Dan Caro

Learning to Hold the Sticks and Play Drums

I have discovered that it's all game-changing. After achieving a seven year pursuit of tying my shoelaces by myself, I felt that I could conquer any challenge no matter how great. At that time, around age 12, my biggest set back in life was that I didn't have fingers and what little bit of hand remained, was barely functional.

I lost my fingers and hands in a childhood fire accident and am burned over 80% of my body. With the combined efforts of my father, my first drum instructor and myself, we developed a method which allowed me to successfully grip drumsticks. This process took many years of dedication and refinement as does anything worth pursuing. Believe me when I say those years of blood, sweat and tears have paid dividends. I have been an active player on the New Orleans music scene for the last decade. In 2009, I was invited to make a guest appearance of an Internationally released PBS television event to share my story and drumming alongside Dr. Wayne Dyer. This television event caught the eye of the legendary guitarist Carlos Santana and his wife, Cindy Blackman, inspiring them enough to invite me to perform with them at the Hollywood Bowl. I have had many blessings in my life and see my adversities as opportunities to learn and grow from. We are all blessed. Live Hot!

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Game-Changing Moments!

In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.


We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!

Read Joe's Story