How do I deal with blisters from bass?

Hey there I’m very new to bass and got my first blister yesterday. What’s the best way to work around having a blister while still practicing?


Personally, I’d say take a break for a bit until the blister heals.

If you don’t want to stop, however…

Depending on which hand it’s on, you could do some focused practice. If it’s your plucking hand then it’s a great time to work on your hammer on/pull offs. Just do your scales with the hammering and the pulling and such.

If it’s your fretting hand, then try to go full Joe Dart on your plucking hand. Try to get super fast 16th notes on an open string and focus on getting them super consistent and sounding almost exactly alike between the index and middle fingers.


Welcome to the community. Is the blister on your plucking or fretting hand?

If it’s on your plucking you could use a pick for a while.

If it’s on your fretting hand, give that particular finger a break and do more micro shifting where you move your whole hand up/down the fretboard and use your fingers without the blister.

It takes time to get calluses. If you notice an actual blister forming, it can be best to finish up for the day as a beginner. Lots of other music stuff to learn, eg theory or how to record.


Yep, sadly this is the answer.
You will be sorry if you don’t - don’t ask how I know.
Try not to get this far when practicing.
Good news is they will subside and you won’t have to deal with them for long.
Rite of passage.


Oddly enough, I feel like my playing improves the moment I pick the bass after taking a day or two off. For example, there was a riff I was having just the worst time playing it at full speed. I didn’t play at all over the weekend and when I picked it up on Monday I could easily play the riff like it was nothing.

I’ve run into this numerous times with learning various things. There’s a psychological term for it that I can never remember nor do I feel like looking up. Mike Boyd discusses it a lot on his YouTube channel. In short: taking a break from learning can help you actually learn faster. It’s almost like your brain sometimes needs a bit to process and integrate what it has learned so far.


100% Gives your brain time to wrap the pathways with myelin and strengthen the circuits for recall/repetition.


I read about the science of it in this book. I used to think sleep was a waste of my time. Now I realize it’s neurologically a fascinating subject.


Um… well, if you’re in the trenches and you have to play…

I used to always travel with superglue.
It hardens like plastic though, so it messes with your sound and feel.
And if you - for example - cut up your thumb playing slap too hard, but keep going with a superglue patch, you can slam shards of superglue into your thumb.

I doubt this is a real world problem for anyone other than 20 year old me.
But it happened, and I stopped using the superglue after that.

I’d recommend taking a break.
But if a break isn’t an option, you can treat it like a field medic.


I realized this when I was young from playing video games. I would get stuck on a level and die over and over again eventually becoming so frustrated I would quit and when I came back the next day I usually beat it first or second try. There is value in the repetition and frustration because even though it feels like you’re making zero progress you’re really learning a lot. Very fascinating.

As to the original question I would not play if I had blisters. You’re going to slow down the healing process and only make playing more uncomfortable and for a longer period of time. If you really want to play I would put a piece of duct tape over the blister. Won’t feel good taking it off though


The good news is that’s the only blister you’d ever gonna get…Not!!! Lol.

It’s the right of passage of sort. It’s best to take it easy and slowly build up your finger toughness. There’s no need to bleed over the strings it’s a hot sticky mess don’t ask me how I know.

If you must play through a blister then try the NewSkin liquid bandage. A few layers of that you are good to go. Fortunately, even after a few decades without playing I didn’t have to go through the ritual again but there were times that it was close.

I had to use the NewSkin when I was playing the drums though. You know how the skilled drummers can finesse the tone out of the kit and bring out beautiful tone, I’m the exact opposite of that on the drum, lol. I got to know NewSkin pretty well.

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