Broken fretting hand

So, in a moment of stupidy I have broken my fretting hand (only one bone, 5th metacarpal those interested) so im out of riffing and soloing for 6 weeks. However, ive taken this as an opportunity to learn some basic piano stuff but wondered if i could work on my pick slanting. I know fretting hand synconisation is important but as im in a cast, Im kinda stuck.

Any suggestions what I could do? Im a p/s newbie but i do get the general idea of ups/dps

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Yes, take a playing card and weave it through your strings at the nut (over, under, over, under,… you get it). Now you can practice roll patterns and all kinds of other picking exercises just with your right hand and get very precise and percussive feedback to every pickstroke.

You still have to answer for yourself, what you want to practice. 1NPS arpeggios, sweeping, all up to you.



Nothing to add, just I’m sorry to hear that, and heal up!


Permission to ask a flatfooted potentially stupid question*.

Why can’t you continue to use the other fingers?

*I know I do this all the time without asking permission, but this one might be particularly stupid.

My guess would be that muscle memory might trick you into using the broken finger even if you don’t want to :thinking:

Big fan of your questions by the way, keep going :smiley:

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My other thought was obstruction via bandage/splint/bracing.

But even then some one finger metal chugging might be on the cards.

Tuned to a DropWHATEVER-tuning you can even play powerchords with one finger. Basically the whole Ramones-repertoire should be playable that way. And BAM!: We have the need for prolonged fast 8th note downstrokes…
@Jetfire Now you know what to practice with your right hand :wink:

My hand is in a cast but my index and middle fingers are kinda free. However, I dont want to risk rebreaking my injury.

Please please listen to what your medical professional is telling you and don’t do what I say.


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Get a capo, and place at different positions on the neck… focus on your RH , SS picking, crosspicking.

I do this when watching tv, sometimes when I dont want to think about playing, and get in extra RH practice



Or slide…?

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Guys, it doesn’t work that way.
I broke some bones in my life, and let me state this:
It is impossible to completely separate the motion of individual bones in a hand.
I understand that this particular bone is still in the area of the palm - given that, as simple thing as just pressing the string with index finger will put a strain on the fracture.
It is not worth it to risk it, seriously. Hands are fragile and complex mechanisms, with so many little bones (that is also a reason why fists are not really all that good weapon in martial arts).

It really would be better to heal the bone first, and then come back to using the fretting hand. Keep in mind also that it will take some recovery time after the casting is taken off.

If OP still wants to play the guitar despite the fracture I would suggest trying out some open tunings like DADGAD together with a slide on index finger.
Not much stress on the bones, as you don’t have to press the strings.

Thanks for all your replies. For clarity, I wouldn’t be using my fretting hand AT ALL, just my picking hand.

Listen to me, use the capo. It simulates the fretting hand and you can build your RH.

Listen to me, I am the Captain now…

That’s fair advice, I’ll try it.

I broke my left hand pinkie knuckle years ago. I played slide during that period. Good time to learn slide and also play with alternate tunings. One of the posts here suggests muting the strings and just picking Patterns with your right hand. That’s a pretty well accepted idea to approach riff picking…sans left hand. Would be time well spent
What you loose with one hand you can make up with the other. You may come out ahead. Remember… the instrument is really between your ears. Fret not…pun intended.