A couple decades ago a stand-up bass player turned me on to something that helped him and his wife, Kathryn Julliet (harpist) who were both recording musicians at NBC. This has saved me from soreness and blisters ever since. He told me to protect my fingertips with TINCTURE OF MYRRH. . . .right out of the bible. You can purchase this as an essential oil cut with a little alcohol at a good health food store (or order it at a pharmacy). Put a drop or two on your fingertips and rub it in BEFORE you begin to play. Your fingers won’t feel any different to the touch, but will be resistant to soreness and blisters. Or, if you suddenly find yourself with sore fingers, stop, put it on right away. I have all gut strings and have found no affect on them at all. I also give my new students a small bottle which lasts forever and seems to protect them right from the start.
The myrrh is incredible but the smell is unbelievably awful, to me. It’s a kind of rotten mothball odor, I think. I finally had to get rid of mine, though with regret. It does work very well, if you can stand the smell.
The myrrh stuff does works! I guess you want to try to build and build over time too. Susan Jolles turned me on to Bag Balm, which smells awful. She had me use it to soften my hard callused fingertips(my thumbs sounded like nails, pretty gross) but I also found it helped a lot with the pain over time…not right away.
It smells so freaking bad, I usually put it on at night, then use it sparingly in the am. The bag balm and a nail file make a world of a difference.