Carbon? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2003, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,383

Not sure if this is a Tech question, but . . .

For some reason I get a bit of carbon on my fingertips when playing, I know this is normal in some cases, usually has something to do with the amount of acid in your sweat/skin oil, so that's not really my question, but I have a tendancy to lick my fingers between songs, and I'm licking the carbon off my fingertips.

Is this going to make me sick? LOL :P

Is there anyway to decrease the amount of carbon I get on my fingers (it tastes NASTY), short of removing the ground wire that goes to the string/bridge plate/trem claw? That's not an option, naturally, since then you have to put up whith the potentiol buzz that results.

Grounds to amp/effects are fine, and the guitar tests fine everywhere with a multitester, (resistance normal, connectins fine, etc. etc. etc.)
Just thought I'd add that it's most likely my skin and not anything electrical at fault.

MicJustMic is offline  
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2003, 08:57 PM
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are you sure your strings just aren't really dirty? I get small black lines on my fingers when I have dirty strings, change them, and it goes away, or maybe your fretboard is dirty. I can't see it being carbon, there's nothing there really that would create carbon. Try a different brand of strings, and QUIT LICKING YOUR FINGERS!!!!!!!! LOL
littlegreenman is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 06:01 AM
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Maybe you licking your fingers is rusting the strings, and ur then getting rust on your fingers along with some grime, and then you lick it back up again
Al M is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Naa, strings aren't dirty and the guitars are always kept clean.

Rust? Um, don't think so, but I'll look into it. LOL

I use D'Addarios, I've tried many different brands just for the sake of tone and always had this problem. (I did notice that Earnie Balls seem to last FOREVER, but I didn't like the tone . . . just a side note there. )

Perhaps it's not carbon, looks and tastes like it, but I could be wrong. I know a couple of other people that get the same thing and I'm almost sure I read it's something to do with the acid in skin oil and/or sweat.

Some people will have this problem, others won't, simply body chemistry.

Oh well, doesn't hurt my playing, I suck anyway.

I'll just try to stop licking my fingers. Bad habit anyway. But I'll take that over doing drugs or smoking any day. :P

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 12:58 PM
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carbon? um, check me if i'm wrong, but isn't there absolutely no carbon on the neck of a normal guitar...? or is this a parker?

anyway, don't you remember when they taught you in middle school lab never to taste an unknown substance to determine its identity?

Drew is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 01:46 PM
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It's not carbon. It's crud.

More specifically, it's oxidized metals from the strings (rust) and dirt off your fingers.

Why do you have a tendency to lick your fingers? You know that's not what people are referring to when they talk about "guitar licks", right?

It would be a good idea to stop that.
darren wilson is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by darren wilson
It's not carbon. It's crud.

More specifically, it's oxidized metals from the strings (rust) and dirt off your fingers.
Told ya so :P
Al M is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 03:20 PM
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As far as it being bad for you, we are all carbon based life forms, sooo..

But seriously, I have very "string friendly" hands. Until a string breaks, I have almost no difference in the tone. Even for over a year on some guitars that I play less than twice a week. I can tell the minute someone else has played one of my guitars. So I get the exact opposite. I will get black on my fingers for the first 1/2 hour that I play new strings, and then never thereafter. I am sort of cleaning the strings as I play them in.

Depending on the string manufacturer, they leave varying amounts of grime on the strings. In the mid 90's I remember D'Addario eliminating one of their final chemical cleaning processes for environmental reasons. After that, I noticed more black lines from my first play on them. Cheaper strings will leave more black on me. But with your habit, you're introducing saliva to the metal, and that's far more corrosive than sweat or oils. As a matter of fact, saliva's job is to break things down. If you can't break that habit, they have those thumb wetting pads for office people, maybe you could have one of those on your amp! Or find someone who has less corrosive saliva and use them as a surrogate finger licker.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Well, again I just assumed it was carbon, if it walks like, looks like, TASTES like, but I'm sure you're correct, just crud.

I don't know how I got into this habit, unless it was from when I was playing football . . . anyone that watched me play more than once would know if I was going to pass or hand off, I'd lick my fingers before a pass. I never even realized I was doing it until a coach pointed it out to me . . . perhaps it's just a hold over from that.

I MUST stop doing it though, you never know what you've picked up on your fingers, so the crud from my strings is really the least of my worries.


I just thought of something, I'd have my hands on my center's ASS 40-60 times a game and I was licking my fingers . . . <AKK!>
MicJustMic is offline  

darren wilson , trem claw

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