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View Full Version : Guitar strings make my fingers smell weird??



davoomac
03-10-2008, 05:19 PM
The guitar strings the I am using right now make my hands smell really weird. It makes a really funky metal smell. I don't remember ever playing with any guitar strings that did it as bad as these do. Anyone else note that some strings smell worse than others?

By the way the strings are the earnie ball phospher bronze.

Kateri
03-10-2008, 05:58 PM
I use phosphor bronze but not ernie ball brand. I notice that after a while they just smell really metallicy. And then they start to turn your fingers black...and then thats when I change them. But it's not a strong enough smell that I can smell it without my hand being anywhere near my nose.

davoomac
03-10-2008, 06:05 PM
Its kinda strange though. I can hold the guitar strings up to my nose and try to smell it and I won't smell anything, but if I play guitar for maybe 5-10 minutes the smell really comes off onto my hands. Its to the point where it gets distracting and I have to go wash it off with soap and water. :confused:

in fact i'm trying it out right now lol

studentaccount1
03-10-2008, 06:37 PM
could be your sweat is reacting with the strings. I have that problem. Usually wiping them down with a rag or one of those fingerboard cleansing/lubricating things (Fast Fret or something like that) every time you put it down helps.

Even if I am diligent and do that, I still have to change strings pretty often cause they get funky with use.

Misguided Musician
03-10-2008, 06:53 PM
I agree with student. You should use some of those guitar care products for the strings to wipe it down. Also remember to wash your hand before you start playing your guitar because the dirt on your fingers can collect in the strings that can also lead to build up and make the strings rust faster and smell. I haven't really used Ernie Ball's other than on an Electric.

davoomac
03-10-2008, 07:35 PM
I don't think the strings are dirty just yet though because I just put them on about a month ago and I don't play guitar quite as much as ukulele. I have that finger-ease string lubricant though. I'll give that a try and see how it goes.

NukeDOC
03-10-2008, 08:05 PM
what color are your strings right now? the nonwound ones. if they are black, then you might wanna just change them out, wash your hands before playing, and make sure your hands are dry before playing. also, if you hands tend to sweat, keep a rag handy to keep your hands dried off.

your strings shouldnt lose their luster too quickly, unless you play for a few hours and then leave it alone for a couple weeks. then they get rusty. and thats where the smell comes from. i just buy the cheapest strings i can find and i buy a bunch of packs just to keep around because changing strings has been such a regular thing for me. it can get expensive, i know. thats why i just get the cheap ones and change them as needed. currently im using elec guitar strings on my acoustic. i like them cuz theyre really light and dont buzz as much when i play. theyre in the bargain bin at my local guitar center for $3 a pack. so ill grab about 5 packs at a time. i havent had a problem with the "stinky pinky" since i started doing that.

when you change out your strings, if you notice an improvement in the tone, then it was definitely time to change them out.

davoomac
03-10-2008, 08:43 PM
hmm, the strings are duller looking than when I first put them on. THey still sound decent though. So when they get significantly darker, you usually have to change them up?

Man, that's kinda lame.. I don't remember my strings becoming rusty so fast. Does it make a difference if its out in the open or if its in the case?

Kateri
03-10-2008, 08:59 PM
mmmm, i'd imagine if you live near the ocean then it may get rustier quicker in the open air as opposed to being in the case, but thats just my theory. :P

davoomac
03-10-2008, 09:19 PM
mmmm, i'd imagine if you live near the ocean then it may get rustier quicker in the open air as opposed to being in the case, but thats just my theory. :P

I don't live quite near the ocean but it is REALLY REALLY humid on guam though. :D

studentaccount1
03-10-2008, 10:44 PM
Some people like the old worn in sound and feel. If you want to decrud them periodically and use them til they really get bad, loosen them up a little so the windings push the gunk out a bit and then scrape them with a old (or your sisters) toothbrush.

I kind of like the mellower tone of old strings. I find new strings to sound kind of harsh. I'm weird though.

AdamTheHobo
03-11-2008, 03:58 AM
same thing happens on my acustic, wat happens is when bronzes gets old and has been played for a while the metal starts to smell really bad and that when you should change your strings.Actually you are suppose to change ur strings every month but i really dont i only change um when they smell, just go out and get some new strings bud

seth
03-23-2008, 02:54 PM
Put deodarant on your fingers :D

SnakeOiler
04-01-2008, 06:55 AM
i just buy the cheapest strings i can find and i buy a bunch of packs just to keep around because changing strings has been such a regular thing for me. it can get expensive, i know. thats why i just get the cheap ones and change them as needed.

That's it there. Like a toothbrush.

russ_buss
04-01-2008, 07:48 AM
i try my best to wash my hands before i play and to wipe down the strings with a cloth when i'm done. but i can see how the humidity in your part of the globe might be a major factor.

for the record, vietnamese sandwiches make my fingers smell weird. and delicious:)

davoomac
04-01-2008, 03:38 PM
I started taking you guys up on that whole wiping it down with a cloth before and after and it seems to be working. Thanks for the tips!