A lot of players love the soft feel and organic sweetness of natural gut strings. They are easy on the hands and provide “the sound” for bluegrass and old-school jazz, among other styles.
On the downside, gut strings do require a little maintenance; for instance, it is advisable to gently clip any "hairs" (little protruding strands of rogue gut fibers that develop with play). You may also need to oil them as part of your routine.
We get regular calls and emails from players asking about whether they should oil their gut strings, and what sort of oil to use. If your hands perspire a lot when you play, or you play (or live) in a very dry or very humid area, it might be a good idea to consider occasionally oiling your strings to protect them from these extremes. Also, if your fingers are particularly rough, and tear up the strings’ surface easily, a little oil can help create a "skin" of sorts to protect from excessive damage.
Certainly, you don't need to get a special oil; walnut oil, almond oil or “salad oil” are usually good bets, and you can source those easily in your local area. But if you aren't the experimenting type, we've put together a nice kit that is tested and approved by gut string players. Our oil is natural, and animal-based (like the strings themselves), and it works very well as a protection against your strings drying out (or swelling).
It really gives life to your gut strings. I just got a set of guts and after a couple of weeks I realized they were getting dry. Once I saw this oil, I decided to buy it and bingo...the strings are alive again. Thank you Gollihur! Definitely I’ll buy it again.
My first time to use a product like this, at the recommendatio of a friend. It was nice to find TWO cloths included for applying and drying.
Players have told me I can get almond oil, or even use salad oil to protect my gut strings, but I really don't want my bass to smell like a sub sandwich. And by the time you buy oil in a large enough bottle, you spend a lot of money and end up with a lot of extra oil. This kit is perfectly sized and should last a long time. Thanks Gallaher for making it available.