"I'm So Lonesome I Don't Even Have Me No Friend, I've Done So Much Crying Will I Ever Laugh Again" - Peter Green
- Henry Ford
A few years ago, I smacked the ring fingertip of my left (fretting) hand with a framing hammer and broke the h*ll out of the bone. I couldn't touch a guitar string with that finger for five months... so I stuck a slide on that finger and learned to play bottleneck. If Django could play, this won't stop me.
But you probably will need painkillers to play tomorrow, unless you can somehow make sure you NEVER forget and try and use that finger, which in such a short period of time is unlikely... and as others have said, you do not want to keep aggravating it by over-using it when it should be treated as gently as possible, Can you put something on it (even a rubber thing or something that would get in the way and would physically prevent you from forgetting and by force of habit, hitting the string with that finger? As the slide worked before for you, and you also had a real good reason to get real good at slide guitar! having something on or wrapped around that finger - even just gauze or tape or anything to prevent contact without a good amount of padding in between - would help a lot in preventing further injury and and also helping you more quickly to get in the habit of NOT using that finger to play.
I hope this helped somewhat, and was not depressing, I know you can't stop playing for any length of time, and especially so in a band that's gigging, so as with Django and Les Paul (who for years had terribly arthritic fingers on his fretting hand and only - like Django in a way - had real use of only 2 fingers on that hand to do all his fretting with (and any anti-arthritic meds would mess up his stomach and he felt he could not take any of them).
So the last years Les played and fretted with only two fingers for almost all his solo lines (which I say that way, because watching him from up close at one of his Monday night shows at the Iridium jazz club in NYC during his last few years, he did seem able to do some barring with the other fingers for chordal sections of his playing * )
I hope your gig goes great, and your finger heals quickly!
* although his action was set up especially for him by his sound engineer, luthier, chauffeur, and do-everything-man to Les for over 20 years T.W. (Tom) Doyle,
[who the bass player in my band just happened to move in next door to, and we all most fortunately got to become friends with Tom, which got us extra good access to Les (not very easy, especially as Les' bad moods got worse as he got older and playing was harder for him - but he NEVER showed it on stage - but he WOULD cancel seeing fans after the show and signing their guitars on bad nights - so Tom told us when was good/bad and also got my LP Guitar and photo with Les signed by him on a "good mood" day]
which may have made playing like that possible for Les. (sorry for the inevitable digression that always come with my posts! ]
- T.W. (Tom) Doyle playing at the Iridium jazz club in 2010, after the passing of his "boss" Les Paul (RIP)
- Tom_Doyle_at_Iridium_200x300.jpg (22.26 KiB) Viewed 9184 times
- T.W. (Tom) Doyle at the Iridium jazz club in NYC in 2007. He was our friend, and helped ss get amazing access to Les Paul (RIP0
- Tom_Doyle_1.JPG (68.37 KiB) Viewed 9184 times
- Me (Jim (S)) and Les Paul in 2007 at Iridium NYC - day he signed the back of my Les Paul Deluxe headstock
- LesPic_Signed-640x480-50%.jpg (76.78 KiB) Viewed 9184 times
- Eric Clapton, interview 1974
James V. Signorile, ASCAP
Nasty one Blindboy - I hope that the nerve recovers well and swiftly. Glad the tendon and bone were spared.
Good advice from Jim as to methods to prevent accidentally using the finger.
What a real pita though - you've hit this great acceleration in the quality of your playing and then this happens.
Glad to see you're looking at it all so positively. Best of luck with the recovery.
Blindboy wrote:Well... Playing guitar is gonna get a bit, ah..., "interesting". Today I managed to shoot a 3 1/4 inch framing nail through my right index finger. After four hours in the local emergency room, they tell me that the bone is OK, the tendon appears OK, and that the nerve is severed, but should grow back eventually. So, aside from being sore, swollen, and stiff, I can't feel the tip, where the finger meets the guitar string. I tried to play a bit tonight (thank goodness for painkillers), and it will take some adjustment. (understatement!) I will see how things work out at Monday's gig. I hope it doesn't mess us up too much, we were just starting to sound all right.
Anyway i think you gonna play whatever my advise is worth
You have had your share of pain lately, Bb. I was seriously thinking of taking the night off due to some serious pain in my fretting hand. Nothing like your pain, though. Makes me shutter to even think about it.
Anything I can do? Anything you need? If so, give me a call.
but he's big on the North Sea Coast of Germany.
I hope it will be recover well in a short time.
Don't push it. gif it the time to cure.
I now it's ^&*(#$% , but hey!!, you can do nothing about it right now
My sympathies BB! Was really enjoying your Blues jam recordings lately!
Seems a lot of folks here have had similar war-stories. I have permanent nerve damage to two fingers and thumb of my left (fretting) hand.
As you did with your previous injury to your left hand, I have focused on learning to play slide mostly because of this. But I don't have the kind of pain you're experiencing now! We have a good organic pain remedy here in Colorado that's probably not legal in your state yet. Too bad.
I know you won't give up But it sounds like everyone here would gladly take on a little of your pain just to keep you pickin'!
I agree. Years ago I worked as a construction inspector. I arrived at one job site to find a young man writhing on the ground holding his stomach. He had been in the process of loading a nail gun and had inadvertently triggered it sending a nail into his stomach. I was the first one to discover the accident and an ambulance was dispatched post haste. However this was way out in the boonies, so it took awhile. In the mean time we tried to make the injured party as comfortable as possible.oneeyedslide wrote:They should outlaw nailguns! They seem to be going after flesh and bone more often than wood!
I've never liked nail guns from that day forward.
but he's big on the North Sea Coast of Germany.
lyric from "Out in The Fields"
Gary Moore 1952-2011
Great news - good to hear - take it easy now!Blindboy wrote:Well, I was able to play... Only slightly clumsy. Seems to be healing well, and the doctor says that the nerve should grow back in a few months.
Someday I aint gonna worry my life anymore....
That's what I did... and it was an interesting night.nxsneil wrote:Sorry to hear about the accident .... if it was me (and it has been many times in the past!) I'd be taking the pain killers... with a few drinks it makes for an interesting night!
It is good that I have been playing fingerstyle more lately, because I can't hold a pick now. I guess that I am a dedicated fingerpicker now. I can use the injured finger, it doesn't hurt (much), it's just numb. I can't feel the string, or tell how hard I am plucking. I can work around that, and I can use my middle and ring fingers more too. It will just take a bit of practice. (dirty word!)