What does it mean to be a “Professional”?


After a few positive comments towards me, lately, I started thinking about what it was “to be a professional”?   Here is the definitions that appear in Merriam-Webster:  “Professional.” (Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professional.)

Definition of professional:

1a of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession

b engaged in one of the learned professions

(1) characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession

(2) exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

2a participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs

  • a professional golfer

b having a particular profession as a permanent career

  • a professional soldier

c engaged in by persons receiving a financial return

  • professional football

3: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession

  • a professional patriot

Now, I have heard that there are various ways to explain this but, in this instance, I am only using my current experience as it applies to what I do as a musician.  To me, it takes a lot more than showing up to a gig, a rehearsal, a studio session, or even a meeting to talk about an upcoming project, with “professional gear” and a pair of drumsticks to call out to everyone what you do.  I think you have to show up with a plan, a call to action, and at least some input that can explain from a different angle other than those presented, how to clarify your point.  To most people in this field, it’s “let’s get together and jam before our gig”?  Just because you may make some money at a gig does not, in itself, make “YOU” a professional.  Although people are paying to see you or see what you can bring to the table, it’s a whole myriad of things that make up the “professional musician”.  Let’s list some of those here:

  • Do you present a “professional” attitude?
  • Do you come prepared ? (this is not a time to “learn” your song)
  • Do you have a good attitude?
  • Are you open to suggestions or constructive criticism?
  • Are your standards above what is expected?
  • Do you carry on in a businesslike manner, regardless of the pay involved?
  • Do you treat your livelihood as it should be, with high regard?
  • Dress the part, play the part, put your game face on.

With all of this being said, I also get paid for my “professional services”.  That doesn’t mean that it’s beneath me to serve, and give my time in some way, but, it does mean that I get to choose those times and how it is applied, as this is my livelihood.  I often negotiate my rates with those that request my services. Because let’s face it, it’s quite flattering to be held in such regard.  I understand that I can be of service, help someone, and still make a living.  But, I get to choose.  After all, I have to make a living at what I do, just like anyone else.  I don’t flaunt it but, I do treat it like big business.  Because it is big business to me.  Lately, I was blessed to serve alongside a remarkable musician.  He is, Grammy™ award-winning arranger and multi-platinum award-winning composer, producer and performer, Fletch Wiley. He said this, about me onlineGina not only has chops and an impeccable sense of time, but she comes prepared. And with a great attitude.  If I were you, I’d hire her!!  Fletch Wiley”

However, because you are a professional, don’t let your ego guide your mouth.  I always try to stay humble in my dealings as well as business minded.  All of these things combined, make me a “Professional”. I don’t apologize for it. I will, however, treat you with respect, dignity, and a “professional” on equal par. To me, comments like this are the pinnacle of knowing who you are.

Thanks for visiting my website!

Your Thoughts?

Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the “wide” button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.

Thanks for testing Gutenberg!


What does it mean to you, to be “noticed,”?

What does it mean to you, to be “noticed,”?

As I was looking at some online posts and videos, I was thinking to myself; “Wow, this person has over a million hits!” Why don’t I? To be honest, I’m not sure how these millions of views are even obtained? Some of what I see, doesn’t appear all that special, to me? Are these views paid for? Am I just missing the point? I guess, it really doesn’t matter? Then, I started to look back at how I have evolved as a musician. I really don’t like to talk about my accomplishments, although, I may have to mention a few here, for this discussion.

In my early days, I touted that I was not “Just another YouTube drummer.” I never thought about getting a lot of hits on my videos until I noticed that some others were? Instead, I have concentrated on showing my technique, timing, and “playing for the song,” over popularity. In fact, I hate it when my dad (my manager) promotes me out loud to others or tells me, “Hand them a biz card.” I guess I don’t like the immediate attention? Maybe, I should start? Because, somehow, certain people have noticed me. Not a million or anything like that but, I guess a few of the “right,” people?

I’ve been blessed with some nice writeups in “Tom Tom Magazine,” “DRUM Magazine,” and “International Musician,” to name a few. I have also been nominated for “Texas State Artist, State Musician.” I’ve played the Central Stage at NAMM 2016. And, I was also recently asked to go on tour with American Idol, Dalton Rapattoni, although, I was too young, according to the contract.

