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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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Question Please Help

I am just trying to learn to play Praise and Worship music. I feel lead to join my Churches music team, to provide a rhythm guitar, and I am in Prayer on this matter. However I have one major problem, I am missing the tips of my 3rd and fourth fingers on my left hand. I am right handed, so this is my fretting hand. I have a little experience playing really hard-core heavy metal (one and two finger stuff in drop D, drop C, Drop B, etc.). Are there some alternate tunings with or without a capo, and alternate chord fingerings that I can use? Please help with your expertise, advice and Prayers.

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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on alternate tunings, but something like an open G tuning (Open G tuning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) might be helpful. Your worship pastor might be able to give you some help as well or at least give you some sort of idea of what they're looking for.

I don't make this suggestion to be flippant, but given your difficult with playing guitar traditionally, have you considered taking up the bass? A lot of churches I've been around seem to always be on the lookout for bass players. This might be somewhere that you'd be able to help your church out greatly.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Thank you! The Open G tuning is exactly what I was looking for, for now... I think.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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Does missing the tips prevent you from playing with those fingers or just require low tensions? I'm just wondering if what you have is similar to what Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath has going on.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 11:13 PM   #5
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I am missing from the 1st knuckle to the tip. I can do very little with them and the tension of the strings does need to be low.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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Your finger limitation is the same as Django's, and he made out okay. Alternate tunings will probably help, but if you're playing with several other musicians, don't feel that you have to play the entire chord. Often just a couple of notes will suffice, letting you add a rhythmic groove without requiring the full chord.

Our band has an acoustic guitar, another electric, keys, piano, bass, and drums with me on electric. If we all bang away trying to play every note of the chord, it sounds like mush. I look for sonic space and add a fairly sparse part most of the time.

Don't be afraid to use FX to help you get a fuller part when you do need it. Putting a riff into a looper and playing over it is one way. Harmonizers and choruses are other options.

Also don't feel you have to play a part note-for-note unless you aspire to be a Hillsong cover band. Create your own unique arrangement as needed. Music doesn't really come from the fingers anyway, but from the heart. Don't try to be a musical transcriptionist, flawlessly duplicating the original. Just make music.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 01:02 AM   #7
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If you feel really passionate and committed and you find nothing else works, you could try learning left-handed.
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