Late last month I received a small sample pack of Chops PrePlay hand conditioner from the lovely folks at GraphTech. Although I still don’t know how I ended up with it—I did enter a lot of online competitions during the December-January holiday season—I am glad I received the sample pack. It made hours of guitar playing and practice this afternoon go a whole lot smoother. Pun intended.
I was intrigued by the claims on the card that came with my sample pack. If this hand conditioner could extend string life and reduce hardware corrosion, I was all for it. As for reducing your skin’s pH while leaving you with a smooth, silky finish … I just assumed that was a good thing. I’m not a chemist though. I trusted the marketing on the package. Here’s what I discovered.
The hand conditioner has an appearance and texture similar to that of an antibacterial hand sanitiser gel. It smells a lot better though and doesn’t leave your hands with an extensive residue. I did wonder what my guitar playing would be like with this hand conditioner as my hands are generally very dry and rough when I play guitar. I can honestly say that moving my hands around the neck of the guitar was easier than I imagined. So much so that it was some of the easiest guitar playing I’ve experienced (I’m not a naturally gifted guitarist either, so easy doesn’t come naturally). The strings on my guitar are relatively new—I probably change my strings every other month if I’m lucky—which made me wonder how much easier guitar playing would be with this hand conditioner as well as brand new strings.
If the claims by Chops are accurate, that approach would lead to smoother guitar playing and strings that from their first use are being treated to a much less acidic environment (meaning your strings will last a lot longer). The longer your strings last, the better your guitar playing is going to sound. Win-win.
What’s not to love? I may just be a convert to this whole hand conditioner/string preservation phenomenon.