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, ...


17

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

The obvious ones are -trumpet - no use for pinkie at all, and slide trombone - no use for fingers separately. Followed closely by xylophone/marimba/glock/vibraphone and drums.


15

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 ...


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

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

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

Can't use feet well, but if you could move a knee to one side, it would be a simple lever attachment to the pedal, maybe from your wheelchair. Look at knee levers that pedal steel players use. You only really need the damper pedal - the 'soft' pedal could be added later, but it's not as vital as the sustain.


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.


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

Really? Not one mention of Django Reinhardt? Django lost the use of his fourth and fifth fingers in a fire but that didn't stop him from ripping it up on guitar (and inventing a new genre of music in the process). A few years ago, I sustained a minor sprain in my fretting hand which made it painful to make certain finger changes (I play bass mostly, but ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


9

All of the above. And if none work out, there's always the voice. I wouldn't say that a great singer is less musical, and less musically valuable, than any instrumentalist.


9

At 80 dotted quarter notes per minute I run into two problems: Fingers getting twisted up and Losing count of the repetitions. As a skilled amateur, after a few minutes of practice, I played 12 bars before getting tangled up. After a fingering adjustment, I played 20-or-so bars before losing count. I don't see fatigue as being an issue, even in an extended ...


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:...


8

'Play the guitar perfectly...' There aren't many people who do that! I don't really think it's an issue for most. If they can play to whatever standard they do, it's enough. We (most of us) never reach the point where we can honestly say we play perfectly. As humans, we are pretty adaptable - look at a lot of disabled - and become successful despite our ...


7

First, accept that you have a handicap and will never be able to play guitar 'normally'. Embrace it, don't try to play like everyone else, and you'll be a far better guitarist for it. I would recommend learning to play with alternative tunings, especially open tunings or all 5ths. It will make many chord fingerings far more simple for getting started, and ...


7

It is absolutely OK to use a capo. You will just need to check on the capo from time to time as the strings will wear grooves into the rubber. (This happens normally, but since you use a capo full time, it will happen more quickly.) Given your arthritis, there are some additional things you could do to make playing easier on yourself. As others have ...


7

Harmonica, blues or chromatic.


7

The typical recorder fits the bill perfectly for you. It uses all fingers of the right hand, and the thumb and all-but-the-pinkie of the left hand.


7

You haven't said what sort of guitar or playing you hope to do, but it doesn't have to be a problem. People with far greater disabilities than this have become great players. There's really no great necessity to squeeze with the thumb on the back of the neck. It would appear so, and an awful lot of guitarists do it without realising, but with careful ...


7

I'm a cellist and I have been parent coach for Suzuki viola. I don't have specific experience with this, but will use my imagination. Let's renumber the fingers. What used to be "2" will now be "1" and so on. Your student will be working with fingers 1, 2 and 3. Think of a beginning student who doesn't use the fourth finger yet. Now, let's think about ...


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