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    Playing Guitar

    Hello everyone. Ive always been interested in the guitar and finally decided to try to learn how to play. I picked up a beginner electric and acoustic and video lessons. However, Im having a problem holding the guitar properly in a wheelchair. I'm a T-6 para. The acoustic is almost impossible because of its width(thickness), the electric is much easier but still not ideal or comfortable.

    With the acoustic I feel like a little kid holding a grownup guitar (and I'm 6'0 tall) because it is about 6 inches below my chin. Like I said the electric is easier but still not ideal. This also creates problems playing notes or chords on the lower strings E,A & D since the guitar is so close to my body and high up I cant contort my left hand to reach them properly without deading other strings.

    I never imagined the hardest part about learning to play a guitar would be holding it properly.

    So Im interested if anyone on this forum plays guitar and how do you overcome the issues that Im having. Do you even have these issues?

    Thanks
    J

    #2
    I cross my right leg over my left leg and rest the guitar over my right leg.
    stephen@bike-on.com

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      #3
      Take up the ukulele. Much easier to learn, hold and play. I played guitar for the past 53 years and it's always been kind of a hastle to hold since the injury. The tenor or baritone uke is really fun to play. An electric uke sounds every bit as good as an electric.

      The baritone is tuned like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar so it's using the same chord structure.

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        #4
        I use a Dynarest cushion. They come in different sizes. Large works best for my full bodied acoustics. I also have an A-Frame guitar support but suction cups and laboriously laid on shellac don't go well together! I've used it on lacquer and polyvinyl UV cured finishes without issues and it is by far the most positionable support I've used, to date.
        "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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          #5
          I found the dreadnaught shaped acoustic fit well on my lap if the wheelchair is adjusted right, the wheel is low enough not to have the guitar touch it, otherwise it slides forward. I notice most chairs set up nowdays have quite a bit of dump, and the person sits low with the wheels above the hip. What works for an acoustic guitar may not be comfortable.

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            #6
            I just put the guitar in my lap without crossing my legs or anything. I have never noticed any problem with it but I started playing after my injury so I guess I don’t know any different. Sometimes if I play for a really long time it will leave a red mark on my leg but it always goes right away.

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              #7
              Hi. I played guitar for many years before my accident and play in a gigging band right now from my wheelchair. pm me, I´d be glad to share some of the short cuts and tips I have learned through the years, at least the ones that work for me.
              T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

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                #8
                I agree with trying ukulele, (tenor size is easyiest for man hands.)
                I play my baby taylor guitar the most of my guitars, it is small, and thin, short neck is easy on the shoulder.

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                  #9
                  Do a youtube search using the words wheelchair guitar together and you will get a list of videos with people in wheelchairs playing their guitars. It should give you some ideas.
                  You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                  http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                  See my personal webpage @
                  http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have been playing for two years, T4 complete para, 5'6" tall. I have an Epi Les Paul (full size elec, heavier than a strat) and a Yamaha acoustic that's about 15/16 the size of a dreadnaught.

                    It was a while before I stopped feeling like I was tipping forward, but I kept up with it, and I found my balance. Kinda. I still tip sometimes, but it's very rare at this point. I always use straps to keep it kinda high. I can't balance at all with it just resting on my lap. So if I am testing one at a store I have to ask them to let me use a strap.

                    Otherwise, yeah, it sucks about balance. Like learning how to play isn't hard enough
                    But you'll get balance as a side-effect of practicing. Remember, the only way to get better at playing is by playing! Even after two years I can see how far I've come! I'm excited for you and your new hobby! I hope the guitar takes a hold on you like it did on me!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Them Bones View Post
                      I have been playing for two years, T4 complete para, 5'6" tall. I have an Epi Les Paul (full size elec, heavier than a strat) and a Yamaha acoustic that's about 15/16 the size of a dreadnaught.

                      It was a while before I stopped feeling like I was tipping forward, but I kept up with it, and I found my balance. Kinda. I still tip sometimes, but it's very rare at this point. I always use straps to keep it kinda high. I can't balance at all with it just resting on my lap. So if I am testing one at a store I have to ask them to let me use a strap.

                      Otherwise, yeah, it sucks about balance. Like learning how to play isn't hard enough
                      But you'll get balance as a side-effect of practicing. Remember, the only way to get better at playing is by playing! Even after two years I can see how far I've come! I'm excited for you and your new hobby! I hope the guitar takes a hold on you like it did on me!
                      As far as electric guitars are concerned there is nothing more comfortable to hold, more ergonomic than a Strat-style guitar. It positions on your lap far more comfortably than a LP-style or 335-style guitar.
                      stephen@bike-on.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                        As far as electric guitars are concerned there is nothing more comfortable to hold, more ergonomic than a Strat-style guitar. It positions on your lap far more comfortably than a LP-style or 335-style guitar.
                        I am saving for a USA Strat. My girlfriend and I are also saving for a house and a vacation. The last time I mentioned that I was saving for a strat, her exact words were:

                        "Motherfucker, if bitch ever rolls up in here and there is a third guitar that belongs to you, there had better be something of equal or greater value waiting for me."

                        So the strat will cost $2400 instead of $1200

                        Edit: holy shit, thousandth post!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                          As far as electric guitars are concerned there is nothing more comfortable to hold, more ergonomic than a Strat-style guitar. It positions on your lap far more comfortably than a LP-style or 335-style guitar.
                          I dunno, man, @4lbs my Parker Fly Deluxe is a dream to have in the lap, or slung around the neck! It has a extra wide bottom bout, too, making it more comfy on the leg. I dig it, for sure.


                          Here's a shot of me, a couple of years ago, with the Dynarest cushion, and a Cordoba Custom Artist, in rosewood and spruce.



                          For me, having learned to play with the guitar on my left leg, my left foot up on a raised footrest, and the guitar headstock up next to my head, having something like the Dynarest, A-Frame, or Neck-Up guitar support, etc is a big part of maintaining my ergonomics.
                          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DaleB View Post
                            I dunno, man, @4lbs my Parker Fly Deluxe is a dream to have in the lap, or slung around the neck! It has a extra wide bottom bout, too, making it more comfy on the leg. I dig it, for sure.
                            That's why I said "Strat-style": that would include an offset cutaway like the Parker. I've never owned a Parker but I think they're seriously cool. The ones I've ogled at most often are also very pricey.

                            4 lbs.? Are you sure it's that light? I thought the light ones were closer to 6 lbs.
                            stephen@bike-on.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                              That's why I said "Strat-style": that would include an offset cutaway like the Parker. I've never owned a Parker but I think they're seriously cool. The ones I've ogled at most often are also very pricey.

                              4 lbs.? Are you sure it's that light? I thought the light ones were closer to 6 lbs.
                              Yeah, agreed, Strat-style applies to the Parker, for sure.

                              I have a 1996 Fly Deluxe. 4.6lbs, on my luggage scale. Current catalog does list them at ~5.5lbs. I know they do have new electronics, since mine was built. Perhaps there were other minor innovations that led to a little more weight. I dunno, I love the livin' CRAP out of mine, that's for sure.

                              The stereo output is very cool, especially when routed to separate output devices, for analog vs magnetic. Capable of a super full sound. Not everyone's cup of tea, but like I said, I dig it!



                              It's also a favorite among mine youngin's, on account of how light it is.



                              I got an eBay steal of a deal on this one, circa 2001. It needed a new truss rod, no problem, and was selling for pennies on the dollar vs original cost! I got lucky, for sure. Had the rod replaced at the factory, too, and it came back as good as new!
                              "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                              "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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