Paralyzed Musician Reinvents Drum Set
June 23, 2010 by Brian Crouch
Jason Gerling - From CNN, a great story of imagining the possibilities, and re-obtaining musical dreams. Drummer Jason Gerling was in a serious car wreck that left him paralyzed, but this past April he debuted the drum set he had invented:
"The car flipped over five or six times, that's what they told me," he said.[...] He was lucky to be alive. But then came the bad news. "The doctors said 'you're probably never going to walk and probably never going to play the drums again,'" he remembered. The accident had left him paralyzed from the chest down. Gerling refused to give up his passion from drumming. Within a few years, he regained the use of his arms.
But he never got back the use of his legs. To this day, Gerling remains in a wheelchair. That has hampered his ability to play a drum set which requires a foot pedal to operate the bass drum and the hi-hat cymbal.
For a while, he got by with a special setup that triggered a bass drum noise when he hit a certain pad with a drumstick. That didn't cut it for Gerling.
So he invented a system that allows him to trigger a bass drum sound while continuing to play the snares, cymbals, and the rest of the drum set.
Every musician faces some challenges, some more than others. Some, a LOT more than others. Beethoven went deaf, but kept composing. He could still imagine music. Jason Gerling says:
"There's so many musicians who are disabled who don't get the chance to play live," he said. "So I want to tell them to knock on doors and encourage the music industry to be willing to hire a person with a disability."
"ENCOURAGEMENT! Pay it Forward" Network on Facebook ~ Jason’s web site