I started developing symptoms of Parkinson's Disease about four years ago. It did not affect my guitar playing until slightly over a year ago. I was entertaining at a meeting of Senior Focus, an activity sponsored by Bowie Memorial Hospital. I noticed that I was having difficulty controlling my hands and my fingers. That was the last public entertainment I have done with my guitar.
Since that time, I have continued to sing without my guitar. I have sung in my own Church as well as many other churches for many years, always with my guitar. On August 8, 2010, I sang at my home church, First Baptist Church, Bowie, Texas for the very first time ever without my guitar. You can see a video of that song at Bowie Texas Area Music http://bowietexasareamusic.blogspot.com/ . You can also see it on YouTube along with two other videos. In one of the other videos, I am singing a song entitled, "A Little Spot in Heaven"written by Marty Robbins. Harold Goad of The Village Singers played lead guitar for me on that song. Note: If you do not have any CDs of the Village Singers, you are missing some great music. I had only one mic on that one and Harold's guitar is the only one you can hear. The other video is a Jam session at the home of Chuck and Faith Duffin.
I continue sing on a regular basis at the Friday Night Jam Session at the Bowie Senior Citizens Center. I also "plunk" around on my guitar almost daily for physical therapy. I find that it helps with the use of my hands and fingers. It has no value, however, with tremors.
I had a video of myself posted on this website, plunking on my guitar at home. I called the video Eppiphone therapy. I decided that the video served no purpose and removed it from this site.
Parkinson's is a horrible, strange and unpredictable disease. It affects the brain and central nervous system. Although I continue to sing, my voice is weaker now and I suspect it will continue to grow weaker. Some Parkinson's victims loose all oral communication. Fatigue also seems to affect the disease. Occasionally on rare days it seems that the Parkinson's does not exist. On Thursday, June 3, I picked up my guitar for my regular therapy session. I was able to play smooth, correct and without a single error. I wish I could do that all the time, but it just is not to be.
First published June 5, 2010, JBW
Revised and Video removed Sept. 7, 2010, JBW
J. Bryan Wasson
Bowie, Texas Area Music - Remember Music is Good For You !