Have you seen some bassists wear gloves while playing bass guitar? Are there any extra benefits of doing so? Should you try? Let’s dig this thing together:
Why Do Bass Players Wear Gloves?
Bass Players wear gloves to protect their fingers from blisters. Gloves help to reduce the friction between fingers and the strings and provide a smoother surface to make bass playing more comfortable. Also, it minimizes the hand sweating that may occur during the performance.
Top 7 Reasons to Wear Gloves While Playing a Bass
These are some of the reasons you should know about if you’re considering wearing gloves while playing.
1. To Protect Fingers from Blisters
Almost every bass player has experienced blisters on their fingertips after playing the bass.
These finger blisters are mostly arising at the beginning stage of learning. And believe me, it’s really painful at the first and due to this many beginner bass players get discouraged from learning the bass.
These blisters take around 1 to 2 weeks to heal and after that, the skin on the fingertips becomes tougher which is known as calluses. When this blister is in the healing process, it is not recommended to repeat the activity that causes your blister. It means that you are not able to play the bass for this time period. After this period, you can simply play the bass without any type of pain.
But this is not true for all players. Some people continue to have finger blister’s on the previous one after the old one get’s heal. Those people are supposed to take a prevented measures to avoid this. They can prevent blisters by covering their hands. Hence, there are many bass players who wear gloves.
So, if you also face the same problem, you can consider using gloves during playing bass.
2. To Dampen the Bass Strings
If you love the staccato sound coming from the bass, then you have to learn about the dampening of strings by muting it. There exist many bass muting techniques where each technique produces a unique bass tone.
The most commonly used technique is the palm mute technique in which the bass strings are dampened by using the palms of the hand. According to my, this is the best way to mute your baas strings because you can simply control the sound of bass by using the palms only.
You can also mute the strings by the bass tapping, by using the Fretwraps, by putting the thin foams under the strings, or by wearing gloves.
To dampen the strings using the gloves, you need to wear gloves that are not too tight with a loose portion at the fingertips. So that strings can be mute by reducing the strings vibration and by avoiding the resonance. For this purpose, you can also prefer oversized gloves.
3. To Avoid Wearing Out the Strings
Another reason for using the gloves with the bass guitar is that it helps to prevent the strings from wearing out. The playing bass produces sweat and this sweat may wear out the strings.
The famous bassist Ettiene Mbappe also wears gloves to protect the strings from wearing out.
4. To Keep Fingers from Sweating
Some peoples naturally have sweaty hands and trust me, wearing gloves can help a lot here. Also, if you don’t have sweety hands, your hands begin to sweat after long hours of playing. And this kind of sweety digging is not only uncomfortable but also quite difficult all the time, which is avoided by using gloves only.
I have heard of some players who have sticky/clammy hands which easily get slipped over the strings. So they always prefer to wear gloves to keep their hands dry on strings and provides better grip. Ettiene Mbappe wears gloves also because of his sweating issue.
If you are not comfortable with gloves, then you have to spend more and more time playing the bass with sweaty fingers and sweaty hands. You can also use talcum powder, which helps to keep the hands dry by absorbing sweat.
All I can say is you can use the gloves or you can simply practice playing bass with sweaty fingers. It’s totally up to you.
5. For Medical Reason
Some bass players wear gloves because of their medical conditions. This case is not common, but still, there exist some players with such issues. Let us discuss them in detail:
Due to Allergy of Nickel
People with nickel allergy are not allowed to touch any type of material that contains nickel in it. When such people touch the nickel, an allergic reaction happens and this may result in an itchy rash. So to avoid this, there is only one option which is to ‘wear the gloves’.
Many bass strings are mainly made up of nickel or nickel combinations. To keep your hands away from these strings or to avoid direct contact with them, it is always recommended to wear gloves.
Due to Eczema
If any person is suffering from Eczema (skin disease), it really feels painful. And in such conditions playing the bass is almost impossible. When you try to play the bass, your hands start itching and you want to scratch off it continuously.
The gloves help to keep your hands dry and away from itching. The best types of gloves to deal with Eczema are cotton gloves.
Focal Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that affects the muscles or group of muscles of the body. If you hear about Scott, who is one of the great bass players, is also suffering from the same. Due to this disorder, if something touches the surface of his hand, his fingers stop their movement.
Thus, he always wears gloves to continue tremor movements on his hands. The gloves act as a sensory trick that allows him to play the bass.
6. To Keep to Fret-Hand Warmer during Cold
For bass players, playing bass in a cold environment is one of the biggest challenges. To play the bass in a proper way, it is necessary to keep the fret-hand warmer. But in cold, it is quite difficult to maintain the temperature. In this situation, gloves are going to be very useful. And, this is the main reason for using the gloves by many bass players.
In the cold, the blood circulation reduces and due to this, the fingers get frozen. This reduces your ability (skills) and also you are not able to move your fingers as fast as before.
If you already live in a cold country or if you are going to perform in some cold country, keep in mind that before the performance you have to practice playing the bass with gloves.
7. Gloves Provide Smoother Playability
Along with all the above advantages, gloves are also used to make the bass guitars easier to play.
As you know, if you play the bass for long hours then your fingertips start paining, doesn’t matter you are a beginner or a pro player. And after that, it is not easy to continue playing.
The gloves are the best option to avoid this kind of pain. They reduce the friction between the fingers and the strings and gives you strain-free playing. In this way, the gloves give you smoother playability with trouble-free handling.
What are the Best Bass Guitar Gloves in 2021?
Bass Glove-M-1 Gloves are the best bass guitar gloves to use in 2021. They are super thin, flexible, and soft. These gloves are made up of woven nylon mesh material. They are very comfortable and after some time you might forget about wearing them. They fit just like a second skin and allow you to play the bass in every situation.
FAQ’s on Bass Guitar Gloves
Can You Play Bass with Gloves on?
You can play the bass guitar with or without the gloves. To play the bass with gloves you need to practice it before. As wearing gloves has many advantages, many bass players prefer to play the bass with gloves on.
Why Does Scott Bass Wear a Glove?
The Scott bass wears gloves as he suffers from a neurological movement disorder called Focal Dystonia. This restricts his fingers movement and using the gloves, which act as a sensory trick, allows him to play the bass.
Why does Etienne Mbappe wear gloves?
Etienne Mbappe wears the gloves to prevent his bass strings from wearing out. According to him the gloves produces a smoother and bigger sound and keep strings bright. Without gloves the sweat makes the bass sounding dull.
Final Thoughts on Bass Guitar Gloves
I already discussed all the advantages and disadvantages of bass guitar gloves and their need. I wish you get the answer of ‘why do bass players wear gloves?’ Now, it’s up to you to take a final call either use it or not.
I hope your all questions related to gloves on bass guitar are solved. I tried to cover all the queries related to this topic. If still you have some doubt or some suggestions for me feel free to share them with me in the comment section. I am always there for you.
Also, don’t forget to share this article on social handles with your friends and family. It will make my day:)
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