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 in music playing trumpet, although 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.
Seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to God.~Lionel Hampton
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.
For the next 6 years, I served behind the kit at local churches, learning how to play with a click, tracks and other musicians again. At the same time, I built out my own recording studio, GTown Studio. I also began tracking drums for other musicians, teaching drum lessons and then recorded my own solo album, That GTown Sound, in 2020.
For 2022, I’m already working on finishing a 2nd solo album while continue to expand my remote drum tracking services and drum lessons. I’ve also reignited one of my old bands from Seattle, Black Moses, which has resulted in a new album, Resurrection.
I am so loving this second wind of my musical life journey as I focus on making the most of this rhythmic gift from God.
And like my initial 15 years behind the drums, I’m not just resting on the skills I have, but pushing myself daily to improve so I can help out more groups, artists and bands with anything drum-related. I not only teach drums, record drum tracks for other bands and play live, but take lessons myself.
The pursuit of drumming is never-ending with all that can be done with this incredible instrument. Never stop learning.