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jermlilly
02-20-2009, 08:31 AM
If I play the uku for more than a few minutes my fingers turn black from the strings. Why is this? Cheap strings or is this just something that i am going to have to deal with?

haole
02-20-2009, 08:37 AM
I've never heard of that before from any strings, whether black, red, gold, or any other color. :eek: If they're the strings that came with your uke, chances are they're cheap and not very good. Swap them out for any reputable brand (Aquila, Worth, D'Addario, Ko'olau, Kala, Hilo, etc) and you shouldn't have that problem anymore.

dnewton2
02-20-2009, 08:38 AM
I have never heard this one before.

It might be cheap strings. I will assume it is the stock strings that came with it. It may be that the fret board has something on it, dirt or something. Try taking a papertowel, tissue or TP and rub it up and down the strings to see if the strings turn black. then try rubbing it on the fretboard. if you can isolate the problem it will be easier to fix. Probably something needs cleaned though.

MisoHappy
02-20-2009, 08:39 AM
Someone else posted a thread regarding black fingers.....i think someoone said it was just residue from the strings...

cpatch
02-20-2009, 08:46 AM
It's either dirt, as others have suggested, or someone used marker to change clear or white strings to black because they liked the looks.

Renaissance-Man
02-20-2009, 08:48 AM
I known about this. Your finger tips turn black because one of your strings is unplated, aluminum wound. The black is aluminum oxide. It's not necessarily cheap.

Lanark
02-20-2009, 08:52 AM
Could also be the fret board. (If the blackness isn't in neat little lines that could only be attributed to strings.)

russ_buss
02-20-2009, 08:54 AM
I known about this. Your finger tips turn black because one of your strings is unplated, aluminum wound. The black is aluminum oxide. It's not necessarily cheap.

this has happened to me before when i had that one wound C string. sounds like that might be the case with the OP as well.

cpatch
02-20-2009, 08:59 AM
Your finger tips turn black because one of your strings is unplated, aluminum wound. The black is aluminum oxide.
And all these years I thought that high school chemistry was a waste of time. I should have paid more attention.

Ukuleleblues
02-20-2009, 09:04 AM
If I play the uku for more than a few minutes my fingers turn black from the strings. Why is this? Cheap strings or is this just something that i am going to have to deal with?


It's the sign of the Devil.....seriously, sometimes espcially if you have a ebony fretboard, they will dye the wood to make it more uniform. Very common.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Colors,_tints,_and_stains/Black_Fingerboard_Stain.html

That black could also be dye from your fretboard...or the aluminum string as stated.

iamsam
02-20-2009, 09:18 AM
Im going with the fret board. If the wood has been coloured in to make it look like more expensive rosewood or ebony then this could wear off over time.
EDIT: I missed the last post. Sorry folks

jermlilly
02-20-2009, 09:34 AM
The C string is wrapped but why would that cause my fingers to turn black? Its my strumming hand that turns black so i dont think its the fretboard. It happenes the most when i pick the instrument rather than strumm. So now if thats the case how can i fix it?

cpatch
02-20-2009, 09:38 AM
The C string is wrapped but why would that cause my fingers to turn black? Its my strumming hand that turns black so i dont think its the fretboard. It happenes the most when i pick the instrument rather than strumm. So now if thats the case how can i fix it?
Change the strings.

jermlilly
02-20-2009, 09:45 AM
Thanks! I think i might go post this a few more times for ya buddy!

hoosierhiver
02-20-2009, 10:03 AM
When I set up a uke,I wipe the fret board down with an orange oil,sometimes it gets very black from what I presumed was maybe dyed wood dust or maybe it is just the dye from the wood.

Lanark
02-20-2009, 10:56 AM
The C string is wrapped but why would that cause my fingers to turn black? Its my strumming hand that turns black so i dont think its the fretboard. It happenes the most when i pick the instrument rather than strumm. So now if thats the case how can i fix it?

Change strings and wash yer filthy mitts before you pick up the instrument.:old:

jermlilly
02-20-2009, 11:19 AM
Thats a great idea. Wash my hands before they get dirty. Huh, never thought about that. Some kinda logic yo got there my friend. But hey I'll take yours as well as some others suggestions,including my pal cpatch,and change the strings! Thanks to all! much appreciated!

Jimmy
02-20-2009, 11:31 AM
Builds character.

cashew
02-20-2009, 11:48 AM
Thats a great idea. Wash my hands before they get dirty. Huh, never thought about that. Some kinda logic yo got there my friend. But hey I'll take yours as well as some others suggestions,including my pal cpatch,and change the strings! Thanks to all! much appreciated!

Um.. I think he's referring to your strings being filthy... which would cause black hands.... Have you attempted to clean your strings?

seeso
02-20-2009, 12:30 PM
Thats a great idea. Wash my hands before they get dirty. Huh, never thought about that. Some kinda logic yo got there my friend. But hey I'll take yours as well as some others suggestions,including my pal cpatch,and change the strings! Thanks to all! much appreciated!

Welcome to the forums, jermlily.

I may be mistaken, but it sounds like you're being sarcastic to people who are trying to help you. If so, take this as a friendly reminder to be nice. If I'm mistaken, disregard this message.

SuperSecretBETA
02-20-2009, 12:51 PM
Welcome to the forums, jermlily.

