Bio: the doctor told my parents that my arm simply “stopped growing” very early in my formation in the womb. When I was 13 I asked my parents for drum lessons. My dad told me, "If you can figure out a comfortable way to use two sticks we'll put you in lessons." I went to the garage and got a roll of duct tape and the rest is history! I've been playing for 18 years--I've played with multiple band and I currently play for my church. I also started playing guitar at age 18 with a duct tape pick I fashioned. I'm so grateful for duct tape--it really DOES fix everything! ;)
Given you had the opportunity, today, to recreate a proper biological right hand, would you seize the opportunity?
Awesome question. I don't think I would. I started a YouTube channel several years. Sharing my life through videos has helped many people like me, particularly parents of little kids like me. I wouldn't want to close that door! YouTube/Abshow :)
Very impressive! Who is/are your favorite drummer/s?
Thank you! :) My original fav is Carter Beauford of Dave Matthew's Band. My current fav is Anika Nilles!
Do you have a favorite stick to play with?
Yes, 100%. I have been playing only David Garibaldi's signature sticks by Vic Firth for 15 years now. Maybe longer. They are light but a little longer than average which helps me tremendously on my right side!
Wow this is so inspiring! I have a 2 year old daughter with most of her right hand missing. She manages OK most of the time, but sometimes I worry about how she will do things like type or do her hair or play an instrument. Or share my passion for video games. Any advice for a growing girl?
Aw I'm so glad you asked! I've actually done many videos on how I do ever day things (including hair stuff and instruments) on my YouTube channel! Check this one out! :) Feel free to email me [email@example.com](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need any other guidance!!
ps, the two comments below about gaming are spot on!
When will you get the prosthetic shown on your Instagram?
Hopefully by the beginning of 2020!
Is it "ab show" or "abs how?"
Also, weirdly enough I've always thought about this. I can't drum worth a fuck, but I play several instruments, including guitar and mandolin, and it's always been a no brainier that losing my right hand would be preferable to losing my left if I had to choose 1, even if my left is pretty much useless outside of music. You just confirmed/reinforced my belief that you could always just attach a pick to your arm and figure it out from there.
Who's your favorite artist/band and why is it Zeppelin?
It's ab show :) I'm glad to have helped you out with that thought! My favorite band lately is The Paper Kites, but I've always loved The National and Dave Matthews!
Who/what inspired you to start playing drums?
My dad plays guitar and used to take me to music stores with him. I was always so intrigued by the drums there. Had to scratch the itch!
What is your favourite song to play and why?
Hm... lately a song I play at church called Awesome God--Gerald Haddon. So fun!
Did you ever face any harassment or bullying because of your missing hand? If so, how did you deal with it? Not music related, I'm just curious :)
Actually, no! I'm super extroverted naturally and love making people laugh, so making friends and helping them feel at ease was never difficult!
I've seen drummers lose sticks during performances. Has that ever happened to you and if so, how do you recover?
That's only happened like twice! I just try to keep the beat with my right stick and reach for the other. I broke a stick once but hand another nearby.
You are amazing! Who is your top 5 favorite drummers?
Carter Beauford Anika Nilles Adam Tuminaro Tony Royster Jr. Questlove
Thanks for doing this AMA!
I actually had not seen Jason Barnes before! How cool!! Yes, I actually posted a video on my instagram last week of their latest and greatest in action-- @abshow :) I grew up using myoelectric prosthetics but dropped them about 8 years ago. Too clunky and unhelpful! Can't wait for the 3D printed though!
Thanks for the great questions!
I found your youtube channel a couple years ago after I dislocated my shoulder and searched for one handed drumming hahaha. Anyway, my question is what is the best concert you've ever been to?
I love that you found me that way--haha!! Best concert... I think Lord Huron. Just exceptional performers and musicians all around. I would go to another show 100%!
Have you ever explored (I'm getting the name wrong) open stance drumming? It's where you never cross over, playing hi hat with your left hand and snare with your right. Usually involves lowering the hat. I found that I greatly enjoyed the style when I got past the adjustment period and I thought it might be something worth looking into if you hadn't tried it.
My old drum instructor also had all kinds of weird equipment for reverse handed new drummers like a right side hi hat with a pneumatic pedal line so it could stay on the left.
Yes, I've actually practiced that a bit these past few years. It's getting easier! One of my fav drummers, Carter Beauford plays like that exclusively.