I recently broke the tips of the fourth and fifth fingers of my left hand. I have asked two doctors how my injury would effect my guitar playing. Both were optimistic, though extremely general in answering. Maybe they know what they are talking about but, then again, maybe they just haven't had enough experience with musicians to give a definitive answer. Looking at the fingers after four weeks, I am beginning to doubt that they will ever be the same.

Anyone out there been through this kind of thing? If so, PLEASE tell me your experiences and give me any advice you may have.
About 3 years ago I was doing something stupid at a party & ended up shattering a beer bottle & jabbing huge pieces of glass into the same 2 fingers & I cut the tendon in my pinky finger so I can't bend that last joint in that finger.

At first I was pretty bummed out because by the time I made it to see a specialist there was nothing he could do without probably making it worse so I ended up just living with it. At first it was really slow going because it took probably a good 6 months before I could play at all without sharp pain running through that whole side of my hand, but I persevered. When I started back really playing I ended up stretching my ring finger to play what I used to would've used my pinky for so I ended up getting much quicker & better with only those 3.

Eventually I worked my way back up to where I could use my pinky practically just as good as I used to be able to, I managed to even work around not being able to really curve my pinky by catching it with my ring finger to bend it into position before fretting chords.

The best advice that I can offer is to don't let anything keep you down, because sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise, I feel like that not being able to use my pinky for about a year gave me the chance to really focus on my technique with my other fingers & made me so much more efficient with them, & now I've managed to work all of my fingers back into the fold, I feel like I'm that much better. Don't worry about what you can't do & focus on what you can do, & eventually you'll realize that you can do a lot.

& for that extra kick in the ass, read up about Tony Iommi or Django Reinhardt if you need inspiration to not let stuff like that get in your way.
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I fractured my pinky, took about 6 months to get back to where I was again.

One of my mates practically blew up at least one of his fingers, he's on the road to recovery.

Yngwie Malmsteen was in a serious car accident, damaging the nerves to his picking hand. We know how that ended.

Basically keep on playing, the skill will return bit by bit. Oh and it generally takes longer than 4 weeks.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Read up on some theory or something else while your waiting for your hand to recover, best resting it
Doctors were general about your recovery because they don't want to set a time-table or and end goal if theres ANY chance that you won't make it there. That way you can't come back and say "Well they said blah blah so I'm filing a lawsuit"
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Your fingers will heal. Just give it time. Since you can't play I suggest studying theory or picking up another instrument. Hell. Even play piano with your other hand, better than nothing.

For the ten years ive been playing I work in kitchens and have cut myself a few times so badly I couldn't play for long periods of time. I know how you feel, while i've never broken my fingers.. i've broken my arm and rehabbed it back to full strength and ability, and have seen musicians go through worse. Tony iomi (sp?) is one everyone knows.
Last edited by Peaceful Rocker at Apr 16, 2013,