Strange thing happened today while playing my Martin

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Shark Sandwich, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    I have a Martin OM28V which I've owned for about seven years or so. This morning after playing it for a few minutes I noticed the palm of my right hand was covered in a black dust, like graphite. At first I thought it couldn't be from the guitar but sure enough I rubbed my hand on the strings and this black stuff rubbed off onto my hands. The strings are Curt Mangan strings and they've been on the guitar for about six months or so. I play the guitar a few times a week but I have never had this problem with Mangan strings or any other brand of strings for that matter, on electric or acoustic guitars. FWIW I actually really like these strings soundwise--they really have great punch and seem to last longer than other strings I've tried. What is going on here?
     
  2. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    I get that all the time from bronze strings. The sweat and oils on your skin oxidizes the bronze and produces a black smut. Some people get it with nickel, some with bronze, some with both and some with neither; it's a question of your body chemistry and the string alloy. Perhaps this brand has a different bronze alloy than you've previously played.
     
  3. dgonz

    dgonz Member

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    ^^^ What he said, plus picks can sometimes do that, too. I've had certain celluloid picks great dark dust on my fingertips like that, even when the pick color isn't black. (Seven Kings, and a few other brands, in particular)
     
  4. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    thanks guys. Guess I've never used bronze strings before. What's weird is that I've been using this same set for about six months and this just happened today. It's like it takes awhile for them to break down or whatever.
     
  5. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    I know there are different schools of thought on this, but six months seems like a long time to be using the same set of strings. Maybe it's just time for a new set. Do you wipe them down before putting away?
     
  6. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    yes, it is a long time for one set of strings. I'm just too lazy to change them but I will now. I never wipe them down after playing the guitar.
     

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