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  #1  
Old 08-29-2010, 11:57 AM
wy yung
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Default Drumming through ill health.

Hi all. I have recently been struck down with serious health issues, some of which have robbed me of technique. I am now looking at ways to compensate for the technique lost. For example, my left hand is 80 percent less than it was, so I am gointo to develop double bass drums to compensate. I am wondering what others have done to counteract the effects of illness in the hope of using them myself. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2010, 12:36 PM
wy yung
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

I know there are some here who believe I feel superior, but they are wrong. I am just as human as they. And now I am a human who is scared. My body is basically shutting down. I want to teach, I want to play.. I am just a drummer. Nothing more. And I care about my students. The problem is a body that had 29 Broken bones and the rheumatoid arthritis on top of it. It is in all my joints. Help!
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2010, 01:03 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

E-kits, Wy. And other assorted electronica ( triggers, samples, etc ).
Lots less physical effort required, much easier on the joints.

Good luck.

...
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:37 PM
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DestinationDrumming DestinationDrumming is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Hi Wy,
This is what Rick Allen uses (according to Wiki). As Aydee says, lots of electronics

Hope it helps


"Most electronic drums use piezoelectric triggers which sense a hit from a drumstick or a pedal and activate a sampled or synthesized sound in response. The customized kit built by Simmons for Allen included drum pads (placed primarily in front of Allen and to his right) triggering the sound of the snare drum and toms, to be played with his surviving arm, combined with multiple pedals (mainly placed on the floor to his left) duplicating many of the same sounds. This allowed Allen (after much practice) to play patterns using his right hand and left foot that two-armed drummers would typically play with their right and left hands. Allen subsequently experimented with hardware from other electronic percussion companies, such as Clavia's drum system, Forat's F/16 system, and the Hart Dynamics Acupad system.

In more recent years, as the undisguisedly artificial drum sound popular in the 1980s has largely disappeared, Allen has favoured a sound more like that of an acoustic drum kit, using the electronic pads to trigger samples made from recordings of Allen's acoustic drums.

Allen's current setup uses DW acoustic drums, Zildjian acoustic cymbals, Hart Dynamics Acupad electronic pads, Akai samplers, and custom-manufactured cable routing by Whirlwind. He uses four electronic pedals for his left foot to play the pieces he used to play with his left arm, which from left to right trigger sounds of a closing hi-hat, bass drum, snare drum, and a tom drum. He is ranked #7 on the UK website Gigwise in the 100 Greatest Drummers Of All Time list."
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2010, 03:24 PM
JPW JPW is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Firstly sorry to hear about your health problems Wy.

E-kits were mentioned but I think rubber pads are worse for your body than real drums. Mesh heads are ok and more bouncy than real drums but I don't think it'll really solve everything.

As a teacher you propably already know this but the best thing to do is listen to your own body. While my injury is minor one even I have had to adjust to it. I have broken the bigger bone in my left forearm and it healed in a weird angle and it also left the nerve in a tight place. So if I don't pay extremely good attention to what I'm doing with my left hand it's going to go numb and have severe pains. Because of the bone structure of my left hand I can't really just mirror everything I do with my right hand, educational videos are of no use. I have had to figure it out on my own. But listening to my left hand has helped.

Your situation is propably worse than mine, but that's really only thing I can say. Listen to your body, remember to give it a rest sometimes and be patient AND be creative in figuring out a way for you to play again. You will also might have to try not to think what you used to be able to play and just enjoy what you are able to play in this new situation. For example I might never be able to play traditional grip again.

Hope you will be able figure something out.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:07 PM
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keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Wow, Wy, man! I had no idea.

As you may or may not know, I had really bad health issues about 3 years ago (faulty heart electrics, had the paddles 7 times (not fun), & a spinal tumor (thankfully benign)) and I still get major leg disfunction now (actually, as things progress, it'll get much worse. So there you are, I'm pretty bust up too.

The thing that makes the biggest difference of all, is attitude. I know that sounds bloody obvious, but it's why I'm still here now. The doctors banned me from just about everything, especially drums, so guess what, I took up drums again!! What I'm talking about here is not just a positive attitude, it's a "1 big finger up at everything" attitude. It's carried me through, and something tells me your the kinda guy who can muster that from deep within you.

You're an acoustic drummer, you love the sounds & feel of the real thing. Keep it that way. Mindset is everything, & I mean everything. Concentrate exclusively on what you can do. Put to one side the stuff you can't. Take pleasure from your feel, your dynamic, your expression, your passion, your interpretation, your reserve, & put those chops in the trophy cabinet! I can't do 25% of the stuff I used to do, partially due to a 20+ year layoff, & partly to do with my current physical condition, yet I'm loving every minute of it. Yes, I walk off stage in pain most of the time, but I'll be damned if it's going to be the reason I stop playing.

You've got so much to offer beyond your physical prowess. Bring all your skills to the fore, not just the ones you think others judge you by.

