May is International Drum Month, and here are ten quotes from women drummers who know how to get people moving. As one of our esteemed musicians says below, the drums are a song’s backbone. So download these ladies’ works and stretch your fingers to tap out beats on the nearest tabletop. You should also check out the talented Nandi Bushell, who inspires drummers of all ages with her YouTube channel.
10 Quotes Women Drummers
“Don’t get too caught up in the typical ideas of what makes a good drummer. Those things are sort of unattainable, and they’re not always creatively your most useful things to know.” ~Janet Weiss
Janet Weiss is an American musician and drummer. She is best known for her work as the drummer for the indie rock bands Sleater-Kinney and Quasi. Weiss has been praised for her powerful and dynamic drumming style, contributing to the distinctive sound of the bands she has been a part of.
“The life of music is bigger than all of us.” ~Cindy Blackman Santana
Cindy Blackman Santana is a virtuoso drummer whose artistry spans jazz and rock. As a bandleader and musician, Blackman Santana is a sound innovator passionate about pushing creative boundaries and exploring movement and change.
“I picked up a pair of sticks, and it was the most natural-feeling thing I’ve ever done.” ~Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter was a singer and drummer, best known as one half of the popular duo The Carpenters. Carpenter’s smooth and captivating voice became synonymous with the soft rock and pop sound of the 1970s.
“It’s the emotion of it that hits me, more than anything technical.” ~Meg White
Meg White is a musician and drummer best known as one-half of the rock duo The White Stripes. As the band’s drummer, White’s minimalist and primal drumming style became a defining element of their sound.
“We do it because we love to play music, and that’s what we’re all about.” ~Caroline Corr
Best known as a member of the band The Corrs, Caroline Corr primarily played the drums, showcasing her rhythmic skills and contributing to their distinctive folk-rock sound. The Corrs became one of Ireland’s most successful musical exports and are known for their harmonies and incorporation of traditional Irish elements into their music.
“I mean, all the record companies said no, you know, say ten record companies, whatever. But one said yes, and it took only one to make The Go-Go’s happened.” ~Gina Schock
Gina Schock joined The Go-Go’s in 1978 as their drummer and quickly became an integral part of the band’s success. Known for her powerful and energetic drumming style, she contributed to The Go-Go’s’ signature sound, characterized by catchy pop hooks and punk influences.
“You have to really go through a journey of really connecting to other people’s voices before you can find your own. You have to be mentored and introduced to other people’s paths, and then you can choose to do what you want.”
~Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington is a drummer, composer, and producer widely recognized for her exceptional talent, versatility, and groundbreaking contributions to jazz music. She has released several critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader, showcasing her skills as a drummer and composer.
“The youth are very important to me, they’re the next generation, but I want to instill in kids, even in playing, that it’s never too late and there’s no right or wrong way to do anything.” ~Sheila E.
Sheila E., born Sheila Escovedo, is a percussionist, singer, and songwriter. Her music incorporates various genres, including funk, pop, R&B, and Latin influences, and her dynamic and captivating stage presence, coupled with her virtuosity on percussion instruments, has made her a respected and influential figure in the music industry.
“Everything comes as a great surprise. I’m very thankful that I’m accepted as a girl drummer because, one time, there was no such thing.” ~Viola Smith
Viola Smith was one of the pioneering female drummers in jazz and swing music history. She gained recognition during the 1930s and 1940s for her exceptional drumming skills and trailblazing role as a woman in a male-dominated field. Smith played with various bands and orchestras, including the internationally acclaimed “Coquettes,” an all-female group she formed with her sisters.
“The drums are what drives the whole thing. It’s the backbone of the song.”
Best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band Hole, Patty Schemel’s drumming style contributed to the band’s sound and helped define their grunge and punk-influenced music.
“I love playing drums, and I love playing loud.” ~Kate Schellenbach
Known for her involvement in the early punk and hip-hop scenes, Schellenbach was a founding member of the influential all-female punk band The Lunachicks, where she played drums and contributed vocals. She gained widespread recognition as the original drummer for the Beastie Boys and has pursued other musical endeavors and collaborations, including working with Luscious Jackson, an alternative rock band she co-founded.
Compiled by Erin Prather Stafford
Second photo by cottonbro for Pexels