Trying to help out a blind friend

Hey DW,

Possibly a strange question but I'm hoping someone can provide some answers/ideas to my problem! My mother has a good friend who is now completely blind, which is very sad since she's a pretty amazing person and very smart. Much to my surprise (and excitement!) is that she's taken up drumming as her new hobby! Now, I won't lie and say that I'm not a little surprised but of course I do play drums with my eyes closed occasionally and understand that it can be quite natural. My family friend has an e-kit that she practices on, not sure if she's taking lesson but it made me realize a bigger problem: how could she read drum books?

My thought started because my family is going to try to meet up with her in a few weeks and I wanted to get her a gift related to drumming. Google has given me no leads as to if there are drum books for the visually impaired. Are there any Braille drum books? If not, what would be the best way for me to give her something from a book (I was thinking Stick Control, even just page 1) that would help her in practice? While I'm sure she has no problem listening to grooves and going from there, rudiments could be difficult without some other basis other than listening.

Like I said, I'm open to any and all ideas for this unique problem and I hope I can come up with something that will help her become a better drummer!

Thanks!
 

groove1

Silver Member
I'm interested in what replies you receive. I have played with several blind jazz pianists
but the piano is more understandable to me in that they are touching the keys directly with their fingers.
For her drumming, I would think she could go as far as she wants by learning from listening so long as someone showed her how to bounce sticks, explain
things like shorter rolls and how they are executed etc.....answer all questions and then guide her in areas in which she is yet unfamiliar. If she develops big ears along with
technique, then anything should be possible I would think. We are all handicapped, some are more obvious than others.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
That's a tough one that will require some imagination & creative solutions. At the LDS two years ago, we had a totally blind drummer in our demo room, C/W guide dog, & he was a superb player. A working drummer too, so it can be done.

Outside of recording lessons to audio CD from a book, C/W playing examples, I don't know what to suggest. Effectively, do your own audio lessons C/W examples of sticking.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The saying doesn't go "you can't play it if you can't read it".

It goes, "you can't play it if you can't say it".

Learning blind would simply be a more organic methodology where the parts of the beat are explained out out via the note sub-divisions.

For gifts, get a play-along cd or two... Maybe even something with examples both with and without drums. Look up drumming instruction videos that are known to have good spoken instructions.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Forget the books.

Just go over, make sure her kit is set up in a logical manner, give her a simple 10 minute tutorial on how to play a basic backing beat and tell her to practice paradiddles.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Anyone who creates content for a website, do NOT skip the "image description" field (aka "alt tag") when adding images! That's how the blind "see" the images being displayed.

Just a thought...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Anyone who creates content for a website, do NOT skip the "image description" field (aka "alt tag") when adding images! That's how the blind "see" the images being displayed.

Just a thought...
I was wondering why I kept getting blind website visitors when the opening image of the site clearly said "no blind people". Thanks to your tip, I might be able to get rid of the freaks.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
I was wondering why I kept getting blind website visitors when the opening image of the site clearly said "no blind people". Thanks to your tip, I might be able to get rid of the freaks.
HAHAHA funny guy... no seriously... with as many blind folks out there and the terminally lazy (I sometimes have my screen reader read websites to me when I'm horizontal on the couch Roombacizing) and as many folks doing DIY websites, keeping "accessibility" in mind will make the experience so much nicer for them.

Don't make me send Stevie Wonder up in here to smackdown on yo' campin' ass.... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z57-f827e68

Also, we build websites and nearly 75% of the rebuilds we do there's no way for a blind person to get around the site. Just sayin'...
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
I have had experience teaching blind people, as I used to teach at a school for visually impaired and blind children.
I wasn't using braille, and I've never heard of any braille drum books, although it could exist. I would explain concepts with logic, mathematics and rhythmic displacement. My students would know music theory, most of them where studying more than one instrument.

If you'd want to share the first page of Stick Control with her, it would be easy to give her the stickings as a computer text file.

Blind people use what is called a braille line, that makes them able to translate computer files or what's on the screen into braille, and they can also use text-to-speech.
 
Ill chime in again since i have been in a band with a blind drummer & the guy was quite amazing.

they should be available in braille. online pdf's can be converted to braille with computer hardware that i know for certain.
 

The Prof

Member
I work for a blindness agency in Chicago, and my colleague and friend has been blind since he was a kid and is a great piano player and drummer. If you want me to hook you up with him shoot me a PM, he'd be more than happy to help you out.
 

groove1

Silver Member
FWIW, there is cutting edge research on the root causes of all blindness and as I type
genetic installation has been used to provide almost 20/20 site in some individuals that
were completely blind before. I believe it was 27 different causes were identified and right
now in the "experimentation phase" only one eye is being restored because the long term
effects etc are not yet realized. There is a project to understand how to restore site to the
blind by 2020 and they are making major headway. Much to be hoped for.
 
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