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LimousinLil
05-25-2013, 07:41 AM
Having just blistered the end of my thumb on a hot pan whilst preparing dinner (ouch!), I am prompted to wonder how many of our more "serious" players take precautions to protect their hands against such dangerous everyday activities as, well ... say, cooking!? This is not such a daft question. We used to know a Brain Surgeon who was rarely, if ever, seen without a pair of sturdy leather gloves on his hands - which, on reflection, DID give him a rather creepy appearance. Not that I am equating ukulele playing to performing brain surgery - although, in my case, it might as well be! But does anyone out there value their digits sufficiently to shield them from the hazards of day to day activities?
(P.S. This post is not an excuse for gruesome photos of past mishaps!)

teruterubouzu
05-25-2013, 07:45 AM
I hope your thumb heals quickly. I can't imagine wearing sturdy gloves all of the time, but I guess it makes sense if your livelihood depends on it.

mds725
05-25-2013, 08:02 AM
Sorry to hear about your thumb! I hope it heals quickly. It's my understanding that once there's no open wound, aloe very helps burned skin heal faster.

I had the same question you've asked after I got into a bicycle accident in August 2011 and broke the tip of the middle finger on my right (strumming) hand (no photos). I was able to learn to strum with my thumb until I got the use of my finger back, but it still feels funny when I use my middle finger to fingerpick. I wondered about ukulele players like Jake Shimabukuro, who use all their fingers when they play and probably can't afford to injure any of them. I would imagine if Jake broke a finger he'd get the best care on Earth for it (my finger was placed in a splint and healed at a slight angle), probably have it surgically repaired, but there's still never any assurance that a broken body part, however small, will be "as good as new" when it heals. I imagine Jake's hands are insured for a boatload of money, but I also wonder if he avoids certain activities (either by choice or because his hand insurer requires him to) to protect his hands. I still ride my bike, and haven't resorted to Kevlar bicycle gloves or anything, but I remain aware that a hand injury could put me out of ukulele commission for a while.

pulelehua
05-25-2013, 08:29 AM
When I started growing my nails for guitar playing... well, many years ago, I played a game of basketball. I like basketball. I hadn't played in a while. I went to get a pass. It was just out of reach. And pulled back every one of my fingernails. I was dripping blood.

That led to two lessons:

1. Grow my nails a bit less long.
2. Be careful!

So while I don't take particular precautions, I am aware.

OldePhart
05-25-2013, 08:37 AM
I've occasionally mashed a finger or cut one pretty badly - usually on my right hand which means I can always find a way to work around it. When I did a number on my index finger a while back I switched to using my thumb and second and ring fingers for rolls and pattern picking - once my index finger got back to normal I discovered I can do even more right handed stuff now using thumb and three fingers instead of thumb, index, and second.

Wouldn't want to have anything but maybe the thumb beat up on my left hand, though...

John

JTY
05-25-2013, 08:53 AM
I feel your pain bud... I recently mashed the tip of my left pinky in a roller, lucky it was just the tip area, not the nail cuticle area. Blood dripping everywhere.. Didnt lose the nail but put my guitar playing in a bit of pain for a few weeks. Took a month for the swelling to stop.. and reduce to the same size as the right pinky. Now nearly 7 weeks later its finally back to normal except for half of a blackish nail. Gotta be real careful with the fingers.

ukuLily Mars
05-25-2013, 01:46 PM
Well, at one point I was making my living as a knitting instructor and freelance word processor, and I did tend to be careful of my hands, but not to the extreme you described. I just didn't want to be out of work. But neither of those activities requires the sensitivity of brain surgery.

Try calendula ointment on your burn. Works great on cuts, too. I've found it speeds up the healing and also prevents scarring.

I hope your thumb heals quickly!

mm stan
05-25-2013, 02:09 PM
Yes I am more concerned with my nails....I just broke one the other day....I was opening a can of coke...shoots...

bborzell
05-25-2013, 02:18 PM
I was actually thinking about my hands and ukes last night. Earlier in the day I had operated a small tiller in the garden and by evening, when I dragged out a uke to play, my technique was awful. Turned out that a few hours of hanging on to a set of bouncing tiller handlebars had turned my forearms into jelly and my fingers something like peanut butter. The brain knew what I wanted to do, but the digits couldn't pull it off.

Not really an injury, but I have played better with cuts before.

itsme
05-25-2013, 02:29 PM
Yes I am more concerned with my nails....I just broke one the other day....I was opening a can of coke...shoots...
I can relate.

Classical guitarists can be really fussy about their nails, and I learned early on to be very careful and to do certain things with my left hand instead of my right. Opening soda cans is one of them. :o

Mxyzptik
05-25-2013, 02:58 PM
I think some care and cautionis advisable. I spent 25 years as a power lineman and beat the heck out of my hands. I broke my left wrist, cut the tendon on my right thumb, completely flattened the first finger on my left and broke the knuckle on the first finger of my right hand. Before I play either my Ukulele or sit down at the piano I soak my hands in hot water and crack my knuckles to loosen them up. Neither of my first fingers bend real well anymore.

Do I wish I had taken better care of them over the years ? You bet !

rowjimmytour
05-25-2013, 03:36 PM
I work in maintenance and try to be careful but some times I do stupid things. About a year ago I had a boulder roll over my left index finger so I could not play for a week. The longest week ever and really I should have waited longer but I could not stand it.

OldePhart
05-25-2013, 06:00 PM
I was actually thinking about my hands and ukes last night. Earlier in the day I had operated a small tiller in the garden and by evening, when I dragged out a uke to play, my technique was awful. Turned out that a few hours of hanging on to a set of bouncing tiller handlebars had turned my forearms into jelly and my fingers something like peanut butter. The brain knew what I wanted to do, but the digits couldn't pull it off.

Not really an injury, but I have played better with cuts before.

I used to have similar result from using a gas weedeater - now I pay a guy to do my yard even though it's much smaller than the one I used to do myself.

John

bborzell
05-25-2013, 08:07 PM
I used to have similar result from using a gas weedeater - now I pay a guy to do my yard even though it's much smaller than the one I used to do myself.

John

My wife frequently mentions that there are people who do this sort of thing for a living. I keep saying that I will pay for yard maintenence when I get too old to do the work myself and then I work most of the day in the yard and spend much of the evening complaining about feeling wasted. I'm now looking at thinning some 300 fledgling pine trees in order to create defensible fire space. Maybe this is the year to hire someone to help out. It would be nice to end the day and still be able to barre a chord or three.

Harold O.
05-26-2013, 05:37 AM
On Friday, I managed to catch the end of my left (fretting) index finger with a drill bit. Nothing overly dramatic, but just enough to make that spot very tender. A day or two will suffice, but there's no way to get around it and it makes playing clumsy.

My dentist is fascinated with my wood shop but has never picked up anything lest he hurt himself and cannot perform his own work. He is vewy vewy careful. I understand, but it strikes me as weird.