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Thread: quadriplegic musicians?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Dang, they all look so young VQ. I miss those days. Wasn't Don Alder proclaimed the best guitarist in the World or something like that? I know he took som e bigtime competition.
    Yes, Don won the 2010 Guitar Player Magazine's Guitar Superstar competition.


    http://www.straight.com/article-3503...ar-competition

  2. #22

    Wink C5-C6 quadriplegic plays Hallelujah on piano

    This was making the rounds a couple of months ago:



  3. #23
    wow! marvelous videos, i'm glad to see these, plus the additional information
    about resources--thanks, everybody. maybe we can start a quad ensemble online,
    have some skype jam sessions and a concert in december.
    i found this story below about a guitar strumming device designed by engineering students in north carolina:
    http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observe...l/14182541.htm

    CARRBORO, N.C. - Brian Hughes stepped on an electric pedal, and a box attached to the top of his guitar moved a row of guitar picks, making a G chord ring. With his left hand, Hughes formed the chords he had learned in his first few guitar lessons.

    His right hand has been paralyzed since he was 3, the result of a stroke that accompanied a case of chicken pox. The box, invented and built by a trio of Duke students, plucked the strings instead.


    Hughes, a high school sophomore who says he's wanted to play the guitar for as long as he can remember, received the guitar-strumming device courtesy of a biomedical engineering class in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering called Devices for People with Disabilities.


    Maybe someday he'll take up an electric guitar and learn to play solos like Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, Hughes said. For now, it's good just learning the basics from Chapel Hill guitar teacher Jimmy Magoo.


    "I think it's just because I've always wanted to play," Hughes said. "When I do get good at playing the guitar, I want to be able to go about and take it traveling with me."


    Duke seniors Jonathan Lee, Jason Leung and Matt Topel spent last fall semester coming up with Hughes' guitar strummer.


    "They did a really great job," Hughes said.


    Actually, they redesigned it as an electromechanical device from an all-mechanical version that an earlier class made. In the process, they made it more portable and able to pluck the strings, versus the earlier team's use of a bar that tapped them.


    Hughes' mother, Jane Staveley, first learned about the Duke class from a 1999 newspaper article, she said as Brian demonstrated the strummer at their home in Carrboro.


    The article described a device the class made for a bass guitar player who had lost the use of his fingers. Staveley contacted the course's instructor, Larry Bohs.


    Hughes, who attends PACE Academy charter school in Chapel Hill, also works part time at a health food store. His determination inspired the Duke team through what proved a more involved undertaking than they'd first supposed, its members said.


    "When we first started, we went through multiple ideas," Lee said. "We thought we had a vision of what we wanted to do."


    But in engineering, the route from concept to working prototype often includes a detour or two.


    "What you thought would work and what will work are often different," Lee said.


    Leaps of faith


    They wound up using an arm that holds six guitar picks, one for each string. That, in turn, is attached to two solenoids, which they enclosed in a clear plastic box. The unit attaches easily on the top of the guitar.


    "I feel great about it," Lee said.


    But he added: "Two weeks before we gave it to him we were kind of panicking. We put in a lot of time at the end."


    Each team can spend up to 200 hours for the three-credit-hour course.


    "Some spend over that," Bohs said. "It's a big commitment."


    A few days before Christmas, the students brought over the finished device.


    "We were happy we could build something for Brian that would allow him to pursue something he wouldn't have been able to do otherwise," Lee said.


    The projects are supported by the National Science Foundation, and the teams can spend up to $500 each, said Bohs, who taught the course last semester and has done so for 10 years.


    BME 260, as the course is listed, is a "capstone" course in which engineering students put what they've learned to practical use. The course is limited to 18 students and six projects per semester.


    "It's a leap of faith for them, and it's a leap of faith for the instructors, too, that it will work out," Bohs said. "There are small miracles when something is created that has never been created before."


    The devices are free to those who receive them. Since they typically involve meeting with the recipient at least a couple of times, Bohs tries to limit projects to the Durham area, although the course has occasionally worked with people as far away as Winston-Salem, he said.


