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Thread: Dammit!

  1. #1
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Dammit!

    So, some time I just can't get out of my own way...

    As some of you know, I got my Northfield F-5S a couple of weeks ago. I was already playing with a lot more regularity over the last few weeks, but being able to play the NF ramped my amount of playing time WAY up with the end result that you always enjoy from these increases...my playing has siginificantly improved!

    Well, yesterday, I recieved from Amazon a new "pooper-scooper" set with kind of a "telescoping" handle configuration that had to be assembled. This thing is cheap and the fit was poor, so in the process of trying to wedge this thing together. I cut the dickens out of the end of my left index finger! Small cut, but VERY deep.

    And, I've been on blood-thinners for an extended period of time, so just getting the bleeding to shut down with something like this takes patience.

    The end result is, that until there is a significant level of healing, I just can't play. My guess will be 10 days to a couple of weeks. If I give in, and start trying too soon, even with a band-aid on, I'll just open it back up and be back to "square one".

    This would be a bad deal at anytime for any picker. But, when you are still in the "honeymoon" phase with a new mandolin, it really, really sucks.

    I guess the moral of this story is, "Be a particular picker in the selection of your poop picker"

    For any that have like stories, please share them. Misery loves company!
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

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  2. #2
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Hmmm .... I have had three trigger finger release surgeries . Two on my left hand and I had to wait a couple of weeks to start playing again. It felt like a couple of months. I once got a blister on the very tip of my index finger , left hand, and had to trim off the callus. That was a week in toughen up the finger tip before a music camp. I learned that liquid bandage does not slide on a string..... Tempus Fugit ..... study some theory and chord construction. It isn't playing ... but what else is? R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  3. #3
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    I burnt the heck out of my index finer tip just the other day. Fortunately for me, it was my pick holder hand, and doesn’t hurt holding a pick. Whew!
    Heal well
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  4. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMohican View Post
    The end result is, that until there is a significant level of healing, I just can't play. My guess will be 10 days to a couple of weeks. If I give in, and start trying too soon, even with a band-aid on, I'll just open it back up and be back to "square one".
    I had a similar wound (if not accident) several years ago, so I spent a couple of weeks subtracting the index finger from the equation. My middle finger masqueraded as the pointer, the ring subbed in for the middle, and even the pinky was conscripted for ring duty . . . with slides to comp for the pinky! The real progress occurred when the dexterous index finger returned to the lineup only to find that its teammates had improved in its absence. At times such as this one, it is good to look for continued ways to practice being musical and to retain the perspective that you still have one more good finger than Django Reinhardt.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Dammit!

    Major bummer Mohican! You might try vitamin E oil and see if that speeds up the healing process. The first thing that popped into my head was "Ah, perfect incentive for pinky exercises" (my pinky is a major weakness for me) but then realized most pinky work involves planting the first or second finger. Just think: that Northfield is going to sound so much better in two weeks. Speedy healing to you and stay healthy.

  7. #6
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    I popped a tendon in my left hand a few years ago - splinted for 3 months (but no surgery, thank goodness). I worked on lap steel.

    So maybe some slide mando for a while?

    D.H.

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    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Do what pheffernan said! It's called an opportunity.
    Phil

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  11. #8
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    whew, I thought you were gonna say you hurt your mandolin for a minute....
    Fingers will heal faster than a big ol ding in the top.
    Drew
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  13. #9
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    whew, I thought you were gonna say you hurt your mandolin for a minute....
    Fingers will heal faster than a big ol ding in the top.
    Yeah, between "finger" or "mandolin", I'm picking "finger" every damn time!
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

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  14. #10
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    I was walking down the street one day, stone-cold sober, tripped on a little gap at the edge of a sidewalk, and broke my wrist. The doctor put a steel plate in, which both limited my wrist movement (not so much that anyone else would notice) and made my pinky so weak that I had to work for months at even bending it. I had to re-learn to play my fiddle. I hadn't started mandolin then, but, when I play now, the plate greatly affects my left-hand position, especially on barring and on playing chords stretching five or six frets. On top of that, with arthritis in my right hand, I use a thumb pick rather than the usual one. No mandolin teacher would point me out as a model of good form. I do daily exercises, trying to give my left-hand fingers a little more stretch and to make my pinky more flexible, tasks of not weeks but years. Like Pheffernan (post 4), I think of Django when I'm discouraged, and also of Cedell Davies, the Mississippi blues guitarist and singer, with polio-crippled hands, who learned both to strum with one hand, and to use a table knife with the other, not just to slide but to press individual notes on the high string. My problems seem minor by comparison, but then I'm no Cedell, let alone Django. Hope you're better soon. Even a paper cut can limit playing and cause considerable pain for a few days.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jul-13-2020 at 10:29am. Reason: spelling error
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  16. #11
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I was walking down the street one day, stone-cold sober, tripped on a little gap at the edge of a sidewalk, and broke my wrist. The doctor put a steel plate in, which both limited my wrist movement (not so much that anyone else would notice) and made my pinky so weak that I had to work for months at even bending it. I had to re-learn to play my fiddle. I hadn't started mandolin then, but, when I play now, the plate greatly affects my left-hand position, especially on barring and on playing chords stretching five or six frets. On top of that, with arthritis in my right hand, I use a thumb pick rather than the usual one. No mandolin teacher would point me out as a model of good form. I do daily exercises, trying to give my left-hand fingers a little more stretch and to make my pinky more flexible, tasks of not weeks but years. Like Pheffernan (post 4), I think of Django when I'm discouraged, and also of Cedell Davies, the Mississippi blues guitarist and singer, with polio-crippled hands, who learned both to strum with one hand, and to use a table knife with the other, not just to slide but to press individual notes on the high string. My problems seem minor by comparison, but then I'm no Cedell, let alone Django. Hope you're better soon. Even a paper cut can limit playing and cause considerable pain for a few days.
    Your post reminds me of Barry Abernathy who was, for years, the banjo player for Mountain Heart and was born missing several fingers on his left hand.
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

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  18. #12

    Default Re: Dammit!

