The Official Guide: Auditioning for a Drum Corps

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The Official Guide: Auditioning for a Drum Corps

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:07 am



For a compilation of the most important points in this thread:
Official Guide To Auditioning for a Drum Corps

Since November of 2007 I've auditioned at three different corps and have been to nine drum corps auditions (keyword: auditions; all nine of those were actual auditions, not rehearsals as a member). I figure that now I have some do's and dont's on what you should do. As you read along, try to keep an open mind as experience may vary from person to person. I'll pride myself on one thing before I do this. This is actually coming from someone who made a snareline not a brass or a colorguard guy.

The reason I pride myself on that is because I can't tell you how many cliche' 1-liners I've heard from brass members on how to go about making a drum corps that DOESN'T seem to apply to drummers. What led me to finally making a drum corps was having many auditions that didn't have the happy ending of getting a contract. In other words- I learned my lessons by doing something wrong, and then fixing it, this process repeated until I succeeded at my goal. I'm not trying to sound like I have achieved the end-all-be all of things to accomplish, I would just like to write now what I would've liked to read a long time ago - compile a guide of things I've learned.

Hopefully this will help those who aspire to do well at an audition! :)

Practice:

So you figure this would go without saying, but it needs to be said. You need to practice if you would like to make a drum corps. How much should you practice? Well when you want to get good at something you need to practice a lot. This boils down to how disciplined you are, how determined you are, how much time you have in the day to set aside for practice, and simply how much you like to (or can stand to) drum.

When it comes to discipline, it's about as straight-forward as you can be.

-Instead of watching Heroes or playing Left 4 Dead, grab your pad and sticks.
-While watching TV, do a diddle grid!
-From now on. Free time = Drum time

Also, you have to discipline yourself by creating an environment for success. Go somewhere where you have a pad in front of a mirror. If you don't have a mirror to spare In your room, see if you can buy one. Nothing fancy, just a simple investment that will go a long way. It worked for me because over time I could see my flaws in technique----HOWEVER! In my time as a drummer I've also learned you can get too used to a mirror. Take my bass drumming experience for example. On bass drum, you don't have the luxury of seeing the center of the drum without a mirror. If you have a bass In front of a mirror, you're basically relying on that mirror. Instead of looking it constantly, think of it as a “check”. It doesn't even have to be case for being at proper playing position, it could be your interpretation 3' inch rolls or how that hi-mom stick trick looks like. Use the mirror, then memorize the motions. You wont have a mirror when you're in front of an instructor.

Use the time you have in the day wisely. Obviously not everyone in the world has the luxury of spending 6 hours on a drum because we have other prerogatives. But you need to try to get some time in. However much time you can spare is what you should drum. Personally, I don't spend ALL of my free time on drumming because to be honest I feel like I need a break sometimes. However, in the past making my practice time productive has turned out to be the most important part.

Things to ask yourself after you practiced:
Did I mindlessly hack? Or did I practice something I needed to improve on?
Did I get better at something?
Do I now have more questions about my drumming? (this is actually a good thing, the more you try to understand about yourself, the better off you are)
Do I understand what else I need to work on?


Sometimes you might end practicing something that can get boring pretty fast, the best way to change it up is to do something you enjoy while applying some attention and some definition of a concept ( for example: playing “The Ditty” but paying attention to how much velocity you're using on the singles, or how closed or open your flams sound), then breaking down your problem spots and making exercises out of it. This prevents mindless hacking, and mindless hacking is NOT productive.


Preparation:

Preparation is the key to success. Before you go to the place that the audition is being held, you need to have all of the exercises memorized. Yes. Even if they have 15 of them. You also need to MARK TIME to all of them. The best way to make sure you've prepared enough is to be able to play each exercise with a metronome and without a metronome 10 times in a row each. So if you mess up on the 9th rep, you have to start over.

Sometimes at auditions you're asked to prepare a solo during individual auditions. I learned the hard way that you ARE NOT being asked to play what would play at PASIC or I&E, you're simply being asked to play something that shows your skills. My suggestion would be a collaboration of licks you've seen or heard that you liked that you might consider something that would exhibit yourself and meld them together into one “thing”. You can also play a cadence or ram you are familiar with. If you simply aren't familiar with anything, my immediate suggestion would be to look up “Year of the Ram” (ala, Darkshadyturtle – forum moderator). It's the perfect length in time, just long enough for you to show off your skills. If some parts are too choppy, then water it down a little. Instructors usually care about what's happening right there and now, but if they do happen to ask what that was, refer them to snarescience =)

If you can, try to prepare on a drum as much as possible. There is a phenomenon that you might have heard of called “pad hands”. It basically means that after you get used to the feel of a pad, when it comes time to drum on a REAL snare drum it feels so foreign to your hands. I've learned this the hard way, when it came time to actually drum on a real drum...my hands said “um what? What is this?”.

