how hard is it to learn piano with 9 fingers?

wsaraceni

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I don't actually have 9 fingers, but my right hand pinky finger has major tendon issues and I can't straighten it out. would it be a waste of time to try to learn basic piano?
 

hangten

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I don’t know but check out Carl Perkins (the jazz pianist) - his left arm was pretty damaged by polio to the point that he played some low notes with his elbow and held his left arm parallel to the keyboard…and I LOVE his playing…

where there is a will there is a way - go for it!
 

Jr Deluxe

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What's basic? Some basic things will be ok with your condition. Some will be very hard. Jerry lee lewis for instance. Hammering those high octaves. I am not good at it with a normal pinky. With a bad pinky ....maybe you're double jointed and can make some wide stretches. If you want to learn some piano than do it. I've seen a guy play some jazz dave brubeck with some bizarre finger technique because of a defect. He is better than many standard players I've seen.
 

dcbc

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Probably not worthless, but forming some chords without use of the right hand pinky might make it a bit challenging.
 

slimponey

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once you figure out the mechanics of basic voice leading you will be able to make 99% of basic rock/pop music work with just fingers 1-4. Any chord that seems impossible, you could simply drop the 5th or root and reharmonize with something that works for your hand. Now if you decide to tackle Chopin... you might have some trouble lol
 

DigitalTube

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I don't actually have 9 fingers, but my right hand pinky finger has major tendon issues and I can't straighten it out. would it be a waste of time to try to learn basic piano?
You can do it ... playing some classical pieces could be a bit harder, but most rock and even jazz is very possible, doing chords inversions etc, and your own versions of songs will be possible..
A while back a keyboard player I was working with developed a problem with his right hand pinky, it would curl for no reason.. He relearned a bunch of stuff with just 4 fingers on the right hand, and continued playing pretty much everything, that issue eventually went away, but if it didn't he could still play.. So go for it!!
 

wsaraceni

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Sounds good. Now to find a keyboard or piano to start. I’m talking mostly about rock and even some stuff like you’d play on a Hammond.
 

hank57

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And Jimmy Smith didn’t start playing organ till his thirties or something.
 

twoheadedboy

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I don't actually have 9 fingers, but my right hand pinky finger has major tendon issues and I can't straighten it out. would it be a waste of time to try to learn basic piano?
It wouldn't be a waste of time at all. You can do a whole lot without the right pinky.
 

stevel

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14,939
I don't actually have 9 fingers, but my right hand pinky finger has major tendon issues and I can't straighten it out. would it be a waste of time to try to learn basic piano?
After the 1st and 2nd world wars, many composers wrote virtuoso works for one hand alone for musicians who went to war and lost an arm.


(piano starts about 2:10)

For "basic" piano, not a big deal.

Especially if you have a larger hand size - you can do a lot of stuff with just the first 3 fingers (Thumb, Index, Middle).

There's plenty of pretty basic synth stuff - like think about the open chords you can play on guitar that don't use Pinky - none of your cowboy/open chords actually require your pinky - aside from B7 (or things like Dsus4, etc.)

If you have any mobility at all (like you can use it to play some notes with), it might even be good therapy.
 

theRagman

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Go for it. I know a kid who was born with a significantly deformed right hand, but he loved the piano and started playing at a young age. The piano work helped him get mobility in fingers that the surgeons said might never be possible, and I just listened to a recording of him nailing Fur Elise at a recital. Even the hard parts. :)
 

HomeInMyShoes

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1,663
There are some things you won't be able to play, but that doesn't mean there isn't a myriad of beautiful stuff to play that you will be able to.

Definitely not a waste. Music is never a waste.
 
Messages
751
Hey, if Frodo could save all of Middle Earth with just 9 fingers, you can play piano! I play with just 4 fingers and a thumb usually. Not very good at it, but still I try….
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
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3,118
Django lost 2 left hand fingers as a guitarist. He still blows away most people on the guitar right up to today and he has been gone for some time.
People are still trying to catch up to him.
 




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