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Author Topic:  Has anyone had to deal with
Graham


From:
Marmora, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 2:49 pm    
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trying to continue playing steel after losing the big (middle) finger on their bar hand?

I ask because I lost mine 4 weeks ago and can't see how you could possibly control the bar without that finger to lay against the back of it.

If this has happened to you, I would be very interested in hearing how you overcame the problem.

Thanks.
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 2:59 pm    
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Sorry for your misfortune, but given time you WILL be able to play again.

Think of the Hawaiian steel player Billy Hew Len who lost his entire left hand and had a prosthesis made with a steel bar.

http://www.pedalpro.co.uk/folderIndex/folderHTML/News2010BillyHewLen01.html
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Bo Borland


From:
South Jersey -
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 3:16 pm    
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ask Bobbe.. his left hand a a miracle of medicine..
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Louie Hallford


From:
denison tx
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 3:32 pm    
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Keep the faith brother.You will do alright.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw your post, was an older gentleman(now deceased) who came to St Louis several years ago. Scotty had him on the Thursday night talent search several times.

One of the songs he always played was Steel Guitar Rag. One of his arms was missing and he held the bar and picked the stings out in front of the bar as he played.

I don't recall him having the bar strapped on.Seems he was gripping it some way.

I stand to be corrected about the grip. Probably some of you Forum people remember him.
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 5:04 pm    
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Graham, Did you lose the whole finger?
I lost half of mine, about 1/2" above the 2nd joint.
As you see, I am having problems dampening the strings at the first fret. Maybe we can work together to come up with some kind of prosthesis?

There's one advantage to this missing digit..when doing bar slants I use the end of the stump as a pivot point. My slants are getting fast and accurate!


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Pete Walthall


From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 5:13 pm    
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g man sorry to hear about your finger.will be thing and praying for you.your pal, pete.
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Bill Moore


From:
Manchester, Michigan
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 6:02 pm    
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Graham, I'm very sorry to hear about your injury. About a year ago, I had a less serious injury, I severed the tendon to the thumb of my bar hand. But it required surgery and wearing a cast for a couple of months. With my thumb stationary, I was not able to use it to hold the bar. I made a device to hold the bar to my fingers, and was able to play without using the thumb. See this topic: http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=167944&highlight=

I managed to play OK, well enough to do a few gigs like that. I noticed the difference, but a couple band mates said that they couldn't tell much difference in my playing. My thumb has healed, I do have full movement now, but the back of my hand is partly numb, the nerves couldn't be repaired. It was a depressing experience for me, so I know this is a tough time for you. But if you are patient, and try to adapt, things will improve for you. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. Good luck.

Bill
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 6:56 pm    
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Sorry to hear about your injury Graham. Hope you heal and rehab quickly.

I made a few of these grips out of walnut or cedar that slide over a 7/8" steel bar. I'd be happy to send you one if you think if would be helpful to your situation.

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Graham


From:
Marmora, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 7:32 pm    
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Thank you all for your replies and ideas.

Bent - Lost the whole finger which is what concerned me. Can't bring the ring finger over far enough for it to give support to the bar.

Jerry - Thank you for the offer, those look pretty interesting. I'm thinking something like that might work if it had more width past the bar on the inside. Then I think the ring finger could be used for supporting the bar.

I will look into something once I get the pins out of my ring finger but you fellas have given me some ideas and hope!!

Thanks so much.
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 7:37 pm    
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Jerry, I'd be interested in buying one of your wooden grips. I have a friend who could probably improve his grip with it. Let me know. Thanks, Rick
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 8:01 pm    
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Good Luck Graham. This one is a little wider than the others. Having the grooves made into it, I can hold it with my thumb, index and ring finger pretty well. I can pick it up ok as well.

The only thing is that I can see right away that picking it up really works on the outer hand muscle there by the pinky. This is a heavy 12 oz. bar though.

I can also custom build one to any width and to fit about any bar size at no charge in light of your situation if it would help you. I would only ask for Canadian postage. Not trying to sell you anything, just trying to help.

Let me know if you want it as your healing progresses.


Last edited by Jerry Overstreet on 5 Nov 2010 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 8:02 pm    
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see your PM Rick.
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Bob Vantine


From:
Freeville, New York, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2010 8:25 pm    
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Graham....

