My hands have a lot of perspiration (not enough to drop, but enough to become wet). I want to play guitar, but a friend of mine told me that I can't, since my hands are wet. I don't know is it true of not, as I have no idea about playing guitar (or any string-based instrument) yet. He says that my hands would slip on strings especially when playing high tempo pieces like Austrias or Alhambra.

Is he right? Does becoming a gGuitarist depend on dry hands?

3 Answers 3


Your friend is incorrect - the only obvious effect sweaty hands will have is that metal strings will rust faster, and nylon strings may stretch.

It can be annoying, sure, but there are ways around it; see the habit of many rock guitarists of wearing absorbent wristbands. Also you could use climbers chalk if you found you were dropping your plectrum because of sloppy fingers.


No, that doesn't make any sense. There's no real way for your fretting hand to slip uncontrollably — if you're chording, you have a firm position without much lateral force, and if you're sliding around then you're, um, sliding around. If you're not playing with a pick, then you should mostly be using your fingernails to pick the strings and they won't be particularly affected by sweat. If you are using a pick then it might be slightly harder to hang on to but it won't be a big deal.

You might need to clean your guitar a little better though!


It might be a problem years from now if you want to be the world's fastest, most technical master of the guitar ever. It won't be a major issue now, at least it probably won't prevent you from enjoying yourself.

If you feel you need to, you might try applying some anti-perspirant to your palm.

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