Disabled trying to get into drumming

highhike

New Member
Ok guys, so i am disabled (multiple contractures in body and osteoarthritis) genetic disorder and i always wanted to play an instrument. i really like drums
so after looking up on the internet I've seen guys play with feet, no arms.

i just need to figure out a way to hold sticks ( a lot of deformities in my hands and no movement in wrist) but pretty decent function in elbows and shoulder ( well enough to play ).

so i was hoping you guys can help me figure out how should i go about it and maybe tell me about the tools that i can use to start drumming.

adding imgur for pics for my hand

 

harryconway

Platinum Member
You're just probably gonna have to get a pair of sticks, and see where that leads you. Maybe you'll have enough strength to hold onto sticks ..... and maybe you'll have to get fitted with some sort of a glove or fastener system. But good on you for wanting to jump into the deep end.

...... i really like drums
so after looking up on the internet I've seen guys play with feet, no arms.
Cornel Hrisca-Munn comes to mind. And welcome to Drummerworld.

 

Ian S

Member
i just need to figure out a way to hold sticks ( a lot of deformities in my hands and no movement in wrist) but pretty decent function in elbows and shoulder ( well enough to play ).

Hi Highhike, welcome to the forum. It's great that you're interested in taking up drumming.

So no movement in your wrists, but what about your fingers? If your fingers can take on the job of moving the stick, there's plenty of action there.

As Harry says, you'll probably want to get a pair of sticks and just try things out, see what happens and let us know how it goes.
 

Al Strange

Platinum Member
Welcome @highhike ! Like the guys say above, get yourself some sticks that feel comfortable to you and perhaps seek out a good teacher who will be able to assess your challenges and offer advice on the best approach for you! Smash it!:D(y)
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
You might find a stick that is about the same size and shape as a drum stick. Can you hold it in your hand and hit furniture? You might tape the stick to your wrist, see if it seems workable.

Try learning a few basic drum exercises - singles, doubles and paradiddles. If you can do that, then working a drum kit is a real possibility.
 

highhike

New Member
You're just probably gonna have to get a pair of sticks, and see where that leads you. Maybe you'll have enough strength to hold onto sticks ..... and maybe you'll have to get fitted with some sort of a glove or fastener system. But good on you for wanting to jump into the deep end.


Cornel Hrisca-Munn comes to mind. And welcome to Drummerworld.

hello thanks for the reply i do have a pair of sticks and i can hold them just fine. but after looking up some exercises ( i have a practice pad )
i need to have rebound on the sticks so theyre free to move after hitting the pad.
after trying for awhile i developed a grip for myself that lets the stick go up after hitting the drums but due to having small fingers i can not control the stick with my ring finger and pinky finger.
also the grip that iv'e developed is too loose. i dont want it too be too loose
 

highhike

New Member
Welcome @highhike ! Like the guys say above, get yourself some sticks that feel comfortable to you and perhaps seek out a good teacher who will be able to assess your challenges and offer advice on the best approach for you! Smash it!:D(y)
hello i do have a pair of sticks. check my reply on harryconway's post. id love to have someone professional help me. ive looked up and there's no drumming teacher near me( i live in india) i thought about finding a teacher who can help me develop a grip myself. if you know any websites where i can get a drumming teacher to help me please let me know
 

highhike

New Member
You might find a stick that is about the same size and shape as a drum stick. Can you hold it in your hand and hit furniture? You might tape the stick to your wrist, see if it seems workable.

Try learning a few basic drum exercises - singles, doubles and paradiddles. If you can do that, then working a drum kit is a real possibility.

yes i can hold drum sticks, i will upload more screen shots of me holding the sticks. please check my reply on harry conway's post. about sticking tape to wrist wouldnt that stop the sticks from rebounding ??
 

highhike

New Member
Hi Highhike, welcome to the forum. It's great that you're interested in taking up drumming.

So no movement in your wrists, but what about your fingers? If your fingers can take on the job of moving the stick, there's plenty of action there.

As Harry says, you'll probably want to get a pair of sticks and just try things out, see what happens and let us know how it goes.
i can move my fingers just fine the thing when i hold the sticks it doesnt rest on my ring and pinky fingers :(
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
Welcome to the world of drumming. It's an exciting time to start percussion. Chick webb, one of the greatest drummers had restricted movement

Loose grip is considered a good thing so don't worry too much. Are you having problems dropping sticks?

