Empowering others: sharing experiences, ideas; offering creative solutions to common challenges.


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

How Do You Do... Play Guitar?

My parents let me have guitar lessons beginning in the fourth grade. -I wanted to learn to play so badly! It was about 1965; the Beatles had already won popularity in the U.S. and with it, the guitar became popular as well. As much as I wanted to play, I have to admit that I did NOT love to practice! But that isn't the point of this entry; HOW I PLAYED is the message.
Remember, I have my left hand and use a prosthesis on the right. My left hand manipulated the frets and supported the neck of the instrument. My hook held the pick and strummed the strings. I encountered a few problems however. My cable to activate the hook dug into my upper arm when I positioned my arm around the guitar. Initially I was wearing a prosthesis with a figure of 8 harness. My prosthetist through Shriners Hospitals for Children modified it to a figure of 9 with a Muenster socket and this arrangement solved that problem. My second problem was that the pick would slide out of the tines of my hook. My parents, being very savvy and out-of-the-box-thinkers, glued dense foam on the pick so that I could grab the material instead of sliding off the smooth surface. And my dad came across a rubber tubing which we cut in half-inch lengths and placed on the hook tines so that my hook would remain closed on the pick. (The excursion of my prosthesis around the folk guitar would cause the hook to open) Now, if I'd had a Lite Touch or my current Adept voluntary closing terminal device, I could have worked to maintain the pinch or kept the pick in place with the Sure-lock system. But those had not yet been invented! My third problem? I am not very musical!!

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