66474Views82Replies

Author Options:

how do i make prosthetic finger tips so i can play my guitar again? Answered

Picture of

i chopped off the tip of my finger with a mower....ouch, now im two months in and i still cant play chords on my guitar. if i super glue leather to it i can play my bass. i have also used banjo picks with band aids wraped around them but these get in the way when i play chords. i cut off about half an inch from my ring finger and nipped my middle finger on my fret hand. any help would be great thanks. D.J. ps the pics are from a week out of surgery

50 Replies

user
PlayGTR4Fun (author)2015-03-01

I want to thank all on this blog, especially "Texas Starr" for turning me onto Galaxy Guitar Products, leading me to the correct solution for my finger tip amputations. I ordered 2 Galaxy Ft-1 finger prosthetics after discovering them on this forum. I am truly grateful to be able to play my bass guitar after not playing for over a year from losing 2 tips of my fingers. I truly wish you all find a solution as I have for your finger challenges and want to give thanks here. If not for this forum I am not sure I would of been able to play my bass guitar ever again let alone be looking forward now to purchasing a new one.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)PlayGTR4Fun2018-02-18

No problem glad it worked out for you. Rock on.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
AnthonyT126 (author)2018-02-07

I purchased a Finger Protector from Galaxy Guitar Products an after 1 month I am back to playing my Les Paul & keyboards. I had the tip amputated last year the surgeon did what they call a flap. So now I have a fleshy part that is too sensitive to play even my keyboards. Since getting an FT-1 Finger Protector from those guys I am back in the saddle again making music.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)AnthonyT1262018-02-18

Glad the finger Galaxy tip worked out for you Anthony, yes I have the same injury. The Galaxy FT-1 Tips have worked for me for years without one I cannot play. In the winter is the worst for me as the sensitivity increases for some reason. The FT-1 allows me to play. Glad it worked out for you.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)2017-04-02

Hi folks, i am thinking about starting to make extensions again once i get settled in to my new place. The maximum loss per finger is 1/2 in. My product is not for everybody, but have several satisfied customers world wide.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user

I will pay shipping n cost for the product u have to use no prob

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)2013-10-25

I lost 1/4 inch off my middle finger & really missed playing my guitar. I got a list of materials from my dentist to make a mold of my finger & then use acrylic mix to make the extension. A lot of sanding but i am getting better at it. The lab tech helped me make the first one and it works fine. If anybody wants to try i would make one for nothing. I am trying to come up with a way to measure other people's fingers. Pictures would help but i need length & diameter. If anybody is interested let me know & i will do my best to help.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user

I know this is old but if your serious and can still do this I'm seriously interested I chopped off the tip of my right hand pointer finger when I was 2 years old I don't remember in 26 now but I would love to have a fake fingertip so it wouldn't look so funny when I have my nails done but there so expensive even the silicone ones u just pop on r hundreds of dollars

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
calvin8520 (author)stringer532018-02-03

Are you still making finger extensions?

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Briannguitar (author)calvin85202018-02-11

I am looking also to make a finger extension...

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
mrwizard4u (author)stringer532014-11-15

Stringer53,

Are you still making finger tips; like you I lost about 1/2 inch on my index finger on my left hand. I played in a band for many years when I was young and can't play the bar chords that well anymore.

Thanx,

MrWizard

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)mrwizard4u2014-11-18

Send me pics & measurements to dungbusted@gmail.com

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user

I lost part of my index finger on my fret hand. If this really works please email instructions on how to make it mburelison89@gmailm.com

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
nattyboyo (author)stringer532013-11-24

Hello there... I read your post with great interest. I have a similar injury to the poor guy in the photo. Ive lost around 1cm of my middle fretting finger. I tried the galaxyguitar ft-1.. it would work great but it doesnt fit unfortunately. I would be very grateful if you could help me. I would cover any cost to you, just let me know what you need. Ill do best to supply photos etc... Thank you

