Music has always been a major part of my life. I started playing guitar with my dad at a young age. I practiced and enjoyed it, but nothing compared to my first moment on the drums. I was 10 years old and my dad was having a band practice. The practice was held at the drummer's personal studio, so he had two drum kits set up. My dad and his buddies were jamming, and I noticed there was an open kit. I grabbed the sticks and sat down. I remember focusing on the drummer and what he was doing. I didn't want to mess up their song so I figured I wouldn't be in the way if I tried to copy the drummer. A few seconds in and I fell head over heels.
I've always had to practice hard. I have some natural talent, in the sense that "the basics" came natural to me. It's not that drumming is easy for me, trust me, it takes a lot of practice to get where I am, and I need a lot more practice to keep moving forward. Drumming is in my heart, it's in my blood, and I need it as much as I need my next breath of air.
It wasn't long after playing on that kit for the first time, that one of our family friends donated a drumset to me. It had been sitting in his house and his kids had zero interest. I came home from school one day to see him dropping off an old Sunlight drum kit with no name cymbals. It was a beat up entry level kit that needed new heads, yet to me it was as if I'd won the lottery.
I started by listening to some of my favorite bands and songs and attempting to imitate them. My parents never had to tell me to practice. As a matter of fact, there were times they had to advise that I stop playing to give the neighbors a break.
After a while my parents signed me up for lessons. I was able to take drum lessons for a few years. I am partially self-taught, yet I was able to take formal lessons as well, and I loved every lesson. I was always prepared. I'd venture to say I kept my teacher on his toes. I was fortunate to have a great teacher. My only problem at that time was there was not enough time in the day for me to play as much as my heart desired. I ate, slept, and dream't the drums.
It wasn't long until the church I was attending caught word that I played, and they immediately put me on the Jr. High worship team. The only experience I had was jamming with my dad, so this was a great learning experience. I got to utilize the beats and fills that my teacher gave me. Playing live also taught me FEEL and dynamics. As time went on, I was then recruited to play in the "Big Church." This grew me even more. I went from mostly playing with kids my age, to playing with seasoned musicians. It was an amazing learning experience. I've played in church most of my career, and I'm thankful for the continued experience.
In high school I was in my first band. It started as a female three piece. Our first gig was all covers. We then started throwing in some original tunes here and there. Eventually our guitar player went away to college and we had to look for another guitar player. Our season with her was awesome, but we were able to find a talented guy that didn't mind jamming with two girls. We had a lot of fun and wrote a lot of songs. We were even fortunate enough to go into the studio and go through pre-production, production, and recording. I'm proud of the final product. I try to not be too hard on myself. I can't listen to it with the experience I have now, or else I drive myself crazy. My maturity was only starting back then.
As time went on we went our separate ways and that band folded. Not too long after, I was recruited by another original band. I met my husband in this band. He's an amazing musician and guitar player. The band already had a catalog of songs, so I had to get up to speed quick. I was able to still play with my style, instead of having to copy every little thing the other drummer did. Over time, this band grew me enough to be ready to start playing in a very busy cover band. A couple years after playing in the cover band, the guitar player and I got married.
I'm so fortunate that my husband is the guitar player for my cover band project as well as my original band. We also work in the studio together for other bands. One band in particular called, Sunshine Stills. The work we did for them on their album "Twist of Fate" won a Hollywood Music and Media award.
I'm also lucky to have my sister as the bass/violin player in my original project as well. My husband and I both share a strong passion for music. There's no one in the world I'd rather share the stage with.
Once I started cover music, there was no looking back. I loved the idea of getting paid for doing what I love. It's been an amazing journey. I've been blessed to meet and play alongside an abundance of talented musicians. I wouldn't be near the musician I am today without playing cover music. Constantly learning a massive catalog of songs. One night you play a huge club gig, then the next night a tiny bar. Every gig and private party set up is different. You must learn how to be dynamic in every situation. I've learned to perform. It comes natural because I'm doing what I love, and I want everyone watching to have a great time and share in the experience. I've learned to smile and have fun, even if I'm playing a song that I don't care for, and that does happen. There’s just so much to be grateful for. I could keep writing forever.
I've had a lot of experience, and I've learned so much. I'm thankful for where I am today, but I'm also appreciative that I'm not done growing and maturing in my craft. I still practice every day. I still strive to be the best musician I can be, and that takes a lot of practice. I have the heart, but to build skill takes exercise and implementation. I want to teach what I've learned and am still learning. There’s a special place in my heart for all of my projects. I want to help other musicians move forward and mature in their passion for music as well.