If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Hemiplegia and Drumming

RaeWitterRaeWitter Posts: 14Member Whisperer
Hi Guys! My 6 year old has right sided hemiplegia and has taken an interest in drumming. His grip on his right hand is very weak and he keeps dropping the drumstick and gets really frustrated. Does anybody know of any aids that can assist him to hold the stick? Or any ideas how we can keep the stick in his hand without literally gluing it on?!

Thank you! Rae :)


  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,227Member, Administrator Scope community team
    Good to speak with you again! I was always the lead singer but drummers are cool too! I have found this drumming website that provides drumming grip solutions that might work for you.
    Be careful, some of the products have pretty funky names and you perhaps wouldn't want a 6 year old reading them!

    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 509Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Hi @RayWitter & @Richard_Scope

    Think the lead singer should, stick to singing and let a drummer give some advice!!

    Your son will hold a drum stick in his right hand, like he was holding an hammer.

    The stick needs to bounce of the skin after each beat.

    There are mitts (fingerless) that you can buy to strenghthen his grip.

    You might have to wrap further support.

    The main hand in drumming is the left, which is held across the finger and thumb.

    This stick provides the rapid beats on the drum head, with the right giving off beats.

    It will be try and try again, before you get a solution.

    Hope this helps.
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,227Member, Administrator Scope community team
    @atlas46 I bow to your drumming knowledge! :) :) 
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • RaeWitterRaeWitter Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Hi @Richard_Scope! Thank you for your help once again! I will definitely check out that website now...and hey lead singers are just as awsome lol

    Hey there @atlas46!! Thank you for responding! This has made me feel better knowing that the left hand is the hand he needs the most...and that's his functioning hand. I will have a look for thise mitts, hopefully they are on the website @Richard_Scope noted. If they don't help do you think it would be ok to strap the stick to the hand in some way? Also whilst I'm searching for a SEND drumming teacher (proving difficult) are there any tutorials I can get him started on on YouTube? Or if you happen to know any teachers happy to reach a child with additional needs in London? Look forward to hearing from you!!!
  • StayceStayce Posts: 255Member Chatterbox
    edited November 2018
    Hi @RaeWitter

    The links under the resources section on The Hemihelp website may help you find a drummer teacher or a musical organisations or groups - links are towards the bottom of the page.


    Sound Sense offers a database of teacher musicians

    You might also want to look at YouTube at videos of Benjamin Balair a French Drummer with Hemiplegia.

    Hope this helps - Let us know how your son gets on

  • RaeWitterRaeWitter Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Hey @Stayce! Wow I'm going to YouTube him right now. I've seen pianists with one hand but never any drummers!

    Will peruse the links now! Fingers crossed these links can help find a teacher/group for him as I have no drumming ability at all lol, so it's a start in the right direction at least!!! 

    Thank you very much!:)
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 509Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Hi @RaeWitter

    Let's get your son off to a flying start, on his music adventure.

    The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, has a Junior School, which is held every Saturday.  This is for children aged 4 to 18 years, I am certain they would welcome your son.

    Back to grip problem.

    Contact the Guildhall and ask to speak to Zands Duggan or Glyn Mattews, they are both, percussionist (posh name for drummers) tutors at the school. Again, I am sure they would assist you in anyway they can. See if they will let your son try the range of instruments a percussionist plays.

    Telephone number 020 7628 2571.

    Keep us updated.
  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 188Member Chatterbox
    Hi I have cp and played drums in my teens, although my hands are only slightly affected compared to my legs, I still had to find ways of making holding sticks more comfortable. I found using thicker sticks easier to grip. I also found holding my left stick (usually used for snare drum) like a jazz drummer, known as traditional grip or underhand grip. I felt the stick stayed in my hand easier and I got less fatigue in my wrist as the movement comes more from the forearm. 
    Best of luck, don’t be afraid to experiment with the configuration of a kit! 
  • RaeWitterRaeWitter Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Hi @niceboots! I hadnt even thought about changing the configuration what a good idea! I know the grip you mean - I'll get him to try this as I know his left arm fatigues easily as he constantly uses it! I will definitely need to get him thicker sticks...are there children's drumsticks or are they all the same size?:)
  • RaeWitterRaeWitter Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Wow @atlas46 this is incredible! Thank you so very much! I will be sure to contact the percussionists tomorrow! I will let you know how I get on! Thanks again :)
  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 188Member Chatterbox
    I’ve not been involved with drumming for years, but as far as I can remember, they’re all the same size. Definitely go and try various types at a music shop. If you can find a specialist percussion store, they are generally really helpful. In fact most people you meet involved in music are great in my experience! Check out videos of def Leppard drummer rick Allen, he had an amputation, so only played with one arm.
  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 188Member Chatterbox
    Another thing that’s just sprung to mind is maybe trying fingersless neoprene or leather gloves to help grip, or even coming up with sleeve type things to go on the sticks? Maybe rubber?
Sign in or join us to comment.