Metallic taste when playing a guitar

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Rudedawg, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Strat-Talker

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    It's hard to explain and I know it sounds odd but when playing certain guitars I get a metallic taste in my mouth. I've checked all the grounds on the guitars that this happens with and it occurs regardless of high/low output pickups or hard tail/vibrola (tremolo) bridges and am at a loss in finding anything.
    Strange I know but just curious if anyone else has ever experienced this.
     
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  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Try playing with your fingers.
     
  3. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Are you putting your hands in your mouth? Old strings can definitely leave metal residue on your hands.

    One guitar I bought used had really old nickel strings, after playing it my hands smelled like I'd been rolling nickels. Had to wash em a couple of times to get the smell off, too.
     
  4. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Strat-O-Master

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    I have actually heard of this before. I would talk to a doctor.

    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/8-possible-causes-for-that-metallic-taste-in-your-mouth/amp/

    There is also some condition that can be a reaction between the fatty acids in your fingers interacting with the strings. It could be a kidney issue. It could be medications.

    Seriously, talk to your doctor and take no medical advice here. Good luck.
     
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  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That is unusual, but not totally unique. My guess is that some guitars trigger your sense of smell, which is so closely linked to taste in the brain it is often impossible to tell them apart. (I could put quite bland food on the table, but if I filled the air with aromatic aromas, you'd probably think it was tasty).

    Taking @dirocyn's idea, I think what's happening is exactly the transfer he describes, but it may be you can smell the corroded metal, which also stimulates your taste buds.

    I get a similar sensation if I clean frets with Brasso Cloth. I'm guessing it releases some of that oxide into the air...
     
  6. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That is also possible, but it's probably worth asking the question: "What is my general health like?"
     
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  7. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Stratmaster

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    I was going to mention a metallurgy, but that link for the cleveland clinic nails it. Might want to relate it to your doctor to be safe, and wise.
     
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  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Strat-O-Master

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    Yeah.....and uh try holding that slide somewhere else than clenched between your teeth. ;)
     
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  9. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster

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    Could be old age...lol
    We can rule out Covid since you have taste.

    Keep us updated if you see your doctor
     
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  10. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    A set of new strings couldn't hurt.
     
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  11. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    This would be more interesting if you cataloged the guitars/amps (and maybe where you were) that caused the taste sensation, if you document it then we have data.

    Is it like when you touch a 9 volt to your tongue?
     
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  12. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    An allergy to nickel was my first thought. Skin contact would do the trick once the sensitivity is built up.
     
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  13. Hydr0

    Hydr0 Strat-O-Master

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    It happened a lot to this guy too...don't worry, you're in good company :D

     
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  14. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Strat-Talker

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    Well first of all Jimi didn't have anything on me, I've played guitar with my teeth for years but only with fresh strings.:whistling:
    I perform a rigorous daily oral hygiene practice along with 2 trips/year to dentist for deep cleaning plus a trip to my pcp and cardiologist every 6 months. I have seen all 3 within the past 4 months so no issues there.
    But ... wait for it... after reading the medical link posted above EUREKA my heart meds and other prescriptions haven't changed but I had started a different brand of men's senior multi vitamins a couple of weeks ago because they were out of my regular brand. This issue has just started in the past few days and the EB super slinky strings are fresh so I'm going to find my regular brand of multi vitamins and try those.
    Thanks guys.:thumb:
     
  15. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-Talker

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    You surely already know what blood in your mouth tastes like, right? (No, I'm not accusing you of being a vampire)!
    Do you floss everyday?
    Or do some of your guitars do your flossing, using their strings? I bet that's it.
     
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  16. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Strat-Talker

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    My wife says it's due to me being pregnant with a baby elephant because the trunk's already showing....
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  17. chicago slim

    chicago slim Strat-O-Master

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    Time to change your strings. I have too many guitars. As the strings get older, I will first start to smell the oxidation on my fingers. That's when I will change strings. The stings might have sat for too long, before you bought them. Sometimes just wiping them with a clean, dry cloth will help.

    I've played other guitars that have really old strings, where I can taste it. Don't you love it when someone hands you a guitar with 12 year old strings, and asks you to play. They might as well hand me a tuba.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I can certainly smell the strings, very strongly some days. On those days it doesn't matter whether the strings are old or brand new.
     
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  19. Stratafied

    Stratafied Senior Stratmaster

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    Usually after drinking a beer and eating the can.
     
  20. Dougeryb

    Dougeryb Strat-O-Master

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    I 2nd, 3rd, and 4th this suggestion. Definitely check in with a medical professional.