Prosthetic finger tip

Prosthetic finger tip

Does any fiddler out there have any experience or advice about prosthetic finger tips and their practical use for fiddling. Many years ago I cut off about half an inch off my left index finger (arguably the most important finger for fiddling) and have spent years slamming the end with a steel ruler to toughen it up (no, I,m not joking, so please no pathetic comments). The end is now sufficiently toughened up, but the shorter length of finger does pose a problem. I just saw on Google that there are a few companies now making silicon extension finger tips, and wondered if anyone here had ever had any experience with them ?

Re: Prosthetic finger tip

Firstly, wow. Good on you for not letting something like that get in the way. I don’t know how a prosthetic fingertip would really work, but I think giving it a go would for sure be doable. Best of luck to you man.
Have you heard of Django Reinheart? 🙂

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Can’t answer the question, but must say I love yer ‘handle’. Mayhap with a little luck and some alchemy you can change that to ‘silverhands’.

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I am wondering if you are in the habit of letting the neck sit right in the fork between thumb and finger. I think if you held it between thumb and the base knuckle of the index finger, you’d have more reach.

In extremis, you could possibly consider ditching the index finger altogether and using 2/3/4. You’d have to get comfortable with position shifting to deal with high Bs, but that’s perfectly doable.

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Re: Prosthetic finger tip

Aaron Olwell, Patrick’s son, lost two finer tips on his left hand when he was about a year old. He is right-handed. Now he bows with his left hand and uses his right hand on the fingerboard. If he can do it, you can do it. Aaron is a great musician, highly accomplished on a half-dozen instruments.

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Or just take up the pipes, where finger tips are not used or necessary. :^)

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Ryan Thompson (Captain Fiddle) was an accomplished fiddler long before he developed focal dystonia and relearned to play left-handed. Check out his website. Frank McCormack (sp?) is a wonderful banjo player easily at home playing right or left handed. It may feel like starting over but it can be done.

Re: Prosthetic finger tip

Find a person who works in the special effects section of the film industry, some of them are wizards with silicone prostheses.

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Re: Prosthetic finger tip

Thanks for all the very constructive comments, though at 75 I think I,m a bit old to switch to playing left handed ! Cag, I think I will try your suggestion first, and have located an outfit called Galaxy Guitars, who appear to specialize in what you suggested. Thanks all !

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The only people I can bring to mind that have lost fingers or parts of fingers are Django Reinhardt an Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), both guitarists. Django only had two functional fingers on his left hand, losing the others in a fire. Iommi is missing his middle and ring fingertips due to an industrial accident. Iommi made his own prosthetic finger tips (at least originally), and continues to play even today still. In an interview, he mentioned having to adapt to the lack of feeling using the prosthetic tips, and that it caused him to change his technique early on, relying on his complete fingers more for solo work. So it can be done, it will take experimentation, practice and dedication to find what works best for you.

Re: Prosthetic finger tip

Years ago there was a fiddle player around Omagh County Tyrone who used a piece of a wine bottle cork to replace a lost finger tip. (Wish I could remember his name.)

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