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)nattyboyo2014-06-16

Hey, just a heads up.... I checked Galaxy's website, they now offer the FT-1 in a larger size. I still use their 5/8's, if your finger is larger you may want to check out their larger offering. Best of luck.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)nattyboyo2014-03-30

send pics and measurement to dungbusted@gmail.com

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Tropiclighting (author)nattyboyo2014-03-30

See above tropiclighting

bravo222@shaw.ca

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)nattyboyo2013-11-28

Send pics & measurements to dungbusted@gmail.com

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)nattyboyo2013-11-25

Send me all measurements, pics, of both the good, bad and ugly fingers.(sorry) length from first joint to tips, Circumference, diameter & anything else you have. email me: dungbusted@gmail.com
My name is Ron & i will do my best to help you. I don't charge but shipping costs would be appreciated because i suspect ur from the UK. & i am in Canada. Thanx Ron.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Rebelb93 (author)2017-11-15

If you're in a bind and wanna play like NOW, don't wanna wait for shipment to resume playing then yo can take red silicone...gasket maker , clear silicone will work but red is more rubberized. But get a small bowl of hot tap water ( about 2 cups) and add a lot of dawn dish soap(atleast 3/4 cup) slightly mix the two up a little.. Don't make a lot of bubbles or anything..just stir a little then squirt however much silicone you think it would take and double that just in case you need a little more or want to make a back up... And I just kneaded the stuff in the soapy water till most vinegar smell went away, sort of squishing it with gloved hands back and forth till it reached a consistency I was happy with then I took plastic wrap..like Reynolds and found a pair of pliers that was close to finger like with rubber handles...you know? And wrapped end up with plastic wrap and conformed silicone around wrench handle all nice and finger like then about two hours later I peeled it loose and I had enough finger to make my f major chord and played whitey ford. For the first time since my Dyna took half my middle finger. Whatta bitch. Anyways not pretty. Nor perfect but it allowed me to play pain free till another suitable solution is available.

There is a DIY tutorial on Youtube. Good luck fellas. If you got enough grit to wanna pick up and play under any and all circumstances ...then you'll be just fine. You could probably learn left handed . Can't nobody or nothing take that from your soul once you feel that first perfectly strummed chord against your heart, you'll steal the devils pick right from his back pocket just to play one more time. Just sayn.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)2017-03-03

I have not been on for a while. Just received another set of Galaxy FT-1 guitar finger protectors, I purchase 2 at a time. They fit good, seems they updated the exterior finish. I lost about 1/2 inch on my middle finger years ago hitching up a trailer, two of my fingers are a bit fatter from the accident. The Galaxy tip gives me about 1/2 inch length back. I also warm it up sometimes to expand the core for weekends where I play for hours with my band an the finger swells. No Pain! To PlayGTR4Fun, you're very welcome glad I could be of help an you found the solution to play your bass again.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
TBL911 (author)2017-02-08

Buyer beware.... I purchased and received a Galaxy FT-1 today. I sent them photos of my finger against a tape measure as they asked and they suggested a 3/4" piece. It arrived and its crazy big and thats an understatement. Unfortunately there are not returns no exceptions. They told me to put adhesive foam strips inside of it to tighten it up. The attached pics are showing the gap to be filled with foam weather stripping. Total waist of $140.00

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
AnthonyT126 (author)TBL9112017-02-09

I just got my 4th ft-1 finger protector from Galaxy Guitar Products it also is 3/4's of an inch fits me perfect. I sliced my finger tip off with a razor blade while working on a circuit board. This new one is their new black stealth force model with gold stripes. Anyway I use the foam inserts. I have always found them to be exceptional, maybe you ordered the wrong size? Instead of just selling you a finger protector they go the extra step to have me re measure the finger, seems to me that is a smart way to confirm the size. I used to work for a major guitar store & we also did not accept returns on Harmonica's, Saxophone, clarinet reeds for risk of infection from any type of bodily fluid, pretty standard. My finger protector does measure 3/4's in circumference. Based on the positive comments here from other people on that company maybe it is just a mis-measure really no reason to trash them IMO.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
dperkins6 (author)2016-11-02

heres a solution buy a bag of plaster of paris big bag is real cheap cover your hand in plastic and make a mould around your hand just the bottem so you can pull it out then fill that with hot glue then channel out around your hot glue hand the desired finger tips then spray it with clear coat if spray paint then use some poirbsilicone to make your new digets out of silicone sorry for bad spelling phone gliching out

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
BobB88 (author)2016-01-12

I know this is an old thread, but seems to be looked at quite often so I'll give my input. When I was 3 years old, I lost 1/4 of my left middle finger to a dog bite. I was so young when it happened that the injury never really bothered me as I was so used to it. I took up playing guitar when I was around 10. I decided it was best to teach myself how to play due to the injury. I had tried going to a lesson once, but the instructor couldn't figure out how to adjust for my smaller digit. So I developed my own technique over the years that allows me to do everything that anyone with a full set can do. Sure some cords are harder to reproduce, but it can be done. Lead playing becomes a pain, but it can be done also. I've found that writing and playing my own material is easy, and trying to play things written by others is harder. And I've been told by other guitar players in the bands I've been in that what I write is harder for them to play due to my different technique. Funny how that works!

I guess the moral of the story is, keep up with it. Don't let an injury discourage you from your goals and dreams. Hard work and ambition win out every time, just ask the millions of others who have been there, done that. If your injury hurts, try developing your own style/technique like I did. If it's a new injury to you, and you already know how to play, then try the Galaxy prosthetic or make your own.

Good luck!

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)2015-12-14

I just purchased another Galaxy FT-1 Finger Protector, like my others it works great. The new ones have an acrylic exterior finish, I like it better. I did try other finger cot protectors, they never stop the pain, the FT-1 I can play fast sliding over frets with no problem. Even now 7 years after my finger accident there is to much sensitivity & pain playing without a protector.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Abhi94 (author)2015-11-11

I lost my the index finger of my left hand, I was 2 years old then. I lost both Distal phalanx, Middle phalanx of my index finger. The length of my finger is half of that it should have been, I always wanted to play guitar but this injury holds me back every time. Is there anything that I could do ?
My dominant hand is the right one so, I use left for frets.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
sh21250 (author)2015-03-13

When I was a baby, the tip of the middle finger on my left hand was caught in a door and severed. The result was a slightly shortened finger with a nail that wrapped around the fingertip. I retired about 5 years ago and wanted to learn the guitar. I was unable to play because of the fingertip. I searched all over the internet hoping to find a solution. I came across Galaxy Guitar and the original FT-1. I ordered it and was able to start learning to play. I have used the cap for the past 4 years. Since the protector was only one size, I would have to insert white medical tape inside the FT-1 to make it fit my finger. I also used double back Scotch tape to keep it from coming off while playing. I recently noticed that a new FT-1 flex has come out as well as customized versions. Since my old cap was wearing out it was time to order a new one. After several conversations with Randy and Kevin at Galaxy Guitars, I decided to go with a custom FT-1. The custom FT-1 comes with Micro strips inserted on the inside. What a great idea this was because now the fit is perfect. The protector stays on firmly with no need for tape. I also wanted the leather cover to cover just beyond the tip of my finger. I was able to specify that. I am so pleased with the result. I am also thankful that Randy spent so much time on the phone with me to discuss all of my options and to fabricate the custom protector. Sure, it is a little more money for the custom protector, but to me it was well worth the cost. I am so happy to be able to play and am enjoying my journey of learning this wonderful instrument so much.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
diane.brischke (author)2015-01-29

I have my first finger fused accuse of arthritis so it doesn't bend to make chords. Is there anything I can put on it to get a bending motion in order to play.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
cheater00. (author)2014-12-27

Tony Iommi says in an interview that he did try learning to play the guitar with the other hand, but abandoned it, thinking that he'd been playing for very long already (about 3 years by then). He sums that up by saying that if he knew then what he knows now, he'd have re-learnt to play the guitar with the other hand; according to him in the long run it would have been much better than the use of prosthetic finger tips.

