Wollaston Lake amputee plays guitar with homemade device

Dillon Gazandlare, who was born without his left forearm, plays guitar with a homemade device made out of painters tape, duct tape and paper, with a pick attached to the end of it. (Dillon Gazandlare/Facebook)

A 16-year-old amputee from Wollaston Lake is able to play guitar for hours with the help of a little duct tape.

Dillon Gazandlare was born without his left forearm.

He found his love for guitar at the age of 11 when his cousin taught him a riff from a famous rock song: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. He was hooked.

After about 10 minutes of strumming, Gazandlare said his stump would start to hurt—so he built a device made out of painters tape and duct tape.

“You’ve got to work as hard as you can to make it work, which is what I’ve been doing for about a year now,” said Gazandlare.

In January, he first started experimenting by wrapping tape around the end of his arm.

“I covered my stump with paper and painters tape and it just worked around that. I just covered it to the point where you couldn’t see the end of it,” he said.

But that wasn’t ideal because his arm got too hot, so he cut a hole in the end of it.

“I made a little strap that goes around my elbow and holds on there with more duct tape basically, and (at) the end of that contraption or device I made, it’s got a little guitar pick on there which helps me play.”

“This pick helps me a lot with giving my guitar a more brighter sound.”

Gazandlare also plays the ukulele, piano and drums. He hopes to make a career out of music, and continues to play in his band called Method to Madness.

The band was part of the youth showcase at the Rock My Gypsy Soul Music Festival in Prince Albert on Sept. 7.

“It’s really hard to get into music, but from an amputee’s perspective it’s almost impossible to get into it,” said Gazandlare.

“(I’m) just going with it and seeing how else I can make this better and better it for myself and for others.”