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Goodwin

Goodwin

At just 26 years old, Garret Goodwinhas already amassed a resume thatwould be the admiration of professionalmusicians more than twice his age.From securing a coveted gig as thesteady touring drummer for countrymusicsensation Carrie Underwood toperforming with Rock and Roll Hall ofFamers such as Lindsey Buckinghamand Steven Tyler, Goodwin has alreadyleft his mark on both the Christianand secular markets. Add to that theaccolades he’s received from fans, suchas being voted “Best Up and Coming” inModern Drummer’s 2013 Reader’s Poll,and one can’t help but take notice.Goodwin’s path to the spotlight in manyways is similar to, yet in other waysvery different from that of his peers.Growing up in an active church family,Garrett recalled his early exposureto the pounding percussion of theworship band. He said, “I rememberbeing very young and having a greatinterest in the musicians at my church.My family attended services almostdaily at Brownsville Assembly of God inPensacola, Florida. For some reason,I always found myself fixated on thedrummer. I don’t know if I was specificallydrawn to the drums at the time, but therewas something about performing musicthat spoke to me. After a while, I startedasking lots of questions. Lucky for me, themusicians answered them.”At the age of 11, Goodwin finallyexpressed an interest in playing thedrums. “There was no history of musicin my family,” he said, “so I had no cluewhat I was doing. I was searching forsomething and the drums seemed tofill that void.” Recognizing their son’senthusiasm, Garrett’s parents signed himup for the first and only drum lesson hewould ever take.Today he refers to that event as atraumatic blessing. “I remember goingto my first drum lesson and the teachergave me some exercises to work on athome. I practiced them as best I couldand the following week went back for myfollow-up. I began playing through the firstexercise when the teacher interruptedme and said ‘You’ll never be a drummer.’I was just a kid at the time so it kindamessed me up. Looking back now,” headded, “I’m actually grateful. That painfulincident ultimately gave me the incentiveto prove the guy wrong.”One can only wonder if thatdiscouraging teacher ever caught hisrejected pupil performing on “SaturdayNight Live,” “Jimmy Fallon” or theGrammy Awards. With a discouragingperception of drum teachers, Goodwindecided to tackle the instrument on hisown. His parents bought him a 5-piecePercussion Plus beginner’s set, with asmall hi-hat and a splash cymbal. Fromthat point on, his drum lessons consistedof playing accompaniments to CDs.Gravitating toward the musicians at hischurch, Garrett began performing with thechildren’s worship band and soon afterproved that he had real talent.According to Goodwin, the worshipleader believed in developing andcultivating young musicians and tookthe promising drummer under his wing.“I was primarily home schooled,” Garrettrecalled, “so my music program was atthe church. Our pastor was musicallyinclined and he encouraged the youthof the church to pursue music as part oftheir faith. To this day, I still believe thatthere is no greater musical experiencethan playing during a worship service.”For the next two years, Garrett cut histeeth practicing and performing with thevarious music groups at the church.The more time he spent on thedrum stool around other musicians,the more Goodwin began to grasp thefundamentals of drumming. Over time,and perhaps unintentionally, timekeepingand dynamics crept into his repertoire,and before he knew it Garrett was notonly competent at the instrument, he wasexceptional. He was so exceptional thathe went on tour with the church’s youthband, routinely performing at churchcamps, conventions and conferences.These opportunities provided his firstexposure to playing in front of largecrowds. “I remember being 14 years old,”he said, “and playing drums at Winterfestin Knoxville, Tennessee at the Churchof God Conference. There were 25,000people packed into this arena. I can stillremember the roar of that crowd and thesound emanating from the stage. What arush that was for a teenager like myself,to have the opportunity to perform at thatvenue and at that level. I was hooked.I was a real musician!” The experienceat Winterfest drove Garrett to pursue hisinterest in the drums more seriously thanever.Due to his family’s strong religiousconvictions, Goodwin was primarilyexposed to Christian music whilegrowing up. As a result, he was notaware of the hard-rock scene or thedrummers that typically influenced themindset of drummers his age. “I didn’tlisten to any of the bands or drummersthat most players cite,” he said. “I onlydiscovered John Bonham as a youngman because the only music I everlistened to was church music. Growingup, I had no idea that Led Zeppelineven existed.” This lack of exposureto the usual drum icons early in hisdevelopment inevitably benefited Garrett,as he had no preconceived notions of038

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