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Pizzicato blisters

August 8, 2022, 11:48 AM · My son has to bring back Tzigane for a competition. After playing the infamous pizz section for 5 minutes yesterday he now has a blood blister on his right hand index finger. I know this happens a lot with this piece!

When this happens, is it best to leave it or pop it and wait for it to reabsorb? He can play the passage just fine with his middle finger as well, though he will probably get a blister there too. He only needs to play it tonight for an outreach performance and potentially next week.

Is there any way to avoid blisters?

Replies (7)

Edited: August 8, 2022, 12:59 PM · Don't practice the "NOISE-MAKING part of the PIZZ so much when practicing - as long as you know you can do it, save it for dress & show! Or PRACTICE pizz softer or with a different part of the finger.

I'm envious; I lost the noise-making ability of snapping my fingers years ago so I now completely avoid noise-making L-H PIZZ except for a matter of convenience on open string pizz.

P.S. I don't know if MOLESKIN will help. I just remembered having to apply it to a serious left-hand finger cut that had happened the day before I had a cello solo performance and it worked for that. Every drug store sells moleskin.

August 8, 2022, 2:17 PM · Do not pop a blood blister; the chance for infection is high. Blood blisters need antibacterial ointment and bandaging, so they can heal properly.

Using fingertip protectors. Try to find thin ones (the ones aimed at guitarists are too thick).

August 8, 2022, 2:26 PM · Hi Susan, this might work:
Rock-Tips Medical-Grade Liquid Callus Formula
Stringsandbeyond.com (and probably others) sell it in the US
Edited: August 9, 2022, 10:45 PM · As a bass player on the side I get these stupid things every other week, especially when I use someone's poorly set up instrument.

Puncture it with a sanitized needle (rubbing alcohol is fine) at the very side and drain the fluid. Cover it for a while so it seals before he plays again.

How to avoid blisters: find a consistent technique so you always use the same part of the finger, and don't over practise. Then you get a nice callous in that spot.

August 10, 2022, 8:50 AM · Thank you all!
August 10, 2022, 11:21 AM · Also too: If a blister develops stop doing what caused the blister before blood shows up! That way you can open the blister and squeeze out all of the juice inside and have your skin heal quicker.

(This is from experience hiking; I have never had blisters on my fingers except from burns.)

If you practice pizz. regularly (without overdoing it!) I'd expect the skin to toughen and become resistant to blistering; at least in the case of hiking this is what happens.

August 10, 2022, 11:33 AM · blisters come from rubbing the skin on the string. Have him learn to pluck the string. There's a way to catch it and pluck

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