Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#2908113 - 02/08/18 12:30 PM Workarounds
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Couldn't think of a better description as a subject.

Not to beat a dead horse but, a topic I refer to often i.e. arthritic fingers, my middle finger is fused at the main 2nd joint. Since I can't bend it, it's next to impossible to really play chords, arpeggios, etc.

Any ideas on a workaround?

BTW:. I've tried playing slide, both bottleneck and lapdawg... can't mute.

Top
GP Island
#2908116 - 02/08/18 12:45 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
p90jr Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 3098
open or alternate tunings, and learning to play without that finger?

Top
#2908118 - 02/08/18 12:58 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: p90jr]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: p90jr
open or alternate tunings, and learning to play without that finger?



Thanks. I do that, but still a problem to play minor chords and to try to play an intro, fill...



Edited by DocPate (02/08/18 12:59 PM)

Top
#2908128 - 02/08/18 01:44 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
desertbluesman Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 4674
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
Got nothing for that question Doc. My fingers all still work fairly well. Although I can't imagine why because I was a bricklayer by trade, and I made my living abusing my arms and hands lifting weight. I figure that if I laid 300 eight inch 8"x8"x16" Concrete block at 36 lbs each, that is 10,800 pounds each day with my left hand and about 3,000 lbs of mortar on trowel with my right hand each day. Many times it would take me 2 to 3 hours of practice at night to loosen up enough to be fluent. The fact that I can play at all at 75 years old is a miracle. I wish I had some sort of solution for you, but that is beyond my skill or knowledge level. Best wishes for a solution, if one of the others has one to suggest....
_________________________
dbm
If it sounds good, it is good !!
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=143231&content=music
Harvey Cedars is my stage name on Soundclick

Top
#2908225 - 02/08/18 09:07 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: desertbluesman]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11205
Loc: Northern California
557575 577555 I always feel like I'm flipping the bird with these two chord formations Doc. The 1st can be used for all your 7th chords (and fake all you major chords) and the 2nd one can be used for all your minor chords, both are skipping that middle finger...

x5x555 5x5555 using the tip of the middle finger and holding it straight playing the bass note and barring the rest with your ring finger, the 1st one can fake all your 9th chords and the 2nd one can play all your minor 7th chords... cool



Edited by Larryz (02/09/18 07:47 AM)
_________________________
Take care, Larryz

Top
#2908280 - 02/09/18 07:34 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Can you clarify that fusion ?
Is it the joint closest to yer palm or closest to yer finger tip ?
_________________________
d=halfnote

Top
#2908293 - 02/09/18 08:15 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: d]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: d
Can you clarify that fusion ?
Is it the joint closest to yer palm or closest to yer finger tip ?

Thanks for asking. There are 3 joints. From the palm the joint adjacent to the palm is ok. The joint that should bend next down the finger is the one that's fused. The small joint next to tip is good

Top
#2908298 - 02/09/18 08:43 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
OK, I see...but let me ask y'this---w/no attitude other than my own experience w/ the medical profession---what is the cause of that fusion ?
Are there any techniques that might alleviate it that have not been mentioned to you ?
I will return w/ my own ideas abt what but to explore & what might be available to you outside the "common" realm of medicine...
FWIW & BTW, I once moved from 1 are to another & began experiencing repeated severe ear infections.
Following yrs of treatments by high-level docs (all to no real solution), an ordinary family practitioner informed me that such ear infections (aka "swimmer's ear")_ are easily resolved by a cheap & well-known technique......
My point here is that sometimes, whether by lost knowledge or by deliberate obscuration, medical practitioners mayn't avail you of the best options.

_________________________
d=halfnote

Top
#2908304 - 02/09/18 08:59 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: d]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Thanks. But my problem is just advanced age (80) with arthritis affecting my hands and knees. I've been through the treatments and remedies. No avail. Tried slide, lap steel and open tuning with glass slide. Problems with the ability to fret and/or muting properly. But I sincerely appreciate the interest and suggestions.

BTW:. @Larry...great suggestion. I need more practice.

Top
#2908436 - 02/09/18 06:11 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11205
Loc: Northern California
thu Keep us posted Doc!
_________________________
Take care, Larryz

Top
#2908519 - 02/10/18 08:36 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: Larryz]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13477
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Playing slide on electric doesn't really require muting behind the slide, and a lot of muting can be done with the picking hand. But if your middle finger is fused, what about your ring and little fingers?
_________________________
Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




Top
#2908525 - 02/10/18 09:02 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: picker]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Just when playing minors, 7ths and some Other color chords on slide requires muting of some strings I think.

But thanks for your help. Yes, my ring and pinkie are ok. I've really tried to relearn basic guitar chords, flatpicking, etc around the good fingers but always the muscle memory of 65 or so years keeps my middle finger trying to play the notes.

Top
#2909260 - 02/13/18 08:59 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Does this apply to both hands (I didn't see that mentioned) ?

For the fretting hand, all I got's different positions & inversions.
There's also the value of playing other instruments.
The piano, for instance, is actually more efficiently played w/ a flat finger technique.

There's also looking at changing yer approach to what you emphasize in yer playing.
Of course fingering adaptations will never be as good as when probs don't exist but I must point to what magic this cat continued to achieve w/a mid-career prob that woulda stopped most of us outright.
Don't give up what you might do b/c of what you have to do differently.



If it also affects picking hand there's this guy.
I tried to find something that showed his finger tech but this is all I got so far.


_________________________
d=halfnote

Top
#2909264 - 02/13/18 09:17 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: d]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
No, thank goodness my right hand is fairly good. It's just my left or fretting hand that's my major problem. I didn't mention the hand cramps that seems to be getting worse. But those are temporary, only making me drop my pick now and then.

All of you guys suggestions are taken to heart with many thanks. I hope, if nothing else comes from this thread, others will not let arthritis keep them from staying active, even when pain may say stop. Don't let it progress to my condition.

Top
#2909386 - 02/13/18 05:25 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: DocPate]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Originally Posted By: DocPate
the muscle memory of 65 or so years keeps my middle finger trying to play the notes.


Tie that sucker back toward yer wrist w/a physical therapy band !
_________________________
d=halfnote

Top
#2909407 - 02/13/18 08:21 PM Re: Workarounds [Re: d]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5574
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
...resulting in “Hey, that guitarist is flipping me off!”

I think the suggestions here are pretty solid. This IS difficult, no question. Guys like Django and Iommi completely reworked their fretting style- and other elements like alternative tunings- to accommodate their respective disabilities, and ultimately, that’s THE answer.

They, OTOH, were not fighting 65 years of muscle memory. All I can do is wish you luck.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2909557 - 02/14/18 10:38 AM Re: Workarounds [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
DocPate Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: Virginia
Many, many thanks for the well-wishers.

I'll never give up, just adjust to my limitations and self-expectations.

Top


Moderator:  A String, Bluesape, myles_rose