10 Tools and Training Resources for Visually Impaired Guitarists
by Frederik Nielsen, Aug 2, 2019 . 3 min read
Ray Charles. Stevie Wonder. Art Tatum. There are numerous famous pianists that have proven that a disability is no match for real talent and ambition.
But what about visually impaired guitarists?
Jose Feliciano (of Feliz Navidad fame) and Blind Willie Johnson with his slide guitar skills spring to mind. Whatever the instrument, these artists have proven that nothing is impossible.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult either.
We’ve looked up some of the best apps, tools, and resources available for visually impaired guitarists. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an intermediate player looking to step up your game, this is for you.
The prestigious music school Berklee offers special assistance and courses to visually impaired students who want to learn to play musical instruments and produce their music.
2. Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD)
BARD is an online service that gives visually impaired guitarists access to an extensive database of materials. Here, you can find music scores, books, and magazines to assist you with learning and to improve your playing.
3. Roadie 2 Automatic Guitar Tuner
The second generation of our automatic guitar tuners works independently of a smartphone app. So it’s an incredibly useful portable tool that helps you tune and re-string most string instruments. Roadie 2 uses haptic feedback and gives you a little shake with a beep when the string is in tune and it is ready to move on to the next string.
The ChordAssist is a smart guitar specially designed for blind, deaf, and mute guitarists. It’s hooked up to Google Assistant so the guitarist can use voice commands to control the functions.
5. Dancing Dots
Dancing Dots is a website that sells technical equipment and training courses for visually impaired musicians. They’ve got virtually anything to help you read, write, record, mix and master your music, so make sure to check it out.
6. Intro to the Guitar for the Visually Impaired
This 4-CD bundle is a complete introductory course to the guitar. In other words, all of the lessons are taught verbally so that students can concentrate 100% on learning without any written nor braille materials.
7. Let’s Play
Let’s Play! combines both audio and braille lessons for guitarists so they can learn the instrument using their preferred medium. The PDF version of their course is free of charge.
8. Music For The Blind
Music for the Blind has audio courses for several stringed instruments. They offer lessons in guitar, ukulele, violin, banjo, bass, and mandolin, which makes it one of the best all-around resource.
9. CakeTalking for SONAR
If you’re familiar with SONAR’s CakeWalk 8 software, then you can probably guess what this does. CakeTalking gives the visually impaired musician access to the full production suite.
10. Samsung Audio Acordes
Samsung Audio Acordes is a free app that teaches guitar for the blind and visually impaired. Its audio dictionary eliminates the need for braille and frees up the hands to play the strings.
Let Nothing Stop You
In conclusion, this has been a useful list for anyone with a visual impairment, so they can take their guitar playing to the next level.
Know of any other tools or tips that we might’ve missed? Make sure you leave us a comment in the section below — sharing is caring!