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Losing a nail

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jp grimbass, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. jp grimbass

    jp grimbass

    Aug 22, 2011
    I'm hoping someone has been in this situation before...

    I smashed the middle finger on my plucking hand last week in a ferocious fight with the sliding patio door. The pain has subsided enough that I am able to use the finger when I absolutely have to but the doctor thinks I may lose the fingernail at any time.

    I normally cut my nails extremely short and never use them as part of my playing so I'm wondering if the loss of the nail could potentially cause any weird playing issues before it grows back.
  2. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    It will be pretty sensitive, but ive had numerous and various nails purple-pop off my finger, and they never messed with my playing beyond when the finger was still itself injured..
  3. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    It has happened to me, with tha car door. Index finger on my plucking hand was out of use for quite a while. I had to tread lightly as the nail went through all of its phases of dropping and then slowely returning.

    Try a pick, or use your good fingers. Builds character
  4. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    I had my nail ripped out on the middle finger of my fret hand. I know that really hurt to apply pressure on the fretboard. I just made it an opportunity to focus on my ring finger. I had to change patterns, but it opened up the door for some thinkgs that I wouldn't have thought of hadn't I had my injury. You could start working with your ring finger on your plucking hand. Maybe work on some pick playing as mentioned.

    You can either use it as an excuse not play or as a chance to learn something new. As soon as it grows back and you start playing how you usually do everything will fall neatly back into place.
  5. I had a cuticle infection that ended up requiring surgery in the middle finger of my plucking hand. I just used the index and ring finger for about a two months. I got used to it really quickly. You'll be fine.
  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I lost a thumbnail while fooling around with a metal blade desktop fan (don't ask). I still played and it did grow back. I got used to any playing pain, if there was any, and did OK until the nail came back. The body can get over all sorts of physical impairments to desired activities if the will to do them is there.
  7. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Everyone of these posts HURT just reading them....I think I'm going to start wearing oven mits
  8. A few years ago , I was ruthlessly attacked by a snowblower (yes , sad to say , even bass players can do really stupid things.)My plucking hand middle fingernail was deftly removed and the tip of the bone was shattered. I went to the doctor and he said there wasn't much he could do and sent me to the hospital for x-rays. They looked at the x-rays and said there wasn't much they could do and sent me and the x-rays to an orthopedic. He looked at the x-rays and said there wasn't much he could do and that it would just have to heal on it's own. He bandaged the thing up and sent me on my way. After a few days I removed the bandages and pondered my fate. I had three other fingers on the hand so I decided to use them. Amazingly enough , it worked and as a result I was able to develop additional skills using the other fingers for plucking.Not too long after that everything healed up pretty much and I was able to start using the middle finger again (both for playing and showing my disdain for lousy drivers in my area) and now I have 3 finger plucking techniques that I never possessed before. Don't sweat it. You have alternatives and soon , the nail will grow back and it will all be a distant memory.
  9. jp grimbass

    jp grimbass

    Aug 22, 2011
    It was comforting to hear some other stories of plucking hand destruction. My nail seems like it is on the way out but I survived a gig and recording session this week with one finger. We did have to push out one particularly difficult song until next week for the recording and we did cut one song from the gig but it wasn't the end of the world. If I can get through Tuesday I can let the finger rest and heal...

    One big lesson this has taught me is that I need to be prepared for anything. I have avoided using a pick for the most part but some pick skills would have saved the song we ended up cutting. The ring finger was useful but I haven't developed that as much as I should have either. Adding a few things to the practice agenda is never a bad thing.

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