Fighting Nerves:

I figured this deserved it's own section. Most people simply say “don't be nervous” but that's easier said than done. Getting nervous is natural. It doesn't mean you suck, it doesn't mean you'll do bad, it just mean you're anxious. However, I'm not going to lie to you. The less nervous you are, the better you do at an audition.

I feel this is the best place to share some experiences with you, it's off subject but it will help finish my point. In 2007 I auditioned for a snare spot at Phantom Regiment for the 08 season. It was my very first drum corps audition, and looking back—man what a first to pick! I really didn't understand the magnitude of what I was actually doing, but I did it anyway. I'll explain further on what you should expect out of your average corps audition, but I'll explain now what I learned from the experience. Over the course of that weekend, Paul Rennick was doing the individual auditions while the snare tech was running through exercises with the snare auditionees. I was actually pretty optimistic just because I'm that type of person, but when it came time to get on a drum a lot of that confidence went out of the window. I was the very first person according to who they are asking to go audition while the others are playing exercises with the snare tech. “great” I thought. Why out of 40-50 people auditioning for snare, do I go first?! He asked us to prepare exercises that we were familiar with on the basics (legatos, double beat, flam accents, etc.) and a prepared piece. My strongest part of the audition was 8s, he said I had a great sound. Looking back I remember trying to imitate the look and the technique of the center snare for 07 (Joe House), which translated to how confident I knew I would be on something as simple as 8s.As for everything else, I was just simply inexperienced. The solo was all over the place, and he could even tell I was very nervous. I knew I could play better then that, and it was very frustrating to walk out knowing I could have done better. Auditioning at Spirit last November--I had the hands this time around, but long story short I simply didn't overcome a factor that ended up cutting me once again – nerves.

Eight auditions later I have basically narrowed down the nervousness factor, for myself at least. The key is confidence, but when it comes to combining performance with confidence you cannot go about achieving it in just one way. If you are prepared, you will be less nervous, and more confident (see “Preparation”). After my first audition I decided that If you are half as good as you normally are when you're nervous, then come 150% prepared for the audition. That's the easy part.

The hard part is playing as good as you do while you're on the couch lazily hacking around when you are now in front of an instructor that is wanting to know if you have the talent for the line. This part has eluded me in the past, but I'll tell you what I've come to decide to be the keys to breaking the feeling of nervousness – level out, and create a desire. If you aren't nervous when you're at home, why should you be at an audition? Obviously there is a natural reason to be, but you have to play that game with your mind. The best thing to do is take your metaphorical totem pole of situations, with the laid back situation (your house) being at the bottom and the nerve racking situations (the corp's percussion caption head staring you down) at the top, and knock them down. You then have both settings on the ground level, tell yourself it's all the same. Technically, It is! Isn't it? You're just drumming in front of different people!

The next important part that really helped me is to create a desire to audition. My best auditions were the ones where I couldn't wait to show the instructor my stuff. Obviously you want to make a corps, or you wouldn't take the time out of your life to do it, but this is different. You need to be excited, not just “hopeful”. I've found that a desire can psychologically take more importance in your subconscious then worrying about “what ifs” such as messing up and not making the line when it comes time to perform what you know. What helped me make the corps I am in now was a sense of excitement when I touched the drum, I really couldn't wait to play and show him some stuff. Get yourself excited, this is drum corps! If you do these things I promise, at the very least you will see an improvement in your “stage freight”.

What to expect

What you should expect during an audition weekend depends on the corps. Let me give you an average expectancy for most corps out of my experiences.

-Most corps have exercises on a website for you to download so you can practice it before coming to the audition.
-Most corps will suggest or ask that you memorize every exercise, even if when you get there they decide to run though two exercises out of the fifteen you printed out.

-Most auditions will have visual auditions added to the weekend around December/January. On that note, I'd like to add that they don't expect you to understand their visual technique, but they do look for you to adjust to it over time. Just put effort into it and try, and you'll do fine.

