Django's Hand

Django's Hand and 3D anthopometric model

The jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, although limited by burn injuries, developed a musical technique that created a new musical genre. David Williams and Tom Potokar, of Morriston Hospital Swansea, analysed archive photographs and constructed a three-dimensional computer model of his injuries.

Robert Johnson: finger points to Marfan syndrome?

Robert johnson playing acoustic guitar and smoking a tab

In the September 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal, G.P. David Connell speculates about the unnaturally long fingers of bluesman Robert Johnson . Based on pictures and contemporary accounts, Connell thinks that Johnson had Marfan Syndrome . Marfan Syndrome is a genetic connective tissue disorder: those affected are usually tall and slim, with long fingers and flexible joints.

Head Banging Safely


Head banging is a vigourous and often violent rhythmic movement of the head and upper body. It is associated with hard rock and various types of heavy metal, with recognisably different styles: like the classic up-down (movingly depicted in the  "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene in Wayne's World), the circular swing (think Slipnot or Jason Newstead), the full body (the up-down taken to extreme amplitudes), or the cheeky side-to-side.

Guitar therapy


Why do people play the guitar? Is it to express their inner feelings, to become famous and rich, to improve their attractiveness or to annoy the neighbours? I think the main reason people play the guitar is that it makes them feel good.

So it’s not surprising to hear guitars are often used in music therapy. A recent review by Robert E. Krout, found 64 published reports of guitar therapy. Music therapists used the guitar to help children with learning disabilities or medical problems, and to help adolescents, adults, prisoners and senior citizens.

Guitar string allergy


Are you experiencing a hand rash that is worse on your fretting hand than on your strumming hand? Are you also prone to other allergies, such as asthma or hay fever? If so there is a possibility that you have an allergy to your guitar strings.

Recently published case reports describe a musician’s dermatitis (skin rash) affecting the hand, which was the result of nickel contact from guitar strings. Here is the description of a typical case:

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