Alan Cornett: The Guts, Talent to Start All Over


Photo courtesy Alan Cornett Facebook page

SKF NOTE: Alan Cornett practiced, became a good drummer, and then misfortune forced him to either start all over or quit. Mr. Cornett chose to start all over. God bless all musicians like him.

What first caught my attention is the loose, swinging feeling when Cornett is drumming in the video accompanying his Washington Post story. I’ve heard drummers whose arms and legs work fine unable to play as loose and swinging. Mr. Cornett is literally singing his bass drum parts. Here’s a more detailed account of Alan Cornett.


Washington Post

A car accident cut this drummer’s career short. He wouldn’t let the music stop.
By John Kelly Columnist August 8

What did Alan do before he was flung from his seat and struck his head on the pillar of the car, severely bruising his spine between the C5 and C6 vertebra?

“I’m a musician,” Alan said. “I play the drums.”

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to be able to do that..,” the doctor said. “I think drummers need to use their legs.”

Alan played with various bands around Washington and twice won a DC101-sponsored “Best Drummer in D.C.” contest.

But the same way he’d become a drummer in the first place was how he became a drummer in the second place: He practiced.

Alan needed his right foot to [play] the bass drum thump. But…didn’t have the strength…

In 1992, Alan…donned a headset microphone attached to a computer module made by…Ddrum. By making a clicking sound with his tongue, Alan could trigger a digital bass drum sound through a set of speakers.

He was a complete drummer again.

Full Story

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