Marching Band Problems

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How do I read drill?

Anonymous

Yeah this’ll be a nice before-bed ask.

So basically, drill is just a sheet of graph paper that tells the band, who is assigned a number (sometimes a letter paired with a number, the letter often varying on which section you’re in; i.e., trumpet players will be T-1, T-2, T-3, etc), where they have to be on the field in a certain number of counts.  On the sheet, it should tell you the amount of counts you have and the measures corresponding from the music to the specific sets.  This information is usually in the right or left-hand upper corner.

To get into formation, the band members take the designated amount of counts to get into the form on that sheet; so, the counts aren’t telling you how to get from the page that they’re on to the next one, they’re telling you how to get into that form from the one on the last page.  While you’re moving into form, you should be taking EVEN STEP SIZE, so it’s up to you to determine how big or how small your steps should be based on the distances you have to go, the amount of counts you have, and the tempo.

You will always be facing front unless told otherwise, so you should be prepared for back marching, obliques, and slides (or crabs, if you’re a percussionist).

When you are facing the drum major’s platform and reading the drill, since the director’s viewpoint is usually at the BOTTOM of the page, the image is mirrored. Meaning, if while you are facing the front it looks like you are on the 45 to the left of the 50, you are actually on the 45 to the right of the 50.  To quickly conquer this confusion, it helps to either turn the drill sheet upside down or turn around to face backfield.  

I would attach more pictures, but Tumblr is stupid and won’t let me, so that’s the gist of it.  If you have any more specific questions, let me know.

Bassoonist stereotypes?

Highly sophisticated hipsters. 

Helloooooo I love this blog

Anonymous

Hellloooo this blog loves you.

Why does everybody disregard pit (front ensemble)? It makes me sad ); we work hard too!

Anonymous

I was once in the pit, I can vouch to the fullest extent, the amount of work and dedication that it requires: just as much as anybody else in the band, as a matter of fact.  Any chance that I get to flaunt the awesomeness of mallet percussionists, I will surely take.

What's a marimba/mallet player stereotype?

Anti-metronomes/lazy people.  (One of the especially unfortunate stereotypes).

What do you play?

Snare drum.

Anything to say about Mellos/advice for Mellos?

Anonymous

I personally love the sound of mellophones; it’s difficult for me to provide very specific advice because I’m a percussionist, but I can repeat what I and likely you have always heard: breathe with your diaphram, pay attention to dynamics, etc.

Are you part of a competing band or a show band?

Anonymous

Competing.

Hey yo flutes and piccs!!

EYYYYYYY.

Piccolo stereotype?

Piccolos are the Bing to Flutes’ Google.