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oil Apr 28, 2002 01:31 p.m.

What do most people use for oil to allow finger glide? I use straight coconut oil. Is that the best? Neal
Re:oil Apr 28, 2002 02:38 p.m.

I use 1/2 mineral oil + 1/2 olive oil and put in Nag Champa oil for fragrance. I have Coconut oil to but it hardens up to much and I find it to not be as slippery as the other mixture. I have a friend who uses baby oil only which seems to work very well.
Re:oil Apr 28, 2002 09:16 p.m.

I use baby oil with a couple or three drops of either pachouli or sandalwood essential oils (Spiritual Sky)in it for a fragrance. A few years ago when my fingers had no callouses, I also dropped a little vitamin E gel in it. Easier on the fingers, but it can gum up the string, so use that one sparingly.
Re:oil Apr 30, 2002 12:14 a.m.

I tried many kind of oils over the past years. Was never satisfied by vegetal ones; they seems to lost their lubricant quality very fast. Concerning the "baby oil" (or any oil made for helping hydrating your skin), i found that they were very bad for the resistance of my fingers callosity.
3 years ago, i tried motor oil (10 w30)...It was to thick; dampened the sound of my sitar.. So i switched to 10 W 40. The result were fantastic! This oil do not soften your finger tips and it keeps its lubricant quality for a long time.
I gave this tips at a couple of performing sitarist / sarodist and they were very pleased with the results...
Another tip that maybe could usefull : I always use finger latex condoms on my first and second finger while i take my shower.Again, it is preventing the hydrating of the callous. (Of course, you may have to assume some strange looks at the drug store...... )
Hope this can be useful....
Re:oil Apr 30, 2002 12:16 p.m.

Condoms on the fingers. That's a new twist!
That reminds me. Gibson used to put out a product called "guitar lube". It was a very thin oil, almost like 3-in-1 oil, in a spray can. Made for steel string guitar. My only can ran out a few years ago. Might check to see if they still make that stuff. If not, see if another company does. It worked very well with guitar, and did not soften the callouses. Should also work well with sitar. Personally, for safety and health reasons, I don't think I would want to use engine oil on my skin.
Re:oil Apr 30, 2002 02:18 p.m.

Hi All: After trying various mineral and vegi oil combos, including motor oil, I've settled on what I consider the ultimate formula. 2 pts synthetic racing motor oil, 1 pt. methonol, and 1pt. nitro. Makes your fingers go REAL fast!
- K.K.
Re:oil Apr 30, 2002 06:13 p.m.

Yeah! Only problem is your fingers tend to explode! And you got no brakes.....
Re:oil May 01, 2002 12:19 a.m.

Your choice amigos ; do you want your fingers to smell good or to be efficients?
About the health question, i am living in an urban environment saturated by toxic emanations, i smoke (only tobacco of course..), and i love beer and Glenn Livet. So a little bit of 10 W 40 on my fingertips will not drive me crazy !
Russ! If your fingers tend to explodes and you cannot find the, its mean that your sitar practice is going incredibly well...this is the best mood a musician can get...
Re:oil May 02, 2002 08:22 p.m.

To make yer actual oil:
First you take yer resin, and yer methanol, and yer pressure cooker... oops! Wrong oil for sitars, so they tell me - don't know anything about it myself! Didn't inhale anyway - so there! Never messed around in the White House either... blah... blah... blah.

50% olive oil and 50% mineral oil with a dash of cologne works fine for my fingers.
Give the strings a good wipe, specially the Ma, after playing or the stuff oxidises and when you come back to it... sticky yuk!

For the racing people perhaps un soupcon de Wynne's (sp?) friction proofing and le gloves d'asbestos - non?
Zut Alors! (Never heard a Frenchman say that even once unless in a movie or in a book - same as the Irish word "Bejabbers").

Re:oil May 11, 2002 09:52 p.m.

Pretty good combo there Peter. Best be careful with that oil mixture there. You might forget what key you're in (but its only a northern song, eh?).
How bout half mineral oil, half veg oil with a touch of vinegar to keep it in solution? If it doesn't work on a sitar string, at least it should work in a salad and all is not lost.
Re:oil May 20, 2002 06:12 a.m.

hi neal..take one pill some cotton wool into it..pour some johnsons baby oil and a bit of cologne for fragrance..and hey will have the ideal least has worked for me for almost 15 yrs!! try it..go on be a devil..
Re:oil Jul 07, 2002 01:24 p.m.

Anyone ever try Fastfret?
I havn't been playing sitar long and havn't used any oils, but I thought I might give Fastfret a try before attempting to mix my own.
Motor oil might be a good lubricant, but I've heard prolonged skin contact with it can cause cancer.
Re:oil Jul 07, 2002 04:46 p.m.

Fast fret can gum up the strings from what I've heard and also the frets. Have recently changed my oil, here's what I've found that works well. Go to your local Indian foods store and get some "Parachute" brand coconut oil, comes in a bright blue plastic bottle, can get it online from as well. That will work by itself or you can add some Nag Champa oil for scent like I do.......
Re:oil Jul 07, 2002 11:54 p.m.

Found a place in town here that sells Finger Ease, a guitar string lubricant. Gibson guitar used to make it long ago, but its made by ChemPack Inc. nowdays. Comes in a small spray-can, about $5. I had a can that lasted me over 10 years. Works quite well on any kind of string, including sitar and sarod. Its petroleum based, but a different formulation than motor oil, safer for the skin, and it doesn't soften your hard-won callouses.
Re:oil Jul 18, 2002 12:37 p.m.

I just use natural skin oil from my forehead! It's very cheap and I never forget it! Used to use coconut oil but it gets very sticky and messy
Re:oil Aug 26, 2002 04:48 p.m.

Lars (Apr 28, 2002 02:38 p.m.):
I use 1/2 mineral oil + 1/2 olive oil and put in Nag Champa oil for fragrance. I have Coconut oil to but it hardens up to much and I find it to not be as slippery as the other mixture. I have a friend who uses baby oil only which seems to work very well.

------------------- Hi Lars, what exactly is mineral oil ? In my area turpintine is sometimes called mineral oil, but I cant imagine putting any of this on your fingers or sitar even if it is cut.Is it some king of paint thinner ? Jeff
Re:oil Aug 26, 2002 06:07 p.m.

Hi Jeff,
No!! Mineral Oil can be found in your pharmacy next to the's used for that as well.
But I think a better alternative is to go to your nearest Indian Grocery store and get a bottle of Parachute coconut oil, bright blue bottle sold in many sizes. Then combine it with some Nag Champa oil. I have since found a better oil but it's not available in the US but I plan on importing a few cases so I'll keep you posted.....but it is way better than anything else I've used so far although haven't tried motor oil


Re:oil Dec 27, 2002 12:57 p.m.

Jon (Jul 18, 2002 12:37 p.m.):
I just use natural skin oil from my forehead! It's very cheap and I never forget it! Used to use coconut oil but it gets very sticky and messy

I had to try this on several occasions when I didn't have access to my normal mixture of mineral spirits, olive oil and Maker's Mark bourbon. You know what, this guy is right. The oil from your forehead really works quite well and doesn't build up on the strings very fast. I'm now a solid supporter of the use of "brain oil".

Re:oil Dec 27, 2002 02:02 p.m.

Hey Stephen;
Brain oil?
Hate to admit it because its about as low tech as you can get, but sebaceous oil does work quite well. I did that years ago for guitar as well as sitar string, long before I ever thought of anything else. Just as long as you wipe the strings down every so often.
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