-Most corps will begin with registration, a meeting, and then sectionals (ex: snares in a room by themselves with a tech or some other instructor). At some point during the weekend there will be an individual audition. Usually if the audition begins on Friday, Saturday is usually when they start pulling people out of sectionals and give everyone a chance to have an individual audition, if there's a lot of people it might last until the next day on Sunday. And individual audition is usually where there is a separate room where a person or two is there and they'll ask you to play whatever they'll call out --usually the exercises you've been playing over the weekend in sectionals--and then most of the time they ask you to play a short solo after that (the prepared piece we went over earlier in the guide). At some point, either between exercises or after the whole thing, they'll give you some helpful critique.

-Mark time to everything. This has cut me a few times in the past. Don't walk in the room with good hands but bad feet!

-Rotation of the line doesn't mean the line is being set. If they ask you during sectionals to switch with the dude who is center, or the dude who is on the outside, don't analyze it. They're working something out in their head, and it currently means nothing. They usually, however, will set the people playing the best AT THE TIME in the center of the room and the ones that aren't playing very well on the outside. I've seen people get contracts from all angles of the room, again, don't analyze it. Just drum.

-Most of the time a lot of people show up, that means you should have a pad with you because there will almost always be more people than drums. Don't worry, they will switch you out so you'll get a chance to drum on an actual snare.



To close, I'd like to say you still need to experience of auditioning somewhere. I don't expect you to read this and then instantly make a corps, but I know that I would have liked to read this a long time ago.
Here are my experiences:

November 2007 - Phantom Regiment - snare - cut
January 2008 - Memphis Sound - snare - made it to the next camp
February - cut
March - Memphis Sound - bass - made it to the next camp
April - made it to the next camp
May - was cut via email over a week after the camp
Summer 08' - Managed to march with CorpsVets in the pit.
November 08' - Spirit - snare - cut
December 08 - Memphis Sound - snare - made it to the next camp
January 09 - Memphis Sound - snare - Contract

Sometimes you have to go through a bunch of failures to reach your goal. If I could, I wouldn't take it back though. I believe things happen for a reason. I hope all this helped!


==============================================

Okay! That's pretty much all I can think of, expect this to be edited due to grammatical errors and things I simply just forgot. This is pretty long and I typed it in a word processor. Haha. Hopefully this was helpful. If anyone has any insight or tips that you have from your own experiences...PLEASE! Post them.
Last edited by PhantomPhan89 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
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PhantomPhan89 Offline
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:07 am



:shock: what do you guys think? :Y
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Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


brsnare308 Offline
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:23 pm



did you write all that out yourself?!

but this is really good!!
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:35 pm



You could've linked us to something better than "Yahoo! Answers - Ireland and UK edition" for the nervousness issue.
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:18 pm



brsnare308 wrote:did you write all that out yourself?!

but this is really good!!
ye and ty.
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:30 pm



NOOOOOOO.

I was contemplating a thread like this! :x
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:32 pm



PanasonicYouth wrote:NOOOOOOO.

I was contemplating a thread like this! :x
I have been for quite some time but how credible do I sound if I haven't made a drum corps :o ? Also I said for people chime in with their sage advice so shoot :Y
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:51 pm



Well, that was why I didn't make the thread.

I do have a couple things to throw in from the 5 auditions/workshops, which I guess I'ma just type up in format and all.

Interaction

Even though the staff may seem intimidating, there's no reason to be afraid. Unless you're at a crazy competitive corps, they're going to want to help you better yourself and provide the best possible experience. In most cases, the staff will be pretty friendly, and that will be pretty obvious. So, if they are, it's great to be friendly back. Respond to what they say, casually, though, because like most people, they're going to get annoyed with some guy that answers "yes, sir" to every single question (I've seen a few of them). A simple nod works.

During sectional evaluation, they'll be rotating people around the line, walking around fixing anything they see. This is also a time for people skills. If a tech comes up to you and lets you know to fix something, ask anything you need to THEN while he's there, and once you fix it, it's always nice to thank them, or just in some way acknowledge that it helped. Also, pretty often you'll find yourself with a tech playing on your drum with you. This is NOT the time to keep staring off in the distance like you're a badass Blue Devil. Check out what he's doing, and if it's something obviously different from you, take note of it. They'll usually emphasize something about how they're playing so as to hint that that's how you should be doing it. Be humble, let them help you out.
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:03 pm



On the Drum

Your first instinct when everything's set up, and the staff isn't ready, is going to be the urge to start hacking. Although there's really nothing wrong with that, try to avoid it. It's just kind of considering that everyone else is around and probably doesn't want to hear eight or nine people on snares playing completely different things. It also somewhat shows some maturity in that you're not just like, "OOOOOOOOOOOH A DRUM! PLAY!" However, if you want, play on a pad. To reiterate, it's not that big a deal.