So, I guess while some companies like to see millions of hits in order to work with you, I can point to a few articles, that, to me, are equally as important. I’m still not sure how to get a million views on YouTube? But, is that where it’s really at? Does it really mean anything? You tell me? Am I on the right track? Please, let me hear your opinions?

I Know What I’m Worth.

I Know What I’m Worth.

Since I started drumming live in bands at the age of 7, I have often been asked to sit in for an unavailable drummer or to join a band. While this is flattering, nearly all of these “offers” are for zero dollars. Now, I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone or anything like that. However, I play music for a living. It’s no different from anyone else being hired to do their job. Drums, just happen to be mine. Quite often I will get the “this is great exposure,” line. But, just like you, I can’t buy food or gas with exposure. Can you imagine taking a job where your boss says, “There’s no pay, but, it’s great exposure!” Yeah, me neither.

I have been blessed to have been noticed over the years by various people, magazines, and companies. I work hard to build relationships and to be a person of integrity. I have been a featured artist in Tom Tom Magazine, DRUM Magazine, DrummerworldAudix Microphones, and International Musician, just to name a few. I sit in at the NAMM Shows as part of Audix Microphones, “Drummer Extravaganza.” I was recently requested to be the touring drummer for American Idol, Dalton Rapattoni (I was too young to go on tour per contract). So, I know what I am worth.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if a friend is in need, I will be there to help. If it’s a fundraiser, like I’m doing now to help the High School Homeless, I try and raise money for the end cause, not for my pay. But bands, individual artists, as well as churches, seem to think that I’m just willing to do it all for free? Everyone in this business knows how much time and effort go into rehearsal for a song or set, to ensure that it comes off as “professional” during show time. You don’t just bring in someone off of the street for your project, do you? After all, that’s why you called me, right? You saw something in me and my ability that would bring worth to your project. Your music is worth it, you are worth it, and I am worth it. I know what I’m worth. Do you?

Gina “G”

My sound isn’t “wrong”, it’s just my sound.

My sound isn’t “wrong”, it’s just my sound.

I’ve tried most everything in the book regarding my drum setup, tuning and actual equipment that I use.  What I mean is, I’ve used about every head that Remo makes; Emperor, Ambassadors, Diplomats, Fiberskyn, etc.  I’ve also used a china as part of my hi-hat.  I’ve used an FXO with my hi-hat, (I’m with Soultone Cymbals if you haven’t heard of an FXO?).  I sometimes place my 8″ tom tom between my 14″ and 16″ floor toms.  And, I almost always use a 10″x6″ Popcorn Snare as my Main Snare…not as a Side Snare!  I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that my setup is weird or I’m using the wrong snare or heads.  Do guitarist go through this?  Part of what I love about being a musical artist is the “art” part.  Art is what you make it.  It’s different for everyone in how they approach it or how they react to it.  Music, just like art is about experimentation.  It’s about finding yourself and fine-tuning your purpose.   Just imagine, if every performer, in every band, did things exactly alike?  We would all sound like copies of one another! How boring would that be?  So, constructive criticism like “I wish the kick mic was a bit more pronounced?” is fine.  But, don’t think because I use a different setup, drumsticks or technique, that it is wrong.  It’s not wrong, it’s just my sound.

Gina “G”

