#1
Well...

I haven't really thought about it for awhile, but due to something that happened one year ago tomorrow (well, an hour from now where I'm at, but whatever), I've been looking back on some things.

Primarily the little finger on my left (fretting) hand. I'm not exactly sure how it got the way it is, but...how to describe this without pictures, because I don't own a camera.

joints/knuckle = o

lengths of finger = ___

Finger (not to scale, obviously): o_____o____o___o

That's how it should look, straightened out. But I can't straighten it out.

The middle section , or o_____o____o___o is bent down, and can't straighten out. It's not really really severe, but it has caused a few things to happen. The last bit tries to restraighten itself, so nothing is wrong with it.

- Although the finger over the years has still grown, it's a bit shorter in comparison to my other normal small finger on the other hand.

- The way that the finger is always bent down a little bit has caused skin to detach from it reaching out until it gets in line with the rest of my finger like it normally would. It's not really extra skin, the skin has just stretched a bit and my stretches with it are sharply reduced. Another result of this is the skin/web between my ring and small finger on my left hand is abnormally large.

- I can't barre chords with my pinky, although I can still manage to roll.

- Regular-stretch sweeps are nearly impossible for me. I have a large build (6'5'' or so, only 16 as well) but my hands aren't godly in size like Bucketheads are. I find normal stretches on guitar difficult and I just can't get them.

I have been to the Indiana hand center, a local hospital, and have X-Rays taken at both places, as well as an MRI scan on my hand at the hospital (yay insurance coverage). I guess that seems a little excessive, but I truly enjoy music and guitar, and this whole situation is a giant roadblock...

The only thing that any doctors could figure out were the possibilities of it either being a strange birth defect, or something that happens to rockclimbers, where they put all their bodyweight on one or two fingers, damaging things relating to tendons, etc. I don't want to go in to it, but bottom line is, that's out of the question.

I need to strengthen this finger. Because of the forced shape/curve it takes, my finger works hard still wanting to straighten out, but that just causes the middle area pain because it can't.

----

Sorry, that was a lot to read. I'm just not sure how else to describe this. I don't know of any way to strengthen the finger itself, other than excersizes on guitar, which give stretches that I can't even do because of the other problem.

TL ; DR : Read it or don't post. I'm already in a sour mood and don't want banned for going off on people. Thanks.
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
Is Valium for me
Last edited by Td_Nights at Nov 25, 2008,
#3
Quote by Telestar

If you're not going to bother to read, then please don't post.

I've tried using one of those, and although they help, they don't solve the problem I'm having in terms of fixing my finger.
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
Is Valium for me
#4
Wish I could offer advice, but I can't, really.

I'll just say this: Django Reinhardt is one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and he had two good fingers on his fretting hand. I wouldn't let it stop you if playing guitar is what you really want to do.

Grep.
#5
If you love guitar, which you probably do. You'll find a way round it.

I have a curled finger on my picking hand due to a torn tendon playing rugby. Finger picking is a bit awkward but i can do it. Ther is nothing we can do here to fix your finger, can surgery not fix it? It can't for mine.
#6
Stretches are mostly posture, not "stretch". You'd be suprised how far you can get by lifting the guitar neck nice and high and getting your left wrist almost directly underneath, with your thumb near the bottom of the back of the neck.

Take any stretching exercise, and start it high enough on the neck that it's comfortable, then slowly move it down. Tab me what you did and I'll see if I can help further.

Thirdly, when sitting bored in class/work, "bounce" your fingers off the desk in pairs - 13 and 24. This builds strength in both "fretting" and "defretting" muscle groups and finger independence.
#7
Well as I am not a doctor I am not qualified to tell you how you should use your finger, I don't want to be the cause of further injuries. But for inspirational purposes there are many guitar players who play without the use of a digit. Namely Django Reinhardt and Jerry Garcia. I have full use of my hands and I can't even fathom the licks Django plays with just two fully fuctional fingers. There are also buskers who play with their feet for crying out loud. What I am trying to get at is this, just because a certain guitar teacher or book says you need full use of your hand to fully enjoy and play guitar is not necesarrily true. Just like all guitar players are different and all have different techniques to suit their unique needs so do you. It's going to be tough but that should make it all the sweeter in the end.
myspace.com/sidetrackedrock
myspace.com/scottkrausmusic

Quote by an epic mistake
Woah guys, this is actually the first post relevant to the thread in a LOOONG time. I applaud you Scotdizzle.


I found the damn sig thing!
#8
Quote by Grep
Wish I could offer advice, but I can't, really.

I'll just say this: Django Reinhardt is one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and he had two good fingers on his fretting hand. I wouldn't let it stop you if playing guitar is what you really want to do.

Grep.

Beat me to the Django reference.
myspace.com/sidetrackedrock
myspace.com/scottkrausmusic

Quote by an epic mistake
Woah guys, this is actually the first post relevant to the thread in a LOOONG time. I applaud you Scotdizzle.


I found the damn sig thing!
#9
There's people with worse problems then this. There are youtube videos of people with ONE ARM, shredding. They tape the pick to the stub that's left of there right hand and then play like that. Don't let disabilities hold you back.
#10
dont let it get you down man

check this guy out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVw5C0SDkc&feature=related

i cut my pinky open and i thought i wouldnt be able to use it again, and once it healed i didnt have any control or motion with it anymore. playing the piano was impossible. but after a while it mulled over and now its back to normal.

youll find a way
Quote by HeretiK538
Totally awesome, I love you.

Have my children.

#11
it looks to me like slash rarely uses his pinky anyway...

I think freepower's advice on stretching is great.

Given that a guitar's vocal range (ie a scale) can be canvassed either horizontally or vertically, with multiples of notes all over the neck, the limitations of say, 3 fingers vs 4 become less. You can still do most pentatonic runs/licks and plenty of 3nps ideas. Consistently using 3nps lends itself to economy picking too, for a different kind of tone.

And the 'sweep stretch' you mentioned that you couldn't do - if at the end of the day it were impossible for you with the challenge you're facing, I think musically you could substitute a note or shorten/lengthen the sweep in other ways to fit the timing and get a similar sound, and although not exactly the same, everyone sweeping out there is doing standard sweeps so it'd make your sound more unique. As long as it's in tune and fits the groove of the song, it'll be fun and sound like gold anyway - playing all my players' famous solos note for note teaches me little about improvisation anyway and is more tedious than actually fun.

Regardless, great feel and dynamics are appreciated more than fast playing anyway. Alot of our success and happiness in life depends on our outlook, so try and focus on the positive aspects more than the bad. It could always be worse. Challenge yourself consistently and my thinking is you will be pleased with the results - big or small, results are results.
Last edited by yenners at Dec 5, 2008,