Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Sticky Strings

I own 3 banjos and a few other instruments. I primarily play only one of the banjos. Once in a while, when I pick up one of the other banjos or even a different instrument, the strings feel almost sticky. It is hard to slide on them. Since I display them on stands, I assume it is dust and junk from the air that is getting on the strings. I hate to keep them in a case because they are too pretty not to have out, and it reminds me to play something else sometimes. Does anyone else have that problem? Is there anything I can use to clean them that will make the strings feel better?

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First question. When you feel sticky strings on one instrument, can you pick up another and it feels fine? I most often feel “sticky strings” after just washing my hands because washing removes the oil from our fingertips that naturally help us glide along the strings faster.

If another instrument feels fine, it’s not a hand washing thing. It could be a layer of oxidation on those strings if they’ve been left to sit for weeks or especially months. If that’s the case, you’ll want to change them out, since the oxidation will also diminish your tone.

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Yes I’ve experienced this, especially at guitar stores, but also with the two instruments I don’t play much, my old banjo and my electric guitar. After playing a while up and down the strings they get better, but it’s unpleasant getting there. I would describe it as more dry than sticky though

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It could be oxidation. That stinks if I need to change them out because sometimes they were a new set that was hardly played.

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Yea, dry might be a better description. Whatever it is, they do not like to slide. :slight_smile:
Yes, I notice after a bit of playing they get better. I was hoping there was some special cleaner/wipe that would fix it.

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Put the smallest bit of vegetable oil on your fingers before playing for a while, and if it all wears off before the strings are slick add some more. Or you can rub a little straight on the strings, but be very sparing, you don’t want it smudging everywhere

This may sound a bit gross, but I usually just run my fret hand fingertips across my upper forehead a few times. Seems to do the trick.

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Your nose will also work. I use both

That just makes my fingers stickier… OOoooooohhhh… you meant on the OUTSIDE of your nose. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh yeah I guess I should have clarified, use the outside of your nose for your left hand, use the inside if your picks keep sliding off… :joy::joy:

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Joe,
You might want to try, ghs Fast Fret.
Last one I bought cost 7 dollars. It lubricates and cleans your strings.

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