Female drummers get a little respect in “Tom Tom”

I can always appreciate a woman who is good with her hands. I can equally appreciate a woman who has rhythm.

A whole magazine dedicated to female drummers? Be still my heart.

Tom Tom is a new publication started by musician Mindy Abovitz, who is behind the kit of the Brooklyn-based band Taigaa. In an interview with lifestyle magazine Anthem, Abovitz said she felt there was a need for interviews with other women drummers as a way of building a community:

“It took me a long time to identify as a drummer and that may have to do with the fact that it is a male dominated instrument. If I could change the kit I would make it lighter, slightly smaller — jazz kit size with a full kit sound and feel —and I would make the instrument more accessible to women and girls. That takes a lot more than the design of the instrument. That involves changing the way people think about female drummers: marketing to our demographic, designing kits for women, and having music shop sales personnel expect us and treat us with the same respect that dudes get.

That’s definitely not too much to ask, especially when you’re the one keeping the song on track and hands clapping to the right beat.

On the magazine’s website, tomtommag.com, you can watch videos, read interview excerpts and find out what women will be featured in the debut issue. Right now they are featuring a group of African women drummers who play “djembefola.” It also promises upcoming Q&As with the queer women of Telepathe and the all-girl band I Heart Liechtensteinians. Even if you’re not a drummer yourself, it is a great way to find out about female musicians, who, as we all know, get the shaft when it comes to coverage in most music magazines.


“One goal of Tom Tom magazine is empowerment through awareness, knowledge sharing, and community,” Abovitz told Anthem. “Ideally we will make some headway and chip away at this beast.”

Hannah Blile of the Gossip

Sounds great — my dream interviews for the first issue include Hannah Blile of the Gossip and Janet Weiss of Quasi and Sleater-Kinney. Do you have any other women you’d want to hear from about their drumsets and skils?