I’ve been playing the harp for 11 years and my fingers still are very soft, blister very easily and often start bleed. I practise regularly, normally around two hours per day at least 5 days per week. I’ve tried using surgical spirit to no avail and was hoping someone might have a solution?
If you want to try aloe gel, you can make your own to get 100% natural ingredients. Add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum to 1 c. pure aloe juice or aloe water (aloe comes from the plant as a gel but quickly becomes a liquid; if you buy gel at the store it will always have additives).
Angela, that sounds good, and also the myrrh. I just cut off thin slices of an Aloe leaf as I need it, to apply the REAL THING directly to my fingers. I keep scissors handy and just take it off the plant in small “chunks” which I open up to get to the gel. It is also great for bruises, sun-burn, and all sorts of “ailments.” Thanks, Balfour
Aloe will soften your skin. She needs to toughen it. Ammonia, acids, harsh things will do that. You need to increase the amount of oil in your skin, too. Lanolin products will do that. But I suspect there is more to this. Are you doing a lot of dishes? What time of day do you practice, and what have you been doing with your hands before that? If your skin is wet, just washed too thoroughly, then you will have more problems. Using a very fine sandpaper might help in some way. If none of that helps, then perhaps it is in how you play. Do you place your fingertips on the strings in the same place all the time, or does it vary? Maybe you are putting too much flesh on the string. The thickest part of the finger might never callous. You should be playing toward the edge of the finger, on a diagonal across the edge of the fingertip. Look more closely at how you play the strings. If all else fails, ask a dermatologist.
Thanks, Saul–all very good ideas. I do not use Aloe to soften my skin/callouses, but to help heal them. Straight from the live plant, the gel gets down in there and forms a nice firm coating over the skin, that actually is more like a light bandage. It helps me to play better after it has dried thoroughly and become tough. I fear that the bottled Aloe would not do this–like Angela said, it has too many additives.
I had forgotten about this thread–thanks for reviving it, CCPRAWAK. Chloe, how are your fingers doing? Hope they have improved. I could not do without my Aloe Vera gel. I have had a busy summer of harp playing, with practicing at least an hour every day and some three-hour gigs, plus weddings most weekends. All this takes a toll on the fingers!
My best to all of you,
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.