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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

I am not blind but I do have some significant visual processing and memory issues that have made it difficult for me to make much progress on learning to paly and remember scale positions. However, I have an innate excellent ear.
While talking about looking for alternative methods of learning, a friend asked me, "since you have these visual impairments getting in your way, how would you learn to play if you were blind?" That's a very good question.

So, musicians, how did you learn to play without using the visual system? What was your process? How did you learn to integrate muscle memory, ear, etc? I know it's probably hard to define, but I would welcome any alternative methods I could use. Thanks =)

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Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Hello everyone, I am currently attending college in the UK and am designing a guitar neck that would make it easier for people with vision disabilties to learn to play the guitar. Is there any advice you could give me or suggestions that i should incorparate into my design that would make it easier. Cheers.

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Hi, Kind of a different topic. I am newly blind and am looking for new hobbies. I would really like to play the guitar. I have a classic steel-string guitar.

BUT I am also learning braille. Would calluses from playing the guitar give me problems with this? Do any of you have experience with braille?

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Check out my free screen reader friendly guitar lessons on my blog at

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

hER'S WHAT I DID.....I stuk an adhisive cirle in th back of the neck of th guitar at th point of the second fret. It worked, so I placed a star (one of those foil stars teachers use to motivate), hebind the neck at fret one and five. I was thinking of gettin a braile marker fron a website called future aids to mark the back of th neck with dbraile dots.
I also found this website that teachers music for the blind and visually impaired. It si
I have also been thinking of placing sots with transparent nail polish or a glue gun behind the neck of th guitar. Stickers look nice and won't spoil the apearence of guitar. I am visullay impaired and these tricks have worked wonderfully for me. It's ok for us to do this. Hope it works for you too.
Keep on shareing.

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Hi. I am a professional guitar player who is totally blind. You don't need special markers on your neck to learn the positions. You need to learn to connect your different scale patterns and positions on the fretboard and you need to learn how to change from chord to chord etc. There are tricks to doing this that make it much easier. If you want more info, please get in touch with me through my web site

I do offer guitar lessons for students, visually impaired or not. Playing guitar totally by touch is easy. You just need to learn where everything is. Not having sight will not stop you from doing this as long as you have the proper road map. Thanks for reading!

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

i am not blind but im too seeking the solution to this problem...

how to play guitar (or similar instrument) without realying on visual system ?

also thinking bout some kind of phisical markings to the back side of the guitar neck on crucial spots.

i plan to combine that with a scaloping on the fretbord..only on octave up.. so those two position would have completely different feel...

i dont really think practice is the answer to this problem at all. i think its possible to do it but all that energy and practice going into "finding" a position is a bad investment imo. i think the world needs guitars (at least necks) for visually challanged ppl.

plz anyone with similar thinking or some clever ideas contact me without hasitation.


Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

I know that this isn't advice...but I had to share the good news! I entered a contest last Friday at the local music store. The contest was to win an Oscar Schmidt (by Washburn) electric guitar...yep...on Saturday (the 11th) I won it and it is so easy and the feel of it is groovy! If anyone is looking for an easy electric guitar, that's easy to chord with visual challenges (like me) this si the one to get...especially if you're just starting out learning how to play (like me)...happy picking!

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Hey freinds,
I am a beginner guitarist. I have a friend/relative who is helping me learn the basic chords. So far I know the C,D,G and Am chords. (which is one more than Elvis knew...the real Elvis).
I purchased a somewhat inexpensive guitar (around $125), took some good old yellow duct tape (you can use it for anything) and placed small strips at the top side of the neck. On top of the tape, I took raised marker adhesive and made up my own touch codes for the basic chords. For BIG dot for where I line up my fingers for the C chord, two BIG dots for the D chord, three for the G chord, a circle for the Am chord. That is all I have learned so far...Once I have somewhat 'mastered' the positioning of my fingers for the various chords, I will move the 'tape symbols' on down the neck to use to learn more chords.
I don't know if any of this will help you, but it gets me by.
I hope that you get into picking...just have fun with it...that's what it's all about anyway...we have enough to stree us don't let stress inside your music.
Good luck from this GA. gal.

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

Hey, the solution you guys are waiting on just be here. I have a freind that is blind and I am blind so he has a altertive rock band. Matter of fact, he has a cd out for a low label cool, huh? Okay basically, you have to practice a lot until you remember where everything is and there will be mistake but, that is the fun. i personally do not know anything about guitars. I am thinking about making a rock band that sounds like Stained and Godsmack in one. I want to be the vocalist in the state of Alabama. The hell hole Ha Ha. Good luck with this

Re:Seeking advice from blind guitar players/musicians

I am also interested in hearing about this topic! I am legally blind with Retinitis Pigmentosa and play in an alternative rock band. I primarily play electric bass but also some guitar. My challenge is that since clubs and venues we play in are often very dark (or there's crazy colorful stage lighting), I can't really see my fretboard and it's hard to move up and down the neck acurately. I have heard of putting some kind of tactile markers on the back of the guitar neck as reference points I can feel - does anyone know how exactly this is done? I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who has modified their guitar or bass so that it is easily playable without sight.

- Luke

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