31

What about the trombone - a "real" orchestral instrument, should you wish to play with community orchestras, but just as at home with bands, etc, and doesn't depend on the fingertips to the same extent as pretty much everything else.


30

I would like to suggest a theremin. It is an electronic music instrument that is played without physical contact. I personally like the sound, see here for example a performance of Over the rainbow. However, since it is less prevalent than many other instruments, it might be difficult to find a teacher in your area. There are DVDs and online resources, ...


16

The type of music you intend to play and whether single or in ensemble/band has an influence, but in general sight is important for (in increasing order): Monitoring, what your hands do. This is a bad idea anyway on most instruments (exception may be keyboard/organ setting buttons), since muscle memory or perception of fingers is preferred. Decode the score....


15

There are numerous groups such as The Academy of Ancient Music who perform baroque music using instruments constructed in the same way as baroque instruments (or in a few cases with genuine baroque instruments!). If you want to find out how it would have sounded, buy their music! As far as the quality of musicians goes, there are many factors against your ...


15

In many respects technological progress in music has been less about the very best sounding better than about it becoming more and more feasible to produce "good" sounds at lower and lower cost. In terms of equipment, keep in mind that Stradivarius violins (et al.) were constructed at about that time, so it was possible for people to construct instruments ...


15

Playing any instrument (save possibly the theremin) requires a physical interface between the instrument and the performer. If you happen to have an ideal physique for the instrument things will be easier, and if your body is lacking in some way you'll need to adapt. But having enough desire seems to trump disability. Not just through practicing, but ...


14

IANAMPT (music physical therapist), so take this as encouragement rather than direction. I would not let any physical disability short of losing your arm :-) stop you from trying to learn the cello. Find a decent teacher who can either work with you directly or refer you to a music-oriented physiotherapist to figure out a functional bow grip position ...


14

A harmonica might work for you. Diatonic harmonicas are very cheap, so there's no real problem if you don't like it. Chromatic harmonicas extend the range and keys available, if you decide you do like it.


13

Of course you are likely not going to be able to play songs written by others exactly the same way they play them. Here are some ideas for adjusting your playing and/or the guitar to help you at least play chord progressions: Use a capo so you can play mostly open chords. I'm not able to think of a truly open chord that can't be played with only three ...


12

Panpipes, although typically handheld, are played without putting pressure on the fingers. You can even play them hands-free by using a neck rack: — Image source: Dom Flemons, using panpipes held in a neck rack.


10

All fingering is flexible! BUT, in a passage of 3rds, confined to the '5-finger position' you need a pretty good reason NOT to use 1-3, 2-4, 3-5. And 'I'm a beginner, and I find it hard to lift my 4th finger' isn't a good reason! It sounds as if you're playing an exercise that covers that problem already! Stick with it. Check with your teacher that ...


9

Nowadays I always get a close shave before playing the tuba in a gig. I started doing this when I realized that after longer breaks from playing I had trouble getting a distinct attack and tone when I had facial hair around the lips. I also had trouble playing pedal-notes. I then experienced getting a close shave as "gaining" one or two weeks of practice, ...


9

Fingerings are suggestions, but in exercises they might be the whole point When you learn a piece and you can do better with another fingering than the one on the piece, feel free to change it. Those are only suggestions. With an exercise, on the other hand, the point is to learn how to do things that are hard. Of course, if you play it with a different ...


8

Honestly don’t think it’s a big problem. Lots of musicians out there who are blind. Even some musicians out there who are deaf! I think there’s one guy in South America who learned to play guitar with his feet. Django Reinhardt only had 3 usable fingers in his fretting hand. Drums may be a little tricky since seeing out of one eye throws off your depth ...


8

You asked about 'saxophone, trumpet, clarinet or maybe flute' and I can play all of these (some better than others!), so here are the biggest pros and cons of each, specifically considering finger tips: Trumpet Pro: The valves only need three fingertips on the right hand Con: Strong fingers are needed to support the weight of the instrument Clarinet Pro:...


5

We can get some insight from how Bach adapted his compositions for different instruments, presumably in response to the availability (or lack of it) of suitable players. For example, cantata BWV 69 Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, a secular reworking of 69a. From Julian Mincham's commentary, my emphases: ... the tenor aria of the earlier work became one for ...


5

I have a few pat answers for this, some that have been mentioned in the comments. Among them: Django Reinhardt was badly burned in a fire and had just two working fingers, and he became a master of jazz guitar. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath lost the tips of two fretting fingers just before he quit his day job to become a professional musician, and has become ...


5

The size of your hands shouldn't matter at all. The keys are all right next to each other and don't require a stretch, except for maybe the left pinky--the good brands should have those keys designed ergonomically but sometimes the cheaper brands don't put as much care into them. So check out brands in person and make sure they work. Alto and lower saxes ...


5

Hmm. On vibes I think you can safely and easily expect each hand to be able to reach an octave span; it depends some on the player and what part of the instrument you're in generally (e.g., on marimba you can probably get a noticeably wider range - maybe out to a 10th - at the upper end of the instrument, where the bars are closer together). On vibes that ...


5

I taught myself guitar. As a result, I started off with crappy technique that caused injury to my hands. In order to stop the pain, I went back to the beginning and analyzed my personal ergonomics and then changed my technique. What I found worked for me was: Practicing fretting notes cleanly: My fretting fingers are close to the frets and press as ...


5

I can't speak definitively on this since I haven't had a full beard and mustache before, but I've always made a point to keep what facial hair I do have out of the way of my mouthpiece placement. Not knowing the full magnitude of your facial hair, it's hard to make specific suggestions, but I wouldn't want a lot of hair cushioning the mouthpiece against my ...


5

The original intent was for for the player to place both the pinky and ring fingers in the lower supports. Almost nobody does this consistently though since it does limit your playing to the other two fingers on each side. However, when starting out, it may provide more stability and less fatigue. You've already tried the usual approaches for providing ...


5

Simply stated, but a difficult question. I have never experienced cancer first hand, though I have had family members who have. That said, I have been in situations where I had to play piano with very cold hands. This sounds rather mundane I know, but it can be a problem for pianists - the hands are lethargic and unresponsive. And as obnoxious as it sounds, ...


5

While I have not played cello, I do (too infrequently) play upright bass. For upright, there are different ways of holding the bow. First is French, which is more palm down. And German which is more palm up. I have played both ways, and for me I prefer the German style bows. I feel that it gives me better control and is more comfortable for my hand, ...


5

Difficult to find instruments which don't have to be played using fingers/fingertips. It knocks out woodwind, brass, strings, keyboards and some percussion quite easily. Along with slide trombone could go Swannee Whistle. Xylophone or marimba or vibes could also work, using hands to hold sticks rather than fingers.


5

Have you considered a Hammered Dulcimer or a Cimbalom? They are sometimes included in orchestral works - although I can't name one off the top of my head - and there are also "Dulcimer Orchestras" around - look on YouTube. I also agree with @Marzipanherz that a Theremin might be suitable.


5

There are countless examples of people who have substantially overcome major limitations, such as Manami Ito. This is conjecture, so please take it with a grain of salt, but I find epigenetic effects are far more important than the genetic ones. There does seem to be a mindset associated with each instrument which yields the best and most expressive ...


5

Neither are particularly precise terms. 'Tone deaf' describes people who have trouble with recognising pitch. 'Amusia' would also include problems with other elements of music like rhythm or timbre. Or that's what musicians would say 'tone deaf' means. The wider community might apply it to someone who just doesn't 'get' music in any way - appreciation or ...


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