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Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Cymro14, Apr 20, 2017.
EDIT: Ooops! Already saw a similar video posted!
I have arthritis too, hands, shoulder, knees and spreading. I can't walk very well, just standing or even sitting hurts a lot. I couldn't even lift my guitar and stopped playing for about two years, then had to teach my hands how to play again. After 20 odd years of gigging it was pretty depressing for a while, but I just keep going the best I can now.
Thanks so much for your uplifting posts people. I very much appreciate your advice. Many of you have battled the onset of accidents and illnesses and your stories are indeed inspiring. Thanks so much and best wishes to you all
I really fancy trying a bit of slide. Never done it before. Ok in open G tuning?
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As a carpenter, I have had some nasty cuts especially on my fretting hand, e.g. drilling lengthwise along my middle finger, and sawing across the top of my thumb.
In hindsight, I always regret being a silly Bugger and think 'now i'm not going to be able to play for at least a week'. I have learned injuries go with the territory.
I also get slight arthritis in both hands, but not as bad as some of you guys. Must be difficult for some of you to keep playing.
Both my hands stopped working many years ago when I was about 1/2 mile offshore in the ocean on my windsurfer in a 30+ knot day. Wonderful sailing day . I barely made it back to shore using my arms hooked around the boom for neither hand would open or close.
I had surgery on both hands, Guyon canal release ( I had crushed the nerves in the palm of my hands. I was done with guitars at that point. My hands were back working, but I could not effectively move my left hand fingers well enough for good fingering. I sold my guitars, except my acoustic.
15 or 20 years later my hands were almost back to normal. I'm not sure why or how, I have some theories. I was thrilled. I started doing a lot of hand excerises and I'm very very careful with my hands. I'm really pleased how they work now, they are not perfect, but they work pretty darn good now.
I have 5 guitars now.
Sometimes ya get lucky.
I wish the OP the best.
It's very easy for me to post this glibly, given that (as things stand) I have the use of all four fingers on the fretting hand.
Django Reinhardt has already been mentioned... another is Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, you may or may not care for the style, but he is one of the most influential players on the planet.
He lost the tips of 2 fingers in an industrial accident, and fashioned artificial fingertips himself so he could still use those fingers. And invented light gauge strings into the process, so he could bend the strings easier (I think he used banjo strings for the unwound strings or whatever it was, it was a lighter gauge than was normally used at the time).
Anyway. Like I say, easy for me to post this, but people have faced obstacles before and come up smiling, hope you do too.
Hang in there. In 51 years of playing, I have had several severe injuries and a couple of surgeries to the left hand to free a trigger finger. I ignore the doctors' advice and prognoses and play as soon as I can get to a guitar. I have some arthritis and a whole lot of nerve damage, but I play and forget about it.
Best of luck.
Thanks for the post Radd. Really glad thing got better for you...well done buddy. I'm seeing a specialist later today. xx
Thanks Biddlin. Appreciate your post. Good luck to you buddy xx
Cheers buddy. Thanks for the encouragement xx
ThanksTim. Much appreciated.. xx
I suffer from Arthritis in a couple of fingers plus blood circulation problems.I like herbal/natural remedies so take a 1-a-day Ginkgo Biloba tablet and a 1-a-day Glucosamine tablet(Don't take if allergic to shellfish/read warnings).
Also I use a tennis ball or hard rubber ball of the same size and exercise(Got one from ASDA-Wallmart/Toys section) my hands by squeezing it whilst watching TV.I ride Motorcycles so this helps with my grip on those as well.
Even though painful I fight the Arthritis with exercise.The worst thing you can do is become inactive IMHO.
Also there are some excellent,"Yoga" exercises you can use,
On a more local website, I've noted some "older" guys reducing gear because their joints don't let them play as much as before. Got my TeleStrat partscaster from one of them. Didn't go into specifics about his joints but he seemed to think wear and tear from playing had something to do with it.
There are several different slide tunings. Open G is a good one but there are many more to explore.
There are plenty of instructional vids on the Tube too. Cranked up slide is a joy to my ears, especially with a wah wah!
Since your symptoms are isolated to your 5th and 4th fingers, it's likely that you have ulnar nerve palsy caused by compression of the ulnar nerve. I still have it and it renders my 5th finger to be uncontrolled, so I can finger complex chords. I tried some exercises I found on this video and for me they worked. The symptoms linger for a long time, and in the 3-4 years I've had it, it tends to recur in the summertime. So in addition to the Tai Chi moves I do( some are noted on this video) the video on therapy for this condition proved to be very helpful.
These exercises in physiotherapy may be helpful:
I also think the playing of a thin neck like a modern C doesn't help. I limit how long (about 60 minutes) I play my 1990 Strat Ultra HSS, which is the only guitar I own with one of these necks. I really like the neck on my older Strat, from 1970, because the old beast has an oval C neck shape, much more fuller than the modern C. The Modern C is actually a 'Flat-oval' C neck, and I will not buy another guitar with this neck. I could save up and change this neck, but the neck has an ebony board, one of the few made by Fender on the regular production line, with heavy input from the custom shop when it was manufactured. The neck is very good, until I have this problem. By limiting my session on the thin neck I have managed to keep the symptoms at bay. I usually practice on the older Strat, and use the Ultra at the gig.
Thanks qblue - much appreciated xx
VERY sorry to hear this and I hope you can figure out a 'work around'.
Most people "age into" hand problems eventually. Some sooner than others and to varying degrees. Keep at it in some way/form!!! Never give up!!!
I have also dealt with a couple injuries that hindered me in my hobbies. Back in 2007 my neck collapsed and pinched off the nerves to the left side of my body. I had to give up playing guitars for several months as I had no fine motor skills and could barely even walk. Then in 2011 while at work I was hit by a car and had my leg shattered. I was on crutches and in a wheel chair for 6 months because I could not put any weight on my leg at all while it healed. Six surgeries later I finally got a prosthetic knee and can almost walk without a limp mossy pic the time. This injury took motorcycle racing away from me as well as distance tuning, two things that I loved doing. I still can't run or race but I habe found other things to fill those voids. I understand what it means to not be able to do what you love the way you used to, but that doesn't mean that you have to stop something completely. I can't run but I help coach others ands I still work on bikes for people to race. You just have to adapt and do it from a different angle.
I will throw a prayer up for you from time to time as I think about it. Keep your head up and never give up brother.
It's like Jeff Healy is blind and I know I'll never be as good as him LOL.