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Black Finger Boogie

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Rather than necro an old post (I found them as far back as 2008 & as recent as 2011), I figured I'd start one anew.

Just got a brand new Epiphone Les Paul. The fingerboard is pau ferro. When I play it my fingertips get black where they contact the strings.

I have read a number of theories that include: dye on fingerboard rubbing off; oxidation on strings; finger chemistry reacting with string metal; cleaning chemicals used on fingerboard leaching chemicals. With the suggestions to fix being: play it more and it'll stop; put oil on your fingerboard; change strings; return guitar; stop whining you crybaby.

I find both the supposed cause & the supposed cures obtuse. 

I have purchased numerous new guitars. These guitars have come from the following countries: USA, China, Japan. These guitars are the following brands: Fender, Gibson, Steinberger, Ibanez, Yamaha, Jackson, Mitchell, Recording King, Harley Benton. I own 13 guitars, all purchased new.  I have other guitars much cheaper, as well as other guitars with D'Addario strings, as well as other guitars from China. This Epiphone is the first, and only guitar I've ever bought or owned that has done this to me.  Certainly the cause isn't the chemical composition of my fingertips, or I'd have noticed it on some other guitar I'd played spanning the many years I've been playing.

If it's "fingerboard dye," or "string oxidation," why would only the Epiphone suffer from  this affliction? Is it even reasonable to think that Epiphone is the only manufacturer, of all the various manufacturers of guitars I own to dye their fingerboards? Why would they dye pau ferro? Of the plethora of guitars I own, why only the Epiphone? 

I took a picture of my fingers to post, but it's easily reproducible: all I have to do is play the Epi for a few minutes.

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Post the pic of your fingers. And post pics of your fretboard.  

If it's black where your finger touches the string (as you state) than it would seem to me to be the strings. 

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I got a new 2020 Junior a few weeks back. It was definitely the strings. I think it's just a cost cutting exercise. Like many people the first thing I do when I bring a new guitar home is restring it with my favourite brand. Why bother putting quality strings on if people are going to bin them anyways.

Also on the finger chemistry side of things, A few years ago I was a much heavier man and my greasy sweat was like acid on guitar strings. Strings used to turn black and gross every couple weeks. Dropped a bunch a weight and now I don't have that problem and also found out that fat feet are thing and went down 2 shoe sizes.  

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