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Clark Saunders

Clark Saunders

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Hi, just started the courses, and indeed I am overwhelmed. I am technically a wood worker that always wanted to build a guitar. That was 4 years ago when I retired. But I don't play, because of one obstacle, I don't have a "workable " pinky on my left hand. I had an industrial accident. Most scales taught, and chords requires the ability to use your pinky. Any thoughts? 

Blessings to all 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome, Clark!

My name is Patrick! Thank you for sharing about your finger. I would never try to diminish the challenge that you face, and I agree with Fred. I started teaching my daughter back around 2000 and her hands were and still are tiny. I always tried to "help" her form the chords and make the stretches that I was. No wonder she quit so many times.

I now approach it with the idea of singers and the human voice. The size and shape of a singers throat structure and mouth has everything to do with what they can do with it. It dictates if you are a bass or a soprano for example. Likewise, the size, shape and even the number of fingers Will have an impact on anyone that picks up an instrument. However, I believe it is more about attitude, desire, direction, and quality instruction.

My daughter still plays a little but I am teaching her very differently now thanks in large part to Jonathan and Breakthrough Guitar.

Are you familiar with Django Reinhardt? He was a Romany Jazz musician born in 1910. His fret hand was permanently disfigure in a fire and left him with primarily his index and middle fingers to play with. He retrained himself and went on to help define a section of music history with his virtuosic playing.

It is up to each one of us individually to bring things like desire, self-discipline, willingness to be humbled by an assortment of wood and metal... but I think most importantly, is to work with our own beliefs about what we can and cannot do. We never know where an experience like Django had will lead us if we are willing to accept that the same rules that apply to the rest of the world do not exactly fit for many of the rest of us.

As for the direction and quality instruction, I truly believe that if you are willing to put in the effort you will reap rewards as a BTG student.

My last suggestion if you can take anymore. Something I wish I had applied from day one. Slow is smooth... smooth is fast! I hope this is helpful.

Have fun and happy fretting!


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