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SurfGuitar101 Forums » The Shallow End »

Permalink String splinter?

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Has anyone ever gotten a metal splinter from guitar strings?
I know this sounds weird, but I sware I have gotten small tiny metal splinters in my fingers from playing. At least twice in the last six months.
I believe they are coming from a certain guitar. But I'm not positive.
How about you?
Any string splinters?

Last edited: Apr 12, 2020 22:06:40

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Last edited: Mar 03, 2022 06:11:36

Yikes - Never, ever had that happen. DR Pure Blues nickel rounds on everything except for two offsets, D'Addario flats on those.

Jack
aka WoodyJ

Last Mariners (2021-present)
HulaHounds (1996-2005)
The Mariners (1964-68, 1996-2005)
The X-Rays (1997-2004)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1978-1990)

Yikes x2! Never had that happen, but I have had these weird, I’ll call them “micro bruises” right on the tip of my fretting first finger. It’s a spot of crazy sensitivity that does actually feel like a splinter. It’s a sharp and deep pain. Luckily they always go away in a day. I think I’m pressing a little hard. Also - what I’m experiencing is mostly only painful on the low strings. I use DR strings.

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

Yikes x2! Never had that happen, but I have had these weird, I’ll call them “micro bruises” right on the tip of my fretting first finger. It’s a spot of crazy sensitivity that does actually feel like a splinter. It’s a sharp and deep pain. Luckily they always go away in a day. I think I’m pressing a little hard. Also - what I’m experiencing is mostly only painful on the low strings. I use DR strings.

I get those same exact "micro bruises", too. I only play flatwound strings. I'm thinking that is what he means, because they sure do feel like sharp stings.

Gellert (my first name)

Guitarist for The Fintastics

https://www.facebook.com/TheFintastics

DeathTide wrote:

Yikes x2! Never had that happen, but I have had these weird, I’ll call them “micro bruises” right on the tip of my fretting first finger. It’s a spot of crazy sensitivity that does actually feel like a splinter. It’s a sharp and deep pain. Luckily they always go away in a day. I think I’m pressing a little hard. Also - what I’m experiencing is mostly only painful on the low strings. I use DR strings.

Hummm, micro bruises.... ok I can see that. I have never found a piece of metal in my finger. Even under a magnifying glass.
It seems to happen at random. But maybe it has something to do with the way I'm playing. I have been working on a tune that requires a lot of sliding lately. Playing for a few hours at a time. Perhaps it is a tiny bruise.
It seems to occur when in playing a guitar with 12 gauge strings. I just thought it might be cheap strings.
Hummm, micro bruising. Interesting.
Thanks for the insight.
Joel

I get these pains too, mostly the index and middle finger on my fretting hand. At first I thought it was a sliver or something too. It feels like sticking a needle in the tip of your finger. It started about 10 years ago for me when we were gigging and rehearsing a lot. Fortunately, I had good health insurance then. I've been to doctors and hand specialists and I've had tests and x-rays but no real helpful answers. It's interesting, modern medicine seems to be set up to deal with numbness or tingling...but not overly sensitive nerves. The best answer I've had is that the repeated pressure and impact (of fretting) has aggravated/bruised/damaged the nerves in the tips of my fingers. It does seem to be worse on my Jag, maybe the string tension of 12-56 flats? I've tried 11's, it might be a little easier on my fingers but the Jag hates it. It's not as bad on a Strat with 10's. I have been making little fingertip pads out of moleskin and then wrapping with a bandaid. It's a hassle, and does interfere with playing somewhat, but it does help and is definitely better than getting those stabbing pains.

Joelman wrote:

Has anyone ever gotten a metal splinter from guitar strings?
I know this sounds weird, but I sware I have gotten small tiny metal splinters in my fingers from playing. At least twice in the last six months.
I believe they are coming from a certain guitar. But I'm not positive.
How about you?
Any string splinters?

