#1
Hi guys. I'm 27 years old and I allways wanted to play guitar. I played piano for 8 years in musical school so I know some bassics about playing and music. My problem that tortured me all my life (the main reason why I didn't picked guitar in musical school) is that I cuted top of my pinky finger when I was 3 years old. The top of the finger is smashed when I was playing around car of my dad and i putted my hand by the open doors of the car, than someone accidently coleses the doors and smashed my finger. My finger is about 1cm shorter than in my other hand, there is bone missing so nail grows over finger. I can't even normaly play simple cord with four fingers because nail don't allow it. Its so frustrating that I tryed every time and think that I can do this, and I know that I would be good at it, it all falls down because of this problem. While playing piano that was not a problem. I tried to switch to left hand but I just can't. I need some advice if someone could say something that could help me. I could send picture to see how is it look. Really sorry for my bad english.
#2
learn left handed. awkward to start but you will get used to it and the pinky issue is gone.
#3
Yes, it is possible, especially if it is the pinky that is damaged.

Obviously you will only have the other three fingers (and thumb - for neck-over barres) to form chords but that still gives you a very large repertoire especially in the first position. Barre chords may prove more problematic but you could use partial barres and / or 6ths and 7ths of chords.

You may have to adapt fingering positions a little but that's not a big deal. Try it. And remember - Django Reihhardt had only his 1st and 2nd fingers - the others were unusable.
#4
I'm a very bad player in that I hardly ever use my pinky when I play. It hasn't affected my chords at all, and very rarely do I need it when playing licks. I'm sure I would be a better player if I used it, but I've been going strong for over 20 years.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#5
This may be a dumb question but is it possible to cut the nail?
And everything that once was
infinitely far
and unsayable is now
unsayable
and right here in the room.


- Franz Wright
#7
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#9
The example in post #6, is good, but with certain exceptions.

Tommy Iommi has a similar situation as yours. Part of one of his fingers on the fretting hand is missing. So, he contrived a sort of "bootie"/ finger extension to compensate. That would work for you, assuming the damaged finger still allows the flexing of the first joint. (In other words, so the part with the extension can be flexed separate from the rest of that finger).

One thing with Iommi, he plays electric, and he uses very light strings, either an .009 or .008 set.

IMHO, those would be too light for an acoustic. Other people here feel differently than I do about the issue, so you don't have to take my word, as the last word.

To the upside, I've seen players that don't actually use their pinky when playing single note lines. Plus, you can form many chords successfully with just three fingers., and substitute "power chords" for those you can't.

In some aspects, the pinky is a bit of a nuisance anyway. It's always a bit slower and weaker than the rest of the fingers. So even those of of us with fully functional pinkies have to try harder to get them going.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 21, 2015,
#10
Didn't Jerry Garcia also have some damage to his fingers? Iommi and Garcia are 2 of the best!

It will be a slight handicap but the pinkie isn't used a whole lot and you can learn to adapt and substitute on those chords and notes when it is used. Go for it!
#12
As everyone has said, there's definitely ways to adapt around that. Also, seriously consider just playing left-handed. It can be awkward at first, but if you've never even learned to play guitar right-handed in the first place, it won't be much more awkward than it is for any other beginner, just learning to use the instrument. In fact, if you didn't learn to play already, just going lefty might even be the best option.
#13
really, i probably shouldnt comment with limited experience, but heres my 2 cents- i like the idea of a finger cap if you have joint flex, if not, playing lefty seems the answer, hell, ive been deaf over 30 years and play everyday for a year now, my only hearing is electronic with an implant, so dont let a handicap stop you, on another note, i never did understand guitars, i know keyboards and other instruments are played with the melody on the right hand, im a lefty and play a normal guitar, it just seems natural to me since im picking and noting on my dominant hand, with that reasoning, i dont see how a righty would have a hard time learning guitar reversed!
#14
I'm right handed but fairly ambidextrous and I don't think I could learn to play a guitar left-handed. It would definitely be MUCH harder. I guess you could try it and see if it feels right to you. I think I'd rather be handicapped with no pinkie than try to learn left handed.