Guitars, pianos, etc

Hi Gang,

Do any of you have trouble playing a musical instrument that you once played with ease? I have a few guitars here (classical, 6-string and 12-string acoustic) that I once played all the time and which gave me great enjoyment but since the vestibular-brain meltdown of late 2003 (what I think was likely VN or labyrinthitis – my so-called BIG BANG event) I have NOT been able to play without setting off disorientation, dysequilibrium and the all around shitty feeling that makes me want to walk away from playing. This is one of the last major and saddest hurdles for me that I have not recovered from.

So, is this a left over compensation issue from VN damage that I have to relearn? My feeling is that it is a multi-tasking issue. It has nothing to do with volume or the sound itself as I can be playing to the point of not hearing anything yet I still get the same effect. The effect begins very quickly and is not unlike the way I would have felt after driving a car years ago. The only way I can see to get over this is to make myself play daily for short periods and keep extending until the hardware in my brain remaps everything somehow and stops the dizziness.

We have a friend staying who brought his guitar. I had to have a jam with him and although it was doing me in, I pushed on. I’m still excessively off this morning and sleep was bad last night.

Have any of you noticed this? I know Emma plays guitar with no issues whatsoever yet she has a rather nasty case of MAV. This leads me to believe it’s not a migraine problem per se but one of compensation that was never completed or hardly even atacked in the first place. I picked up on the problem about 2 months after the 2003 meltdown.

I would pay millions (if I had more than just pocket change :lol: ) to have my ability to play restored again without this crap interfering.

I can play a little bit of piano as well and the same thing happens. :roll:


Hi Scott, Cheryl here…

I play the piano and get very frustrated (unless having a good day that is ) I tend to be quiet disorganised and dislexic when it comes to playing. Eg My brain tells me one thing and my fingers go else where I was to play an e chord and I will play a c chord instead. I am coordinated as I said on my good days… Needless to say I havent played for about 4 months now as I was and am so disappointed, frustrated and disgusted…I have my MDDS all day every day it just depends on the severity so relation to this to playing music and feeling worse I havent checked. When I can play though it takes a little while to warm up but can play all day.

Hi Scott,

I used to love to play guitar as well, not brilliantly, but we would have a lot of sing songs. When I was taping something I was playing 20 years ago I noticed my left ear was vibrating at certain sounds, or if I sang, I just ignored that, but it is still with me. I feel the guitar is another problem, maybe its me but its the head (neck) bent to the side and bent down I think thats sets it off (this is one of my worse positions anyway). I cant last long before I feel rubbish. I used to play mouthorgan a lot too with my dad, but using the breath, makes me dizzy now.

I am surprised your finger pads are hard enough with all that hand cream :lol: )

By the way, I have an old 12 string, lovely sound. Hubby has a Burns base, from the days he was in a local group called “Country Corn” :shock: Aaaah … Happy days!


Hi Scott,

I used to play for long, long hours 20 years or so ago (e.g. 4+ hours per night)! And then years went by where I hardly played at all (went to uni, pursued a ‘serious career’, etc). Nowadays, I’ve been trying to play a little again, and although I can generally play OK, there are some things I’ve noticed: I can’t play for anywhere near as long, before the tiredness gets a little too much, and also, because of the damned ‘brain fog’, remembering something like the notes and timing to a guitar solo (for instance) seems to take me ages! It’s like retaining the information is now hard-work! Overall, I think the guitar playing doesn’t seem to aggravate my (24/7) dizziness too much, but I do think it starts some kind of process of attrition, so that the disequilibrium can get too much after an hour or two, so I need to take a break.

Must write a song about this MAV crap one day… :wink:


Hey Scott,

sitting on a stool with my acoustic would cause me to sway a little bit at first, but after a few days of keepin on, My brain got a little more used to it and it wasn’t as bad. It felt almost like a VRT exercise in a way. It got easier and easier the more I kept doing it. Just keep going. I also noticed that when I got into the song I was playing, I wouldn’t pay no attention to the swaying and eventually it just went away. Same thing with the drums. I had a bit of rocking with the drums, but that too went away after I was into the music deeply. Maybe it was a placebo affect for me.


Scott, are you playing standing up or sitting down?

I play a Gibson Faded Flying V with three pickups. I know, it is not age appropriate at 48 but I got it by accident while trading in a Telecaster and it was the only guitar in the same price range. It’s fun for me, I am passable, good enough to do rhythm and sing a few songs with friends who gig out, just for fun. Country, alt country, classic rock mostly. LOL, I am not good enough to notice whether my playing has deteriorated, it has never been very bad or very good!

But here is my point: As you guitar guys know, I have to play the Flying V while standing. I have found that it does NOT make me dizzy and in fact I feel pretty good after playing for an hour or so.

I think that the standing could actually be a benefit if you are focusing on the wall or some object while playing. So if hyou are not standing, please try that and see what happens.

On a related point, I went to the local Guitar Center to look at amps last week, and I had to sit through a half hour of sixteen year olds trying to play Guns n Roses and Metallica licks at top volume, and I walked out of there a wreck!