4 Reasons Why I Love Playing in Girl Bands

ID-10060301

Faye has been practicing regularly for 2 months now.  This past month we bumped up to 2 practices a week!  And because of that and our goal to play our first show in December (fingers crossed), I feel compelled to share my favorite things about being an all girl rock band.

1) Constant communication – This is a no brainer.  Men and women communicate differently.  As a group of female musicians, we are better listeners than our male counter-parts and are surprisingly more laid back than most men we know.  The only thing is… we tend to be “too nice” in fear of hurting one another’s feelings when sharing opinions.  Maybe that’ll fade away the longer we play together?

2) Absence of gender stereotypes -“She plays great for a girl.”
On more than one occasion I’ve over heard my guy friends and even male acquaintances discuss how there are “no good female guitarists” and girls only play Bass guitar because it’s “easiest.”  Playing with Faye has been a no-pressure, judgement-free zone allowing us to practice to the best of our abilities without being scrutinized as we play “like girls.”

3) Naturally organized – We enter the practice room with a goal in mind.
Enough said.

4) Simply saying I’m in a girl band – There’s just something empowering about it!  I wish there were more in Charlotte.

Well, that’s all (for now).  Happy Friday!  🙂

Remembering old tricks with sticks

ID-100212995

Unlike a typical Saturday, I rummaged around my parents’ house looking for drumsticks.  Good news: I found 7 sticks.  Bad news: only 2 pairs were the same size and what happened to the others is beyond me.  With only 10 minutes to spare and no time to recall why I purchased size 7A to 2B sticks, I took my ol’ snare drum from the claws of its stand and zipped it up in a cushy, soft shell case.  Overwhelmed by the once familiar knobs, screws, and small turny-thingies, I impatiently yanked my precious Pearl pedal off of the huge bass drum.

Down to only 6 minutes left to drive and pick up the guitarist, I skipped down the stairs, exited through the side door and waddled to my car with an armful of drum gear I haven’t touched in 2 years.  It was a typical, brutally humid, summer day but that “typical day” turned out to be my first band practice in nearly 3 years.

Now that I think about it, it’s  strange that I never refer to myself as a drummer.  I suppose my love for guitar drowned out my interest in drums but thankfully I have my friends to remind me that I, too, am a drummer.

My best friend dropped my name in the grapevine of “does anyone know a girl who can play drums?”  Any musician will tell you experienced female drummers are hard to come by but I never identified myself as one! I was iffy when I received the invitation but then remembered the many frustrating years of attempting to form a band with flaky, non-committal musicians–I couldn’t pass up this opportunity!

In the past, I attempted to organize a band multiple times and it never came together no matter how many facebook messages I sent.  No matter how many fliers I posted in the artsy side of town.  No matter how many craiglist ad responses I received (mostly guys asking to be the “token male” in the band). This time around was different.  Although I was the last person to join the band and let me tell ya… saying “yes” is a lot easier–it’s a nice change, you best believe.

It may have been 2 years since I actually jammed on a full drum kit but on Saturday I felt extremely comfortable, in control, and by the end of practice I began to remember my old tricks and favorite fills.  It blows my mind how I forgot how much I love playing drums.  After playing 6 instruments growing up, I finally understand why I had a bad habit of switching instruments!  Each one is very intoxicating in its own way.

Shortly after being reunited with my former love, the natural explosiveness of my sticks attacking the drums then cymbals in one big, Tasmanian Devil, sweeping motion startled me–I forgot I had it in me.  By the time I warmed up, my arms danced around the kit in a fluid motion without a single thought in my mind–I was engulfed in the intoxicating, powerful energy of drumming.

Frequently, the guitarists would stop to chatter about the root note, chords, harmonies… nothing that applied to my physical labor.  So, I took that time to practice (as softly as reasonably possible) my drum roll and dramatic fills which distracted our lead guitarist who then exclaimed, “it’s nice to finally play with an real drummer.”  In my eyes (or ears) I wasn’t playing anything special.  I only have 2 years of drum lessons underneath my belt but her compliment made me realize that I AM a drummer and I should take pride in my ol’ tricks with sticks regardless of how rudimentary they seem to me.

When that spectacular afternoon came to an end, what I never imagined to happen did, in fact, happen:  I was heart broken.  I felt like a child whose parents arrived to a slumber party the following morning–I wasn’t ready to pack up and go home.  Although I uphold the Arpeggio Vixen name, I vow to never abandon drums again because I am not only a guitarist, but a “real” drummer.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net