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Do One Thing That Scares You

Do It


Celeste Hamilton Dennis

I never wanted to play the drums. At least, I never knew I wanted to play the drums. I realized this late last year when I began noticing I was increasingly fixated on the drummer with every band I saw. There I was, trying to copy the drum patterns with my fingers at each show. I knew I had to try it out.

Then an opportunity presented itself: a ladies only weekend-long workshop by the awesome women who run Girls Rock Camp here in Portland, Oregon. I had volunteered with them a few summers ago and was already enamored, but what was even cooler about Ladies Rock Camp (LRC) was that my tuition would paid for a girl’s that summer. So I signed up. And immediately started panicking. Could I really learn the drums in one weekend? Form a band with random strangers and write a song together? And then play a show at Mississippi Studios in front of actual people?

The November weekend arrived soon enough. I picked up the drum sticks that first day and shook slightly. The four of us beginners in the basement started to hit our drums - awkwardly at first but by the end of the day we were in unison and on beat. Slowly, I got the hang of it. And slowly, I started to feel less afraid. There were many of us in that same boat that weekend, women who’d never before picked up an instrument. The shared fear and vulnerability was empowering. Exciting, even. Full of karaoke, epic band rehearsals, and good conversation, the weekend flew by.

The day of the show, I donned make-up I don’t normally wear, dressed my daughter up in the most ridiculous toddler rock show outfit I could think of, and told friends last minute what I was doing. I got on stage and together with my band, rocked the song we had written together. Our fear had transformed into art. And now I’m hooked. If you know of a good, affordable beginner’s drum kit, let me know.


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    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      So cool! I took a drum class once and I have to say, I'm horrible, but I love how it gets so much negative energy out of me.