A Longitudinal Field Trial with a Hemiplegic Guitarist Using The Actuated Guitar

Larsen, Jeppe and Knoche, Hendrik and Overholt, Dan

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Common emotional effects following a stroke include depression, apathy and lack of motivation. We conducted a longitudinal case study to investigate if enabling a post-stroke former guitarist re-learn to play guitar would help increase motivation for self rehabilitation and quality of life after suffering a stroke. The intervention lasted three weeks during which the participant had a fully functional electrical guitar fitted with a strumming device controlled by a foot pedal at his free disposal. The device replaced right strumming of the strings, and the study showed that the participant, who was highly motivated, played 20 sessions despite system latency and reduced musical expression. He incorporated his own literature and equipment into his playing routine and improved greatly as the study progressed. He was able to play alone and keep a steady rhythm in time with backing tracks that went as fast as 120bpm. During the study he was able to lower his error rate to 33%, while his average flutter also decreased.