A History Of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers In The Music Industry

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Women have and always will play a significant role in the music industry. From singing to instrument playing, women have tried their hands (and ears) at all things music.

As more and more women enter the field of music, new roles are being created. One of these new roles is female drummers. While there has been some notable female drummers in the past, this is a fairly new field for women.

Though many songs do not specifically call for a female drummer, many bands are choosing to add one to their lineup. Some bands even choose to only have female musicians, like Bikini Kill.

However, the rise of female drumming has not been an easy one. Women who attempt to break into the world of professional Drumming must face challenges regarding their gender. These challenges can come from both inside and outside of the music industry.

Shannon Leto

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

Along with famous female drummers, the industry has also produced many notable women who have fronted their own bands. One of the first was Shannon Leto, who was a member of a band called Widowmaker.

She was featured in a few magazines and won some awards for her drumming. Unfortunately, the band dissolved in 2005, and she has not been very active since then.

Many female drummers have mentioned how they have faced sexism within the music industry. For example, several have mentioned how they had to work harder to prove themselves as a drummer due to their gender. Others have faced issues with being taken seriously or being ridiculed for their talent.

However, many of these women have continued to persevere and succeed in the music industry as drummers. Many of them are also role models for other women who want to enter the field as musicians.

Sarah Wilson

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

Another influential female drummer is Sarah Wilson. She began playing the drums at the young age of five, and by the time she was in high school, she was already playing with professional bands.

She received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where she studied with top drum instructors. After graduating, she spent some time touring and working with other musicians before joining Fifth Harmony.

Along with being a talented drummer, Wilson is also the vocal coach for the band. She helps train the girls on how to sing and harmonize with each other while performing.

She has mentioned that it can be difficult for women to receive approval from men in the music industry. However, women have more of a support system within their field which helps prevent some of the external suppression seen in men.

Tré Melvin

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

A notable female drummer is Tré Melvin, who is known for her work with several bands and musicians, including Halsey, G-Eazy, and Justin Bieber.

Melvin began drumming at the young age of five, inspired by her father who was a drummer as well. She spent many years practicing and improving her skills to get where she is today.

What many people do not know is that women have been drumming in the military for over a century! The first recorded female military drummer was Florence Sellon in 1898.

Sellon was part of the Royal Marine Band and played the bugle. At this time, women were beginning to break into more masculine professions and music was no exception. More women were starting to take up musical instruments and gain recognition for it.

Becky Yamashiro

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

A female drummer named Becky Yamashiro has dedicated her life to inspiring young women to pick up the sticks and play. As a member of the all-female drumming group The Lady Drummers, she has helped shape the group’s unique style and mission.

The Lady Drummers perform at events aimed at women and girls, as well as at music festivals around the country. They have also worked with major music labels, recording artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

Yamashiro says that although there are more women entering the drumming world every year, it is still a pretty male-dominated field. She believes that The Lady Drummers play a big role in helping younger girls believe they can do this too.

She notes that since she has been in the industry for a while now, she gets to meet a lot of young girls who say that she is their inspiration. This makes her feel very good about what she does.

Leah Shapiro

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

With more and more women entering the music industry as musicians, producers, and engineers, the bar is being raised for female musicians.

Many female musicians credit girl groups like Fifth Harmony for their success, as they show other female artists what it takes to be a successful singer. Similarly, many male musicians credit girl groups for their success, saying that they have seen a growth in female fans due to this.

With the rise of social media and streaming services, it is becoming easier and easier for women to prove their talent. With platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud where you can post your music or listen to other people’s music, there is no hiding.

Unfortunately, despite all of the hard work women put into their music careers, they still get treated differently than their male counterparts. Male artists are looked at as having real talent while women are labeled as ‘girl bands’ or ‘girl singers’.

Nicole Turrisi

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

While the number of female musicians has increased in the past few decades, the numbers are still not equal. According to a 2017 Spotify report, women make up only 22% of music producers and 24% of instrumentalists.

Many female musicians have faced discrimination while trying to gain a footing in the music industry. For example, Lady Gaga has spoken out about being paid less than her male peers. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, she said that while she was touring for her first album, she was only paid $6 million while her tour opener received $10 million.

She also mentioned that it took a while for her to be taken seriously as a musician, even though she was selling out stadiums. She said it was because she was a woman and people assumed she was just a singer and not a real artist.

Despite these challenges, many women have broken down barriers in the music industry. Here is a brief history of women drummers who have inspired young girls and others to pick up the sticks.

Alyson Avenue

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

A notable female drummer is Alyson Avenue, also known as Missy Miss. She has been playing for a long time, starting with the drums at the age of nine. Like many other women drummers, she was heavily influenced by male drummers like Tommy Lee and Joey Kramer.

Alyson Avenue was one of the first female hard rock drummers and is part of the reason there are more women drummers in that genre today. She was one of the first females to have a signature bass and was part of the reason why there are more female bass players today.

Throughout her career, she has had some issues with sexual harassment on tour and in the music industry in general. Despite this, she has continued to play and promote her music! She is currently touring with her band, so go check her out if you get the chance.

Kimberly Wilkins

A History of Women Drummers: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

Women have been making their mark on the music industry for years, with popular female musicians like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Adele dominating the music scene. However, there is one area of the music industry that has historically been a man’s domain: drumming.

While there are many women who have succeeded as drummers in the modern era of music, it was much harder to be a female drummer in the past. Many early female drummers had to conceal their gender due to widespread discrimination and sexism in the industry.

One such drummer was Antoinette Neousson, who performed with several prominent French orchestras in the late 1800s. While her professional career was successful, she faced significant discrimination due to her gender. She eventually had to leave France due to threats on her life after she came out as a woman.

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