease. It's made in West Virginia so I don't know if it's available across the pond. It's a spray. They say they've been in bizniz for over 35yrs so that's how long I've been using. I think it makes the strings last longer, too. Used on finished and unfinished necks of everything from maple, rosewood, ebony, and now bamboo (Stick). No build-up, no ill effects.

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13 hours ago, StickyDBRmf said:

I use Tone Finger-ease. It's made in West Virginia so I don't know if it's available across the pond. It's a spray. They say they've been in bizniz for over 35yrs so that's how long I've been using. I think it makes the strings last longer, too. Used on finished and unfinished necks of everything from maple, rosewood, ebony, and now bamboo (Stick). No build-up, no ill effects.

Finger Ease is fabulous stuff. Unfortunately I've not seen any on sale in the UK for 3 or 4 years. I'd really love to know why it's NLA over here. Fancy sending me a box? ;)

 

My last spray has about run out 

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21 minutes ago, Norris said:

Finger Ease is fabulous stuff. Unfortunately I've not seen any on sale in the UK for 3 or 4 years. I'd really love to know why it's NLA over here. Fancy sending me a box? ;)

 

My last spray has about run out 

Try https://www.hannahsmusic.co.uk/gm.html , just ordered some

Edited by lownote
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Another fan of Fast Fret here. I've been using it for quite some time, and not noticed any build-up of anything nor any staining / discolouration.
It definitely keeps roundwound strings brighter for a bit longer.

I only occasionally need to clean my Flatwound strings with Fast Fret - usually, I just wipe them down with a soft cloth after playing.

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On 27/09/2021 at 10:30, Dan Dare said:

Just use isopropyl, meths or similar spirit, which will remove the grease, etc from the strings *-*. Depending on how sweaty your hands are (or how greasy/sticky said sweat is), you may have to do it frequently... Just keep the strings (and your hands) clean.

*-* and hands

These alcohol based liquids for cleaning hands could work well, but they may dry your hands a lot if used extensively. My fingers are not compatible with most detergents.

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Use the bebop double bass player trick : put a very little bit of vaseline behind one ear or both and when you can't slide anymore, just touch the vaseline pellicle with your fingers and you'll play beyond speed limit.

 

This trick is used by Tina Weymouth for long gigs. 😉

 

That said ears are naturally greasing too, but it's a bit disgusting.

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I bought this stuff when I was at uni a lot of years ago.... 2002 or 3 it may have been. Its good for cleaning the strings but not so sure on it giving you the slippy feel of fast fret.

 

I've got about 70% of the bottle left. Which means I don't use it often enough!

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By the way, if anyone misses the old metal Fast Fret tins, get a US friend to post you a can of Tibet Almond Stick.

 

It's a light oil designed as a furniture scratch remover that's been around for about 100 years. The actual product feels and smells and works exactly the same as Fast Fret.... I imagine someone spotted an old timer guitar picker using this stuff as string lube back in the 70s, had a lightbulb moment and flogged the idea to GHS, who probably used the same manufacturer. 

 

I use the Almond Stick as a refiller for an ancient wooden-handled Fast Fret applicator and keep that in the Almond Stick tin 'cos I think it looks cool.


 

689EE23D-C125-4E66-990D-EE271DA7BD15.jpeg

Edited by KK Jale
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On 30/09/2021 at 12:18, Rich said:

Also:

 

 BC aye has the answer - using nose grease would ruin my makeup and I don't suppose a mix of grease and foundation on the strings would do them much good. I've been having problems with sticky fingers (quiet in the cheap seats!) and I think @Delberthot's fan trick sounds like a good idea.

So, which fan is best for metal? 😉

Edited by Rich
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///We are into The Jokes./// I'm happy some of you Blokes found Finger-Ease. My gf makes sure I have a supply from Amazon. I can get it @ my local M&P Shop but believe it, Guitar Center tries (tries) to charge me 2$ more than my  M&P. $5 vs. $7 US. SERIOUS? 

I mean, it's WD40, right?

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