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Gayelynn Mckinney

How would you describe your music?

I am hired to play all styles of music however, most of my own projects are in the traditional or, contemporary jazz styles.

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

I am band leader, in some cases song writer, arranger, producer, booking agent, pr person, and many other things. Soon, I will have help and delegate some of this responsibility. :-)

Describe your gear.

I use Pearl Drums, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Sabian Cymbals.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"It's a LOT better now because, there are so many women that play instruments, write music produce etc. However, there was a time when men felt that playing instruments and being in music period, was only for men to do.

My instrument in particular used to raise many men's eyebrows. (How dare you play the drums!) was the look I felt I was getting. :-D LOL! As a kid I was always being challenged by boys because, they just couldn't believe that a girl played the drums. When I got older there was less verbal challenge from men and more of competitive playing. In other words, if I happen to play before a man, he would make sure he played everything he thought he knew, to show me up.

Another experience I have had is, not getting hired on some gigs, I believe because, I was a girl. Men would hire the guys first. Over the years, that has changed. I don't have that problem anymore. Besides, that behavior forced me to be a band leader. :-)

One last thing that I experienced, was the time I was playing with ""Straight Ahead,"" an all female jazz group. We were at sound check, and the sound guys where treating us with no respect. However, after we played our show, their whole attitude changed.(I guess we proved that we were actually serious musicians.) The girls and I, all laughed about it. "

Related Themes: Cashing In

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Only that there are many more women that are being band leaders, making, playing, producing and writing music, It's wonderful! I am so happy to see that. :-)

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"Luckily, I have had many great mentors in my life, women and men. My father, mother, uncle, and many of my father's musician friends mentored me.

What I would say to a young women starting out is, make sure you have studied your craft well, and when you think you know everything, study some more. Try to erase that saying: ""She's good for a girl."" Be strong, and don't let anyone discourage you from what you're trying to do. PLEASE STUDY THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC!!! That way know one can get over on you.

Last but not least, I do music for fun but, it's the time that costs you. Remember that. :-)


Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

"I really didn't choose it, it chose me. According to my mother, I was beating a rhythm before I was even born. My mother told me a story about the time when her and my father were sleeping in the spooning position, and my father woke up to a tapping in his back. He tried to wake my mother, and she was sound asleep. The tapping stopped so, he went back to sleep, only to be awakened again by more tapping. This time he was able to wake mom up, and she said ""What is it?' Dad said: ""Why are you tapping me?"" Mom said: (with irritation in her voice because, he woke her up) ""THAT'S NOT ME SILLY, THAT'S THE BABY!""

So, apparently, I knew what I wanted to do early on. :-D LOL!"

Related Themes: The First Time