Photo of Tammy Mitchell-Woods by Bruce Woods
By Tammy Mitchell-Woods, drummer and creator of the Drummergirls United Facebook Group
It wasn’t until Gina Schock and the Go-Go’s hit the scene when I was in high school that I saw my first female drummer play. I was determined to drum and learned what I could from watching drummers on TV, at concerts, and listening to records. I played all the way through college, quit to raise a family, then took it up again about 15 years ago. I started getting serious around the same time that I was diagnosed with lupus a few years back. That made me more determined than ever to make my life count and to chase my dreams. I started looking for other female drummers online. I was amazed at all of the talent: Anika Nilles, Emmanuelle Caplette, Hilary Jones, and so many others. I looked them up on Facebook and became friends with them. This sparked an epiphany that led to us launching a community.
I wondered, “How many other female drummers out there are like me and don’t know any other female drummers personally? How many of us feel intimidated when shopping in drum stores or taking lessons from men?” And then I thought, “I can fix this.” So, I created a Facebook group called Drummergirls United, for female drummers of all ages and skill levels. I started the group only last year, and we already have almost 900 members from more than 65 countries— professional drummers, beginners, and everyone in between. My goal was and is to create a positive, encouraging, safe environment to ask questions, share videos, collaborate on projects, and make friends.
So far, Drummergirls United has garnered national and international attention from Drum Talk TV, Around the Kit radio show out of New York City, Women’s International Music Network (WIMN), Drum! magazine, and now, Tom Tom. I hope that our membership continues to grow in size and scope. My plans for the group are expanding, and I am in talks with Drum World in Tulsa to have a Drummergirls United weekend next year with masterclasses, clinics on gear, meet-and-greets, and time to hang out. Ladies from the U.S. and several other countries are already interested in attending.
I’ve been told I’m one of the best connected “female drummer to other female drummers” in the industry. I love seeing the success stories of the gals I’ve met through the group. I am a naturally sunshiny and positive person, and I bring that to everything that I do, from playing in multiple bands to leading this Facebook group. My hope is that Drummergirls United will continue to grow and reach even more female drummers looking for encouragement and knowledge.