Help! I cut my left finger!

Edited: December 7, 2017, 10:13 PM · I have a rehearsal tomorrow, and I cut the tip of my finger. I tried playing for about five seconds before deciding to do something. The cut is small and shallow, but in a very bad position.

Replies (16)

December 4, 2017, 6:19 PM · I might glue it, but that's just me and probably not a good idea. I'm harder on my hands than most musicians are.

If it's the pain you're worried about nothing but healing will really take that away. I'd be weary of using a topical anesthetic because you won't be able to tell if it's getting worse without looking.

December 4, 2017, 6:29 PM · There is some stuff at the drug store that is used primarily for blister. I don’t remember the name of it but it is like a temporary skin.
Edited: December 4, 2017, 6:30 PM · I put on Nuskin, wich was of some help, but still not very easy to play.
December 4, 2017, 8:20 PM · I think the only possible solution is Nuskin and some understanding by your section that you won't be at your best for the rehearsal. Are you in a section, or playing one on a part? A small shallow cut should heal quickly, so I'd go to rehearsal and lay out of the parts you can't do effectively.
December 4, 2017, 8:32 PM · Thanks. I will go with what you said. I do play in a section, so I will let them know. Hopefully it heals over soon.
Edited: December 4, 2017, 9:40 PM · After applying the Nuskin (super glue works even better) and possibly a bandaid, put on some moleskin also sold in drug stores, it will have the same feel on the string as your own skin and get you through. Mole skin comes with sticky backing so there is no problem keeping it in place.

It worked for me when I had a very bad left index finger tip-cushion cut, from a serrated knife and I had to perform a cello solo the next day. Turned out OK, although the blood continued to ooze for the next few days.

December 4, 2017, 8:38 PM · Consider it useful practice for a possible future playing gigs.

It is astonishing what sorts of discomfort one can endure while playing the violin, when the alternative is losing a few hundred dollars of income.

Edited: December 4, 2017, 8:53 PM · You have to decide whether you are damaged to the point where rehearsal will lead to greater or permanent damage. If not, then it's only pain and you can just get over it.
December 4, 2017, 8:55 PM · Playing on a small, shallow cut is extremely unlikely to do any further damage, but it is going to be very painful.
December 4, 2017, 9:02 PM · You could also play with three fingers. I had a teacher who did that when she got surgery on her index finger.
December 4, 2017, 10:20 PM · I'm frequently injuring my fingertips due to the nature of my work and have had relative success using a product called Skin Shield which is probably similar to NuSkin. It's basically a medical SuperGlue with a mild analgesic. It will keep the cut closed and protect against infection and then applying the moleskin or blistershield as Victor mentioned, will allow smooth transitions on the strings. Works for me
December 5, 2017, 5:43 PM · "It is astonishing what sorts of discomfort one can endure while playing the violin, when the alternative is losing a few hundred dollars of income."

It always makes me laugh when students come in with the most minor discomforts and use it as the reason they didn't practice all week.

"Oh, the strings made my fingertips sore so I had to stop practicing to let them recover!"


December 5, 2017, 9:13 PM · I deffinetly don’t have the skill to only use two fingers and completely forgo one. I did take a break during a very complicated passage (well, not really, just a lot of first finger movement) It went fine. Thanks for all the tips though.
December 6, 2017, 3:08 PM · Violin Master:

I don't know how you cut a finger on your left hand but I'm also a cook and frequently gave myself the same problem. I went to a restaurant supply and purchased a stainless steel chain mail glove that prevent my cutting my fingers while cooking.

Curious question for a "violin master": four minus one is three, not two. Do you only play with three fingers? Most of us play with all four.

December 7, 2017, 10:13 PM · I like the glove idea. I was in the kitchen. And yes, your right and my math was wrong. I was tiered after a long day.
Edited: December 8, 2017, 7:42 AM · I once sliced my left index finger tip on a sharp piece of metal the day before a performance of Beethoven's 9th. It was essentially right where the finger contacts the string, and it was too close to the concert to allow easy replacement with a sub.

I used superglue!

It worked so well that I continued using it and I keep it in our first aid kit now. The wound healed beautifully and there is no scar of trace of injury.

This isn't medical advice by any means, but I have been told that hospitals use it as well, though probably a "medical grade" variety.

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