Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Sliced the tip of my index finger doing a slide on the first strings

Well, I went and did it now. I did a 1 - 2 slide on the first string(s) and now have two tiny cuts on the tip of my finger. Drew a little blood and everything. I play banjo so I’ve got some pretty good callouses built up but but boy howdy, that smarted. Kind a like a paper cut almost; I cringed when it happened and then looked at it… So, I’m out of action for a couple days or so til that heals.

Has anyone else had this issue? Since I was sliding from first fret, I really had to push down a bit to get the note. It is a very new mando (KM150) so the strings might not be loosened up enough??? I don’t know. Any suggestions? Other than don’t do that…

What gauge stings? In Standard tuning?

Sounds like the nut may be a bit too high if you have to push that hard to get a clean sound.

Might also check the strings for any burrs or rough spots.

The strings don’t get looser (under less tension) because an instrument has aged…

Hi @Maggie Yes, I used to get it a lot as a beginner especially when I started learning to play up the neck. Not had the problem in years until this past week or two. I am working on an Alan Munde fiddle tune and there’s a lot of slides. pulloffs and hammer-ons on the first string. It gets mighty painful but I usually try to soldier on when the bleeding stops. The only tips I can offer is not to press so hard.

Well, banjo calluses are not the same as mandolin calluses. (Or guitar ones for that matter) I can only suggest playing for maybe a couple weeks to buid mando specific calluses before sliding (or pulling off)

I’ve honestly never had that happen. I’ll second David’s recommendation of checking the string height at the nut. Also, check to make sure there isn’t a burr on the end of that first fret. If frets aren’t dressed properly, they can cut you good.

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I’ve never had that happen, but I pick my nose a lot. I’m sorry to hear, though! I know Jake would have that mando set up when it was sent, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change a bit. However, it can’t possibly change that much. Goodness!

Grab some of this! It works for mando also

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Thanks everyone. Yeah, it was set up by Jake. I’m no expert, but the nut doesn’t look like it could go much lower. Not sure of the gauge, it’s whatever came on the new mando. Standard tuning, yes. Checked the strings, didn’t feel any rough spots. No burrs on the end of the frets either, they’re fairly smooth.

Dang Archie, so you’ve done this before, I guess I don’t feel so bad now. But, soldier on after the bleeding stops? I was still cringing for an hour afterwards, you know, like after you hear fingernails going down the chalk board or when you get a paper cut on your eyeball.

OK, so the prescription seems to be snot on my right hand (from other post), balm on my left and pick my nose more. I’m on it. :slight_smile:


That’s what you get for asking banjo pickers…


I almost forgot an old tried and true quick fix for cuts on your fret fingers. Now, can’t say I recommend this, because I have no idea of any health implications involved, but I’ve used super glue as a cut sealer / add on callous in a pinch. Funny thing is, it feels a lot like a real callous (well, I seem to remember it that way. It’s been many years.)


My mom went through tubes and tubes of super glue on my brother and me when we would get deep cuts. I have no idea the health implication either, but it sure saved us a lot of money on stitches at the E.R.

I actually keep a tube in my hunting pack if’n I ever need to stop some bleeding or glue a wound back together in the back country.


Ouch! Hope you’re feeling better

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Wow, I didn’t know people actually did this. My dad has wanted to try it for a while, but hasn’t (yet) I guess it would work though :thinking:

Good to hear your in good spirits @Maggie.

At least now your one up on all those who haven’t experienced string burn

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Superglue is not something I would recommend. Keep the wound clean cover with a dry dressing and let mother nature run it’s course.

I could see it being a handy tool in Africa. I took some with me to Zambia, but fortunately never had to use it. It does sting a little when you apply it, but it’s really not bad.

From what I hear, E.R.'s over here are starting to take the route of superglue and suture strips in lieu of stitches.

I guess I should add this in: The information provided is not intended to replace consultation, evaluation, services or establishment of a licensed practitioner-patient relationship. It is not diagnostic and does not replace an in-person examination and agreed upon course of action. It is not being used, or to be implied, as a means of practicing outside of state or scope of licensure.

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We’ve used the strips for most of our deeper cuts instead of stitches, my dad hasn’t used superglue because he doesn’t know if it would do more harm than good.

Isn’t this supposed to be in super small print? You almost sound like a real alternative medicine container :joy:

Although I’ve never done it myself, I have heard of a lot of people using super glue as instant callouses and to close wounds.

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I know there was once a product called Nu-Skin (or something like that) - which bowlers with open blisters could use… although it has been such a long time since last I saw that product.

You would use a small type of patch which was sorta like a thin dense gause material… to place on the wound… the apply a clear, brush-on liquid (similar to applying a clear nail polish) that hardened in seconds.

I just don’t think using Superglue sounds like a good idea to me, at least.

You can still get NuSkin. It doesn’t work for a fretting hand, it peels off too quick (tried it in the past). Super glue does work well for small cuts , but I haven’t tried it for fretting fingers. Worse case, let it rest a few days. Here’s an idea… play that uke for a day or two!