I’m not a Prodigy…

I’m not a Prodigy…

I’m not a “Prodigy”.  I’m not “Gifted” as in “savant.”  I do have some skills for someone of my age but, I just love being a drummer, percussionist, and all-around musician!  I say “love” because I am passionate about it!  I may only be 16 years old but I know what I want to do in life, and music is it!  In fact, I knew this from the time I was 11 years old after returning from a recording session in Nashville.  Now, why am I bragging?…I’m not. I’m simply telling you, this was what led me to my decision.  A little background on me:  I started playing on coffee cans when I was 3 years old.  My dad used to bring them home from his restaurant and he gave me his first pair of drumsticks.  I got my first real kit for Christmas, at 6 years old.  I started playing for our church at 7 years old and now I’m 16.  As you can see, I have been at this for 9 years now!  In my mind, I’m NOT the best drummer out there.  I just seriously enjoy this instrument and I apply myself to it.  I am, however, a professional.  At times, I practice 4-5 hours a day.  Not every day, but quite often.  I have a God-Given-Gift to be able to understand music.  I am very auditory in most things I do in life.  I can often hear a song once then simply play it. Now, I could not do this at 3 years old but I could keep a basic rhythm.  Today, I’m a bit more proficient.  I think this is just from paying attention to the music and understanding it.  The more you do something, the better you become at it.  However, you will never see me post about how great I am. I’m just an ordinary kid that happens to like music and drumming in particular.  I may post my videos or accomplishments but that is to share them with you.  Let’s face it, who isn’t flattered when they are put in print or on a video?  It’s pretty cool but once I put it out there, you won’t find me bragging about it.  How can I?  There are thousands of other drummers who are better than me!   I’m always open to constructive criticism and seeing another person’s “video response” to what I may have put up.  We can all learn from each other.   I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a number of songs by a number of musicians.  The latest band I became a member of sought me out while moving here from Indiana.  They found me online and said that my playing stood out to them.  What I have really been fortunate about is that nobody has said to me, “You’re good…for a 16-year-old girl!”  I have always wanted to stand on my own merits.  I would love to hear your thoughts on my playing and this post?  Because it does not matter if I think I’m good, only if the people that listen to me and watch me think so.  Look at some of the people that audition for “American Idol?”  I guess some of them really think they are good until they get in front of the judges and learn the truth.  And, even if they are not good enough to be the next “Idol”, does that take away their dream?  I hope not!  It would never take away mine. It would just make me want to work harder at my craft.  So, in conclusion, note that I said: “work harder?”  It’s because it’s what you have to do to get noticed.  No ego, just results!  Contact me to be your drummer.

Have a blessed day!

Gina “G”

Playing Center Stage-NAMM 2016

Playing Center Stage-NAMM 2016

Well, we had one rehearsal the night prior to our performance.  In fact, that one rehearsal was actually our first meeting in person!  I was asked by Delphi Freeman to lay down drum tracks to about 12-14 songs for a possible opportunity to play on stage at NAMM 2016.  Evidently, she liked what I did because the next thing I know is I was invited to back Delphi as her drummer.  She has some incredible Indie/Pop music that she has composed.  She’s also an awesome singer with her own unique voice.   We meet quite a few people at NAMM that heard that one or the other of us was playing the Center Stage.  Past friends and musicians, engineers, photographers, magazines, and web administrators.  One web administrator, “Bermuda Schwartz”, from www.drummerworld.com heard that I was going to be playing and took time from his commitments at Ludwig’s booth to come out to the stage, introduce himself and stay for a few songs.  He told me he would write a review about our show after he got back.  It was a really good review and I’m blessed to have met him.  So, I wanted to post the link so that any of you could read it and post your own comments on Drummerworld.com if you like?  Here is the link to the review:  http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129772


Gina “G”


Connecting to people that you don’t know.

Connecting to people that you don’t know.

I just wanted to take a moment to share my feelings on connecting to people that you don’t know on LinkedIn.  Personally, I like the fact that LinkedIn is a far more professional site than Facebook or any other for that matter.  It is the one place that you can connect to other people that you don’t know but, usually need a reason to connect.  I’ll keep this short and to the point.  I connect to people that I don’t know as well.  The difference?…when I don’t know someone and want to connect, I usually ask another person to “introduce” us or, at the very least, send a message to the person that I wish to connect with telling them exactly why I know of them and why I want to connect to them.  For me personally, it’s about building my relationships for my profession.  I seem to get a lot of requests asking to Link to me but, I have no idea who the person is, or why they want to connect?  Usually, I will scan their page to see if we have anything in common?  Even if we do, they may only have 12 connections and I would like to know, “What do you see in me that makes you want to connect?”  I also want to know, “How can I help this person or them help me?”  It’s just proper introductions, no?  Please email me if you are interested in my talents in music or want to hire me.   If you are introducing yourself to connect, Please tell me how you may know me or have heard of me and WHY you wish to connect?   If I can’t help you and you can’t be of help in my career, what’s the point?  I’m not interested in thousands of Facebook Friends that I will never meet and we have nothing in common?!

Just my $.02