Of course, the first thing they're going to teach is the set position and playing position. I will warn you now: they're going to teach it as if you've never seen it before, but you most likely will know some form of it. Just be patient, and adapt to it.

As you should always be practicing, your sound needs to be strong as opposed to timid. Now, that's not just accents; at Mystikal and Yamato, I got dinged for feather-tapping. What's that? Basically, I was just letting all my taps drop in, not giving them a full sound. It's a problem that a ridiculous amount of people have and aren't even aware of.




I just had a wicked mental block. I'll continue that later. :?
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:16 pm



you know guys, this is really helpful not only in auditioning, but for other things like straight up job interviews and such, I'm really liking this whole thing!! thanks for posting it!!
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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:07 pm



Great guide, pretty much everything has been covered. But then again, I've only auditioned once, lol. I've experienced almost everything mentioned though.

Do not skimp on preparation, especially if you are given the exercises before hand. Master every single one, even if it's insanely choppy. Mastering an exercise doesn't necessarily mean you have to reef the hell out of it. The techs would much rather hear you play an exercise at a controlled tempo with great sound quality rather than reefed with horrible sound quality. Chances are you won't be playing exercises extremely fast with the whole line anyway.

This really applies to when they go down the line and have each individual play the exercise being worked on. Last time we had rehearsal at BDB, they had each snare play triplet diddle on their own. When we were finished, the snare tech pointed out how he had a feeling almost everyone was trying to show up the last person who played (e.g. Snare 1 plays triplet diddle at 150bpm with 6" heights, then Snare 2 decides to play it at 180bpm while trying to keep the 6" heights). He told us to just relax and play it with a good approach instead of being all "AHHHHHHHHH I GOT BIGGER BALLS!!!!! YEAHHHHH!!!!!!" :lol: After he said that, we played another rep of triplet diddle as a line and I couldn't stop smiling while we played.

I also think it's important that you show nothing but utter confidence throughout the whole audition but don't be cok-ee, be humble, but don't be a wuss. There's a difference between cok-ee/confident and humble/wussy.

When we had our first audition/rehearsal this year at BDB, I purposely put myself close to the end of the snare line even though I knew that I had everything prepared and was ready to show everyone "I had bigger balls" lol. I did not want to portray the image that I thought I was so good that I deserved to be in the center. Go to the end, let your balls hang :o, then have the techs tell you to move in towards the center. I did this the past two rehearsals and they've turned out the same way each time. The techs got impressed so they tell me to move in and stay on during the rotation. Voila! I stayed confident but humble, and it got me results I wanted.

Oh yeah, and learn GRID INSIDE OUT and be able to mark time to it. Play any variation you can think of (16th grid, diddle on 1, on e, on an, then on uh, w/e). That really messed up a lot of people at the last BDB rehearsal, and apparently at the last BDA audition tons of people got f'd over from it as well.
Last edited by Limeaway on Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:09 pm



PanasonicYouth wrote:On the Drum

Your first instinct when everything's set up, and the staff isn't ready, is going to be the urge to start hacking. Although there's really nothing wrong with that, try to avoid it. It's just kind of considering that everyone else is around and probably doesn't want to hear eight or nine people on snares playing completely different things. It also somewhat shows some maturity in that you're not just like, "OOOOOOOOOOOH A DRUM! PLAY!" However, if you want, play on a pad. To reiterate, it's not that big a deal.

Of course, the first thing they're going to teach is the set position and playing position. I will warn you now: they're going to teach it as if you've never seen it before, but you most likely will know some form of it. Just be patient, and adapt to it.

As you should always be practicing, your sound needs to be strong as opposed to timid. Now, that's not just accents; at Mystikal and Yamato, I got dinged for feather-tapping. What's that? Basically, I was just letting all my taps drop in, not giving them a full sound. It's a problem that a ridiculous amount of people have and aren't even aware of.




