An Interview with David Leisner by Benjamin Verdery (Soundboard) 2007
Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety by David Leisner 1995

Focal Dystonia

Focal dystonia is a painless hand condition in which the fingers either curl into the palm or extend outward without control. (There are also other forms of focal dystonia which can affect other parts of the body.) David suffered from this debilitating hand condition from 1984 to 1996.  He cured himself completely by doing pioneering work with the large muscles of the armpit and shoulder. Many injured musicians from around the world have been helped by working with him and learning his methods.

Details of David’s method of curing focal dystonia for guitarists and other instrumentalists may be found in Chapter 5 of his book, Playing with Ease: a healthy approach to guitar technique, published by Oxford University Press.  There are plenty of supporting videos and photos which help to clarify all the information.  For further info about the book, click here.

Details of David’s personal experiences can be found in two older articles from Guitar Review and Classical Guitar magazines which are reproduced on this website:

An Interview with David Leisner (Guitar Review) 1994

Journey of Discovery by Colin Cooper (Classical Guitar) 1997


An excerpt from Hungarian documentary filmmaker Eszter Hajdu’s Demon Hands about different people’s experience with focal dystonia. Leisner describes and demonstrates some of the basic principles that he discovered along his path to curing focal dystonia in himself and others.