Location: Riverside, CA
Challenge: Born without Arms
Daniel Potts was born with no arms and has severe scoliosis of the spine. This has not stopped him from doing things most boys grow up wanting to do. This includes playing drums.
Daniel was told he couldn't play drums without arms, but he refused to listen.
Daniel has been playing drums since he was 11 years old. He adds "I was born without any arms. I am left-footed, and I do everything with my feet".
Daniel got into drumming after watching his cousin play and then seeing the movie Drumline. He adds "My cousin introduced me when I was 5 years old with his kit. I started taking actual lessons from a friend when I was 11".
Daniel says "I never saw myself as being different. My family and the friends I surrounded myself with never treated me any differently. I was given the same opportunities as everyone else. I realized I couldn't do everything the same during moments as a kid when it came to things like the monkey bars or climbing the ladder on the playground. I just grew to accept that there were things I could not do, or I just had to take the time to find out how to do things differently".
Daniel doesn't use a bass drum at the moment, he adds "We are still figuring out how I can use one. I'm limited with my head movement, because I have to keep my balance"
Daniel claims his first experience at the drum kit was terrible. He adds "I didn't even know how to start. Once I figured out I could adjust it to suit a left-footer, it became easier". Daniel began by trying adapt to the set instead of adapting the set to his body. He adds "Once I changed it, it became more enjoyable to play".
When asked about advice for aspiring musicians living with a disability, Daniel says "It may sound cliche, but do whatever you're passionate about. It might take even a couple years to figure out how to do it, but who cares. If you are passionate enough about something, the solution will work itself out. Don't be discouraged if it takes you longer".