I just had a wicked mental block. I'll continue that later. :?
I agree with all that, I'd like to add that while it's okay to have fun with people you just met and play stuff you both might know it's best to perfect the exercises you're playing as much as possible. so instead of messing around with latin lover during the break, play the exercises you're going to have to play.
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:23 pm



PhantomPhan89 wrote:Limeaway did you make BDB? :o
Word to yo' motha. 8)

I'm not sure how it works at the other corps, but at BDB after you complete your single person audition, they have you sit down then they give you a critique (I'm pretty sure this happens at all corps), but that's not what I'm trying to point out. After the critique, they proceeded to ask me a couple of questions. Such as "Why do you want to march for BDB? What do you believe you'll get out of marching here that your high school can't provide you?" and "Why Blue Devils and not any other corps?" Be ready for these kind of questions and have honest answers. My answers were "Well, I'm hoping that marching with BDB will help me gain the experience I will need later when I try out for the A corps."; "Back when I started drumming in 6th grade, a friend of mine found out and it turned out he marched at the high school I'm attending right now. So he showed me a bunch of Blue Devils videos and ever since then I've always wanted to march with the Blue Devils." Give honest answers, but not dumb honest answers, such as "This is the only corps around. I'd rather march with Phantom but I'm stuck with this".


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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:28 pm



Nobody's ever asked me that. I think that's kind of ridiculous, no offense, but then again I'm sure there's a bigger purpose behind all of those questions. Congrats! 8)
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


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Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:15 pm



GREAT thread! There's some very good information that seems like a no-brainer to some folks, but other's may be very enlightened after the read.


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Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:58 pm



Sickeningly well written, dude.


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Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:39 pm



When we had our first audition/rehearsal this year at BDB, I purposely put myself close to the end of the snare line even though I knew that I had everything prepared and was ready to show everyone "I had bigger balls" lol. I did not want to portray the image that I thought I was so good that I deserved to be in the center. Go to the end, let your balls hang Surprised, then have the techs tell you to move in towards the center. I did this the past two rehearsals and they've turned out the same way each time. The techs got impressed so they tell me to move in and stay on during the rotation. Voila! I stayed confident but humble, and it got me results I wanted.
This is something that they sometimes don't address at camps, but I'd say just set up on a drum anywhere. Just don't be that guy who wants to run past everybody to set up in the center, it doesn't help.



Be ready for these kind of questions and have honest answers. My answers were "Well, I'm hoping that marching with BDB will help me gain the experience I will need later when I try out for the A corps."; "Back when I started drumming in 6th grade, a friend of mine found out and it turned out he marched at the high school I'm attending right now. So he showed me a bunch of Blue Devils videos and ever since then I've always wanted to march with the Blue Devils." Give honest answers, but not dumb honest answers, such as "This is the only corps around. I'd rather march with Phantom but I'm stuck with this".
This is also true, and I'd also add that you shouldn't say you're using that corps as a step to make it at an unaffiliated corps. It's probably fine to say that at BDB, Vanguard Cadets or any of those feeder corps, but otherwise that sort of thing is generally looked down upon.


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Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:29 pm



Yea, because they almost promote it in those places. Otherwise its best to just say you're there to drum in a drum corps.
CorpsVets 08' - Pit
Memphis Sound 09' - Snare
University of North Alabama 09' 10' - Snare
University of North Alabama - 11' 13'- Quads
Gateway Indoor 11' - Quads


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Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:16 pm



Limeaway wrote:Great guide, pretty much everything has been covered. But then again, I've only auditioned once, lol. I've experienced almost everything mentioned though.

Do not skimp on preparation, especially if you are given the exercises before hand. Master every single one, even if it's insanely choppy. Mastering an exercise doesn't necessarily mean you have to reef the hell out of it. The techs would much rather hear you play an exercise at a controlled tempo with great sound quality rather than reefed with horrible sound quality. Chances are you won't be playing exercises extremely fast with the whole line anyway.

This really applies to when they go down the line and have each individual play the exercise being worked on. Last time we had rehearsal at BDB, they had each snare play triplet diddle on their own. When we were finished, the snare tech pointed out how he had a feeling almost everyone was trying to show up the last person who played (e.g. Snare 1 plays triplet diddle at 150bpm with 6" heights, then Snare 2 decides to play it at 180bpm while trying to keep the 6" heights). He told us to just relax and play it with a good approach instead of being all "AHHHHHHHHH I GOT BIGGER BALLS!!!!! YEAHHHHH!!!!!!" :lol: After he said that, we played another rep of triplet diddle as a line and I couldn't stop smiling while we played.

I also think it's important that you show nothing but utter confidence throughout the whole audition but don't be cok-ee, be humble, but don't be a wuss. There's a difference between cok-ee/confident and humble/wussy.

