My right hand index finger has been injured severely. I cannot bend the middle joint of that finger, since the joint is dislocated and not in straight position tilted toward left a bit.

I am wondering how that could affect my ability to play piano.

The finger not being straight actually helps me to play a major triad with fingers 1, 2, and 3 comfortably; whereas this is uncomfortable if I play it with left hand fingers. Also, it is a bit stronger than my left hand index finger even though the middle joint is not bending. But I am not sure if it may naturally fail when a piece gets complicated.

  • 1
    Have you healed completely from the injury under the care of a doctor? Feb 26, 2017 at 6:43
  • It's gonna be unfortunately permanent. The joint is almost solid :(, maybe further surgery helps, but I cannot think of that right now.
    – Saj_Eda
    Feb 26, 2017 at 6:49
  • If you haven't had a doctor look at it, that should definitely be your next step. Feb 26, 2017 at 6:50
  • 3
    It's definitely a handicap, but it needn't prevent you from playing well. IIRC, Franz Liszt once played an entire Beethoven piano concerto without using his injured index finger... and people didn't notice. Feb 26, 2017 at 7:15
  • 2
    A number of people have continued careers as professional pianists after losing the use of complete arm, so don't let a finger injury stop you from finding out what you can do!
    – user19146
    Feb 26, 2017 at 7:28

3 Answers 3


Totally agree with Killian Foth and Alephzero.

These days, even if some techniques are the same as they have always been taught, there is a lot more room for adaptation.

In fact, once you become more advanced, you will start looking for the best fingering to use for a difficult piece. I had a great Aunt who was an excellent harpist and pianist. Her hands were so small that she had to adapt on the piano because she could barely get to an 8th. I can't remember what she said she did but I remember her piano playing and it was great.

Looking for a way to adapt will make you a stronger pianist. I also suggest finding a teacher who is prepared to work with that impairment.


If you have control over the finger and can use it to play notes on the piano, you don't have a big problem. The third finger of my right hand is bent, due to an un-treated childhood injury. I can stretch an octave 1-3. You should all have it done! And there's a fine musical director active on the UK theatre scene whose fingers are all truncated at the first knuckle. I don't know how the hell he does it, but he's an accomplished pianist.


First let me express my deep regret for hearing this.

But I am more pessimistic about your piano career. Even if your right middle finger can exert force, if you cannot control it delicately, or if you feel pain when playing, the music content will also be affected. And many pieces designed for "normal" hands will be difficult for you, and the standard repertoire you may play will be extremely restricted. Even if you managed, your playing will not be as natural as other hard-practicing pianists do.

However, have you considered switching your career to that of violin? Violin players mainly use left hand, and your right hand should have no difficulty in holding a bow. And a horn or a flute, I guess, may also require less stringent independency of fingers as pianists do. Since I cannot play any other instrument, this is just my guess.

Anyway, good luck with you. You may still try to find a way to play the piano with such injury, and I will be glad if I was wrong, really.

  • It's the right index finger, and only the middle joint of it. The thing is I neither feel pain nor lose control of the finger. As an amateur piano player, I don't see any difference right now. I am thinking if the piece gets complicated my mind would never adapt to the little difference between right and left index fingers.
    – Saj_Eda
    Feb 26, 2017 at 19:57

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