Jason Barnes is one of a kind – mostly due to his extraordinary passion for drumming.
One of the stars of Guinness World Records 2020, he is featured in the Humans section for holding the record most drumbeats in one minute using a drumstick prosthetic – an achievement he earned using an electromyographic band that senses muscle activity from his forearm.
Although Jason is an amputee drummer now, he wasn’t always disabled.
Since the age of 14, the talented musician has always had a strong interest in playing the drums and practiced regularly, until his accident in 2011.
While at work, an electrical malfunction occurred at his job – resulting in the amputation of the lower part of his right arm and a month recovering in the hospital.
Of course this was devastating for Jason, as he had lived a relatively normal life up until that point – but he was determined not to let this prevent him from playing his favourite instrument.
"After my accident, I dragged my drums out and taped a drum stick to my residual limb – and that's when my life changed forever and I knew that my passion for drumming was not over," he said.
Jason’s new found solution allowed him to pursue his future in music – which included applying to Atlanta Institute of Music in Georgia for percussion.
He came up with the idea to create a device that would allow him to play regularly on his injured arm, which is when he met the Founding Director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, Gil Weinberg.
Gil saw potential in Jason's idea and wanted to help supply the science and tech elements of building a prosthetic limb that would allow someone to play the drums.
"The arm has changed my life in many ways, just the fact that it has given me the ability to use my wrist and fingers again, and not only that, it’s given me the ability to do things that seemed impossible."
One of the things Gil finds most rewarding from working with Jason is seeing how his developments and technology can help change lives.
"We're extending how he played, bringing back what he lost, and much more than that. That’s a really great feeling."
With his new arm created by Gil, Jason set a new record for most drumbeats in one minute using a drumstick prosthetic with 2,400 bpm – a feat he never thought he would have in his lifetime.
Both Gil and Jason hope their team work inspires others to not be limited by their situations.
Find more incredible engineering records in the brand new Guinness World Records 2020, filled with hundreds of motivating titles from around the world.