My thoughts are with everyone who's got this issue. Might be easy to say, but: Don't give up!

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)2014-12-05

I need measurements & pics. send to dungbusted@gmail.com

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
NoahS1 (author)2014-07-25

You might not like this answer, but it'll definately have you playing chords again though it might take a few years, if you're a righty, switch over to lefty and learn over again, do it the iommi way,

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
george.wardale.9 (author)NoahS12014-10-24

iommi already played lefty. thats why he made finger tips out of fairy liquid bottles because he couldnt switch to right handed playing. now i lost the tip of my middle finger fretting hand, i used some of that morphplast, plastic pellets you melt in hot water, not hot enough to burn your finger, so you can form it over your digit, let it run under cold water"quicker" then superglue a leather pad on the tip. if you have quite a bit missing from your finger you can build it up with wax then form the tip over that worked for me.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
69geb69 (author)2009-08-21

I have the same problem. I whacked off the entire 1st digit of my left hand index finger. Here's how to fix your problem. Get on the phone and call up every prosthetic company in your area and find one who does fingers. They will make you a prosthectic finger that will stay on very tight without glue, and they will put a rubberized coating on it and you'll pay about $150 for it (your ring finger) and it will work just like you never lost the tip of your finger. Your middle finger should be fine. It just needs to heal for a couple of months. Or, if it's worse than it looks, get a prosthetic for it too. I have one and now I can play the guitar perfectly. Don't waste your time trying to make your own out of silicone. I tried that many times and you can't get the suction that you need. Let the pros do it and fork out a little cash. It'll get you back to playing again. I know, I've been there.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
gardenlacy (author)69geb692010-01-20

Dear 69,  I would like to know what company you are referring to.  I live in a very rural area.  We don't have any such companies around here.  However, I would really like to speak with someone from a recommended company.  I lost the end of my left index finger 3 years ago.  After playing my guitar for 35 years, I miss playing it.  It isn't my source of income, but I would like to get back to where I was as nearly as possible.   Thanks posting. 

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)gardenlacy2014-09-27

The best company I found is Galaxy Guitar Products, Google them. I have been using their FT-1 Finger Protectors now for a few years. My last 2 were an investment of $110.00 each. I still have my first one. If you play any instrument and have a severe finger injury as I do, let the pro's make you one. It's your finger & worth the investment. Here is a link if needed. http://galaxyguitar.com I Hope this helps you & good luck.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
zonie (author)69geb692013-01-09

I have tips of all four fingers of left hand missing. I have phoned countless prosthesis firms and am told they are from $3,700 to $6,500 each with at least 4 visits & 2 months, plus plane fare & lodging. Plus, they only last for 2 to 5 years under normal usage. Plus, guitar strings will cut right through them. I have gone to hobby lobby & like places to no avail. Someone, somewhere has to have an answer. All I need is a little length with a narrow end that will let me hit just one string instead of two at a time. I would appreciate any help at all so much. Thank you

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Tropiclighting (author)zonie2014-03-30

See tropiclighting above

bravo222@shaw.ca

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user

Hi There, send pics & measurements to dungbusted@gmail.com. I make extensions using various dentistry materials. Made 1 for myself & other people.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
msfox (author)69geb692012-09-19

I am having the same problem...I lost the the first joint of my index and middle finger and miss playing both my bass and guitar. What company did you contact? I have very little insurance and maybe I can contact that same company to work something out. thanks

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
djloney (author)msfox2012-09-19