I am sorry for your loss/accident. I cringed at the thought of an accident all the years I worked automotive.

My dad lost his index & ring finger to first joint on his dominant hand (both lathe accidents). Always said if he lost his middle finger he could type again.Also everybody thought he was giving them "The Bird" all the time.....which he was ! Bent , his was just the opposite of yours .

Good Luck ! Hoping everything works out for you. Healing , practice & time .

Jerry your idea is very cool ! My dad was a tool & die man and would've been impressed.

****Bob V****
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Hook Moore


From:
South Charleston,West Virginia
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2010 4:29 am    
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I had no idea this happened Gman. Hang in there and don't give up my friend..
Hook

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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2010 6:49 am    
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My Big Brother; I am so sorry this happened, got teary-eyed when I read this.
You will continue my friend and will figure out how to use that bar hand; don't worry. The reason I know this; is you have the passion and you HAVE to make that sound; so it will happen. Stay with it and anything I can do/suggest; let me know.
Love ya.
Ricky
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Twayn Williams


From:
Portland, OR
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2010 11:32 am    
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There's a player in Portland who has a bar that has a "finger ring" welded to the top. The thumb is on the left side of the bar as normal and the index finger goes through the ring. Something like that might work for you.
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2010 1:07 pm    
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Graham, I don't know if he's still on here or not but about 10 years ago there was a player on the Forum named Bill Kennedy from SoCal who'd lost most of his bar hand fingers in a punch press accident I believe. I used to go see him in the middle sixties at a club in the LA area. He was a pretty good player and used a Dobro type bar with the handle on top. You can control one of those things pretty good with just the Thumb and index finger. Shubb makes one that's longer than the Stevens bar and has one rounded end like a regular steel bar has.....JH in Va.
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Joe Smith


From:
Charlotte, NC, USA
Post  Posted 6 Nov 2010 7:12 pm    
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Graham, I have a different problem. I was in a really bad auto accident back about 40 years ago. Really messed up my right hand. It took me a long time to be able to play again. I can't use my first finger, it just curls under and sometimes it cramps really bad. I had to learn to play using just my thumb and middle finger. So don't give up. If I could do it, I'm sure you will be able to play again too.
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Ricky Hagan


From:
Elm City N.C. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 8 Nov 2010 4:05 pm    
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Graham,I'm so sorry for your lose.I would do anything I could for you my friend.Don't give up.Everybody here is pulling for you.Let me know if I can help in anyway
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Joe Smith


From:
Charlotte, NC, USA
Post  Posted 9 Nov 2010 11:04 am    
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Hi Graham, Just another note to let you know that I'm still praying for you. Take good care and keep us posted.
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Joseph Barcus


From:
Volga West Virginia
Post  Posted 9 Nov 2010 6:34 pm    
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Hey Graham sorry to hear about that, just how did this happen? I know you play with the picks on your left hand. do you think its possible you could play right handed and use thumb, index, ring for your picks???. that would mean a different guitar for you though
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Graham


From:
Marmora, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2010 5:20 am    
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Thanks to all who responded to this post. Finally got the pins out of the ring finger and now comes the rehab part to get things moving easy again.

Thanks especially to Jerry Overstreet for his offer of help. I believe what he has come up with will work for my situation.

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Pete Young


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2010 7:37 pm    
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Hi Graham
Sorry to hear about your hand. But do you remember Buddy Ackers. He was born with no fingers on his left hand. Never stopped him from been a good steel player. You just have to tell yourself you are going to do it and you will. It will take work but like anything else you will overcome it.Hope to get to see you again and by then you will be back to playing great
Take care
Pete Young
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Tomi Graso


From:
Sydney / Australia
Post  Posted 24 Nov 2010 3:06 am    
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I am sorry to see this happening to you Graham.
We met at ISGC in St Louis in 2002, i played your lefty guitar , not sure if you remember, has been a while now.
The good thing is , your picking hand is unaffected so you can still pick ! Give it some time , you'll be just fine i know. Lemme know how you're going with it all , would love to hear from you again !
God Bless !
Tomi ........steel
Lefty
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 28 Nov 2010 10:20 am    
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Closed
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=184510
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