Bleeding finger

September 23, 2004 at 05:48 PM · When I practice for a solo performance my left hand third finger (ring finger) bleeds. The fingernail cuts into my finger, makes a very deep cut, and then I have blood all over my fingerboard! I've tried to grow out the nail, cut it short, etc., all different lengths, but nothing has worked. I also tried using a liquid bandage and tried to soften the fingernail with a lotion, and that didn't work either. I've been to many different dermatologists and asked a lot of other violinists, but no one can seem to come up with a solution. Has anyone else heard of this problem??

Replies (24)

September 23, 2004 at 11:01 PM · u said "the fingernail cuts into my finger" did u mean strings?

September 24, 2004 at 12:07 AM · Have you tried lightening up your fingers? My third ring finger also happened to bleed too...but just a very tiny cut.

September 24, 2004 at 02:13 AM · You're probably pressing too hard, and your nails might be too short. Nails should be even with the tips of the fingers, use a file on them as soon as they get a little long. Do not cut them. When playing, you should basically only have the weight of your finger on the string.

September 24, 2004 at 02:19 AM · Better your fingers than your ears:P

September 24, 2004 at 03:04 AM · No, better YOUR fingers than MY ears.

September 24, 2004 at 04:32 AM · Jill, find my E-mail.

September 24, 2004 at 04:55 AM · I know someone who used to get cracks in her fingers; she used superglue to glue the skin back together!

September 24, 2004 at 05:12 AM · Greetings,

I think there is a product called nu-skin,



September 24, 2004 at 07:53 AM · i think you need to rethink your technique

September 24, 2004 at 04:17 PM · Some people, though, just have a high vulnerability to this. The person I know has really flawless technique, but lives in Colorado, an extremely dry climate.

September 24, 2004 at 10:06 PM · Greetings,

I once spent some time witha fantastic msuician and player called Jurgen Hess. A top cocnertmaster and chamber music player who has now sadly passed away.

Before every cocnert andrecital he could be seen putting very delictae band aids on is finger tips becuase he had veruccaes which had transferred from his feet to hi shands. yes, that is posisble, be careful if you havefeet problems. Don"t touch the damn things!!!!

I asked him about loss of sensitivity and he said he had a contact at a hospital who got him some kind of surgical tape that was like gossamer. I don"t know what this is but it might or might not be useful,



September 25, 2004 at 03:14 PM · I wonder if that was Michael Jackson's problem??

September 25, 2004 at 03:29 PM · The fingers must be like feathers on the fingerboard. As soon as you start pressing the fingers everything locks up including all the joints which create the vibrato.

September 25, 2004 at 05:51 PM · Feathers on the fingerboard? I'm confused. My teacher likes to hear the fingers hitting the board. Makes sequences and runs and such much clearer and one must have strong fingers. Feathery touch really makes the sound suffer, does it not? I thought my fingers were strong, and then I started playing cello. Without really pressing the string, the sound was almost a surface sound. I'm not saying we have to PRESS on the string, because that is bad technique, but there is a proper way, coming from the right muscles to have strong fingers which make for a stronger sound. Also, it is sometimes mistakenly accepted that most articulation comes from the bow and vibrato variation. There are nuances and articulations which come from the amount and approach of the actual fingertips to the string. I, of course, might be wrong about this. So I'm not contradicting anyone :). Peace peace. It is just the way I've been taught. If I am wrong, let me know. It seems to really be the truth from what I've seen in practice, though. Not from me, but from the masters who have instructed this.


September 27, 2004 at 10:24 AM · Hi,

While the fingers might come down fast, it doesn't mean that you need to squeeze the fingerboard when you play. I totally agree with fingers producing different sounds (try playing with almost no LH pressure- and a light bow, and gentle vibrato- you get a heavenly sound!) but you should not be playing with pressure. One of my old teachers was big on the saying "Fast, not heavy" or something like that... just my 2 cents!

September 27, 2004 at 07:33 PM · I agree with you Jennifer there has to be articulation. What I meant was there shouldn't be pressure applied to the fingerboard however the fingers should have a natural lift and drop..Lots of people just place the fingers and I don't feel one can develop any type of muscular memory from doing just Heifetz's video slow motion of the Wieniawski Scherzo-Tarantella for a prime example of articulation. Another thing to look for is how his finger joints moved while vibrating, this mind you doesn't happen from pressing the finger. You can actual try this right now at your desk or table. First wiggle one of your fingers on the desk with some pressure then try it without any. See a difference in how the joints react?

September 28, 2004 at 02:43 AM · Bandage it up and keep on practicing!!

November 6, 2004 at 09:41 PM · During a re-tooling period about 3 years ago, my left hand decided it's fingers would hit the strings directly on the tip. I began to have to cut my nails shorter and shorter, and occasionally they'll get so short that the callous does something weird and a finger feels like somebody is jabbing it with a needle. This of course makes it impossible to play. My teacher knows i have this problem, because i have an incredibly hard time playing sixths, but he doesn't know how to fix it. Any ideas on how to make my fingers play more on the pads, not tips?

November 6, 2004 at 09:50 PM · Greetings,

experiemnt with the psoition of the elbow.

Practice sclae sin thirsbutinstead of beginning with 13 , set up the fouth finger in a nice curve, the 24, then one three.

Thirds are one of ther most importnat exericses for gettingthings in a good shape.

The octave frame is helpful too.

But basiclaly this shouldbe fairly easy to change. It is a habit thta needs adressing with slow pracitce of stuff like sevick opus one and payign attention.

If you have needle pains in the fingers oyu are probably damaging nerves.

There goes your future...



November 6, 2004 at 11:08 PM · Height of hand on fingerboard? I tend to play at a fairly acute angle and when I asked my teacher about it, he simply lowered my hand a titch and the finger fell flatter.

November 8, 2004 at 05:18 AM · Buri you'r scaring me! Tonight my fingertip was numb after a long practice. Does that mean nerve damage?

November 8, 2004 at 06:32 AM · Greetings,

probably not. Nerve damage is -painful-.

But you had better figure out why your finger is numb and not go there again. You shouldn`t get into the habit of going to far. Violin playing is rather like progressive resistance training: one should always be oing further than is comfortable but, never far enough that the body cannot handle the increased stress,



November 8, 2004 at 04:29 PM · Hola,

Not to be too contradictory, but nerve damage isn't necessarily painful. But the injuries that cause it can be — not to mention it really sucks when the parts that are numb begin to itch and you can't scratch them, because nothing you do seems to make any difference.

But as for superglue, I think Buri is offering some good advice. I got cracked corners of my thumbs last year from letting my hands get too dry, you know because real men don't use any kind of hand lotion, right? Yep, that's right! Real stupid men with cracked corners of their thumbs don't use hand lotion.

I ended up using the NuSkin stuff, which is basically superglue, but with some painkilling ingredients as well. It works great as a substitute for a bandaid, but I don't know how long it will hold up against prolonged string contact. I guess I'll try it next time I cut my finger . . . and it will happen.


November 8, 2004 at 04:36 PM · ooh. guess I wasn't reading the original thread closely enough. So the liquid b-aid doesn't work, huh?

Perhaps just giving it a rest for a few days to let your finger really heal up might do the trick?

hmm . . .

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