A Guitar Player’s Experience

I am sixty-five years old, and have played guitar for over 50 years. I was a recording and touring musician for over ten of those years, so it was puzzling and disturbing when three years ago my right hand started to spasm when I played simple rhythm parts. At first it was only occasional, but as it increased in frequency, I consulted a neurologist, and was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinsonism at 62. I have been taking Azilect now for the last two and a half years, and the progression of my condition seems to have slowed as a result. My concern, however, is that even with Azilect, I cannot play a complete song on guitar, as my right hand starts to tremor uncontrollably after a few bars. Dealing with this condition has been difficult, because playing music is and has been such a big part of who I am. While initially depressing, I determined that I would not let my life be defined by Parkinson’s. I found that I could sustain longer passages of songs if I played with an open hand rather than with a flatpick, so I have worked on developing this technique. More importantly, I found [...] continue the story