Why do Bass Players Wear Gloves? – Here are The Surprising Truths

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The first time when I saw a video of a bass player wearing gloves, I thought it was weird. I criticized them because I thought they were wearing them just to show off. I later found out they have numerous valid reasons for wearing them, as you’ll see later in this article.

Scott Devine is an excellent example of a bass player who wears gloves. But why does he wear them?

In a recent video, Scott Devine mentioned that he has focal dystonia. Focal dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily.

It can affect one muscle, a muscle group, or the entire body.

It has been reported to be caused by practicing an instrument at high speeds for extended periods. But it is not clear why only some people are affected by this condition.

Dystonia makes one’s fingertips numb. It makes your fingers feel like they are bent backward.

Scott Devine claims to considerably play better when wearing gloves, which keep his fingers warm.

Practical reasons for why bass players wear gloves?

Why bass players wear gloves

To protect fingers from blisters

The most common reason why bass players wear gloves is that they want to protect their fingers.

It is very common for players to get blisters on their fingertips when practicing and to play live.

Wearing gloves helps prevent them from getting blisters and keeps their fingers safe from wear and tear.

To keep fingers from sweating

Keep fingers from sweating

Sweating hands are a nightmare for bass players.

It is very distracting and increases the risk of ruining a take by dropping out unwanted strings.

The sweat also causes your fingers to slip on the strings, making it very hard to play accurately.

Many bass players wear gloves when they are playing live because of this reason, preventing their sweaty fingers from coming into contact with their strings and ruining their playing experience.

To keep bass strings from wearing out

To keep bass strings from wearing out

Did you know that wearing gloves can help reduce wear and tear on your bass strings?

Because of this reason, some players choose to wear gloves whenever they play.

This reduces the risk of breaking strings when playing on stage. It also reduces the risk of ruining a take and embarrassing yourself on stage.

Reducing wear and tear also ensures that your strings last longer, giving you time to replace them with fresh ones before they wear out. Gloves also save you from replacing them over and over again, thus saving you some money.

To make bass playing more comfortable

To make bass playing more comfortable

As stated earlier, dystonia makes your fingers feel numb and like they are bent backward.

Wearing gloves prevents and reduces dystonia, which makes you play better.

[Bass gloves also come in handy if you have other medical conditions like eczema, cramp, dermatitis, and nickel energy.]

To dampen bass strings

To dampen bass strings

Some bassists also wear gloves when they play with a pick because it helps dampen the strings from their skin.

Not everyone does this; however, some argue that it damps out some pick attacks that facilitate their performances.

To keep hands warm in the cold

To keep hands warm in the cold

It’s very common for bass players to get cold hands when practicing or to play live.

Wearing gloves helps them keep their hands warm and stops fingers from becoming numb due to the cold weather.

Numb fingers affect their performance.

Also, in the summer, when bass players are playing in a cold venue, wearing gloves stops their hands from sweating by keeping them dry.

To improve grip

To improve grip

Some bassists wear gloves because they have slippery hands, making it easier to hold on to the strings.

When you have sweaty or slippery hands, it reduces your grip, increasing the risk of the strings slipping out from your fingers.

Gloves are also beneficial when you play tremolo picking. They give you a better grip.

For healthier hands and nails

For healthier hands and nails

Many bass players believe that wearing gloves can help protect their fingers from becoming damaged.

Even though there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, it has been a proven fact that playing any instrument can damage your nails and cause you to have weaker fingertips.

Wearing gloves helps prevent your fingers from becoming damaged and increases the life of your nails.

For a smoother play

For a smoother play

Another reason why bass players wear gloves is to give them a smoother play.

When your fingers get sweaty, it makes it harder to slide and move between strings, and that can make playing weirder and a lot harder.

Wearing gloves while playing bass has been very common among the metal community for decades, yet most non-metal bassists seldom wear them, if they do at all.

Recommend gloves for bass players

Guitar glove bass glove xl 1 glove

If you have soft skin and easily get cuts and blisters from playing guitar, we recommend Guitar Glove Bass Glove -S- 1 Glove or XL-1 Glove.

This glove helps you play even if you have sore fingertips, blisters, fatigue, or medical issues.

They are unique and work with various instruments like guitars, basses, cellos, and more.

Also, they are designed to reduce pressure on your fingertips, which reduces pain while playing an instrument.

Bass player gloves

Another glove we recommend is the musician’s practice glove. It’s thin, soft, flexible, and great for your fingers.

This glove is great if you have medical issues like dystonia, eczema, cramp, dermatitis, or nickel energy.

The musicians’ practice gloves are also excellent if you have sweaty hands.

Many people swear by these gloves because of this as a toothpick. When you wear them, you barely feel them on your fingers. Thus, they help you play to your fullest ability.

FAQs on why do bass players wear gloves

What type of gloves should I buy to play bass?

The bass gloves you should buy solely depend on what you’re looking for. For example, If you’re trying to improve grip, prevent slippage, or dampen the strings from your skin or if you have health issues. Pick a glove that best solves your problem.

Why do some bassists wear shades?

Bassists wear shades because they don’t want to have a dead stare while playing their instrument. Eye contact with the audience would break the connection between them and you, which can be distracting for both audiences and other band members.

Why do some bassists wear gloves on their fretting hands?

Bassists wear gloves on their fretting hands to either prevent slipping or to provide a better grip. Guitarists also wear gloves while playing tremolos because the extra back on the fingers helps with picking styles.

What gloves don’t leave any fingerprints?

Most gloves don’t leave fingerprints. Therefore before you purchase a glove, ensure that it doesn’t leave any fingerprints. Get thin gloves. They are unlikely to leave fingerprints.


Now you know why your favorite guitar player wears gloves and what type of glove you should buy for yourself.

It’s not to look cool, neither is it because it’s a form of symbol.

Gloves have multiple benefits which you can’t ignore as a guitarist.

In a Nutshell:

  • Gloves help prevent sweaty fingers from slipping off bass strings.
  • They also protect your fingers from blisters, damage, and medical conditions that may affect your playing ability.
  • Some are built to improve your grip.

After you get gloves, ensure that you practice playing with them until you get used to them before hitting the stage. This is because getting used to playing with gloves takes some time.

Jennifer Max


Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

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