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

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

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Reply 11 months ago

Thanks for the links Anthony, The Galaxy Guitar Finger Protectors have worked for me for over 7 years now. Folks message me about my finger injury experience, I just tell them what I experienced, after surgery & 6 months of healing. I put on my Galaxy Guitar FT-1 Prosthetic, I have 6 spares now. I play faster more precise with no pain. I am into Gaming I use it as well makes me faster. For work typing on a laptop all day no more pain. So they help my life style more than playing all my guitars.

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jinst
jinst

12 months ago

Hi Djloney,
I similarly injured my LH first finger back in the 80’s with a bench grinder. The graft went wrong and I lost the tip, which made guitar and bass playing a bit uncomfortable. I also had to stop violin playing altogether so switched to sax. Recently highly flexible casting rubbers have become more readily available, so few years back I decided to DIY a Polyurethane rubber finger tip. It wasn’t perfect but showed promise. I am now having a second go. I used plaster, PU rubbers and hard plastics, with laboratory stand gear to support the core in the mould. Clearly one could scan, 3D model, and 3D print moulds, or even try 3D flexible filament, but I prefer the hands-on approach. If you’re interested I can detail the process more precisely.

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Josehf Murchison
Josehf Murchison

1 year ago

Have you checked with an instructables member that won a 3D printer in a past contest.
They could even make an instructable about making finger tips.

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RubenS100
RubenS100

1 year ago

I cutted the tip of my index finger at work, about half a nail of finger (size).
I haven't played guitar yet because I'm recovering, but I'm curious about this.
There seems the be a search for prosthetics or some sort of protection, I know Toni Iommi made his own tips, and I see people here use them.
So my question is, since I haven't experienced playing yet, what are the biggest issues that make you need a prostetic/finger protector, is it because of the pain or is it that the finger is too short?

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Ruben, I cut my finger tip off years ago & still experience pain & sensitivity especially in the Winter months so I needed to find dependable protection to play my Guitar, My Basses, Saxophone, Clarinet & Violin. I tried cheap silicone tips sold on Amazon they did not work for me an ended up in the garbage a waste. I too did a Google & Bing search on Tony Iommi Finger Protector that quickly led me to Galaxy Guitar Products. After a few emails back & forth with them, their helpful professional techs assisted me, I have been using their FT-1 Finger Protector ever since & now have about 5 as spares & a brand new FT-1 XL which they came out with that provides me just a bit more length. Here is their site url if needed -https://www.galaxyguitar.com go through their site, click on FT-1 Finger Protector it helped me. To answer your question based on my experiences you need one or the other, a finger protector after your surgery has healed because Finger tip pain & sensitivity will not completely go away because nerve endings are still healthy. Also you need something firm to provide pressure to press down on steel strings & able to smoothly slide over frets. A cut off tip like mine is still going to give you what I call "A Zinger" of pain- ouch! If you cut off more than the tip not sure if you will have the same pain if at all but it seems obvious you will need what is called a finger extension. My experience was- once I became used to both they feel very natural for me now, no pain & a bit more length. Best of luck in your search.

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PaulS656
PaulS656

3 years ago

To anyone that has purchased the Galaxy Guitar protector: do you find that it changes the intonation of the depressed string too much? For me, I hear the fretted note going too sharp, creating unwanted dissonance when playing chords.

Curious if anyone else has the same issue?

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Brian_r88
Brian_r88

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Paul. I just received my galaxy ft-1 xl last week and have the same problem with intonation. I thought at first I just needed to get used to applying less pressure as the notes are always sharp. However, today I applied fast fret directly and generously on the ft-1 and it helped immediately and significantly. Still maybe a little intonation issues but way better. Give that a try, I’d be interested if you have the same results. Good luck!

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Answer 2 years ago

No problem here either. These galaxy finger tips are basically the same type of tips Tony Iommi uses, he probably makes his own still, he made his originals. no sharp notes for me.

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AnthonyT126
AnthonyT126

Answer 3 years ago

Hi Paul, I do not have that problem, I can play bar chords, Jazz chords, if you press down hard I guess it could. I find my playing is more nimble since using the Galaxy fingertip prosthetic. I also discovered it kind of made me more precise in my playing. My hammer-on's sure have increased in speed to my liking. The exterior grip they use is more firm than flesh of a finger tip it eliminates pressure for me, maybe try easing off on the pressure when you press down until you get used to it, see if that works. Took me a few weeks like they said to get used to mine. I'm new to all this but really happy with my investment. I ordered 2 more just to have on hand. Considering have them whip me up a custom one. Try moving up to the next gauge set of strings, you can also buy custom gauge string sets, specific strings are a bit heavier see if that helps you. I was using Ernie Ball but now I use all GHS Boomers. Much better for me.

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stringer53
stringer53

4 years ago

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.

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howardmiller
howardmiller

Reply 2 years ago

Hi Stinger,

I am interested, I lost my first joint from nail on me left middle hand in a industrial accident, I want to learn the guitar and having a hard time with the finger getting in the way. I was thinking if I could get an extension and have it as if it is bent like the other fingers on the fret it just might work.

Thanks

Howard

Missing finger tip.jpg
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deannalynn07011991
deannalynn07011991

Answer 3 years ago

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

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PlayGTR4Fun
PlayGTR4Fun

6 years ago

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.

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Answer 3 years ago

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

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AnthonyT126
AnthonyT126

3 years ago

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.

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Answer 3 years ago

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.

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stringer53
stringer53

7 years ago

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.

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deannalynn07011991
deannalynn07011991

Answer 3 years ago

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

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calvin8520
calvin8520

Answer 3 years ago

Are you still making finger extensions?

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Briannguitar
Briannguitar

Answer 3 years ago

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

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mrwizard4u
mrwizard4u

Answer 6 years ago

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

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stringer53
stringer53

Answer 6 years ago

Send me pics & measurements to dungbusted@gmail.com

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matt.burelison
matt.burelison

Answer 6 years ago

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

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nattyboyo
nattyboyo

Answer 7 years ago

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

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Answer 6 years ago

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.

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stringer53
stringer53

Answer 7 years ago

send pics and measurement to dungbusted@gmail.com

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Tropiclighting
Tropiclighting

Answer 7 years ago

See above tropiclighting

bravo222@shaw.ca

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stringer53
stringer53

Answer 7 years ago

Send pics & measurements to dungbusted@gmail.com

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stringer53
stringer53

Answer 7 years ago

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.

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Rebelb93
Rebelb93

3 years ago

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.

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

4 years ago

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.

this one.jpg
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TBL911
TBL911

4 years ago

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

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AnthonyT126
AnthonyT126

Answer 4 years ago

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.

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TheRubberMeep
TheRubberMeep

4 years ago

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

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BobB88
BobB88

5 years ago

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!

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

5 years ago

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.

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Abhi94
Abhi94

5 years ago

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.

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sh21250
sh21250

6 years ago

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.

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diane.brischke
diane.brischke

6 years ago

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.

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cheater00.
cheater00.

6 years ago

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!

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stringer53
stringer53

6 years ago

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

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NoahS1
NoahS1

6 years ago

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,

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george.wardale.9
george.wardale.9

Answer 6 years ago

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.

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69geb69
69geb69

11 years ago

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.

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gardenlacy
gardenlacy

Answer 11 years ago

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. 

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Texas Starr
Texas Starr

Answer 6 years ago

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.

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zonie
zonie

Answer 8 years ago

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

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Tropiclighting
Tropiclighting

Answer 7 years ago

See tropiclighting above

bravo222@shaw.ca