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  • Whilst working at a part-time warehouse job out in CA while going to school for guitar at Musician's Institute, I sustained an injury to my thumb. Without going into the gory details, basically I'm missing half the first joint on my right hand thumb, which thoroughly changed my hand position for fingerstyle guitar.

    The doc managed to save the cuticle and my nail grew back, sorta ok. well enough for picking anyway. But that's not the point. There's actually two points.

    First off, one of my buds from out at the school, Tim Gearan (who is such a monster blues player I could always tell it was him warming up on stage for a playing workshop while I was all the way out in the cafeteria. I'd go look to confirm my suspicions and sure enough there was Tim.) came to talk to me after my injury. He showed me his right hand, whereupon I noticed for the first time that he was missing the entire first joint on his thumb. We grinned at each other as I uttered a soft "well, goddamn." and at that point I determined that it wasn't going to be an obstacle for me.

    Second point, at that point, I picked up an old Telecaster bass with a baseball-bat for a neck, and determined to learn to play slap-funk bass, figuring that I couldn't feel anything on the side of my thumb anyway. SO I proceeded to blister my fingers for about three months until I could.

    In the years since then I've picked up a rather unusual fingerstyle play since I can't *quite* pluck as fast as I used to. Got lots of pretty stuff written in an altered tuning or two, and eventually I'll get around to slapping them on a disc and offering them for sale. ...and all this was years after having sliced the tip off my LEFT hand ring finger (the one that goes on the fretboard) while working in a restaurant, while cutting tomatoes with a french knife (no it wasn't in the slicing machine, I got bumped from behind).

    Don't let it get you down. You adapt. You overcome. Yeah, yeah, be more careful, sure. Just don't let it _stop_ you. :-)