How to fix sweaty hands?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by MTguitar, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. MTguitar

    MTguitar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    310
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Montana
    I'm going to be doing my first live performance in a few weeks (nothing big, just a few songs at an open mic).

    I'm playing lead guitar on the songs while my buddy sings and plays rhythm. What I'm worried about is my fingers getting sweaty and slipping around on the fretboard. I'm most worried about the solo on "Amie". Whenever I get nervous playing, my hands start to sweat and I can guantee I'll be nervous at my first live performance.

    Does anybody know a fix for this? My first thought was to chalk my fingers like rock climbers do...
     
  2. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    8,496
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Dallas TX USA
    I'm willing to bet the sweat's not the problem. The problem is nerves. Seriously, I find a lil' sweat actually helps move me around the neck.

    My hands tend to sweat more than normal too. There have been times when I was embarrassed to shake someone's hand because I didn't want to give them a soggy clam...

    It's gotten better as I've gotten older, but if I'm not careful about wiping my neck and strings when I'm done playing, the sweat can ruin a brand new set of strings overnight. Sometimes it causes the frets to cloud up too.

    All I can say is, avoid caffiene, drink lots of water, and if you're a drinker, have maybe one drink before you go on, to help you relax.

    Another thing I've heard of but not tried myself is beta blockers...

    Hope this helps! Break a leg! :cool:
     
  3. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,842
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Garden City, KS
    Some players use corn starch or baby powder, but that stuff gets everywhere, so you really can't care how your guitar looks.
     
  4. Mark N

    Mark N Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Woodstock, NB, Canada
    my hands sweat like crazy too and it;s not from nerves at all in my case...it drives me nuts but I just hang on and go for it. That's about all I can say, I wash em up before I play but that has no affect at all so perhaps rubber gloves are my next choice, lol:)
     
  5. MTguitar

    MTguitar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    310
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Montana
    anybody tried putting a light coat of super glue on your fingers???

    maybe i'll turn up the heat in the house tonight and try that one:lol:
     
  6. srmaximo

    srmaximo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    14
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    The biggest problem I've had with sweaty hands has been when it made my palm stick to the back of the neck so that I couldn't change positions easily. If that's a concern, I'd recommend Finger Ease, a spray that will lube up the neck a bit.
     
  7. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta/Rome, Georgia, US
    Talcum powder can work. I only really use it if I'm playing a Gibson with a finished neck, which is not often. If anybody else was gigless this past Saturday and caught Jeff Beck's induction into the R&R Hall of Fame, he sort of made a big deal of slapping his hands together before his set, with white powder going everywhere.

    Sweat can absolutely be a problem for live work. If my hands are slick, it's a crapshoot as to nuance, control, and especially accuracy of bends and conviction with vibrato. Here's a photo (that somebody applied PhotoShop to) of myself that I recently stumbled upon online (most likely between 1993-1995); note the sweat-soaked mop and torso:

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/ind...riendID=111379916&albumID=0&imageID=11652560#

    Honestly, the best fix is a strategically placed oscillating fan. Obviously not the case in the pic, but I haven't gigged without one in at least ten years, even in the dead of winter. Now that warmer months are coming, I'll go back to gigging with two oscillating fans. I place them at my feet. I buy the really small three-speed models at Wal-Mart or Dollar Store for about twelve bucks apiece.
     
  8. Boneman

    Boneman TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    95
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    Netherlands
    It's just nerves.A towl,a shot of Jack and a beer wil do the trick
     
  9. porkadon

    porkadon Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    231
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Willimantic, CT U.S.A.
    Jay, I actually take Beta-Blockers for my high blood pressure (had bypass surgery in 2000). I STILL sweat bullets, and like you, feel I don't want to put my clammy digits into someone's hand for a shake! ;)
     
  10. octatonic

    octatonic Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,592
    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    An Australian in Singapore.
    There a few solutions.

    1. Read the 'Inner Game of Music'. A great book for managing stress with regards to music performance.

    2. Do some yoga.

    3. Look at your diet and body weight.
    Fat people sweat more than thin people because the fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature.
    there are genetic factors that play in this as well.

    You DO want some adrenaline to kick in though, but it is all about making it work for you.

    I have a little internal speech that works for me when I get on stage. It is a script I play out in my mind and usually works for me.
     
  11. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    12,202
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    44°55'09.9"N 79°25'39.1"W
    Admin Post
    Stop playing with your Schweaty Balls.

     
  12. the embezzler

    the embezzler Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    819
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    If you're a smoker, a little cigarette ash on the fingers can do the trick.
    That's a Danny Gatton trick.
     
  13. shinigami747

    shinigami747 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    679
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    talked to a dermatologist about that.
    he said botox is the way to go.
    :eek:
    maybe the creases on my palms will disappear.
    :D
     
  14. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    91
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary
    Adam Carolla got surgery to supress the sweat glands in his forehead. True story. He says his ass sweats constantly now. Maybe you can do that too. :)
     
  15. milracing

    milracing Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    200
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    colorado
    Angus Young sweats a little bit ;) and he seems to hit the notes he needs to.
     
  16. MTguitar

    MTguitar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    310
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Montana
    yeah well if i could play like Angus i wouldn't be worried.
     
  17. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Location:
    Champlain Valley, VT, USA
    [​IMG]
     
  18. B Valley

    B Valley Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,832
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Glendale, Az
    There is a procedure where the nerve for sweat glands is severed at your spine. Its main focus is just sweaty hands and doesn't effect anything else oddly enough. A lot of business folks get it done so they don't give out wet handshakes.
     
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    13,473
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Spring City, Pa
    I have this "crystal" anti-perspirant that you wet and put on your pits.
    I have to hold the crystal itself to use it and I get it on my fingers all the time.
    It leaves no residue, and I never notice it.
    I suppose if you rubbed it on your hands it might help.
     
  20. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    91
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary
    That's what I was talking about. The sweat still comes out though, at their lowerback/ass! True story, check it out. Carolla says his forehead is always as dry as a bone now but his ass is constantly soaking with sweat. HAW!!! The things people do to themselves... :rolleyes:
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.