Finger Picking Techniques

Those of us who love our music, for me finger picking my guitar, we don’t have much to complain about. So what if it is rough on hands and fingernails. Who hasn’t had split nails most of their life. I talk to other musicians and it is always the same story. Basically when asked, “What do you do,” they reply that they just, “live with it.” Some have resorted to lotions and potions to cure rough hands and some are pretty heavy duty and potent. Unless your wife or girlfriend complains about your skin, you probably are thinking why bother. My answer is why not? We certainly are not going to give up finger picking or aren’t going to resort to some new as yet undiscovered technique. Not unless it yields some mighty good music, that is.

One of my fellow culture vultures told me his mother whips up a homemade concoction that heals his rough skin within two three days of regular application. It beats anything he has found in a drugstore: those watery hand creams that disappear within seconds. No, they don’t make a product for guitar players. Not much of a market the manufacturer would likely say. So let’s get back to my friend’s mother. She uses beeswax melted together with essential oils and some lanolin on the stove in a double boiler to pervert burning the brew. She then adds some mineral oil at the end which she whisks in. there are no preservatives necessary if the lotion is used within one month. It can sit on the shelf and be used from a simple screw-top jar as needed. It does not go in the fridge as it makes the beeswax turn hard. As for scent, it depends on which essential oils are used in the mix. You can customize it for the eventual user. His mom makes a different one for each of his friends and they love it. They rant and rave how good it is and no one is suffering from telltale split nails and fingers anymore. What a great gift! All she has to do is make a new batch once a month. Now, if you don’t happen to be this guy’s friend, you are out of luck. Or you can try to make your own stuff if he will give you the recipe, but that I doubt. You can find recipes on line for hand cream, but it is hit or miss to go this route. I wouldn’t expect to get search engine results for guitar player+ hand cream + homemade.

I suppose if I query other friends, I will find some other alternatives such as petroleum jelly. I also think that guitar players rough skin problems are shared by construction workers as you might ask a few of them. They have to clean their hands so often with pumice stone and other abrasives that it makes the skin practically raw. They must have some secret products they are willing to divulge. If not, I should introduce them to my friend’s mother. She could start a little cottage industry and make some money.