I may be mistaken, but it sounds like you're being sarcastic to people who are trying to help you. If so, take this as a friendly reminder to be nice. If I'm mistaken, disregard this message.

I didn't think he came off as sarcastic until you brought it up, seeso. I see where you could get that idea from though. LOL

Lanark
02-20-2009, 01:02 PM
Um.. I think he's referring to your strings being filthy... which would cause black hands.... Have you attempted to clean your strings?

I was joking.

It's also possible that playing with dirty hands makes for dirty strings which later make clean hands dirty. and the cycle of life continues.
That's the gist.

allinfun
02-20-2009, 01:14 PM
I have a lovely ring my ex-boyfriend gave me that turned my finger green whenever I wore it.... :p

ukusaurus
02-20-2009, 01:15 PM
Most definately the wound string that does it.My tenor has a wound C and I don't even have to play it for very long before my strum finger gets black but I could play my fluke all night long and never have the same problem. :rolleyes:

remy
02-20-2009, 05:04 PM
If you say it's from picking and not strumming, then it sounds like one variable might be the sweat on your fingers (wouldn't they get more sweaty picking as opposed to strumming? That's just how it works in my head, since they're not getting as much wind from the strumming motion to dry them off. I should do a test on that!) If you have washed the strings/changed them/tried everything else and you're still having this problem, maybe something like a little baby powder might keep your fingers from getting moist such that they don't pick up the black as much.

Or I agree with the earlier poster that it might just be a devil uke!

hoosierhiver
02-21-2009, 04:57 AM
I have a lovely ring my ex-boyfriend gave me that turned my finger green whenever I wore it.... :p

Coat the inside of the ring with a thin layer of finger nail polish.

allinfun
02-21-2009, 06:30 AM
I was just trying to put a touch of humor into things... Yes I did have an ex- who gave me a an ring that turned my finger green, but I have no desire to wear it.

blulegend
08-02-2011, 03:25 PM
I have this happening when I rub my fingers along the edges of the frets, or even along the frets themselves. I think the frets on my uke are aluminum and this is why it's rubbing a bit.

Uke Republic
08-02-2011, 03:53 PM
I once told my kids that if they picked their nose their fingers would turn green. Glad it wasn't their thumb!

chindog
08-02-2011, 04:12 PM
I once told my kids that if they picked their nose their fingers would turn green. Glad it wasn't their thumb!

You can pick your nose, but you can't pick your relatives.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ3ZZ1okF57r4RBpN6NH_5Kwx9j3UzcU ZU4ej-icJdievkpCt3TJw

OldePhart
08-03-2011, 01:27 PM
I have a lovely ring my ex-boyfriend gave me that turned my finger green whenever I wore it.... :p


Coat the inside of the ring with a thin layer of finger nail polish.

No, no, no, Mike - it was the boyfriend you were supposed to give that advice too... LOL

John

itsme
08-03-2011, 02:55 PM
Thats a great idea. Wash my hands before they get dirty.
It's not just dirt, but natural body oil and sweat. That can cause corrosion on wound strings. I always wash my hands before I play and always wipe down my strings when done.


Coat the inside of the ring with a thin layer of finger nail polish.
When I played flute, the area below my lower lip where it rested on the mouthpiece would turn black. Clear nail polish on the mouthpiece prevented that. :)

chiefnoda
08-04-2011, 07:46 AM
Hi jermiilly

What kind of ukulele do you use (make, model)? Do you have original strings? Can you wash off the black stain? Or, can you use an alcohol pad to wipe?

If your trings are black, it may be that the dye in the strings are staining your fingertips. What is the color of the fingerboard? Again, the dye used for the fingerboard can stain your fingers, and I suspect this is the cause. I don't think it's likely to happen on a more expensive ukulele (say, $150 and more), but on a cheaply mass-produced ukulele, it's possible.

If the stain wipes off with water, the dye is water-soluble, you just have to wash your hands after you play. I don't think they use anything nasty.

If it really bothers you, you can wipe the fingerboard (with damp cloth or alcohol wipe) and remove the dye. Or get another ukulele.

Cheers
Chief

Ron98GT
08-04-2011, 09:27 AM
I have had this happen with guitar strings, so if you have any wound strings (metal) that's your culprit.

Ron98GT
08-04-2011, 09:34 AM
When I set up a uke,I wipe the fret board down with an orange oil,sometimes it gets very black from what I presumed was maybe dyed wood dust or maybe it is just the dye from the wood.

Should be using linseed oil. The orange (citrus) oil can cause the fretboard to crack and loosen the bindings.

http://www.muzique.com/schem/fret.htm

OldePhart
08-04-2011, 12:36 PM
Should be using linseed oil. The orange (citrus) oil can cause the fretboard to crack and loosen the bindings.

http://www.muzique.com/schem/fret.htm

Don't know about orange oil - never used it - but I've been using lemon oil on guitar fretboards for over twenty years without a single problem. Actually, I'd be kind of leary of linseed oil, myself. I remember using it when I was messing about with oil painting many years ago and it tended to get gummy and harden...

John

checkerboard
02-23-2012, 09:51 PM
Got got a Mahalo uke recently and yesterday was the first time I had practiced for about an hour or something, and my fingers ended up black. Took about 3 or 4 washes to get the marks off my fingertips. It's from the fretboard which is black. I'm guessing it was painted. Hoping it will eventually stop.