When we had our first audition/rehearsal this year at BDB, I purposely put myself close to the end of the snare line even though I knew that I had everything prepared and was ready to show everyone "I had bigger balls" lol. I did not want to portray the image that I thought I was so good that I deserved to be in the center. Go to the end, let your balls hang :o, then have the techs tell you to move in towards the center. I did this the past two rehearsals and they've turned out the same way each time. The techs got impressed so they tell me to move in and stay on during the rotation. Voila! I stayed confident but humble, and it got me results I wanted.

Oh yeah, and learn GRID INSIDE OUT and be able to mark time to it. Play any variation you can think of (16th grid, diddle on 1, on e, on an, then on uh, w/e). That really messed up a lot of people at the last BDB rehearsal, and apparently at the last BDA audition tons of people got f'd over from it as well.

GREAT ADVICE. Couldn't have said it better. :)
BD C corps 99-04
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BD A corps 09-12
Sacramento Freelancers 2010
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2011 I&E World Champion (Snare)
2012 I&E World Champion (Snare)
2012 I&E Percussion Ensemble Champion
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kmtobia Offline
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Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:20 pm



PhantomPhan89 wrote:Nobody's ever asked me that. I think that's kind of ridiculous, no offense, but then again I'm sure there's a bigger purpose behind all of those questions. Congrats! 8)
yeah well when i was like 14 I auditioned for a corps on snare and they asked me questions exactly like that. and when i auditioned for bdb they asked them, same as when i auditioned for blue devils a corps...except they had me write down my answers on a paper. Not exact same questions but very similar.
BD C corps 99-04
BD B corps 06-08
BD A corps 09-12
Sacramento Freelancers 2010
RCC Snare drummer 2014
2011 I&E World Champion (Snare)
2012 I&E World Champion (Snare)
2012 I&E Percussion Ensemble Champion
http://www.twitter.com/kmtobia
http://www.youtube.com/kmtobia
creator of the 10 second lick


gafoo Offline
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Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:42 am



PanasonicYouth wrote: Basically, I was just letting all my taps drop in, not giving them a full sound. It's a problem that a ridiculous amount of people have and aren't even aware of.
Like 99.99% of youtube players have this problem. I always tell my students this is really what seperates good lines from great lines. Most of what you play is tap height man. Why wouldn't you want to work on developing a killer tap sound? It kills me that when I tell someone to work on basic 2-height exercises (bucks - triplet bucks etc.) I still get the vacant stare of "what the f**k?! I can play bucks no problem. Let me bust out The Goo" or whatever moderately cool exercise that people with much better basics are playing. Gotta crawl before you can walk...

On a side note, it's nice to see the level of discourse getting better here. I swear I always feel like the old fart when I am on this board but it's nice to see some people finally growing up and getting with the program.


PanasonicYouth Offline
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Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:47 pm



See, I'd been told my tap heights were good in the couple months prior to audition season, but I had no idea about tap quality until I went to Yamato's workshop. Even then, I had no idea how to fix it until literally two weeks ago at Dream's camp.

For anyone wanting to know, to get a nice tap sound at that low height (with the technique I learned), you want to use a bit more of a staccato stroke. It's not higher, but there's the slightest bit more force behind it. If you don't know what I mean by staccato strokes, think legato - nice fluid strokes as you play eights. Now, take that, and move at the wrist, not using much finger. You'll notice how the sound is ever so slightly shorter, and a bit stronger. That's your tap. A good exercise to try that on is stock triplet diddle, utilizing the staccato stroke on the check pattern. It's great for devloping those taps.
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phantomregiment1227 Offline
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Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:41 pm



Wow, great thread. Can't wait to apply it for upcoming HS line and open class auditions :D I also went to auditions last year (obviously I wasn't considered for a spot in 8th grade) but I'd like to emphasize that you have to act casual... In auditions, if the tech comes over to criticize you, act casually and make sure that if you're looking at them, don't give them that cocky stare kinda like

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Timartin Offline
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Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:44 pm



yeah, I was about to ask if having drummers face is bad?
(the intense look you get whenever you play)
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phantomregiment1227 Offline
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Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:50 pm



Timartin wrote:yeah, I was about to ask if having drummers face is bad?
(the intense look you get whenever you play)
No, just don't look like a c0cky loser who thinks they're better than everyone else. I mean, watch Ivan Pacheco. Refer to above picture for c0cky dumb *beep*
Coppell MS North Band- 05-09
Coppell HS Marching Band- 09-10 Snare
Drumline Show- "Chain Reaction"
MB Show- "Shades of Victory-The Music of Respighi"


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