Fret board friction

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by smolder, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Central Rocky Mountains
    Been playing again for about 9 months and have some solid callous built up. I notice that after a few solid hours of practice my fingers tend to slide slow and stick on the fretboard. Is this common... is there a remedy? I have seen guys use super glue... but that seems like the wrong answer. Does lemon oil seem the right remedy? Do I need to treat the fretboard with out the strings on... will it hurt the strings?

    Not really sure if the problem is the fretboard or my fingers...
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  2. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Connecticut, outside of Hartford
    It's probably just gunk (sweat, oil, etc) from your hands. Usually, a good wipe down with a dry rag, and a good washing of your hands, will make it all better. Personally, I don't really like to put much in terms of oils and polishes on my guitars. I treat them much the same as my pool cues...I just keep them reasonable clean unless I have a specific reason to actually start adding gunk to them.

    An effective way of cleaning out gunk is an occasional light rub with 000 steel wool. Very light and very occasional. It'll remove some gunk that a regular cloth leaves behind over months.

    Just my opinion.
  3. stevel

    stevel Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    I've found the humidity can have a lot to do with it. Usually, in winter, when the air is dry, my fingertips "glass over" making them "slipperier". The same is true of the skin on my hands in general. In fact, today I looked down at my hands and my palms had little "blister pops" where dry skin is starting to peel - and it so happens we've just gotten our first solid cold snap of the winter here.

    In summer, when it's extremely, insanely humid (here), my skin gets more "tender" and tends to stick to the strings, fingerboard, and neck more. I've heard some people use Talcum powder or Cornstarch to help with this.

    I hate playing outdoor gigs in the summer - sometimes, when I slide up or down a string, it takes an "ounce of flesh" with it. In the winter, it will just break the skin on the surface and cause a rough spot, but in the summer it peels a couple of layers off to the soft stuff underneath (ouchie!).

    I've just always considered it a fact of life though and try (though how successful I am is questionable) to adjust my playing style to suit. In the hot summer, note-iness is not a problem - I can play lots of notes fast, as long as I don't have to slide up or down the neck! So I pretty much play lots of open position chords, and long, slow-note solos :).


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