That's awesome 69geb69 I ended up making one that did the trick for me until it healed well enough to play without it. It was easy enough but I would have bought a prothisis had I known you could get one so cheap. I just used bondo and jb weld and it worked just fine for playing shows around town and practicing. A professionally made one would have been much nicer though. If someone dose want to make one I can explain how it's pretty easy but no substitute for the real thing I'm sure.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
jomama24 (author)69geb692012-02-22

totally did the same thing. Left index finger just above the first joint. My problem now is the stiffness and swelling are still present. did you have the same issues? its only been 6 weeks since the accident. I really would like to know the name of the company you used to get the proshtetic digit.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Texas Starr (author)2014-09-25

Thanks for the offer, I prefer buying mine direct from Galaxy Guitar Products, especially with all diseases going around I need to be careful. If it has been handled at all, not for me. I just purchased another two of their new Ultra Flex finger protectors and after using their originals for years like the one you have, I really enjoy the upgrade. Thanks again for the offer.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
bob.mcmaster.54 (author)2014-09-20

I lost my finger tip with the help of my lawn mower....sigh....believe it or not, the best success I've had has been with PLASTI DIP tool dip. By shaping a piece of wooden dowell then inserting it into a disposable rubber glove then dipping it 2 or 3 times, let it dry and trim.

before that I hadn't touched my guitars for 6 years........takes some getting used to but better than never playing at all

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
lily5lace (author)2014-08-01

This thread has been unbelievably informative, but before I go out and try stuff for myself-- has anyone been successful using any of these methods/would be willing to give more detailed instructions? I haven't lost any fingers or pieces thereof, but I have extremely sensitive skin that doesn't form calluses or scar properly, so all attempts to learn guitar up to the present have failed epically. But as I prepare to go off to college, I'm facing the fact that I can't take my piano with me, and would love to have the more portable option of guitar.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Meliyasemy (author)2014-07-19

I am currently trying to learn how to play the guitar but it's extremely hard for just about the same reason I'm 15 and a couple years back was in a car accident and lost about a centimeter or so of my middle finger I would like to make the prosthetic finger tip myself though but don't know what to use to make it ..... PLEASE HELP me as well !

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
stringer53 (author)Meliyasemy2014-07-23

Due to health reasons i am no longer fabricating extensions, i can't keep up with the requests.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Cmcmillin (author)2014-04-12

Im having my first knuckle amputated on my left index finger on tuesday. I've been going over design options in my head as to what would work best. Im thinking something rigid I could slip over the next portion of my finger , with a slight bend to help with chords structure. Im not sure how that would affect bar chords. Did you ever find a way that works for you? THanks

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
Tropiclighting (author)2014-03-30

1.purchase a bag of algenon

2. mix it up in a plastic cup

3. stick your finger in and let it get hard

4. pour in some plaster to make a cast of the finger

5. remove the algenon after it gets hard

6. drill a small hole in the base of the plaster finger

7. put a stick through it and attach it to a base so you can work on it

8. buy one of those rubber finger guards at staples that are used to count money

9. buy one of those foam numbers or letters at a craft store

10. sand and mold the foam to replace the size and dimension of the finger loss

11. glue it inside the rubber finger guard

12 trim the rubber finger guard to a comfortable size and put it on the mold

13. buy some deer skin leather..thinner the better..sand it down to make I thin

14. crazy glue the deer skin leather to the rubber finger guard while on the mold ( must use crazy glue so it will take the shape

it will fit your finger perfectly and stay on. The foam will allow you to feel the string of the guitar. It will be the tightest fit, never fall off and take the smallest amount or area between strings.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

user
wence3 (author)2013-12-31

stringer53 what you are doing to help people out is a is a real good thing not to many people would be willing to help out for nothing. We need more people like you, I lost fingers on both of my hands due to a heart valve surgery at Audie Murphy VA hospital in San Antonio Texas gone wrong, which they refuse to admit fault. I used to play a little guitar and accordion but not anymore. Good luck to all you and Peace.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer