To say that Tammy Mitchell-Woods plays the drums well is quite the understatement. She dominates the drums and has been an active percussionist for many years.
Oklahoma is where Tammy calls home, residing in a suburb of Tulsa called Broken Arrow. She keeps a rigorous schedule as the drummer for classic rock band Beacon Drive, and as the staff drummer at Southern Hills Baptist Church – all while volunteering at churches in her surrounding communities. Tammy is proudly endorsed by a handful of companies such as Heartbeat Cymbals, CooperGroove Drumsticks, Ahead Wicked Chops Practice Pads, The Sweet Spots Drum Dampeners, Pray With Drums Gear, and Sledgepad Bass Drum Dampeners.
Last year she started a group for female drummers on Facebook called Drummergirls United. Nearly 700 members strong from over 60 countries, the group has planned their first meet up session scheduled for this Spring – a weekend of masterclasses and playing with other female drummers. Drummergirls United will have Drumtalk Tv, Breast Cancer Can Stick It, and others representing them.
Her love for playing evolved in high school while playing in both jazz and pep bands. Despite drums being her first love, it was a voice scholarship which got her accepted to Southwestern Oklahoma State University, winning 3 medals in one year during a voice competition by receiving the highest score possible. While attending college, Tammy won several state competitions playing drums in two jazz bands and singing in three jazz choirs respectively.
Her inspiration for becoming a drummer came from watching male drummers in concert and on television, “I absolutely knew that if I could ever get a set of drums I could teach myself to play them.” says Tammy. She draws her motivation from her family and her need to play. She works hard to become better than she was the day before, for herself, her husband, and her children. Mentors also motivate her. Her grandmother and mother have always been a driving force, but she is quick to also give kudos to her choir director, Mr. Hearn for his guidance in music, life, and God.
Like many women in the music industry, Tammy faced obstacles during her long career, but has overcome them by letting her talent and experience do the talking.
I have hit a few obstacles as a female drummer. like, not being allowed to even audition for certain bands because I am female – and aging out of certain bands. BUT once they hear me play, I generally get the gig.
Despite the obstacles though, Tammy would not have it any other way. Music is her life and encourages other women to follow their dreams: “Pursue your passions. Chase your dreams like your life depends on it because, in all actuality it does. Whatever the size of your obstacle, let the size of your determination be bigger. Never let doubt creep in and derail you. Don’t let naysayers stand in your way. Be your best friend. Be your biggest cheerleader.”
In 2018 she will tour with a Nashville artist and is working on an all-female cover band.