I attended TEDxAtlanta earlier this week, and met an amazing musician. Billy McLaughlin is a new age acoustic guitar player, composer and producer from Minneapolis, MN. In 2005, Billy went from a singer-songwriter with an active following and multiple national tours under his belt to being diagnosed with Focal Dystonia. Dystonia is a neurological condition affecting a muscle or group of muscles in a part of the body causing an undesirable muscular contraction or twisting. And yes, that was a major blow to Billy’s ability to play the guitar in the traditional way.
During the next year, Billy relearned how to play the left-handed upright and with a more ‘hammering’ style. The guitar tuning is also modified to support a wider range of notes reminiscent of combining an acoustic and bass guitar. The new playing style creates an amazing sound, but judge for yourself by watching the video below: