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the importance of consistency

I believe that building consistency is one of the biggest challenges in having a successful drum corps season. One of the most frustrating things for me is when a different note is ticked during each repetition of a phrase and when a different person is committing the foul each repetition. How does one fix these seemingly random errors?! The answer is personal accountability. Let's do a probability analysis!

Let's say hypothetically I can play a certain phrase perfectly 9 out of 10 times when I am concentrating 100%. This seems pretty good right? Wrong. It is not nearly good enough. If I am in a snareline with 7 other identical players, they will all make a mistake 1 out of 10 times as well. The bottom line is the following: what is the probability that the entire line will play the phrase perfectly?

(9/10)^8 = 43% of the time. This is a pretty terrible success rate.

Let's shoot for a success rate of 90%. I think that is respectable. So, what is the required personal accountability?

(x)^8 = 0.90
x= 0.90^(1/8) = 98.7% of the time. This means that each individual can make on average 1.3 errors in 100 reps. This is a high level of demand for consistency. So yeah... stop reading this article and start practicing!