Good luck, & PM me on anything. Cheers, Andy.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:13 PM
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funkytomtom funkytomtom is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

I'm not sure whether you have or not already, but a sports medicine and rehabilitation doctor might be able to offer you some help.

Best of luck...I've had some minor injuries to deal with in my drumming career and it's not fun, I can't imagine what you're going through. Chin up like the last post said and you'll figure out a way to keep groovin.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2010, 10:37 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
...And now I am a human who is scared ... rheumatoid arthritis on top of it. It is in all my joints....
Yeah, bone pain. It's a bitch. Got my doctor tryin' to dial in anti-inflamatory meds., for my condition. I've lived with daily pain, for the last 20 years. Being scared is a natural (but negative) emotion. But that's OK, if you don't stay there too long. Better to get angry and pissed (also a negative, and you'll probably go thru that stage too). And then you'll get to a point (hopefully) where you channel that negative energy into positive energy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Mindset is everything, & I mean everything.
A true and powerful statement. I know a couple of cats who have either beat cancer, or put it in remission, with positive thinking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Put to one side the stuff you can't (do).
I walk with a cane, on the good days. On the bad days, I don't walk. Or more precise, I don't leave my house. I have 43 stairs I have to climb, to get from my car, to my front door. So, when I do go somewhere, I focus. I have a plan. I go down the stairs, run my stuff, get home. One trip down the stairs, one trip up. That's what I know my body is good for. I push it too far, and I pay for it the next day. I don't deny my limitations, I accept them, for what they are. But I don't dwell on them either. Plenty of people out there got it way rougher than me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Concentrate exclusively on what you can do.
I've been in bands, since age 10 (I'm now 53). Well, bein' in a band is pretty much out. So I built a jam room in my house. Drums (acoustic & electric), keyboards, guitar, and bass. And in 43+ years, I've met enough cats that I can have someone (or someone's) over to the crib, at least once a week. And in between jams, I have my electronics, and loop stations, to keep it fresh.
You might have to sell off some stuff, switch your focus, embrace new technologies (or create your own). You'll figure it out yourself, if you really want it.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2010, 10:59 AM
handito handito is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Hey Wy
sorry to hear about your problems.
I am in a wheelchair and has been all my life so I'm quite used to adapting the drum kit to work for my situation. As Aydee and other members have suggested use E-kits. I play a Roland TD 20 hooked to my computer which enables me to trigger vst.
One thing I have learned through playing with a disability is to not care much for feel, as in the feel and size of the drum. Many people want e kits that feels like an A kit but me, I just want something I can use and fit near me. Play around with samples and programming. Record little sequences of your playing, loop it and play with it to create interesting rythms. I hope this helps a bit, you are welcome to PM if you want assistance and suggestions on how to make it work for you.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2010, 12:16 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

wow, that sounds very hard, sorry to hear that Wy! 29 broken bones during your lifetime or all at once???
Maybe you can try to play as much as possible with just one arm, like Rick Allen from Def Leppard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unaAzg4myaE
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2010, 12:37 PM
wy yung
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Many many thanks guys. I am currently devising ways to incorporate double kick into my playing. My teacher, Virgil, has released a great book. My left hand is kind of dead, but I think I can make up for it.... I do have other issues with health. I nearly died last week. But as far as I am concerned I have work to do. I have my students and that is my mission! I live for that, to pass on what I know. Recently a 30 ye3 plus player came to me and the 30 minute class resulted in his drumming going to a new level. He calls me every day! I think I have something to offer. I love this site and I hope I have been positive. JPW hates me but even he responded to this. I never felt superior. However I have loads of experience and can see those who do not have that. Thanks guys.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2010, 12:45 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Wish you all the best for your health and happiness!! I recently wondered where you've been, since haven't seen you on drummerworld for some time.

I love Virgil's playing!! I wish I could have had lessons with him!

I'm glad you seem to love teaching as much as drumming. And, as I mentioned before, depending on the style of music, you can always try to do what you do with one arm.

Another possibility would be starting to program and write music, or drum parts, or symphonies!
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2010, 03:31 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

I don't know what to say Wy except wow I'm so saddened to hear this, there's a lot of people here pulling for you. You're a well liked guy here and you have SOOOOOOOOOOO much to offer. If you can't play to your expectations, you can still accomplish great things, namely teaching others and passing on the many lessons you no doubt had to struggle to get through....

Your issues sound way serious, because for you to even mention it...the guy who did surgery on himself before a gig...I wish we could remove your physical barriers.

I'll be seding you positive energy Wy, it's the only thing I can think of to do. We need you here and so do your students.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2010, 03:40 PM
TFITTING942
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Default Re: Drumming through ill health.

Holy crap Wy, sorry to hear really. My short story: as a teenager I broke my right ankle and decided to switch to play left handed while it was in a cast. It really developed my independence. Maybe (hopefully) you'll find another way and overcome this. good luck and dont give up.
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