What's your fix for noisy fingers?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by FiveAces, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. LongJohn

    LongJohn Synchromatic

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Half Rounds and GHS Fast Fret. Use the Fast Fret before and after session, keeps strings clean and just a bit slick.
    SAguitar likes this.
  2. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    You may want to try ELIXIR Nanowebs. I like them on my acoustics, where the noise seems more obvious or annoying to me.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  3. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I trained in classical guitar and there are techniques for minimizing finger noise. But after that, it’s things like fast fret and half round wound strings and coated strings. And of course all of the above for moisturizing.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  4. Gregor

    Gregor Synchromatic

    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    As others have mentioned, try a set of half rounds. Along with technique, they completely eliminated string squeak for me, with only a being slightly less bright than round wounds. These are what I'm using now.
    gtttrrr likes this.
  5. FiveAces

    FiveAces Gretschie

    Mar 1, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Seriously... thanks to all for the suggestions (& a few laughs)!
    I am looking into some of the string lubs/conditioners. But listening to some comments, I think I need to revisit the string options, too! It's been a long habit with the strings I've used and its cheap enough to restring a few guitars with a half-round and flat-wound set for some side-by-side comparisons. I've used D'addario's for a long time, and since they offer all those types, it may prove interesting to compare the strings within the same brand as a feel and sound comparison.
    ......play on!
    LongJohn likes this.
  6. SAguitar

    SAguitar Gretschie

    Jan 17, 2020
    Another vote for GHS Fast Fret! I've used it for years and it works great for eliminating squeaks. I think its instructions say to spray it on the strings, but then it goes all over your guitar. I spray it directly on my fingertips of my fretting hand and on the fingers that lay across the strings.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  7. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Have you tried amputating your fingers? Going right to the source makes sense to me. Give it a shot and let us know if that helps.
    wabash slim and Medium John like this.
  8. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Jun 2, 2008
    Beaumont, CA
    It is a bad technique thing.... That I have as well. LOL

    I have always had dry skin, and heavily calloused hands (I am a carpenter as well as a musician). So, any slight drag and I get Iron Butterfly pick on the strings type zings. Or, at least I do if I use round wounds... Sometimes. I'm getting better with it on my acoustic, so I must be making some kind of progress with technique.

    As for strings, I am a huge proponent of Thomastik Infeld Jazz Swings. They are flat wound, 100% nickel wraps around around core. Most folks are surprised to find out I use flats. They don't seem to notice a bad/flat/lifeless tone at all. Neither do I. They also last me for 18 months on average... Sometimes longer.

    On a couple of guitars, I do use GHS Burnished Rockers. I like them a lot. They are also 100% nickel around a round core. So, a very similar feel (tension-wise) between the two types of strings.

    I will state for the record that I do not care for D'Addario Chromes in the least. They die quickly and are muted and lifeless to me. I guess you get what you pay for sometimes.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    This issue has nothing to do with dry skin. Really.
    It`s technique.
    Robbie, L Robbins and Winnie Thomas like this.
  10. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    We use Elixir nano-webs and they do help.
    Back when my son was playing for jury reviews in the Classic Guitar Program, it was suggested to wet sand their finger tips with 1500 grade wet sand paper. Some pieces did require a lot of heavy movements up and down the fret board, so some washing (squeaking) was inevitable over a 20 minute piece. I did try while recording and it did reduce the washing (squeaking), so that it was not picked up by the recording equipment.

    I am not sure that technique is entirely to blame, even in the Segovia recordings he had some washing, and I may be alone on this one, but he was about as good as they come.
    Floo and Axis39 like this.
  11. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Gretschie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Cochise AZ
    SAguitar and new6659 like this.
  12. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Gretschie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Cochise AZ
    I agree. Dragging fingers on the strings is what causes the noise. I moved from the frozen North (Northern Vermont) to the Arizona desert ten years ago. No change in string noise.

    You may have picked up a bad habit that causes the noise.
    L Robbins and loudnlousy like this.
  13. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    Feb 16, 2013
    I feel like doing this every time I see Brian Setzer perform. I’m not worthy.....
    T-Bawler, SAguitar and AllenK like this.
  14. Noparadise

    Noparadise Electromatic

    Jan 29, 2017
    I used nose grease for treating scratches on photographic negatives in the darkroom, but this is new to me. A quick google found the wikipedia entry on Nasal Sebum - maybe someone should add this, as wikipedia lists just the following uses:
    • Nose grease can be used to minimize scratches in optical surfaces ... sometimes used by numismatic hobbyists to alter the apparent grade of slightly worn coins.
    • Nose grease is often recommended as a lubricant for fly fishing rod ferrules.
    • Nose grease has mild antifoaming properties and can be used to break down a high head on freshly poured beer or soft drinks.
    I thought it was interesting anyway.

    Seriously, I get the squeaks too so I will try this, but my best answer is just practice, practice, practice.
    Gregor likes this.
  15. Gregor

    Gregor Synchromatic

    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I've used it on fishing rod ferrules but not for anything else. Must give it a try in my beer lol.
    Noparadise likes this.
  16. Bubbalou88

    Bubbalou88 Electromatic

    Sep 25, 2020
    Dallas-Ft.Worth Texas
    Removed for inaccurate information
  17. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    Jan 25, 2016
    I’ve found Elixir Nanoweb strings reduce “finger noise” quite effectively, as well as lasting longer.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  18. 1954

    1954 Electromatic

    Sep 15, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    What works for me is rubbing finger tips with an emory board, or light sand paper. Gets rid of callous buildup and gives better feel on the strings!
    mrfixitmi and Medium John like this.
  19. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    May 11, 2017
    Actually, this was what got me into Elixir strings.

    They're silently slidable. And last ridiculously long (I never change them unless I break them), and at least the green ones sound just as free and bright as uncoated strings do. I thought I heard a bit of a difference with the older kinds, less bright and stuff, but I might very well hear what I epect to hear because I expect it (... placebos don't stop working because you know they're placebos...).
    mrfixitmi likes this.
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