Jump to content
fretmeister

Anyone ruptured a tendon in their plucking hand?

Recommended Posts

This morning I ruptured the tendon on my right hand middle finger.

It is now in a splint and has to stay that way 24/7 for 3 months. Then "extensive" physiotherapy with a hand specialist.

And 50% chance of full recovery.

 

I am not holding out much hope with those odds. :( 

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

This morning I ruptured the tendon on my right hand middle finger.

It is now in a splint and has to stay that way 24/7 for 3 months. Then "extensive" physiotherapy with a hand specialist.

And 50% chance of full recovery.

I am not holding out much hope with those odds. :( 

I wake up most mornings feeling like I have in my fretting hand. I know what my condition is and it’s nowhere near as serious as yours, but I really don’t envy you. I wish you all the best in your recovery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have nerve damage in my right hand due to various things, which means that I simply cannot accurately play many things that I used to. As I’ve said elsewhere, the fact that I originally learned to play with a plectrum has saved my playing life, certainly at anything like the standard I need to be to play my own lines. 

I sincerely hope you have a full recovery, wishing you all the best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, 4000 said:

I have nerve damage in my right hand due to various things, which means that I simply cannot accurately play many things that I used to. As I’ve said elsewhere, the fact that I originally learned to play with a plectrum has saved my playing life, certainly at anything like the standard I need to be to play my own lines. 

I sincerely hope you have a full recovery, wishing you all the best. 

I might have to look at plectrum playing. I've played fingerstyle for 30 years.

Not going to be an easy transition - and probably not going to sound right for my big band either - if it ever starts up again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, and it's not the end of the road for you either. Just another challenge you will meet, just like the endless challenges you have already surpassed in your life.  Learning how to walk, how to read and write, all significant challenges you face, conquer and move on to the next. 

In the sphere of music alone you can learn perseverance and adaptability from the likes of Tony Iommi , sawing off the ends of his fingers in his teens,  Django Reinhardt losing two fingers, Pete Townshend impaling a tremolo arm all the way through his hand and in later years just about being able to hold a pic. Rick Allen drumming with only one arm, Beethoven composing whilst being deaf, Jeff Healey playing guitar whilst being blind. That's just off the top of my head. 

I have no doubt if you keep fighting and adapting, you will find a way. 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knacked my hands from too much keyboard typing, so learned the hard way. But I've adapted and now manage without any problem by using other fingers.

For bass playing, vary what you do, so some finger, some thumb, some pleck, never too much, never let it hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh, sounds nasty- how did it happen?

If there isn't too much pain you may be able to begin gently messing about with a plectrum straight away. 3 months getting into the swing isn't a bad run! Also, EQ and technique can get a big, warm sound from a plec. It could be totally workable!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a stroke 3 years ago, bleed on the brain, out of the blue. Couldn't walk and couldn't even hold a pen and write with no real control of my hand. I play finger style, no plec. Fretting hand was fine. Really thought I was f***** go forward as laying there in hospital. Six weeks later did my first gig. After 30 mins any real control and stamina in the hand had gone and was literally brushing my hand across the strings hoping to hit the right one. A few months no problem in gigging. I'd say was 70% back to normal. 3 years later I know it will never be 100% but I can gig with no one ever knowing I had/have a problem.

Physio will get you back on course. You'll be fine.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is any comfort, the nhs physio`s are great. I spent a good load of cash on private physiotherapy but the local nhs lady sorted the problem out and (touch wood!) I have been fine since.

Good luck and stay positive!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fretmeister said:

I might have to look at plectrum playing. I've played fingerstyle for 30 years.

Not going to be an easy transition - and probably not going to sound right for my big band either - if it ever starts up again.

If you do take the plectrum route, there are literally thousands, and they all sound different. And you’ll get a different sound from the same plectrum depending on how you hold it and strike the string. Just don’t put boundaries on it. Years ago I was playing in a shop and one of the assistants, a big Jaco fan, ran up asking how I was playing what I was playing. I just showed him the pick. 

FWIW, Steve Swallow uses a plectrum. I would’ve thought he’d get by in your big band. And Anthony Jackson too, for that matter; he’s happy to use a pick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did this, middle finger on my right hand, same thing with the finger in a splint thing for what seemed like a long time but I'm guessing was about the same. That was about 6 years ago. Mine was the tendon that pulls the finger straight rather than the one that pulls it curved, put my hand out for a minor stumble and that finger just got caught on something and folded round and under enough to do it.

Obviously it doesn't gaurantee anything because I'm just one other person but I had forgotten that it even happened until I saw your post. That finger does not extend quite as straight as the others by a tiny amount, but other than that I don't even notice. I wouldn't hold my plucking up as the greatest ever (I use a pick half the time anyway) but that's lack of talent and practice and nothing to do with the tendon. :) Been learning piano recently and still didn't remember I'd even done it.

It does take a while, mine kept improving even after the splint was off, so you will definitely need your patient (in both senses of the word) head on. Make sure the splint fits properly.

Hope it heals well!

Edited by adamg67
speling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, fretmeister said:

I might have to look at plectrum playing. I've played fingerstyle for 30 years.

