Tuesday, August 23, 2011
My finger tips and the fipple flute
I have a slight talent for music, just a little more than the Emperor in the play "Amadeus." In high school and college I played the clarinet. I wasn't a great player, but I could play well enough to be one of the second clarinets in the college band. The band played at the week-end football games during the football season and gave concerts at other times of the year. For me it was a substitute for the required courses in military training at the Michigan land-grant college (MSU nowadays).
Later I collected three fipple flutes, also known as recorders. I have a soprano, an alto, and a tenor. Until last February I was a fairly accomplished player ot these instruments. Now, because of the callus on my right ring finger, I have difficulty fingering the second note on the scale of any of these instruments. I can manage with the alto by placing the part of my finger that's soft over the holes in the instrument. The tenor is more difficult for me. I think I can play the soprano; it's the smallest of the three.
I keep hoping that my finger will eventually reject the callus and the tip will become as flexible as the tips of the other fingers. I also keep thinking that I may have to acquire a rubber thimble for that particular finger. I have seen rubber thimbles in an office supply store, but they were too small for my finger.
The doctor who treated my wounded finger suggested that I should use hand lotion, like Lubriderm, to soften the finger tip. Apparently it is a common thing for a wounded finger to grow a callus to protect the end of the remaining bone. I haven't been using hand lotion regularly. In order to expose the finger to the lotion continuously I have to wear a throw-away kitchen glove with lotion in the one glove finger that goes around the right ring finger. I haven't been going to that much trouble. I keep hoping that the finger will eventually get tired of being different from the other fingers and reject the callus. That hasn't happened yet.