#1
I'm a novice guitar player but recently have been able to turn it up just a tad bit. One problem I have is my pinky finger has been partially amputated from the last knuckle. I can't seem to develop a callus on it and it will only reach the last two strings. Does anyone know of something g that will help my length for reaching other strings?

Regards
Dirk
#2
Tony Iommi made his own prosthetic's when he cut his finger tips off. Maybe reseach and find out what he used to make them.
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#3
Well, Django Reinhardt and Tony Iommi both had issues with their fretting hands. Their solutions were:

1) altering their techniques & tunings so that they didn't have to stretch for notes they couldn't reach otherwise.

2) minor prosthetics- Iommi lost some fingertips in an industrial accident, and fashioned some (I believe) leather tips to use to return his reach to standard. I don't know if that kind of thing has become a standard prosthetic device, though.

DJANGO REINHARDT (Wiki):
At age 18 in Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, Reinhardt was injured in a fire which ravaged the caravan he shared with Florine "Bella" Mayer, his first wife.[10] They were very poor, and to supplement their income Bella made imitation flowers out of celluloid and paper. Consequently, their home was rich in highly flammable material. Returning from a performance late one night, Reinhardt apparently knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbours were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralysed and the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs.[11] Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane.
His brother Joseph Reinhardt, an accomplished guitarist himself, bought Django a new guitar. With rehabilitation and practice he relearned his craft in a completely new way, even as his fourth and fifth fingers remained partially paralysed. He played all of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used the two injured digits only for chord work.[12]


TONY IOMMI (Wiki):
In an industrial accident at the age of 17 on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory, Iommi lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand.[5] After the injury Iommi considered abandoning the guitar entirely. However, his factory foreman played him a recording of famous jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, which encouraged him to continue as a musician. As Iommi would later write:
My friend said, "Listen to this guy play," and I went, "No way! Listening to someone play the guitar is the very last thing I want to do right now!" But he kept insisting and he ended up playing the record for me. I told him I thought it was really good and then he said, "You know, the guy's only playing with two fingers on his fretboard hand because of an injury he sustained in a terrible fire." I was totally knocked back by this revelation and was so impressed by what I had just heard that I suddenly became inspired to start trying to play again.[6]
Inspired by Reinhardt's two-fingered guitar playing, Iommi decided to try playing guitar again, though the injury made it quite painful to do so.[1] Although it was an option, Iommi never seriously considered switching hands and learning to play right-handed. In an interview with Guitar World magazine, he was asked if he was "ever tempted to switch to right-handed playing." Iommi responded:
If I knew what I know now I probably would have switched. At the time I had already been playing two or three years, and it seemed like I had been playing a long time. I thought I’d never be able to change the way I played. The reality of the situation was that I hadn’t been playing very long at all, and I probably could have spent the same amount of time learning to play right handed. I did have a go at it, but I just didn’t have the patience. It seemed impossible to me. I decided to make do with what I had, and I made some plastic fingertips for myself. I just persevered with it.[7]
Yet, in his autobiography, he writes:
Probably the easiest thing would have been to flip the guitar upside down and learn to play right-handed instead of left-handed. I wish I had in hindsight, but I thought, well, I've been playing for a few years already, it's going to take me another few years to learn it that way. That seemed like a very long time, so I was determined to keep playing left-handed.[1]
In any case, he decided to continue playing left-handed. To do so, he fitted homemade thimbles to his injured fingers to extend and protect them, which created two technical problems. Firstly, the thimbles prevented him from feeling the strings, causing a tendency to press down very hard with them. Secondly, he had difficulty bending strings, leading him to seek light-gauge guitar strings to make it easier to do so.[8] However, Iommi recalls that such strings were not manufactured at the time, so he used banjo strings instead, until around 1970-71 when Picato Strings began making light-gauge guitar strings.[9] Furthermore, he used the injured fingers predominantly for fretting chords rather than single-note solos.[1] In 1974, Iommi told Guitar Player magazine that the thimbles "helped (him) with his technique" because he had to use his pinky finger more than he had to before the accident.[10] Later, he also began tuning his guitar strings to lower pitches, sometimes as far as three semitones below standard guitar tuning (e.g., on "Children of the Grave," "Lord of this World," and "Into the Void," all on Master of Reality). Although Iommi states that the main purpose of doing so was to create a "bigger, heavier sound," slackening the strings makes it easier to bend them. [1]
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 23, 2014,
#4
Tony Iommi uses thimbles lined with bits of soft leather to extend his amputated fingertips. But he’s been doing that since the 70s. You should get in touch with someone who makes prostheses with 3D printers. Depending on where your finger was amputated it might not be too hard to design an inexpensive, replaceable extension that slips right on. Hell, you could probably download some free software and do it yourself with some trial-and-error testing at Shapeways.

FWIW plenty of professional guitar and bass players don’t fret with their pinkies at all. If you can manage to fret two strings with yours you’ll still be doing well.
#5
Is it too late to switch to playing left handed? (assuming you're right handed and your right hand is fine)
#6
Quote by jpnyc
FWIW plenty of professional guitar and bass players don’t fret with their pinkies at all. If you can manage to fret two strings with yours you’ll still be doing well.


I pretty much never use my pinky.
#7
Just a thought....pinky slide.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
I use my slide on my pinky.

Personally, I would take heed of what Tony Iommi said and learn to play left handed.
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