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the musically-related amputation thread!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by silentstranger, May 5, 2003.

  1. In light of the recent rash of amputation-related threads ("Would you cut off your own arm?", "Say you were going to have to lose a finger...", that tongue thread to some extent, etc), I'm going to take this opportunity to address something that's been occasionally running through my mind ever since I did that project on phantom limb pain last semester...

    Okay, so imagine you've lost an arm or a hand or something. It's obviously quite difficult to play bass (or most other instruments) in any traditional fashion in that condition, so you'd have to stop. The question is, how would this change your status as a musician? Would you give up playing instruments and simply become a mere listener again (as we all once were), or if you're a songwriter, only write songs but not perform them instrumentally? ... Or, being the stubborn asses that we all are ;) , would you adapt yourself or your instrument so you could play it? ... Or would you take up a completely different instrument? ... Or [insert your answer here].

    I know I could never give up music; I would certainly continue singing and writing songs. I'd probably sell off most of my bass gear, perhaps keep one of my basses and relearn how to play with one-hand tapping if I'd lost my right hand. If that didn't work, I think I'd take up trumpet; I've always rather liked trumpet and you only really need one hand to play it anyway...

    So those are my thoughts; what are yours? I didn't include some stupid poll because there are way too many possible answers. Discuss.
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, there's no way I'd give up music.

    I would still play piano - I'd adapt, and develop a one-handed style of playing.

    I would still sing, and I would still play trumpet.

    And I would most definitely still compose.

    Bass, Guitar & Sax would have to go, though.

    One of your comments made me think though:

    I don't think I've ever really been a mere listener. Before I started playing music, I didn't even listen to it particularly. I never put music on. I did used to listen to my dad playing piano, I suppose, though.

    But I'd already been playing for three years or so before I started making an effort to listen to pop music.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'd try to concentrate on computer recording/music, a la Squarepusher etc. and finally learn Cubase SX inside and out.

    And I'd tap on the bass in stick fashion.
  4. I would get my singing up to speed - it's always been my second instrument, but to the point where I just don't care for it like bass.

    But if I couldn't play bass any more, I would sing.... I can, I know I can, I just don't practise enough right now because I prefer bass.

    Of coure I would continue writing, I might have to take more to writing it down (notation)/singing it to the performer rather than just showing them it, but I swear it wouldn't stop me.

    Maybe do much more secquenced music like Squarepusher, like JMX suggested.
  5. Spam2mapS


    Jun 26, 2002
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I have a friend who only has a left arm (don't know exactly what happened to his right arm), but that is what he does. I was quite suprised with how well he was able to do it the first time I saw his band play.
  6. i'd try to sing
  7. If my right arm went, I'd do the Stick thing; if my left arm went, I'd play keys.
  8. if i lost my right hand i would play slap(without the pop obviously) all the time using my stump ;) :rolleyes:
  9. Just an aside: Maurice Ravel wrote the "Concerto For Left Hand" for Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost an arm in World War I.


    After almost losing three fingers of my right hand in an industrial accident I can tell you that I would NEVER stop making music - even if it meant that I had to program a midi and computer with my nose on the keyboard.

    Ok, so what if I lost my nose.......?

    "Oh I'm being followed by a moonshadow...."
  10. Sometimes I play bass with just one finger on each hand. Practicing for the day I lose 8 fingers.
    Actually, it's a good exercise to do to force yourself to play differently.

    If I lost a whole hand, I'd hook a slide up to my stump and play like Mark Sandman.
  11. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I knew a guy who actually played like that. He lost his right arm in a terrible accident at work. :( He could play some decent root-5 stuff and some simple rock tunes. Try to play like this; not the easiest way.

    Same for me. I actually enjoy singing while somebody else plays the bass, but I like playing the bass myself much more, while doing some lead or backup vocals. :bassist:
  12. kill myself
  13. ratgeek


    Oct 5, 2002
    I never really thought about ever having to live with only one arm. I would still play bass or think of some way to play or tap with my toes but as long a I could think and process information (I can't do this very well now) I would play bass or some sort of music for the rest of my life.
  14. If I lost an arm or hand??

    I'd get one of those foot-operated "keyboards" like the Fatar Studiologic MP117 and play bass on it with my feet, while playing keyboards with my remaining hand.


    Or, a Roland AX7 / Yamaha KX5 (midi controller you wear like a guitar)

    And I'd keep right on playin' bass.