    I was learning the banjo about 10 years ago & playing everyday. After about 3-4 months & just as I was starting to get a couple rolls down, I was hurrying down the stairs, missed one (3rd from the top no less) & slid/rolled/howled down the rest ending with a monster bruise on my hip and two broken fingers. I never did get back to playing banjo and have since sold them all. They financed my foray into guitar flipping so I still lived happily ever after

  19. #13
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Lost a little real estate on the tip of my index finger and required a skin graft and nerve reattachment. couldn't fret an instrument of any kind for 2 years. The sensation was simultaneously numb and prickly which was very strange. 8 years later I don't think about it when I pick up a mandolin. Spend 2 weeks working on your right and technique.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    I feel your pain, in 97 I just got my Addy Topped 57 Martin D-18 and I was at my Restaurant and very busy chopping away for someone's western omelet and took the side off my left hands middle fingers tip! Major bummer couldn't play for weeks! Well every time I tried to play my new to me old guitar I seemed somehow to use that finger and ouch! I didn't even try to pick my mandolin, I knew better.

  21. #15

    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    I feel your pain, in 97 I just got my Addy Topped 57 Martin D-18 and I was at my Restaurant and very busy chopping away for someone's western omelet and took the side off my left hands middle fingers tip! Major bummer couldn't play for weeks! Well every time I tried to play my new to me old guitar I seemed somehow to use that finger and ouch! I didn't even try to pick my mandolin, I knew better.
    I always wondered what was in a western omelet............................................ ......sorry!

  22. #16
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I always wondered what was in a western omelet............................................ ......sorry!
    Yep a little "long pig" goes a long way! No wonder it was the best omelet that guy ever had!

  23. #17
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    I've gotten more interested in design over the years, partly because of designing things like tools and jigs in the shop and my mandolin tailpiece. One conclusion (of many) that I've reached is this: If I get hurt trying to use a product as intended, that is a bad design. As you said, it is a cheap tool that hurt your finger and therein lies the problem; they didn't want to pay for a good design and the result is a hurt finger. Alternately, the design might have been OK but they scrimped on manufacturing and made a bad tool. Either way, the tool shouldn't have hurt you if it was well designed and manufactured.

    I've told this story here before but here it is again since LastMohican mentioned Barry Abernathy.
    I was trying to fix the exhaust system on my '76 F250 to make it legal to tow my Airstream to Graves Mountain Bluegrass festival. I was sawing the exhaust pipe in two with a hack saw and somehow slipped and cut the tip of my finger deeply with the saw. (I've been cut by a few tools in my life and I have to say, a hacksaw is one of the more painful ones.) I bandaged the finger and kept working but I wasn't able to get the truck ready to travel and ended up driving my car to Graves Mountain. I lived close enough in those days to commute back and forth to Graves.
    So here I am, not able to camp at the festival, with a hurt bandaged finger on my left hand and my banjo in the car, feeling sorry for myself knowing I wouldn't be able to play to the best of my abilities. I parked the car, opened the door and got out to get the banjo from the back seat just as the announcer on the PA said "ladies and gentlemen, Mountain Heart!" and Barry kicked off the opening song. I looked down at the little ol' bandaid on my finger and realized what a small problem it really was. I had fun picking at the festival and didn't sound much worse than usual.

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  25. #18
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    When I was in college, my left ring finger got clobbered in a basketball game when I tried to intercept a full-court pass, and my jump was a couple inches short. The good news was that I deflected the pass enough for the ball to go out of bounds. The bad news was that the ball had bounced off the top of my ring fingertip. A day later, most of that finger was purple and swollen, making it virtually impossible to press down a string and pretty painful if I tried. (I was only playing guitar at that point.) So for the next few weeks, I used my knowledge of guitar chords and scales to teach myself piano.

    As you can tell, I lacked the wisdom of those who know to let a finger fully heal before putting it through musical paces, so that finger only got back to about 90% strength. That’s as close to the crossroads as I’ve ever come, trading 10% of my finger strength for rudimentary piano skills.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  26. #19
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the damage. Was just changing the band aid so thougt I'm memorialize this with a photo!
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

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  27. #20
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    ouch!
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  28. #21
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMohican View Post
    Here's the damage. Was just changing the band aid so thougt I'm memorialize this with a photo!
    Flea would close something like that with super glue and keep playing.
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  29. #22
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Flea would close something like that with super glue and keep playing.
    I actually considered that...then thought better about it. And, there's this famous (around Austin) story...from my understanding, Stevie Ray Vaughn just didn't have calluses, he had, true "monster" calluses! I mean, it makes sense...he always used the heaviest gauge strings available and combine that with his style of play1 So, he was playing a gig somewhere in Austin, I think Antoine's, and that day, while practicing, the entire callused end of his middle finger complete came off. He super-glued the entire thing back on to the end of his finger and played the gig.
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

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  30. #23
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dammit!

    Ever wonder why Chet Atkins supposedly wore gloves all the time he wasn't actually playing?
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  31. #24

    Default Re: Dammit!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Flea would close something like that with super glue and keep playing.
    I was just going to suggest super glue.

    When we're on extended bouldering/climbing trips and we get flappers, (when the skin peels off a callus), we super glue the skin back down.
    There is actual skin glue you can get as well. That's what we carry now. It's called dermabond.

  32. #25

    Default Re: Dammit!

    Sounds like it’s time to play with 3 fingers in open position.
    When all is healed you’ll have your closed position songs to play
    With 4 fingers in any key you want.

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