Tools Modifications Solutions Tips
Making Instruments Adaptable
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For a quadriplegic, exercising the muscles after a cervical level injury and increasing cardiovascular fitness is imperative to maintaining health. Propelling a manual wheelchair regularly can build strength, leading to a healthy lifestyle and longevity. Although gripping with the hands is difficult, these gloves will comfortably allow one to grip the wheels and propel forward. NOTE: I am a paraplegic and have found these gloves to be perfect when I want my hands to be free yet have a pushing surface, my palms, with these gloves, can do the pushing, alleviating stress on my wrists. I still do use Hatch Gloves for rough dirt gravel situations, but if you have any wrist problems I suggest trying the well made push gloves. - Gary
Bass Guitars built for sitting down
The Ergo-Vibe Bass lives!
Three years ago a friend of mine was in a motorcycle accident and lost the use of his legs. He is the bass player in a regional band in South Dakota. I met these guys through a guitar forum and when my work took me out to South Dakota 10 years ago, we met in person and they have graciously allowed me to sit in with the band every year since then.
For the past few years, I noticed Vince Stark, the bass player, struggling with his instrument, the posture of a person in a wheelchair is very different and conventional instruments don't suit them well.
Nine months, and several foam models later, I designed and built the Ergo-Vibe Bass. I flew out to South Dakota to give him the bass and he's been happy as a clam ever since. It's a gift.
In my lifetime, there have been several people who made a small effort on my behalf that yielded life-changing results. This is my opportunity to do the same. I build guitars so this one wasn't a real big deal, but it will hopefully have a positive impact on my friends life.
Here's the proto-type I built back in July. Notice that the way a person sits in a wheel chair makes the bass body tilt back towards them. I gave the neck a twist, and now you'll see how the hand fits easily around the finger board without having to over-reach. This spawned the idea for a new body shape that not only puts the neck at a better angle, but also moves the bass to the player's left making it easier to reach higher up the neck without their left arm bumping into their ribs.
- Bob Feather Creator builder of ergo-vibe guitars & basses
For more information and the new models: ergo-vibe.com
Vince Stark playing the Ergo-vibe bass
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Diego Stocco - Experibass
My project now is to build a sound machine although not as elaborate as Diego Stoccos.
A while back Diego Stocco visited a luthier looking for instruments parts, he had an idea in mind for an instrument he wanted to build. His curiosity was to hear the sound of violin, viola and cello strings amplified through the body of a double bass. He came up with a quadruple-neck experimental "something" that he thought to call Experibass.
To play it he used cello and double bass bows, a little device he built with fishing line and hose clamps, a paintbrush, a fork, spoons, a kick drum pedal and a drum stick.
Diego thanks luthier John Wu for providing him the parts, even though he warned him that he was probably going to create a "monster".
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…some years ago a young man studying at the Royal Musical Academy of Stockholm came home and was deeply sorry as his professors although very pleased with his playing, felt disappointed for his sake as the fullness of the playing could not be expressed as he could not use the pedals because he did not have the use of his legs. Some of them wondered if something could be done to help him use the pedals. That was the point in time when the idea was seriously considered and the beginning was made to construct some means by which every person in the same situation, in a wheelchair or any person impaired in the legs but deeply interested in playing klaviermusic could do it as good as any other pianist.
Research proceeded; The goal being: To achieve a solution for persons with paraplegia a pedal maneuver system that neither demands any embarrassing sensor equipments on the body of the player, such as blow/suck sensor or eye contact. These sensors encroach on the pianist´s freedom in respect to singing while playing, talking while playing and even the player´s bodily engagements with the music. Not to encroach on any of the existing functions of the piano, and both the electronic system and the existing foot pedal system should operate independently of each other.
The applicability of the system has been well tested in different MIDI configurations at the Royal Musical Academy of Stockholm. The tests have shown that the TouchMIDI system fulfills very strict requirements in the digital musical world. Acc to the report “ It is both from the musical as well as technical points of view a very satisfactory alternative to the sustain pedal of the clavier-instruments (pianos, keyboards etc.)"
WEB SITE: http://www.touchmidipedal.se/