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Trouble in paradise

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(@smiller4597)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

Well, My wife bought me a really nice Squire package for Christmas, first guitar I have owned in 15 years and I have been at it fullstop! About a week and a half ago I put a piece of glass through the index finger of my fretting hand and severed all the nerves and everything else that is in there. No more finger. I am going to learn to play left handed. I think my biggest problem is going to be my strumming hand now. I am not sure that this can be overcome. Anyone know anyone who has been successful in this challenge?

I can also just learn to play slide guitar I guess.


   
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(@aroundtheclaxon)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 127
 

wow man im sorry to here that i know tommy iommi was missing part of his finger but still played u should check out how he did it cuz its probably gonna be easy to do than then play with ur other hand

Head Arcitech at Vandelay Instudries


   
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(@jasoncolucci)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 339
 

My thinking is that if you have the money (or insurance possibly?) you could get a custom prostetic made that would have the curved index shape to it, and then it would just be a matter of getting used to that. If not, try wedging the pick between your ring and thumb, and if that doesn't work, finger picks or nails. You still have three good fingers and a thumb (you'll have to get used to using your pinky). There was a famous banjo player who could only use two fingers on his fretting hand and apparently he was quite good, although I can't recall his name. All these ideas are just that...ideas. I have no idea if they'll work but it's worth a shot. Best of luck to you and sorry to hear about your misfortune. :(

Guitarin' isn't a job, so don't make it one.


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

Think Django Reinhardt - he was in a fire and the fingers of his fretting hand were fused together, so that he, effectively, only had two fingers to fret with. Listen to his playing - you'd never notice.
Sorry about the accident, that's really hard.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

I don't have any other advice besides what's already been given, but I just wanted to say sorry to hear about your accident, and encourage you not to give up the guitar. One way or another, you'll find a way that works for you. Best of luck!

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@rocker)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1128
 

sorry to hear about your accident, but don't give up, where there's a will there's a way,
best of luck to you .

even god loves rock-n-roll


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

It's one finger.

Don't fret it.

I honestly wouldn't worry about switching hands. I'd worry about using what you have.

Look to guys like Django and what he was able to do with only two fingers on his hand that worked. It's arguable there's no more influential guitarist than he (there aren't "Hendrix clubs" where only Jimi's music is played, but there are "Hot Clubs" where you only hear Django!), and he did it on two fingers.

I won't lie to you, it's a tough tough road. But you'll may be surprised what time will do for you as well. When I was 16 my left arm went through a glass door, ripping all the flesh off it from the middle of my hand to my elbow. Literally down to the bone. I was told I'd never use it again. For quite a while I didn't. But I'm back to playing again. Not as good as I used to be, but good enough to make it worth while to me.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

smiller,

I'm sorry to hear about your accident! If it's only been a week-and-a-half ago, I think you should give it some time to heal before you decide you have to switch to playing left-handed. You'd have to get a different guitar, and basically start over. The "brain shift" could be the hardest part.

I agree with the others, that you'll probably be able to work around the injured index finger. Give it some time, and gather some inspiration (maybe watch the Paralympics) while you wait and then hit it with confidence! :D

GN is definitely the place where you can find support and answers to any unique questions you may come up with.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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(@reeve)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 84
 

Ouch sorry to hear bout that, you'll be able to pull through though!

Once you get around it and start playin, you'll go onto my list of super-badasses, hows that for motivation eh eh??

8)

Well, I've had some requests, but I'm going to play anyway.


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

We're in the same boat - I'm currently recovering from a fractured forearm (in plaster) broken fingers (pinky and ring on fretting hand) and torn rotator something-or-other muscle(had to wear a shoulder brace for 2 weeks, that was fun - NOT!)........

Can't wait for plaster to come off next week.......the first thing I'll do is have a beer to celebrate, the second is pick up a guitar........

My commiserations, but in this day and age, no injury is insuperable.....keep telling yourself, "I will play again!".....you'll do it!!!!!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@nolongerme)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 475
 

Wow, thats the great spirit of a real guitarist!

I don't know about the strumming thing, good luck!


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Very sorry to hear about your terrible injury. Hopefully it will heal in time.

I think every guitarist worries about an injury like this. I know I do. And I have oftened wondered what I would do if something like this happened.

I think I would learn to fret with the remaining 3 fingers on your fretting hand. It can be done. There are many partial chords you can play that sound great. For instance, a barre E7 type chord can be played as a 3 string partial chord.


A7 chord using “barre E7 form”

e---5i----------
b---8p----------
g---6m----------
d---5i----------
a---7r----------
e---5i----------

A7 partial chord form

e---X---------
b---8p--------
g---6m--------
d---X---------
a---7r--------
e-------------

This exact form was actually used by Steely Dan in the super hit Reelin In the Years. It has a very jazzy tone.

Jimi Hendrix also used many chord forms like this. In All Along the Watchtower, he substituted 5 chords (Root and 5th tone only) for the original C#m, Bm, and Am.


C#5 substituted for C#m chord

e---X----------
b---9m---------
g---X----------
d---11p--------
a---11r--------
e---9t---------

This stretch might be a little tough, but with practice you will gain flexibility and reach.

All I know is that if you really love guitar you should keep playing no matter what. I saw a guy on TV many years ago without arms who laid his guitar on the floor and played with his toes. I am not joking. And he was an excellent guitar player.

Hopefully, this will not be necessary and your finger will heal and gain feeling and movement again. But even if it doesn't you can still play guitar if you really want to.

So hang in there and keep playing.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2849
 

Sorry to hear about the injury.

Stick with it and you may be surprised at what you can do with the finger after some healing.

Nils' Page - Guitar Information and other Stuff
DMusic Samples


   
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(@voodoo_merman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 368
 

Youre the man for having positive attitude about it. Keep it up. IMO, If Ray Charles can play piano less two seeing eyes, then you can certainly play guitar short one finger. Im very sure you can still melt faces with the nine fingers you have left.

P.S. - Once youre back in the mix, make sure to post some audio of your playing so we can all be inspired. All the best to you.

At this time I would like to tell you that NO MATTER WHAT...IT IS WITH GOD. HE IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL. HIS WAY IS IN LOVE, THROUGH WHICH WE ALL ARE. IT IS TRULY -- A LOVE SUPREME --. John Coltrane


   
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(@quarterfront)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 225
 

Serious bummer but hang in there.

You might look at learning songs in alternate tunings - seems like a lot of alt. tuning songs can be played with more chords that involve only a couple of fretted strings at a time.


   
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