Lately I have been dealing with a few ailments. Some caused by decades of playing guitar and some by age. I find that my knuckles have been experiencing pain, especially after playing guitar or doing work that requires a lot of “elbow grease”. It is easy for me to press on and ignore the pain, a practice looked down upon by most doctors and a Mother who is a retired Registered Nurse. Anyway, the frustration sometimes affects my mood and my happy place. I am not one to feel sorry for myself but lately I often think about what would happen if I am developing or if I ever do develop arthritis in those joints, to the degree that it really does hinder my guitar playing. I wonder how I would react to a condition that could try very hard to steal my dream. A few years back, 2014 to be exact, I had an accident with a screwdriver and a cat (don’t ask) that severed the tendon in my left pinkie. Yes, I am right handed and it is my chord hand. When I realized that the tip of my finger was pointing 90 degrees down, perpendicular to the rest of the pinkie, I knew I had a problem. Most people know this as “baseball finger” or “mallet finger”. The first thing I thought about after the fall was “this is going to really mess with my guitar playing”. It was a bit overwhelming. Now, it did affect my playing drastically. I had just completed a year at the El Paso Conservatory of Music in Classical Guitar and was playing hours a day, but I had to press on. After six weeks in a splint and a doctor who had a look of surprise when he removed the splint, I ended up with a fingertip that point 20 degrees south of the rest of the pinkie.
The doctor told me he was not even sure it would come out “this good”. “This good” meant that I would have to re-train my left hand. The doctor said “be careful with how much you play guitar”…Whatever! So I accepted the challenge that life, a cat and concrete had dished out to me and began the work. I lost speed and strength and after 3 years I am still working on re-developing those. I even started jamming with Blue Wolf. I had not jammed in a band for a decade.
Anyway, back to 2017. I woke up this morning with a sore neck, aching joints in my fingers and the desire to stay in bed. I checked my social media, as I hear so many do, and I discovered this video.
Are you fricken kidding me. Suddenly my joints don’t hurt so much and I forgot about the pain in my neck. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will hold me back from striving for guitar excellence. This guy is an inspiration to me and should be to all who are fortunate enough to view this video. Don’t let people, media or circumstance dictate your future. We can not always get to our destination the way we think but this guitarist, Mr. Guitarist to us all, proves that we can get there. We have very little control over what happens in our lives but we have 100% control on how we react.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. More importantly, go to this guys Facebook video and like and share please. He deserves the recognition.
I would love to hear your comments or stories of challenges that you, or someone you know, has had to deal with to achieve their musical dreams. If you would like your story to become a story on Partscasterpats, contact me, send me your story and let’s make it happen.