Female on Drumline?


Junior Member
Our daughter is a great mallet player and good general percussion player in her symphonic band. She is being asked to play tenors in marching band. The mallet parts for the marching music are farily simple and there are some freshman that can handle it, as well as a piano playing clarinet player who want to be in the pit.

She would be the only girl on drumline. The boys are perfectly nice and very encouraging. She can manage the physical part of thing (though she said the things are HEAVY!) and said the tenors are actually quite fun to play. But, she feels odd being the only girl on drumline. Usually, she is not one to care what others think. But I am wondering...is it THAT odd to have a girld on drumline??? She is an average size girls, loves band and sports. Seems to me drumline would be a good fit.

The band director really wants her to do this to challenge herself a bit more as she playes mallets a lot in symphonic band. He thinks it would be good for her to learn to march and he wants her rather than some of the freshman boys who would like to do it (she also 'beat them out' in the general percussion tryouts last wekk).

So, what is the stigma or difficulty (if any) with a girl on the drumline...if any?


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I wouldn't think it would be any different than being a female sax or trumpet player. They all can't play the flute. Tell her to go for it. the experience will be great. It just may take her a while to realize it.


Gold Member
There really isn't any problems with girls being on drumline. I've been on drummer with girls on the snare line, tenor line, and bass line. Tenors are extremely heavy, but I've seen girls do it. All the drum line equipment is heavy, so she won't be the only one with sore shoulders and back.

I would encourage her to go for it and to not feel like the odd man out. If the other guys are like most drummers, they will be encouraging and treat her as an equal. Drumline is more work than pit, but at the end of the day, it is far more rewarding and fun.


Silver Member
I played some percussion in a group once, and there was also only 1 girl in the group (about 6 boys including me), she was fairly good, better than some of us, and i can't see why it should be a problem. She will probably like it the first day, OR she won't But she won't know if she likes it or not, until she tries it. I think she should go for it, atleast then she has that experience to carry along in her life as a drummer!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think the 'event' of having a girl in the drumline kinda' went out with the '80s. Lots of females play drums nowadays, either set, concert, or marching band/drum corps. And (in my circles) it's nice to see the males of the sections (or who play) just accept the fact that they (the females) are also players and are quite good at it. I would say I've seen less sexism, but I can't speak for everybody. It was really cool seeing one of my guys in our professional line trying to figure out what one of our females was doing with her help. It made me think of that ideal that if everyone played an instrument, everyone would be an equal ;)

Your daughter shouldn't feel odd about it. She should go for it. But even I tried on some Dynasty tenor set-ups and felt they were too heavy. My back is not built for that much weight!

Red Menace

Platinum Member
My drum teacher gives lessons to drumline kids from 3 of the local High Schools. He teaches several students at a time at his home so I get to meet many local drummers from around the valley.

I see many female drum students a good number of them are on the drumline. Honestly it makes me very happy to see female drummers. If they keep at it and stay with their lessons they'll be able to play circles around me by the time they're my age. I say let her go for it. If its not for her then so be it, at least she gave it a try.


Senior Member
we have girls on my drumline. we have 3 snare players,3 tenors,5 cymbals and 2 bass players so it isnt that unusial cause the director goes by who is the best and the good players are the harder instruments


Platinum Member
Girls are pretty common on the drumline. I saw it throughout my marching days and never saw gender affect an issue one way or the other.


Senior Member
I was in an orchestral group and the drum kit player was a guy and obviously me (I played Timp and ALL the otther percussion that wasn't a drunk kit) :p

We were the only guys.

It's not weird as such, you just get on with it and you soon become part of the group, regardless of age or sex...


As several already stated, girls in drumline are pretty common. When I was in college we had girls that carried cymbals, played snare, tenors, & bd. Obviously, if she's smaller in size, tenors might not be a good idea. Our section leader my first year was a girl. She had some serious chops & you learned to take her seriously.


Platinum Member
Since there's no special physical challenge for girls that doesn't apply to boys, and the sex-specific parts of the body don't really have anything to do with playing the drums, I'd say if she has two working hands, she's golden. It's a little unusual that she would be the only girl in the line- most of the school drum lines I've had anything to do with since the early 80's have been about 15-25% female.


Platinum Member
What I've discovered in 30 + years of playing is there is a commonality of most musicians..

It doesn't matter where you come from, doesn't matter about gender, race, religion, etc.... All that matters is if you are easy to get along with and want to play. The world could really learn some valuable lessons from this.