It’s been a few months since I picked up my guitar, but thanks to one of my work colleagues, my enthusiasm had been renewed.
Steve has a full studio setup in his house, so after a long day of voice recording (for my day job) I plucked a beautiful blue acoustic guitar down from the wall and started plucking away. It was so funny to see Steve in the room like a shot. Within minutes, he had his guitar plugged in, the mike on and all systems ready to go for a jam session.
Time flew and before I knew it 2 hours had passed and I had some cheat techniques and 6 songs in my repitoire. Of course we were playing at half speed, but never mind that – got to crawl before you can rock out!
Category: Did it!
I’m very excited about the upcoming expo held by Limbs4Life and Otto Bock. Not only is it a chance to meet other amputees, but it will be my first trip to Melbourne (It’s about time I started exploring Australia!).
The expo, on 6th October, will give individuals living with limb loss direct access to manufactures’ of prosthetic componentry, equipment suppliers, and a variety of other organisations and individuals who support amputee care.
Come by and meet prosthetic manufactures; hear guest speakers, see advances in assistive device products, footwear specialists and many more at Australia’s First Amputee Expo.
Look out for my booth in the exhibition hall, where I’ll have my range of 1-UP hair ties available for purchase. My portable workshop will be there too, so you can request custom designs and have them made there and then – same day service!
Click here to download the Expo Information Pack.
Today, the 6th of July, makes it 7 years since I lost my left hand.
It’s been a few years since I did this, in memory of my left hand I’m bringing back the Amputee Gingerbread Men! And I’m donating to an amputee charity – Amputees and Families Support Group Qld Inc.
Usually I’m in an office, where I share the gingerbread with my colleagues and ask them to drop a few coins in the donation tin – however I work from home these days, so I’ll share virtual gingerbread with you.
For every person that donates to the Amputees and Families Support Group Qld Inc. today (6 July) I’ll send you a virtual Gingerbread Cookie.
Use the below PayPal button or go to the Amputees and Families Support Group Qld Inc. Donations page.
Thank you for participating in my slighty kooky method of remembering my left hand. I’m not completely lost with out it, but I miss it so!
So back in May I wrote about learning the guitar. I had set myself a challenge; could I learn at least one song in time to play with the company band in June?
The answer is Yes!
One song only, but here I am, playing JJ Cales’ Cocaine with The Responders.
Don’t look too closely now, I’ve now got to work on my guitar playing face. Ha!
Thanks to all my colleagues and the audience for their support and encouragement.
Ahh I feel a little too old for these, but you always feel cute when you do it.
Here are the instructions for making pig tails. I hope they work for you and you feel cute too!
Click hereto view a larger version of the image.
Instructions for making pig tails with 1-UP hair ties
I’ve been meaning to write up these instructions for a while.
I get quite a few queries (and orders) from those that have survived a stroke, are living with nerve damage like Erb’s Palsy, have just broken a wrist, have hemiplegia – etc.
The 1-UP works just as well with two hands as it does with one. Some of you may be leaning a little to the left or right when you use it, but it should do the trick.
Click here to view a larger version of the image.
So a few months ago I said I was feeling inspired to learn to play the guitar. I actually went and bought myself a lefty acoustic guitar and started playing around with the beginner’s lesson book.
Trying to make it work with the split hook
It got frustrating quite quickly. The split hook isn’t all that useful for strumming – it was even making dents in the guitar body. I kept at it for a little while, but thought that it could be better, somehow.
After seeing the videos of other limbless players, I had a hack at making other attachments. Let’s just said they all failed miserably.
I really wanted to play the guitar. My company has a band and there’s an event coming up that I wanted to at least play one song in. I contacted the local prosthetics company and , once we got to meet, the design came together for a prosthetic that allows me to strum and pick easily and with strength. It also allows for a bit of rotation, which I wasn’t getting with the split hook.
Now I’m practicing my beginner lessons all over again. I still think I suck and am amazed at how easy all the guitarists make it look to play. Practice makes perfect I guess!? Strumming is the easy bit, learning finger placement and chords is the hard part (the c chord still eludes me!). I have to keeping working at it, but also be careful not to do so much that I injure my good hand and wrist.
The ‘guitar arm’ and the wrist cramping c chord!
The countdown is on now – can I learn at least one song in time to play with the company band in June?
Thanks to Barry Leech and his team at Barry Leech Prosthetics for my ‘guitar arm’. I’ve promised to play them a real tune next time we meet – I’m hoping the next appointment is a little while away!
The award winning Super Prosthetics Project is about exploring armwear as an object of empowerment, choice and identity. The purpose is to conduct a series of creative experiments to challenge current ideas of prosthetics and explore what a wearer might choose to create in that space if he/she could have any functionality or aesthetic. It is hoped that the project will culminate in a series of exciting objects that will allow a wearer to do or experience something extra-ordinary.
The project is being conducted at the Royal College of Art in London by Becky Pilditch and with the help of Holly Franklin. It has developed in conversation with individuals who wear and make prosthetics limbs and the blog has been created to make the process visible for those who wish to share ideas and continue dialogue on the subject.
Check out the blog and feel free to comment on the material. Becky and I would love to hear your thoughts.