Eric Krasno On Guitar Therapy

“When I was in high school, I suffered a bad accident playing basketball that crushed my elbow joint and the bone in my left forearm. The doctors had to reconstruct my arm using pins, wire, and a metal plate. There was a lot of nerve damage, and they didn’t think I was going to get much motion back in my elbow, hand, and fingers. Unfortunately, I had just gotten serious about guitar.
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I had a lot of downtime to heal—and practice—but the doctors were afraid the stress placed on my arm by all that practicing might cause further damage. But I forced myself to do it, because I really wanted to learn, and even though my hand wasn’t moving well, the act of playing seemed to help my recovery. The physical therapists were amazed at how much movement I was able to get back, and they actually attributed it to playing guitar. As a result of the injury, I developed a very relaxed approach using economical techniques, such as legato picking. I also don’t bend my wrist much, and I use my thumb to help hold the neck, Hendrix-style. In the end, playing guitar saved my arm, and the whole experience made me focus on music as a career.”