Stupid me decided to drill half-inch holes with a drill-press in a piece of aluminum trying holding the piece with my bare hands. I ended up with a good sized cut on the pad of my left fourth digit and have to keep a bandaid on it to protect it.

Now, when I play recorder, I can't feel where my finger is on the recorder. Completely covering the hole is challenging too. How can I effectively play recorder for the time being?

  • 1
    If the problem is air tightness for the covered hole: there are finger protectors (like a cut of finger of a rubber glove), which may help. The missing feeling is hard to compensate however.
    – guidot
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 7:43
  • Well, there are still 11 playable notes even without the left fourth digit. You could compose and/play pieces where you do not need that finger :D
    – Morwenn
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 13:02

4 Answers 4


I would say, fall back on technique. If you have a proper grip, just trust that your fingers will be where they are supposed to go. And a rubber finger tip glove should solve any sealing problems. That said, I would wait for fresh skin to develop on the pad before really trying to play anything. Especially an open hole instrument.


Ok, so I don't have 50 reputation right now, so I'll just post a comment here: do you have to play the recorder while waiting for the injury to heal? It's most likely not as severe as trying to play with a broken arm, but imo it's comparable; if you try too hard to cover up the hole (there's definitely some pressure needed) and hurt your finger in the process that's no good. Also, is there a way to wrap something around the finger that can cause it to cover the hole more effectively?

Another question is whether you actually have to feel where the finger is on the recorder, since the left ring finger/fourth digit only has one hole to cover, and thus the movement of the finger can be muscle-memo'd, or you can just look at the fingers while playing. =P

Anyway, if you really want to continue playing recorder (which'd be fine, because music>no music) just don't hurt yourself further. :3

(Then of course there's the extreme recorder player who learns alternative fingerings for each note that requires that finger in the first place)


Of course you don't want to do anything that will endanger your recovery, increase the chance of infection or anything like that.

You might try wrapping the bandaid and top knuckle in gauze to make it easier to cover the entire hole. You might experiment with that idea by wrapping down to the 2nd knuckle and holding that finger in a straighter position than do with the other fingers.

  • It' not a serious cut, but deep enough that it's taking a while to heal.
    – Luke_0
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 19:34

Two other possibilities, which both work but are both a bit awkward:

Use your left hand little finger instead of the ring finger, or play further in with the left hand, inboard of the bandage so to speak.

Being an instrument maker who also cuts his hands sometimes, and a recorder player, I've had occasion to do both, but of course they do limit virtuosity unless you practice them some. But they might be worth trying.

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