Electric guitars and Pacemaker/ICD


I've had a PM/ICD for many years (since 2009).  Wonderful devices.  I just got the urge to learn guitar and bought my self a Squier Telecaster.   It might be in my head but I keep feeling funny (PVCs) while playing sitting with the unhooked up guitar in my lap.  Checked the internet and most people say the guitar pickups are too week to have and impact.  Anyone have experience here?  Is there a way to shield myself from the magnets in the pickups or get weeker magnet pickups?





by AgentX86 - 2022-11-28 15:51:00

It's definitely not the guitar.  There is nothing that could possibly affect your pacemaker, plugged in or not. Your pacemaker is highly unlikely to have anything to do with yout PVCs, either.

It is highly likely that they're caused by your body scrunched over while you're playing. Your innards may be applying pressure to either the heart or the Vegas nerve.


by Jmiller - 2022-11-28 16:52:47

AgentX86 thanks for the reply.  I was wondering how the magnets in the pickups could cause PVCs.  I read that magnets put the pacemaker in maintanace mode but it seems to me that would just affect pulse rate.  I'm really enjoying learning guitar and hoping I don't have to stop.   I do have occasional discomfort and hope thats not hurting anything.


by AgentX86 - 2022-11-28 22:19:38

PVCs, unless a high percentage of beats (30%) are PVCs, aren't anything to worry about.  They can be really uncomfortable but they're almost always benign.

It takes a very strong magnet placed directly over the pacemaker to put it into maintenance mode.  That's not going to happen with any magnets in a guitar. As I said, your giutar isn't the source of your PVCs.

Likely not a connection

by Persephone - 2022-12-01 19:51:59

Have you tried playing standing up? Are you using a guitar strap? I only play bass (I know, not a real guitar :) and have a squier mini that's fun to mess around with, but my full size P bass is quite a lot to handle, so I always wear a strap.


by Jmiller - 2022-12-01 20:37:17

Thanks for the sugestion about the strap.  I had thought of that but unfortuantely don't have one yet to try.  My guitar is a Squier Affinity Deluxe. I was wondering if maybe there might be something up with the lower cost pickups they put in the guitars at this level.  Based on yours and the other comments above I'm not that concerned anymore just curious it happens.  More concerned now with my sore fingers for practicing lol.

Gotta play through the pain!

by Persephone - 2022-12-01 22:05:57

Just kidding - good for you for practicing :) The pins on the guitar are the determining factor for a strap, but your Squier should have full size pins. I like the straps with locks so they don't slide off.

Speaker Magnet

by WiredInside - 2023-01-20 11:48:56

I also play guitar and was informed (not yet confirmed) that sitting too close to the magnet on my amplifier speaker can cause the feelings you have described. Kudos for picking up your guitar and learning to play.

After Some Time

by Jmiller - 2023-01-20 12:41:51

Ok, I have been playing for about 2 months now and can report I don't feel any impact of the guitar in my lap.   Not sure why I was feeling the irregular heart beats when I first started but after a little time, probably focusing too hard on that crazy F bar cord, I have now issues.  On interrogation of the PM there was nothing irregular.   Must of been all in my head or maybe as someone suggested how I was bending over it to play.  Who knows, but I'm enjoying playing.

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