Faith Benson is a drummer and composer currently playing with the band Crimson Apple. Inspired by her drummer father to pick up the instrument at 12 years old, Faith hasn’t slowed down since. In 2017, she was named the under 18 Grand Champion of the Hit Like A Girl contest, and returned the following year to judge. Crimson Apple’s upcoming EP is soon to be released. In the mean time, watch the video for their single “Can’t Get Out Of Bed.” 
Women are underrepresented in the percussion world. Our weekly series, Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW), aims to recognize, celebrate, and inspire female percussionists of all stripes. Each Wednesday we’ll feature a profile of a drummer, who will share tips, advice, and videos. Want to be featured yourself? Send an email to anna.pulley@stringletter.com telling us more about you.

What is your city, country, and age?

I’m 18 years old, and am currently living in Los Angeles, California.

What kind of gear do you use? What’s your setup?

I play on a Yamaha Maple Tour Custom kit. I also use TRX cymbals and stick.express sticks.  

Do you have endorsements?

I am endorsed by TRX, Cympad, and stick.express! 

What bands/groups do you perform with, if any?

I play in a band called Crimson Apple with my three sisters, and while that’s my main project, I also enjoy writing and composing my own tracks for YouTube

What led you to your instrument? What’s your origin story?

I was led to the drums after watching my dad play for my sister’s band. I kept begging my parents to let me play, but whenever they tried to get me to tap a steady rhythm, I had such poor tempo they tried to convince me to play guitar instead! However, after a lot of hard work and persistence, I finally got them to say okay! They started me out with short group lessons, and from there, I continued to practice and improve to get to where I am today. 

Who is your favorite drummer and why?

This is such a hard question! Right now, I’d say my favorite drummer is Anika Nilles. The way she writes and composes her own music in different feels and time signatures is really inspiring to me. She’s a total beast!

How do you practice? Do you have a routine?

I practice early in the morning with a metronome.  I usually start with stretching, then I do some warmups, practice snare solos, work on things I learn in my lessons with my instructor, Arin Ilejay, and then rehearse for work with my band. 

Are there any specific playing tips or techniques, or advice, exercises, or discoveries you’d like to share with Drum readers?

My biggest advice would be to practice daily and not get discouraged. And I’m sure you all have heard this a million times before, but remember practicing with a metronome is key! 

What’s something you believe about drumming or music that other people think is crazy?

A lot of people don’t feel that all emotions can be expressed through drumming, other than louder and more aggressive feelings. I feel, however, that drums can be just as expressive as other instruments, portraying softer more delicate emotions as well as strong, passionate feelings. 

As artists, the goal post for “success” is always moving. There’s not one “I made it!” point. How do you think about and define success?

So true! I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve “made it.” There will always be more to learn and more to do. I’d say success is being at a point where you continuously find and reach new goals, never settling for where you’re at. 

Do you have any quotes or sayings that you live by?

“Not quite my tempo.” — Terence Fletcher 

When you sit down to make music and are starting with a blank canvas, what’s your process like?

It’s actually always different, but when I start composing a song, I’ll first decide what time signatures I want to use and then write different melodies over them. This will decide the overall emotion, tempo, and structure of my piece, and I can start writing my drum parts from here. 

How important is failure in making music/performing?

Failure is extremely important when making music or performing. It’s essential for us to make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. That’s how you grow into the best artist you can be. 

Any advice for girls contemplating getting started and making it in this arena?

You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, just believe in yourself. There’s a whole community of female musicians representing us, find them. 

If you had to put together a school or resources for would-be drummers, what would the training include?

I’d probably have everyone start with learning rudiments and proper technique. I’d require everyone to practice at home, so we’ll need a metronome and practice pad for everyone who signs up. 

Where else to find Faith
Instagram and YouTube at faithndrums. Also, please follow my band at Crimson Apple. We’ll be releasing a new single in March, so be sure to keep a look out for that.