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Posted by Linda Jo on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I have a bum right hand due to a work injury. Limited use and pain of the middle finger - ring finger - pinky. The pointer finger generally works but with iffy moments. But so far the thumb seems to be working fine.
I am unable to play the piano, which had been my main instrument (and what I did as a profession). Limited finger accuracy and pain makes for not the best playing experience.
I need my music. If there is a will there is a way. With a bit of adapting I am relearning how to play some string instruments. They may have been mainly "for-fun" instruments but they are allowing me to still enjoy my music just in a new format.
I used a flat pick on the guitar but since the injury the pick would fly out of my hand regularly. Now I use a banjo thumb pick. I'm doing a little Mother Maybelle styling on some tunes. I also use it like a flat pick, "holding" it like a flat pick between my thumb and pointer.
I'm even using the thumb pick to flat pick on a standard mandolin. I am doing more with the octave mandolin, actually using the thumb pick and pointer finger to do a more of a finger-picking style -- really nice on minor and modal tunes.
With a thumb pick and a mizrab (a sitar pick) on my pointer finger I have relearned to play the banjo using a two-finger style. I'm getting a pretty good pre-WWII sound going. I'm pleased with the results; actually I am VERY pleased with the results.






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