There is a good organisation in the UK which supports musicians called the Drake Project
Maybe there are similar in Austria?
 

moodman

Well-known Member
Hi highhike, when my cymbal hand gets tired I use Carmine Appice's 'tired hand' grip, just the stick between index and middle finger. You can get rebounds and though not as articulate as playing with fingers, it works. You just need to get the fulcrum right. With your wrists being limited you may have to find shoulder or elbow strokes to make rebounds happen.
There are so many different ways of drumming and different kinds of drums, all cultures developed percussion. Hand percussion might be adaptable and there are many E drum instruments that can be played with sticks or hands.(or elbows whatever it takes)
i'm lucky that my degenerative arthritis just messed up my spine and a can still play fine, I admire your attitude, just keep trying til you find a way.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
..... after trying for awhile i developed a grip for myself that lets the stick go up after hitting the drums but due to having small fingers i can not control the stick with my ring finger and pinky finger.
also the grip that iv'e developed is too loose. i dont want it too be too loose
Hi highhike, when my cymbal hand gets tired I use Carmine Appice's 'tired hand' grip, just the stick between index and middle finger. You can get rebounds and though not as articulate as playing with fingers, it works. You just need to get the fulcrum right. With your wrists being limited you may have to find shoulder or elbow strokes to make rebounds happen.
Moodman's "tired grip" is well worth exploring. That's gonna use mostly your index and middle finger, for power. Glad to hear you've got sticks and a pad already, and are putting in the effort.
 
Hi HighHike - welcome to Drummerworld!

Glad you're looking into drumming, it's never too late to start.

I have a very mildly deformed hand and for a couple of years (15 years ago) I could not hold on to a stick with a normal grip. I found these gloves online at the time called "Triplet Drum Glove" which were partly designed for hand limitations. They stopped making these, and fortunately for me I was able to do without them over time, but wanted to show you the idea.

They had an elastic band sewn into the palm (1st and 3rd picture) and also one sewn in near the knuckle of the index finger (2nd picture). These bands provided the fulcrum for the stick and relieved my thumb and first two fingers from having to grip it precisely (which I didn't have the range of motion to do at the time as I could not touch my thumb to any of my fingers). I then was able to use my ring and pinky fingers to control the stick a bit more from the back. I would also wrap thick medical tape around the stick so that it was bigger and easier to grip, and so that there was more friction against it and the elastic band so the stick wouldn't go flying out of the glove. The tape isn't shown in the pictures below.

I know this specific glove might not work for you but perhaps you could find a tailor that could help you create something along these lines to fit your hands. If you shared these pictures and worked with a good drum instructor perhaps they could help give a sense of where an elastic loop should be designed to make for the best fulcrum/grip that works for you.

It's important to know that drummers try to have a very relaxed and loose grip partly so that there is not much of a repetitive force working against our skeletal system (joints). These elastic bands helped me with that because they would help absorb the shock each time I hit a drum and they help let the stick swing freely without me trying to grip too hard with the other muscles and bones in my hand. As you find a solution I hope you work with an experienced drum instructor or even consult with a doctor to make sure that you're not setting down a path that could cause more pain or damage in the long run.

- / -

For a while I didn't play with my right arm at all and as you pointed out some drummers play only with their feet. I think I improved as a drummer and a musician the one year when I didn't play with my hand at all more than I did any other year in the 35 years I've played. I even played some gigs that year with just my three other limbs and they proved successful because most people did not even notice). Your limitation might prevent you from doing the fastest and craziest drum fills in the world, but once you figure out a way to begin hopefully however you end up gripping the drum sticks won't get in the way of playing music. By focusing on time and feel you can learn to make even just a few simple notes sound perfect. The "LESS IS MORE" saying never made much sense to me until I realized that I could provide more support to other musicians, leave more room for the music to breathe, and focus more on the basics of keeping good time by playing less notes. You can develop your feet beyond the average left foot and right foot skills of the average drummer. You can play with so much passion and sensitivity to what's going on in the music that people will want to play with you no matter how many notes you play.

Drums are extremely therapeutic for all of us here and have helped me in a number of ways throughout my life. Best of luck and feel free to private message me or chat here anytime if you want to talk more about it.

-Alex
 

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Ian S

Member
i can move my fingers just fine the thing when i hold the sticks it doesnt rest on my ring and pinky fingers :(

That is okay. It's not uncommon to see drummers playing with the fulcrum toward the index finger, with the thumb over the top, and the ring and pinky are often not touching the stick. The typical school of thought about such a technique is irrelevant in your situation. All that matters is a grip that is functional and allows you to stay fairly relaxed. The last thing you want is undue strain or tension.

But the last couple posts have some great suggestions, maybe a glove or the ring attachments could be a perfect solution. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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