left hand finger gashes

June 28, 2005 at 05:07 AM · Hey you guys I realize that when I practice my index and middle fingers the tips of then have little indention or gashes and they hurt and they won't heal also my nails on these fingers are messed up and my fingers turn gray!!!(the nails too!) can anyone help me?

Replies (7)

June 28, 2005 at 08:44 AM · Turn gray? I hope that you don't mean permanently gray because that means blood isn't circulating properly in your fingers !

My fingernails on my left hand tend to grow a bit strangely as well. As for the gashes, I have them too. Many violinists have them, obviously because we keep pressing down on the strings =). They hurt a little but not enough to affect my playing. If its distrupting your playing, maybe you should reconsider the amount of pressure you use while playing. Most of us always apply unnecessary pressure on the strings.

June 28, 2005 at 04:01 PM · Anyone who plays for a while eventually gets callouses on their fingertips. If your fingers are sore, it is probably from the pressure you put on the string. If they are sore hours after your practice session, you might have a further problem. There will be a little silver coloring on your fingertips as the strings oxidize and the tarnish comes off when you have contact with the string, especially if your fingers prespire any while you play. But if your entire finger nail and flesh tip to your finger is full-on grey...you might need to go to a doctor...could you have an allergy to silver?

June 28, 2005 at 09:35 PM · The left hand should be very relaxed and you shouldn't be sort of tapping or putting alot of pressure on the strings. About the nails, if they turn grey because of the contact with the strings then you need to cut them shorter. My fingers get very black after a while and I get dents but they don't hurt. If you get cuts though, that's bad. After a while you'll get callouses and even if I dig my nail as hard as I can into my fingertip it doesn't hurt. I guess you just have to wait for the callouses to build up but I didn't really understand from your article if you get cuts on your fingers so if you could clarify...

June 29, 2005 at 07:35 PM · Well, your nails should be cut pretty short...I have a habit of doing it about once or twice a week...yikes! Don't worry about it the finger gashes...it's the price of doing business.

June 29, 2005 at 11:04 PM · You should be proud of your "badges" of honor on your fingers. It takes a lot of work to build up those lovely callouses and silver hatch lines. My teacher had them. I was so excited when I started sporting a pair myself. I have had callouses for years now. Unfortunately, they tend to peel, leaving some fresh raw skin. Every time that happens, I have a little pain. A couple of times I've actually had to play through bloody fingers (gross, I know). The best remedy? For me, it's masking tape. I know it sounds crazy, but bandaids are too bulky and masking tape seems to give me a little buffer without being messy like NuSkin (liquid bandaid product). As a side note, tape also works well for running when you're breaking in a new pair of shoes and you've got bleeding heels from the blisters.

June 29, 2005 at 11:10 PM · Oh, yeah, and people: The Petia Mark: (if you practice enough, it's located on the LH side of your chin, back somewhere in line with your ear, under you jaw bone.) I never had noticed it before on my teacher (Petia), until one day my mom told me to look to the right, and she pointed it out to dad, and noticed that Petia has one too. I was SO happy. Of course, there must be a more "official" name for them, but this also is a great badge of violinship.

June 30, 2005 at 03:03 PM · My friends in high school always used to refer to it as a "violin hikki." (sp?) I'm sure they meant it in the highest complimentary way. Yeah right.

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