    Other projects


    Last semester, the teams also designed an exercise machine for a woman with cerebral palsy and a reaching assistance device for a young boy with TAR syndrome, a congenital condition characterized by abnormalities of the arms.


    Topel, the only member of his team who plays the guitar, was immediately drawn to the guitar strummer when the students got the project choices. The trio's agreement on an approach wasn't immediate.


    "We had so many ideas, and ideas we thought were pretty good. We had trouble weeding them out," Topel said.


    "After meeting Brian and his mom, it was apparent this was something he has been wanting to do for a while," Topel said.


    That spurred him and his teammates to overcome the hurdles.


    "I really enjoy a chance to use my engineering skills and do something where we can feel it has an immediate outcome," Bohs said, a sentiment shared by his students.


    "I heard one of them say it was the most challenging class they've had and the most rewarding class they've had," he said.


    Meanwhile, Hughes is making good progress, said Magoo, who has had to adapt his teaching.


    "It's new ground for both of us," he said. "In essence, his right foot becomes his right hand."


    Hughes' good-natured determination will carry him through, magoo said.


    "His attitude is so positive," magoo said. "I find that I'm inspired working with him."

    Last edited by Crashbang; 05-13-2011 at 10:58 PM.

  4. #24
    Hey Van thanks for the link, wow, Don Alder what an awesome guitarist!

    It has always been the case, in flamenco, jazz, blues or classical, that a guitarist should always be seated. It's only since the advent of rock and roll that guitarists now mainly stand up.

    If you have good strength & dexterity in the arms & hands, being in a wheelchair or not is quite irrelevant...Just as Don shows...err hmm, wait, this guy is in a chair right?.

  5. #25
    Being seated is fine, I suppose. The problem is using pedals or multi-effects as a para or quad without being able to use your feet. I devised this rack that has worked well for me, but changing patches or effects by hand has a lot of limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by WahWah View Post
    Hey Van thanks for the link, wow, Don Alder what an awesome guitarist!

    It has always been the case, in flamenco, jazz, blues or classical, that a guitarist should always be seated. It's only since the advent of rock and roll that guitarists now mainly stand up.

    If you have good strength & dexterity in the arms & hands, being in a wheelchair or not is quite irrelevant...Just as Don shows...err hmm, wait, this guy is in a chair right?.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  6. #26
    LOL wah, no he's not in a chair. Don was with Rick Hansen, as kids, when Rick broke his back riding in the back of pickup that went off the road.

    He was part of the w/c sports assoc. when Rick first started sports, then was with Rick for most of his Man in Motion world tour. After, he continued to support disabled sports, and was part of the group Spinal Chord, comprised of both ab's and sci's.

    Currently, he and Rick had been doing sometype of 25th anniverary tour of the MIM.

    I'm sure he's done a lot more that others can chime in, no pun intended, about. Great man, great supporter of SCI and research.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    The late great Vic Chesnutt's style on guitar


  8. #28
    i finally figured out how to make a video of meself playing the harp.
    c5 incomplete since 1970. i took up the harp soon after my
    waterskiing accident because i was a rebellious teen bored by my OT finger exercises.
    for you CC musicians, the harp in the video is a fully chromatic, cross-strung harp, it has two rows of strings that cross in the middle. one row is equivalent to the white keys on the piano, the other row = the black keys. the tune is 'lazy river' by hoagy carmichael. as you'll see, i use my wrists to achieve finger extension:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S__Kcr37w9k

  9. #29
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Wow! I was expecting the blues harp! That was much more impressive!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashbang View Post
    i finally figured out how to make a video of meself playing the harp.
    c5 incomplete since 1970. i took up the harp soon after my
    waterskiing accident because i was a rebellious teen bored by my OT finger exercises.
    for you CC musicians, the harp in the video is a fully chromatic, cross-strung harp, it has two rows of strings that cross in the middle. one row is equivalent to the white keys on the piano, the other row = the black keys. the tune is 'lazy river' by hoagy carmichael. as you'll see, i use my wrists to achieve finger extension:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S__Kcr37w9k

  10. #30
    That was beautiful. My hat's off to you. You look so happy picking the strings.

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