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Any musicians here that have been...........

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Cymro14, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Cymro14

    Cymro14 Strat-O-Master

    ......forced to give up playing because of a medical condition?

    I posted a few weeks ago that I cannot play anymore because of a hand problem which means I cannot move the little and ring finger properly.

    Just wondering if anyone else has this experience of having to give up what they love doing.
     
  2. conehead

    conehead Strat-Talker

    Age:
    45
    102
    Apr 12, 2017
    way out there
    Have you considered taking up slide or lap steel?

    I'm currently teaching a friend who works in construction how to play slide after he crushed his left index finger, putting an end to his ability to fret conventional standard tuning chords. He's starting to get the hang of it and his morale is much higher than it was after his accident.
     
  3. tery

    tery Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 31, 2014
    Tennessee
    Many of us have health challenges . Adapt the best that you can .
    Playing different is not wrong - have fun & enjoy life .
     
    Groovey, 2-Finger, shovelmike and 3 others like this.
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  5. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Age:
    44
    Feb 17, 2016
    New Zealand
    I friend of Mine lost the tip of of their third and fourth fingers on their left hand, he taught himself to play lefty.... he 's still better than me :(
     
    Spiffums, danlad, s5tuart and 8 others like this.
  6. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    I was in a car accident in 1994 and couldn't play guitar for 6 months

    I got depressed but I did write a bunch of lyrics and poetry
     
  7. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    56
    Jun 28, 2011
    ok
    While I know it's tough, one of the best live guitar players I've seen in a local club had two and a half fingers and about a half of a thumb from a birth defect. Nailed Cliffs of Dover at a jam night and then some nice blues. Have no idea how he chorded things. I guess my point is that while you may not be able to do the things you once did, you might just find you can still do enough to enjoy it and maybe progress around the infirmity.

    Don't give up, make some lemonade !! I wish you best, with or without a guitar, though.
     
  8. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 13, 2015
    Cascadia
    Yeah, I gave up performing because of a hand injury, though I can still amuse myself to a much lesser extent...I just can't play to the standard that I expect of myself in a performance circumstance.

    I can no longer walk without assistance because of a failed knee replacement (2x).
    To a former marathon runner, that is a pretty big deal. Can't ski anymore either...and I grew up on skis, or play racquet ball which I really loved to do, or swing a golf club (probably for the better), walk my dog...you get the picture.

    I think I mentioned lap and pedal steel guitar as an alternative in your original post...if you need any encouragement, have a solid listen to ...
     
    StratSounds, s5tuart, DrMarkO and 3 others like this.
  9. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Focal dystonia is a condition that hits 1% of musicians. Guitarists, pianists, violinists tend to get it in their hands. It's neurological condition that is largely unexplained.

    I, as a trumpet player, suffered this in my face. Imagine sounding like a professional and three weeks later sounding like a sixth grader. I came this close to quitting the trumpet, and perhaps I should have. I can still play fairly well, but nowhere near where I was when this happened 10 years ago. I took a year off where I could rebuild from the ground up. Sucks. Really.

    Edit: I forgot... Back in '98 I was doing a lot of different work; musical theater, symphony, big band, concert band, brass ensemble and tore my obicularis oris (lip muscle). Simple overplaying with bad technique. My playing was never as easy again. The focal dystonia came 9 years AFTER the torn obic oris. If only I could go back and do it over again, knowing what I know.

    Now I am starting to get some arthritis in my hands. How long I'll be able to play guitar is anyone's guess. I'll do it as long as I can.

    I don't wish any of this stuff on anyone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  10. amagras

    amagras Strat-Talker

    149
    Oct 26, 2016
    Ontario
    I will look for your original post later but what I can understand here sounds like you are in a similar situation as Django Reinhart:

    Don't give up!
     
  11. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Strat-Talker

    Age:
    59
    386
    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    One of my all time favorites! Thanks for posting it!
     
  12. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Valley o Sun
    I too am getting arthritis in my hands and I agree 100%...sucks big time...I was thinking a few months back that I might as well sell all my guitars, luckily I woke up from that nightmare!!!! Though I have started to sell a few guitars here and there.

    Also, like you....I'm going to play as long as I can....even I miss a note or 2, it doesn't matter because my wife still loves it when I play a tune or 2...

    I also have been playing a game called pickleball (USAPA.com if you want to see what it is about) for the last 10 years or so, basically a racquet sport and for the last year I have noticed that I am having issues gripping the paddle...I just keep doing my finger exercises..never say die...

    best of luck....keep strummin' and hummin'.....
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Strat-Talker

    Age:
    59
    386
    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    People have learned to play guitar with their feet. If I couldn't play guitar at all, I would find something that I can, even if it's spoons.

    Just keep making music of some kind. It's good for the brain and you don't want to loose the use of that too!

