Seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to God.~Lionel Hampton
I switched from the trumpet section to drums half-way through my first year of junior high school. The trumpet was something handed down to me from an uncle, and was the only instrument I had to play for elementary school band.
In junior high school, I joined the jazz band immediately, and really fell in love with the music, so much so, that I already knew that making music was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Yet, it seemed like such a long shot to make it playing trumpet (high school friend Jim Sisko proved me wrong by making a lifelong career on trumpet).
It didn’t hurt that the drums sounded so much more fun and the drummers seemed so cool and chill. Plus the girl-attention was off the charts. That junior high school brain made up its mind and convinced my parents to let me take up the drums.
For the next 15 years, I pursued learning drums as if my life depended on it. Everything I valued in life truly came through drumming. I had tunnel vision, but that passion was something that helped me thrive during those awkward junior high and high school years.
Lifelong friendships came through drums, bands and shows. Of all the people I still connect with, it’s those with that shared love of music that are the strongest…and conversations seem to pickup immediately from the day we last talked even if its been 20 years.
It was through fellow bandmates in junior high and high school jazz bands that I truly got to know God. I came across a quote from Lionel Hampton several years ago that holds true for me in my pursuit of drumming.
After a 15-year hiatus of pursuing drums to make a career in skydiving, it was the need of more drummers at a local church in 2015 that spurred me back on the kit. And like with all of my lifelong music friends, so too did I feel that relationship with God immediately deepen once again.
I am so loving this second wind of my musical life journey. In addition to serving my local church, I’m also pursuing drum tracking in my home studio as well as playing live or tracking for others.
And like before, I’m not just resting on the skills I have, but pushing myself daily to improve so I can help out more people in a variety of drum needs. Being a good steward of this rhythmic gift from God feels like my life’s mission.