Not going to be an easy transition - and probably not going to sound right for my big band either - if it ever starts up again.

try wooden picks. I bought some from a Canadian guy, treepicks is the business name.

Has a thicker, deeper attack, no plastic click sound. With flats you definitely can mimic finger plucks.

Not cheap, $20CA for 3. but they are great. Worth a try. I used to use fingers only,but now I can't put these picks down. Have transformed my playing as my plucking hand is getting worse with arthritis and I can't play as fast as I could.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tore the tendon of the ring finger of my fretting hand playing rugby many years ago, and have a cracking scar for my troubles. 

The finger in question got back about 80% of its movement and works well enough.

My one piece of advice would be to work through all the physio you're prescribed and don't shirk it. It'll be worth it in the long run 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to learn to pick play.  Thats what ive had to do after breaking my elbow and injuring the ulnar nerve, and losing the feeling in 2 fingers as a result.  It didn't take long to adapt, and is a damn sight better than not playing at all.  Heck, after 18 months or so ive developed my technique to the point where I cant tell on my own recordings whether I was playing pick or fingerstyle. The only downside is I really struggle to play slap style...so it's not all bad!

So don't  be crestfallen. Even if the worst happens it's  probably not over for your playing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once crushed my right middle finger and had 5 or so stiches in it at the tip. Try using index and fourth finger - you'll soon get used to it until your middle finger is usable again 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost the use of the middle finger on my right (plucking) hand after a motorcycle accident five years ago. Prior to that, I had been a finger style only player for about 40 years. Since then I have had to use a pick, and after the first the year or two got quite used to it. I know find it difficult to hear the difference between gigs recorded before the accident and  in more recent times.

I did have extensive physiotherapy to help the use of the finger, but unfortunately it made no difference. I would definitely recommend that you you persist with the physio - it can work surprisingly well (as it did with the other injuries I suffered), but if it doesn't work for you, it needn't be the end of your bass playing either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If such a bummer is going to happen, it may as well as be when pretty well all bands are not playing or rehearsing. By the time the gigs are back, you'll be up to speed with whatever the re-work does. Good luck with it; stick to what the medics say, and don't try to rush it. The fastest way is to go slowly; follow their advice. :friends:

Edited by Dad3353

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but I have ruptured one in my fretting hand.  I was in plaster for months and then had to attend occupational therapy to learn to use the hand again without the tendon.  The tendon concerned was one of those that holds the thumb steady so quite a significant one when you play a guitar, and when I started the therapy I was unable to make a fist or touch the tip of my middle finger with my thumb.

The therapy did a great job but it was a bizzare process involving playing with a lot of medical plasticine. Although the joint isn't as it should be it doesn't impact my playing that much.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a new splint made after the last one was a bit tight and squeezing the finger too much. 

I've been playing a bit with a plectrum. I bought about 30 different ones to see what I liked including some non-trad ones to try and get a fingertyle tone.

Leather ones were promising but the suede side is very 'grabby' on roundwounds. So I got a felt ukulele one and that is better.

 

Main issue really is that to my ears it doesn't sound like me playing it now. "My" sound has always been fingers with a touch of thumb here and there.

 

I have another month before the next assessment. Apparently that will involve gently removing the splint to see if the finger will stay straight (good sign for healing) or whether it curls up again. Then a decison on further splinting or supporting tape use if it's good news, or more splint time (starting again) or surgery if it's not healing.

 

Fingers crossed (ahem).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/12/2020 at 19:04, fretmeister said:

I might have to look at plectrum playing. I've played fingerstyle for 30 years.

Not going to be an easy transition - and probably not going to sound right for my big band either - if it ever starts up again.

I struggle to play with a plectrum after playing fingerstyle for 40+ yrs but what i do find a lot easier is holding my index finger as a pick and that seems to work for me.

I've tried many times to get used to a plectrum but i just can't get the same ryhthym going as i can with my index finger.

If i had no choice i'm sure i would adapt as i'm sure you will if required.

Wish you all the very best for a good fast recovery and hope it doesn't come to you having to change playing style

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite honestly, I can't tell the difference on live recordings between my pick and finger playing. The only way I know which is which is by the date - pre December 2015 - fingers, post December 15 - pick. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grow my fingernails a bit just enough to catch the strings which to me sounds like a pick. Def hear the difference in attack between fingernails, a pick and using my fingers (without the nails catching)

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a thick (3mm) pick and don't get much of a click - although the pick is rigid, the sound is quite un-pick like. I would probably hear the difference if I recorded the bass on its own - but then I couldn't compare it with my finger style as I can't play that way any more. In a band setting, though, there is very little, if any, audible difference. I would say that I am able to access a greater range of tones with the pick, as I can get more attack when needed.

I wouldn't have started using a pick by choice, as I was like so many bassists and believed that finger style was the one true path. In some ways, I am fortunate to have had the discovery that I was wrong forced upon me!

Edited by FinnDave
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have the first pick i ever had that came with a bass from a home shopping catalogue around 76.

Its a reddish tort colour and its a curved shape to fit round the curve of your thumb.

Maybe i should really take another stab at using a pick. Guitarists keep telling me to use one but what do they know. 😂

Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...