As I mentioned in a previous thread, I had a stroke of the right parietal lobe on Jan. 6 that almost totally wiped out function in my fingers on my left hand. Here's an update that I thought some of you would find interesting- DEFINITELY not intended in a pity- party sort of way, just interesting. There may be something accidentally profound in here about not taking what we do for granted and appreciating what you can do on guitar in the moment, but mostly it's about the mental mechanics involved in playing. Maybe this info will help someone who is searching for it in the future. For my guitar playing friends; what does it mean to have a stroke that wipes out your left hand fingers and and have to "re-learn" guitar? I sincerely hope none of you ever find out, so let me tell you about it. When I first had the stroke, I simply could not make a pinching motion with my thumb and any of my fingers. However, I could move the fingers a little bit, just a half inch, very slow wiggle, but my neuro team saw that as very encouraging. It's hard to even believe since that point 5 weeks ago, I have gone from being unable to press down the strings- with my thumb completely lost as to it's role in playing guitar or bass- think about that for a second; trying to hold down a note with a rogue thumb not helping at all- to being able to play single notes on bass but not having any sense of linear motion or space. First, I got a little 5 note scale figure going on my Hofner bass with soft, tapewound strings, but my 3rd finger just did not know the amount of space between notes at all. Then, I got a major scale and I ran it very slowly (with a metronome) hundreds of times, moving up and down the neck. I did tons of chromatic runs, trying to play the notes cleanly and not have other fingers dragging or floppin over strings when not being used to fret a note. It was very discouraging and fatiguing. It is really hard to know what your fingers should be doing and watch them not do it. Over and over. It is a very strange feeling. A major moment was being able to snap my fingers on my left hand again, actually. That really showed me that it was starting to come back. The theme to the Addams Family has never meant so much to me before! The next thing, a few weeks ago, I was able to hold down a D chord on guitar. At first, my 3rd finger just lay flat and muted the high e string, but I spent hours staring at it and visualizing how to play it properly. It felt pretty glorious when I could get it to actually ring out. I may have done a celebratory windmill or two. I worked my way through all my open chords and then it was time to confront the moment we all remember from our youth: the dreaded F barre chord. You remember how hard it was the first time around? Truthfully, I started with a barre chord further up the neck where there was less tension. Once I got it, I couldn't move it or it would all just fall to pieces, so I worked on Kinks riffs- again very, very slowly- until it got a bit better. I'm still doing that. My last show before my stroke was opening up for Dave Davies who had a stroke 10 years ago that damaged his right hand. I think we could possibly join forces to make one really decent guitarist. Right now, I am starting to try to bend some notes. I don't have the strength or instinct to get them quite in tune just yet. My fingers have also forgotten how to do hammer ons and pull offs. I have been playing the weakest version of Funk 49 you've ever heard in your life! I am working on those things and second position minor chords. I have read a lot about the power of visualization and I go to sleep every night thinking about these things. On the bright side, I do see a little progress every day AND the stroke seems to have hit me right in the spot that knows how to play "Brown Eyed Girl"- or at least that's the way I am going to play it when I get back on my feet and somebody requests that one.