I'm new to the forum. I've been playing guitar off and on for just under 2 years. I started by combining parts from some friends pawn shop acoustics that weren't being used. I learned on this 3/4 size franken-acoustic for about a year. When it finally got to be basically unplayable, I bought an electric I thought looked interesting. I really enjoy listening to hard rock and metal, but I don't find I enjoy playing it. I like to sing, and have basically settled to strumming chords with the guitar jacked straight into some powered monitors, while I sing along.

I have a question about finding a "replacement fingertip".

A few years back, before I began playing guitar, I had an accident with a table saw. As a result, I lost the tip of my left pointer finger. There isn't much gone, it healed fine, most people don't notice unless I point it out, and its never really affected anything I do, or so I thought.

There is scar tissue almost exactly where the string presses my finger. As a result the finger doesn't quite callous over quite the same as my other fingers. But that isn't much of a problem, because I have very little feeling in that fingertip, and again I've been playing long past the building callouses stage.

What I'm beginning to realize though, is that the sloppy sound of some of my chords isn't so much me misfingering when transitioning, but that that finger is muting the strings next to it. Now I could be using my finger wrong in some way, I'm self-taught and don't know any other players, but the other fingers don't have the same problem, not on a regular basis. I'm thinking that the missing tip of my finger has me playing on a wider, meatier part of my finger that won't fit between the other strings without muting at least one.

I'm down to learning to play certain chords with different fingers - which is do-able and actually makes some transitions easier and has me thinking about the chords and notes more actively, or finding something to add that tip back to my finger. I'd like to have the option of both.

I've seen products to protect fingers from damage before callouses, but those seem like a coating layer rather than an actual tip replacement. Would a metal thimble work? I don't have one around, but I seem to recall they aren't smooth, and am thinking they might damage the strings. Growing that fingernail longer works well, but only for a few hours, then the string cuts through to the finger. I would think a rubber thimble would do the same. I have thumb picks, but no finger picks, could those be modified to press a string and fret a note?

Again I have and will continue to manage without, but am curious to try another option.

I just joined here and just got a guitar last week so I may be off base here. I too cut the tip of my left index finger with a table saw. I always thought it would keep me from being able to play because they pulled the tip together and it makes basically a line across the fingertip almost at the end; above the scar no "meat" and below it bulges out. I left the nail a touch longer on that finger and really am engaging the string with that nail to keep from muting the string below. Just wondering if you have enough nail to do something similar. I'm a total newb so I'm probably way off base. Just happened to have a similar injury.