Sticky Fingers

02007-12-14 | Guitar, Ottmar, Performance | 4 comments

How do you keep the fingers of the right hand from sticking to the strings, especially in humid conditions? I heard of guitarists using olive oil, which sounds like a very messy idea. I was told that Paco likes to put a dab of vaseline on the side of his guitar. If you watch him play you can see that he occasionally touches the guitar-body and then rubs his thumb, index and middle fingers together. Ruins strings pretty quickly I imagine.

I just use the oil on my forehead. It’s a trick I learned from Daniel Ward, when he played in the Luna Negra XL band in 1997. The oil that naturally appears on our face is much finer than olive oil and better than the petroleum in vaseline (yuck). If you have dry skin… well, then you could try the vaseline method.

Now you know why I touch my forehead several times during a performance. It’s not because I can’t remember the music… :)


  1. Jackie Dassler

    This was actually very interesting, except now I’m going to notice everytime your rub your forehead. LOL

    PS: I love Daniel’s CD – After the Storm.

  2. Molly

    fun to know this interesting tidbit about you. i’ll pay close attention next time i see you perform live!

  3. Adam Solomon

    You posted this tip a few years back and I’d totally forgotten about it – thanks! :)

  4. eileen

    Long ago, I learned to use ‘nose oil’ on photo negatives in the dark room. It covered hairline scratches better than any other substance.


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