I have an update about my situation. It is nerve damage. It started a couple years ago and gradually got worse and now I can not really fret any string with my index finger. I have other nerve damage in my neck and arms so the physiatrist thinks it’s all related. Nerves that are not severed eventually heal, but it can take like seven years?!!

First I tried moleskin and also a bunion pad, but those did not work because they still transferred the pressure into my fingertip. I need some thing that is rigid so there is no pressure on the tip.

Next I tried a thimble (covered it with moleskin) and it works, but it is clumsy. Also it is only good for playing lead, chords are very difficult. Then I found this site:

https://www.galaxyguitar.com/ft1.html

And I believe this will solve my problem until the nerve heals. If it ever does. If my situation only requires their standard model, it is $140. Not as cheap as a sewing thimble but worth 10 times the price to me.

I will be ordering from them soon, and I will update once I get the product and try it out. In the meantime Mr. Joelman, I hope your problem has cleared up? If not, check out that site. That Randy fellow is a lone champion for musicians dealing with finger pain.

Daniel Deathtide

Here is another update. Now it seems as though it is not nerve damage, but rather what is called a Glomus Tumor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomus_tumor

This makes more sense because it is only affecting one finger, and finger nerves are in pairs apparently. This is fantastic news if this is what it is because it is treatable!

I have also been doing desensitization exercises on the fingertip and that has been producing some results. Basically I dig on my fingernail where the sore place is until it hurts a little, then leave it alone. Then repeat as often as I think about it.

Sigh. I did get the galaxy guitars fingertip and it works but it is a bit of an adjustment. Also playing chords is weird. I just don’t think they were made for thick surf guitar strings! So I am back to playing awkwardly, dancing around the sensitive spot on that finger.

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

Here is another update. Now it seems as though it is not nerve damage, but rather what is called a Glomus Tumor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomus_tumor

This makes more sense because it is only affecting one finger, and finger nerves are in pairs apparently. This is fantastic news if this is what it is because it is treatable!

I have also been doing desensitization exercises on the fingertip and that has been producing some results. Basically I dig on my fingernail where the sore place is until it hurts a little, then leave it alone. Then repeat as often as I think about it.

Sigh. I did get the galaxy guitars fingertip and it works but it is a bit of an adjustment. Also playing chords is weird. I just don’t think they were made for thick surf guitar strings! So I am back to playing awkwardly, dancing around the sensitive spot on that finger.

At least it's treatable.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Glomus tumors can be treated by excision. Here is a report:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1888624/
Because it is in such a highly innervated part of the body perhaps something less aggressive and more focused than surgical excision might be tried first. The most focused method I've heard of is the Accuray Cyberknife (focused radiation). Maybe even small amounts of alcohol injection could work (for a dermatologist or hand surgeon to do, I'm not suggesting DIY).

Until you mentioned your experience I had heard of glomus tumors only in the carotid artery.

Have you thought of switching to lap guitar or steel guitar? Another possibility is the "You Rock" guitar, where strings are used only for picking and there are no strings on the frets. It looks like a toy but it is not, and it can drive a synthesizer.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

It is not just guitar playing that is affected, so I would rather take care of it! To be continued...

image

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

It is not just guitar playing that is affected, so I would rather take care of it! To be continued...

image

I agree. Don’t accept a partial solution.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

DeathTide wrote:

It is not just guitar playing that is affected, so I would rather take care of it! To be continued...

image

I agree. Don’t accept a partial solution.

Well after looking at that picture above, I think I’ll pass.
I let a doctor cut into me once. He told me I was dying. He screwed up and I almost did die.
But I’m still here.
So I’ll deal with the pain, thank you very much.
.
.
.

Last edited: Dec 25, 2020 21:35:53

I hear you. I live in what must be the absolute worst medical community in the United States. These doctors are such a joke! If you can still play, that is great. I reached a point where I couldn’t use my finger for anything. Luckily doing desensitization exercises has helped a lot, but I still feel something in there.

Daniel Deathtide

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