Concert Nervousness and sweating hands

Hi dear BassBuzz-Family,

so I just got into a quite spontaneous mess: I got into 2 bands of my former Accordion teacher (luckily, his bassist has left the bands since December) and he had planned a concert on June 21st. But all of a sudden, there were 4 additional gigs added (since they’ve got a bassist now, their 20-person orchestra is complete).
So now I’ll be playing on 5 gigs with 20 (holy hell) songs this month; all songs are at least in the medium, some in higher, difficulty (all Bon Jovi classics, Toxic, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, Watermelon Sugar, and so on)(quite similar to the 50 songs challenge). My big problem is: My fingers are tremoring a bit from the excitement and nervousness (my legs a little bit, too), and my hands get sweaty. This only happens to me when playing with the band together, not at home whilst practicing.

I can handle the shaking fingers by trying to relax as good as possible (somehow they can jump even better from string to string, or fret to fret. I should be getting more adrenaline rushes for playing fast bass lines better :joy:). But my sweating hands make playing quite difficult at some point.

Do you know a solution for solving the sweating hands issue? Can I use powder for drying them, or is that bad for my strings/fretboard/bass? What about cotton gloves?

These accordionists and the drummer are all professionals with minimum 4 years experience O.o. The drummer and me already have become best friends and a classical drummer-bassist-team :drum::handshake::guitar: and always give a check look at each other whilst playing. And I’ve been playing Bass for only 5 months. :rofl: Fuuuuck. I love this great experience playing in a band.

How did you cope with the nervousness on your first gigs?

Thank you very very much in advance for any suggestion. :pray::pleading_face:


I have not tried this on a sweaty hands yet but it’s a great product. If my hands sweat I just do a quick wipe with a towel or my pants, lol. I love the shaky hands sensation more times than not I was able to ride that pressure and pull out some cool fills and fun licks. It sounds like you’ve got that covered.


@Al1885 Thanks a lot! :hugs::hugs::hugs:

Ok I’ll use every pause to wipe my hands on my jeans then :clap::joy:
Wow, thanks for the relief you give. Ok, I’ll enjoy the adrenaline rush like Flea :face_with_hand_over_mouth: then till the audience says: “What the hell is that bass dude actually playing?” :laughing:

All the Bass :hugs:


Absolutely! Etienne M’Bappe does this and he is a heavyweight bass player:

OK, he uses silk, but these are just as good (and not so expensive):

Good luck with the gigs!


Tennis wristbands! They are absorbant, look cool and you can always use the opposite wrist for a quick hand dry.

I think if you can just get through the first song or two you can relax a bit, take a breath and start having fun. Good luck!


Even before I started playing bass, I wore wrist bands while working on the computer in winter, because it helps a lot against RSI if I keep my wrists warm. So I kinda recommend them for everything :smiley:


I also gigged after just 5 months, like you more than 20 songs some complex, all other band members very experienced. I play by ear and had to cope with my mind going completely blank as well as a lot of other terrifying things like thinking everything is out of tune and looking at my bass and feeling as if everything had moved! It was a shocking and yet exhilarating experience mostly because I gave myself up to the reality that I might be totally rubbish but no-one would really care! The audience are mostly looking at the singer anyhow and probably wouldn’t even notice. There’s no way of getting used to it without doing it. I tell myself I’m excited rather than anxious and just try to lean into it.
And you can always mime and pretend there was something wrong with your amp if you’re really stuck! My second gig was loads better in every way. Hope you have a great experience!


YES! I’ll be trying them! Nice! THANK YOU! :clap::smile:


YES! That’s the solutions I was looking for: Thanks a lot @joergkutter and you @lee_editorial and @Malyngo for your recommendations! :hugs::hugs::hugs:

I’ll get that stuff. Nice! :clap::smile:


@ChameleonGirl thank you soo much for the relief you give! :pray::hugs:
I don’t feel alone now that I know you made it through the same tunnel here. It felt for me like learning how to swim in the children swimming pool and then get thrown into deep waters and get told: Cope with the sharks. :smile:
Wow! Amazing! Congraz for that experience, @ChameleonGirl! :partying_face:
Yeah, that’s the same feeling I have when playing with them that I look at my Bass and see the world shaking around me. O.o

Thank you for the courage you’ve given me! I’ll write about my experience when I’m through. :hugs:


Congrats on your up-coming gigs! Concerning your sweaty hands……I get them in hot summer heat, but also when nervous. I always wash my hands before playing my bass. This keeps it clean and everything less prone to the “sticky drag “ that happens (so annoying on slides!!!). However, I also always keep a cornstarch (baby) powder container in a cup holder attached to my music stand. (No talc—it’s bad for us). I can easily access it, rub a bit on my hands and play with excellent results. After the gig I use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down my strings and bass and dry immediately. Works great for me and is incredibly helpful for my comfort in playing my best. Good luck to you!


One more suggestion regarding shaking hands and jitters….Josh, somewhere, talked about keeping your shoulders down, arms relaxed and breathe….
I can’t tell you the number of times, during a gig, I pause to relax and drop my shoulders because when I tense up, up they go, which means arms and hands become tense as well. It truly helps to simply remember to relax and drop your shoulders—it’s a positive domino effect to your arms, hands, and whole body stress level. You might be surprised at how high you were holding them. I often am. :slightly_smiling_face:


As someone with a mild hand tremor from my medication, I am here to tell you that playing bass with shaky hands is still possible. I have practiced so often that I got used to it and learned to work around things. My fretting hand isn’t shaky, but my plucking hand shakes a good deal. I am assuming that because the tremors are from nerves, they can be trained away but I just wanted to offer a glimmer of hope if the tremors don’t stop.


@RA & @olliviatherese thanks a lot for your sharing :hugs::hugs::hugs:

Sorry for my late reply,
I’ve had my first concert last Saturday and it was a friggin awesome experience. I fell out on three parts, but my drummer looked after me, saved me and I got back into the groove.
We were playing open air in the summer sun and we all alrdy sweated like in a sauna after 3 mins. So, everyone was quite mad about the heat and some said it was too hot to play. So blame the heat for performance issues. :joy:
I’m glad that the first concert was kinda warm up for the next 5. That first time playing live took a lotta pressure from me and I feel way better now playing with less tremor and less sweating, too. :relieved:

I can confess now that the drummer is a bassist’s best friend (and we’ve just become good friends, too) :drum::love_you_gesture::guitar:

Been practicing like hell now for the next turns.

All the Bass


Great to hear… glad it went well! I figured you would come away feeling really positive. My band has not set foot on stage yet, but we are finally getting close. Maybe 2 or 3 months down the road. Congratulations on getting up there!