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, and good luck!
     
    texastengu and crawdaddy like this.
  14. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Jul 10, 2011
    The Shack, Nova Scotia
    I had to quit playing when I went off to boot camp all those years ago, boot camp is pretty much a medical condition.
     
    Mr BC likes this.
  15. anderz

    anderz Strat-O-Master

    636
    May 4, 2014
    Denmark
    I had a factory accident ripping of some of the skin on my left hand first finger.

    It was a piece of the top of it.

    It was getting close for finish for the day and was I pressing the aluminum frames to firm status. I was using the auto setting but switched to manual and the accident happened.

    Quickly to the corner of the factory where the emergency kit was so I could get it bandaged up.

    Got a ride to the doctor who sewed the skin back on. I got 10 stitches and 10 days to heel.

    Then back to get my Honda Dax from the work place. A little hard to use the clutch with the thick bandage on my finger.

    Years later preparing a can of food I had opened the tin lid but in state of using a knife picking it up of the can I used my 1 finger on my left hand and the same place as the factory accident.

    I went to hospital and got some stitches in it.

    I still have the marks on that finger but playing has never been a problem except no playing while heeling.

    Otherwise I am pretty well for damage and the lack of it.
     
  16. Dont_Fret_None

    Dont_Fret_None Strange Stringer Silver Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 22, 2013
    Up yonder way...
    Hey Cymro,

    As you can see from those who've chimed-in thus far, continuing to play the guitar, after injuries or medical conditions is often a matter of improvising, adapting and overcoming--while also believing that you can.

    I've posted some pretty detailed and long-winded narratives in previous posts over the past few years, about the many hand injuries I've sustained, and the heartaches therein--the worst injury of which happened in the Navy--a nasty accident involving my right hand--my acoustic finger-picking hand. The accident pushed me into a tailspin of depression for several years, during which I couldn't even look at a guitar.

    It wasn't until I saw others who had overcome similar injuries and had yet learned to play remarkably well, that I began to believe I could do it too.

    If your troubled hand is your Fretting hand, you can, as someone mentioned earlier, learn slide, which is a beautiful expression on guitar. If your troubled hand is your Picking hand, you can learn to hold a pick with just your thumb and middle finger if need be. I've seen a number of very good players do this because of injuries to other fingers on the Picking hand.

    A couple things I want to share with you by way of videos, to speak encouragement into you:

    Video # 1) If slide is an option for you, allow Derek trucks to pump you up.

    Video #2) Phil Keaggy is one of the most accomplished players on the planet. He lost is right middle finder in a farm accident, as a kid. Yet watch the way he finger picks this acoustic.

    Video #3) Hands are not an option for this guy. It was when I finally saw him in action, that I told myself, "I can whine no longer. I'm pressing onward."





     
    2-Finger likes this.
  17. Stark

    Stark Ghost of Johnny Thunders Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    47
    Jul 16, 2011
    Richmond Annex, CA
    I haven't wanted to mention this but since the question came up, between arthritis in the knuckles of both hands, carpal tunnel and rapidly-spreading neuropathy in my right hand, my days as a guitar player are definitely numbered—it's just a question of when.

    My right index and middle fingers are almost totally numb, this happened last fall. I had already been playing with a heavy thumb pick and naked fingertips for a few years, but now I just depend on right hand muscle memory. I still dig in and rip the heck out of the strings.

    When my right hand finally fails, I will switch to keyboards, and if I lose that ability, I will just be a singer.

    I'm not programmed to give up.
     
    Electgumbo and Dont_Fret_None like this.
  18. larscaster

    larscaster Strat-Talker

    Age:
    63
    478
    Feb 19, 2016
    West Jordan, UT
    I'm deaf.
    Does this qualify?
     
    StratSounds likes this.
  19. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member

  20. Mr BC

    Mr BC Strat-Talker

    Age:
    42
    402
    Jul 30, 2012
    NC
    I had a table saw injury to my index, middle, and ring fingers on my left hand. The index injury is the most significant. I didn't loose any digits but I lost some tissue of the index finger such that I don't have much of the tip of the finger pad. I've lost some of the feeling. I can play as is but need to try to get back the calluses, if that's possible. In the mean time I'm working on a DIY prosthesis of sorts to approximate the tissue I lost during surgery and a skin graft so I can push straight down with the finger tip for chords ( think of the index in an open C chord).

    Sure it's frustrating, and I'm still mad at myself for being so stupid, but I can't just give up.
     
  21. Chief101

    Chief101 Strat-O-Master

    974
    Jan 14, 2012
    Kentucky
    I have a friend that accidentally shot his left hand years ago. Still has use of his hand but doesn't have the dexterity to chord and fret a guitar now. His solution, he's exclusively a slide player.
     
    Stark and Dont_Fret_None like this.