I can’t think of many disabilities which would affect one’s ability to play a guitar. However, maybe a few because players have walked into the shop with solid and believable complaints regarding the guitars they play. We offer guitars for disabled players.
A deaf person-maybe not. Blindness doesn’t seem to stop anyone from playing. It may even hone the skill better. Guitar players for the most part don’t look at their fingers or their instrument while playing. Musicians like Jose Feliciano, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Jeff Healey are some examples of overcoming a disability to play guitar. There are players however, who have been playing for years and as age creeps up they can no longer even hold a guitar.
special guitars for disabled people?
The players sometimes don’t even realize they have a disability. Often times they’ll just take a seat on stage and play. Still others will come in to a guitar shop like Haywire Custom Shop for advice. We’re ready! We got your back, front, sides and anything else that hurts. Why not try and help players get back to “normal” on stage? Great idea! We have clients come in with back and shoulder issues due to heavy guitars. As they hold these guitars standing up for hours on end it can be debilitating as they age.
What do we do? I ask them to play for me. We look at what the possible problems could be. It is almost always the excessive weight of the guitar.
The solution is sometimes as simple as a lighter body. Yes, just strip down the old guitar and re-build it right onto a lighter frame. Their parts, the same parts their used to, but on a lighter body can make all the difference to players with disabilities. If the disability is caused by the instrument then it’s easy to unwind the whole problem and fix it for them. We think about solutions for guitar players all the time. The guitarists don’t necessarily come up with the fixes right away until we suggest ways to reduce weight, thus pain and increase satisfaction on the job.