Hi people... I've been learning to play guitar (electric & acoustic). Whilst i've come along in leaps & bounds. my hubby tried to learn too. But a few yrs ago he had an accident at work, which nearly lost him his fingers on his left hand. They were cut between his palm and the base of the 3 biggest fingers down to the bone. It has left him unable to move his 3rd finger much without the middle one moving with it! He tried to play guitar too, but because of this limited movement with his fingers, he has trouble with chords where you gotta get them fingers apart.

right, down to my question! Could he play bass guitar..? (please excuse any ignorance on my part here.. i know NOTHING about bass playing... ) Is it just plucking one sting at a time... or do you play actual chords..?

It would be fab if he could do bass... we could jam together... lol

Thanks for any replies!

R x

Freshman acoustic


He can play bass guitar. Chords aren't used as much as they are on an electric guitar. They can be used, but they aren't absolutely necessary.
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By no means would it be any easier than playing guitar. If he were to work at it I'm sure he'd be able to make it work after a while.

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you normally dont play chords, ive found that most songs are one string at a time... but i could be wrong... if you can read tabs look up some of the songs he would like to play on bass on this website and see if he would have any problems playing them
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Yup, bass would be a great idea, it's mostly melodic and while you can tap chords, they are not often used.
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It completely depends on how limited his finger movement is. Basses do have wider necks and are harder to fret than a guitar. If he can't fret with his left hand he might be able to go lefty and pluck with his left hand instead. Really it just depends.
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thanks for the replies.. He tried to play classical guitar, so is 'used' to the wider neck... Umm.. his fingers do move... he can bend them ok, just the middle finger tends to follow the ring finger.

A friend has offered to lend us a bass for him to have a go with... so we'll take him up on the offer & see how it goes..!


Freshman acoustic
Bass seems like a good fit. There doesn't HAVE to be a lot of stretch to effectively play bass. Yes, it helps, but it's by no means necessary. As for chords, they're not "rare" per se, but not a lot of the average rock or pop player plays chords. Maybe try an upright bass technique where you pair the ring and middle fingers and use them as a unit. Working this way you can get nearly up to all finger speed.
Give it a try - it'd probably be better than guitar for him. It may even be therapeutic. Best of luck!
Well if it's only a problem with his middle finger, well he could always try to play without using it, though it will be rather difficult, but I'm sure with enough time he'll be able to pull it off. Just don't think that just because it's bass it will be easier. It will almost be just as difficult depending on what he plays of course.
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I played with a bassist once who had arthritis in his hands that bent his fingers at an odd angle. He managed well and said it was great therapy.

With some adjustment, I don't see why your friend couldn't play. Also, he can play Simandl method with his left hand, unless I am reading his injury wrong, which is common for upright bass players.
Eddy Breckinridge of Thrice has an elbow problem that prevents him from fully turning over his left hand; that makes it harder for him to fret notes, but that hasn't stopped him from being a good bass player
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