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View Full Version : Sweaty Hands, Slipping Fingers...Solution?



ukulelecowboy
02-28-2011, 05:07 AM
During the winter, we gig in a large circuit that takes us through many of the Retirement and Senior Living Facilities here in Columbus, Ohio. The temps are kept high in these facilities to assist with the comfort level of the residents. It can be warm. I would estimate that the inside temps could push 80 to 85 degrees easily. In fact, there are times when I have to re-tune between songs because of the environment.

As a result my fretting hand gets sweaty and it is possible that I might slip up or down the fretboard, off of a string, or off the fretboard entirely. As you can imagine, this can prove to be problematic, as my wife, who handles the vocals, is counting on the only other instrument for support.

Any solutions out there? Maybe powder or some sort of chalk that might solve this problem?

Thanks,

Mike

Mandarb
02-28-2011, 05:08 AM
Towel - dry your hands and uke between songs.

ukulelecowboy
02-28-2011, 05:13 AM
Towel - dry your hands and uke between songs.

Appreciate the suggestion. And I do dry my hands and the uke between songs. The real problem is during the song.

I'm really hoping to find a way to keep my hands from sweating so the slipping doesn't occur during the performance.

Thanks.

bbqribs
02-28-2011, 05:15 AM
Try antiperspirant. It's recommended for people who have a regular problem with sweaty palms (Hyperhidrosis.) Also, maybe use a uke leash to allow you do quick wipes between chords.

kenikas
02-28-2011, 05:21 AM
Maybe a thin glove with the fingers cut off?

Chris Tarman
02-28-2011, 05:57 AM
Oh man... is THAT what I have to look forward to in my old age? 80-85 degree living conditions??? Well, my wife will love it, at least.
I'm blessed with relatively sweat-free hands. I've known people whose hands sweat so much in NORMAL temperatures that they eat through guitar strings as if they were playing guitar at the bottom of the ocean. I've played in a few places where my hands sweated because of the heat, but generally they don't sweat much at all. I just towel off between songs in those situations... sorry, not much help I guess.

SailingUke
02-28-2011, 07:18 AM
You probably have lots of fans in the audience, but you might consider your own.
I usually carry a small rotating fan I plug in and have blowing my direction during a gig.
Even with cooler temps I sometimes play under warm lights.

mendel
02-28-2011, 07:21 AM
I have used this solution for other situations, and I find that it has worked quite well. Go to a local pharmacy and get some liquid bandage. Use the brush to put it on your hand between the thumb and index finger. It will stop the sweat, as well as friction irritation quite well. You can also put some on your finger tips, but be sure it dries well before you play. Also try to play with it first because it feels a bit strange. I used this to help me not lose grip during wrestling matches as well as during fights that I was competing in. It worked very well.

haolejohn
02-28-2011, 07:47 AM
During the winter, we gig in a large circuit that takes us through many of the Retirement and Senior Living Facilities here in Columbus, Ohio. The temps are kept high in these facilities to assist with the comfort level of the residents. It can be warm. I would estimate that the inside temps could push 80 to 85 degrees easily. In fact, there are times when I have to re-tune between songs because of the environment.

As a result my fretting hand gets sweaty and it is possible that I might slip up or down the fretboard, off of a string, or off the fretboard entirely. As you can imagine, this can prove to be problematic, as my wife, who handles the vocals, is counting on the only other instrument for support.

Any solutions out there? Maybe powder or some sort of chalk that might solve this problem?

Thanks,

Mike

Might sound like I'm being a smart butt, but I'm not. When you practise at your house, turn up the heat. Get used to playing in the heat.

joeybug
02-28-2011, 12:01 PM
Not much help really, seconding the Uke Leash comment and both mendel's and haolejohn's ideas seem like good ones, hope you find a solution!

ichadwick
08-19-2011, 01:31 AM
Any solutions out there? Maybe powder or some sort of chalk that might solve this problem?


One word: strap.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-19-2011, 06:19 AM
I like the 'Uke-Leash' TM and the strap suggestion to go along with the hand towel.

I'm one who perspires a lot and if you see my picture on the SUPA site (seattleukulele.org) you'll
generally see me with a towel on my shoulder or on my lap.

I think a strap of some kind will suppor the uke enough for you to get a good palm-wipe every now and then.

Other than that it's playing with wet fingers. Been doing that all my life (over 50 years playing ukulele!) and
it's not really stopped my yet. Just go with the 'flow' : ).

Keep uke'in',