#1
My fret hand (left) was injured shortly after I took up guitar when I was about 15. In spite of having pins in it to heal it properly, it did not and I ended up permanently limited in that finger. The finger doesn't straighten completely (therefore barre chords are out!) nor does it bend completely (severely limiting my ability to play single notes with it).

I have never tried to do anything differently with my playing and have struggled to develop some small amount of skill in spite of my limited range of motion. However, I was not able to progress very far and haven't played much at all for the last ten years or so.

I really want to get back into guitar playing, but I want to figure out the best way to go about it.

Should I switch to lefty? What other options do I have?

The styles of music that I would most like to learn to play are surf rock, punk rock and rockabilly

Thanks for any input!
Last edited by Viking Power at Dec 19, 2008,
#3
Use your other three fingers and your thumb only using your index finger when you have to. It'll take some getting used to and you might not be able to play really fast things that are all over the neck, but you'll be fine.
You could switch to lefty but would you be able to decently hold a pick without playing sloppy?
#4
damn that must suck.
any how you need to strengthen your other 3 fingers , considering simplyfying some chords and try to use the middle finger as a barre one(badass:p you could end up like this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVw5C0SDkc&feature=related
moving to lefty is sort of learning to play again and training your right hand to pick, holding the pick with your middle and ring finger.
that is going to be hard either way, but i wish you good luck man!
#5
Quote by Lespauljames
switching to lefty seems a sane idea, maybe try some ( non guitar) finger strength excersizes, this may help (obviosly start off small, easy and simple)



Are you referring to doing those exercises in hopes of rehabbing my damaged finger?

If so, it is unfortunately not as easy as that (although I appreciate the input!). The middle joint of the left index finger has a ton of scar tissue built up and is also still disconnected as if the break just never really healed. I'll post pix.
Last edited by Viking Power at Dec 19, 2008,
#6


Top View Middle Joint



Full Straight Held With Pressure Against Table Top



Full Bend


So, there's my left index finger in all its mangled glory!

Thoughts??????
#7
the sooner you switch to lefty, the better in my opinion.

what kind of guitar do you have? Does it have straight 6 tuners or 3 left 3 right?

If you got a straight 6, you can either take your strap button off or buy a new one, (leaving the option of switching back), and restring your guitar. I actually want to try this one day, assuming your right handed, the e string will have the least tension of all and would love to see how that works out. You'll definately want to call up a friend who knows how to intonate your guitar, or get it set up or something. It's cheaper than getting a new lefty guitar.
#9
Quote by Bottle of Dirt
Use your other three fingers and your thumb only using your index finger when you have to. It'll take some getting used to and you might not be able to play really fast things that are all over the neck, but you'll be fine.
You could switch to lefty but would you be able to decently hold a pick without playing sloppy?



I think I could hold a pick allright with my left hand. Hard to know for certain until I really tried.
#10
Quote by szekelymihai
damn that must suck.
any how you need to strengthen your other 3 fingers , considering simplyfying some chords and try to use the middle finger as a barre one(badass:p you could end up like this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVw5C0SDkc&feature=related
moving to lefty is sort of learning to play again and training your right hand to pick, holding the pick with your middle and ring finger.
that is going to be hard either way, but i wish you good luck man!



I never even thought of going the simplify the chords route. Like you said holding barres with the middle finger would be pretty badass!
#11
Quote by sprbld417
the sooner you switch to lefty, the better in my opinion.

what kind of guitar do you have? Does it have straight 6 tuners or 3 left 3 right?

If you got a straight 6, you can either take your strap button off or buy a new one, (leaving the option of switching back), and restring your guitar. I actually want to try this one day, assuming your right handed, the e string will have the least tension of all and would love to see how that works out. You'll definately want to call up a friend who knows how to intonate your guitar, or get it set up or something. It's cheaper than getting a new lefty guitar.



Sadly, right now I don't even own a guitar. I just pick up other peoples on occasion and fart around with what little I know.

Crazy, I even have dreams about playing!


ALSO WORTH NOTING:
I played bass for a while, thinking that would be a good alternative since I wouldn't need to hold barre chords(is that even true????), but as you all know, bass isn't the most enjoyable solo instrument. Unless of course your name is Les Claypool or Flea or Chick Corea etc.......
#12
Thanks again to everyone who posted with advice! Much appreciated!

I went to a guitar store yesterday to seek the opinions there as well as to fool around with a lefty acoustic. The lefty felt like it would be extremely awkward at least at first. I pretty much expected that.

Talking to one of the guys at the shop and showing him my finger, he thought I aught to try taking some lessons and give a serious 6 month attempt at righty again. Then, if I'm just too limited it might be time to switch to lefty.

I like that advice and that's what I'm going to go with. We'll see how a couple of lessons and some dilligent practice time help me out!

Thanks again people!
#13
please ask any further questions in Guitar & Bass Basics - this forum is for questions about using the site and forums.
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