RA48

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BobW Offline
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RA48

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:42 pm



Preparing for first round of DCI auditions.
Hand positioning and stick height comments as well as any others.
Where, in the spectrum of DCI drumming, is this drumming? What corps could train it to their standards?


SteelSampson Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:32 pm



He's not quite at a DCI level yet. I'm not familiar with that many Open Class Corps. I only tried out for two of them... Spartans and Revolution. In all honesty he wouldn't make either of them. That doesn't mean he shouldn't try though! Just going to tryouts could teach him a lot and help him set goals for himself. There may be some Corps geared more towards his level where you live though.

Some things to begin with:

Stick Heights: He needs to be able to play at different volumes. 3 inch heights for soft, 6" for medium, 9" for loud.
Accent Taps: There should be a clear difference between his accented(loud) notes and his taps(quiet notes). Taps are normally played at 3" and accents at 9" although this can change sometimes.
Diddles/Rolls: He needs to be able to play rolls and diddles just as if he were playing those notes as singles. In other words, the timing should not change whether he's playing 32 notes or diddled 16th notes.

He was right about his hands being too high. The ability to recognize something in himself that he needs to work on is paramount. So it's great that he saw that himself.

There are lots of resources out there to use as a comparison to his own technique. YouTube and Drum Corps instructional DVD's are two of the best. Of course, getting a private instructor who can teach great traditional grip would really help too.

Here are some YouTube videos to start with:
Overall basics with Vic Firth: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 6321D94CD2 - this playlist is really great... it will touch on everything I talked about and more.
Accent/Taps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piuduuxcqZc


DCI is one of the most challenging activities around. It will take lots of work, but it will be worth it!


BobW Offline
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Re:

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:18 pm



I compared notes with a couple other folks, and am getting a lot of the same comments. One note was "too much arm". Finally, I chatted with someone who knows of my son's instructor, and something clicked. He said that the instructor is more 'old school' with style that focuses more on big motions and loudness and doesn't mesh the the newer and more technical ways. Does that make sense? We will make some adjustments and see if things can get on track.


lij2015 Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:54 pm



I think a metronome will solve almost all of the musical problems there.
Dominion storm: 2011, 2012 Vibes/Marimba
James Madison University


TheKingofNone Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:12 pm



Intricate is the perfect word for it. DCI is hard, and that's the honest truth. In my eyes a lot of the problem comes with lack of met and the general style in which he's playing. Compare how his hands look to a middle to upper tier open class corps, Music City:



The biggest focus in snare drumming at a DCI level imo is musicality, very closely followed by precision. Stick control with stick heights and timing is a big thing to work on in the next month until auditions. He's playing big, with heights usually reserved for impacts and very loud dynamics. A large majority of DCI level music would be played at a 3" height, with a lot more intricacy in the notes being played as well- not to say that isn't possible for him to play, but something to keep in mind. A big thing is to use YouTube to your advantage and emulate the techniques and overall playing of DCI drumlines- if you know what to look for and how to self-criticize and improve, many DCI level drummers get to where that at primarily through self teaching (mostly, anyways. everyone needs the help of others). I'm not sure what else to say, besides to focus more on stick control, work hard, and good luck :)
You cant just 'hit' a drum; you have to beat the s*** out of it. ~Eric Cartman

GSUS '15

I'm that guy who says he'll try out for drum corps next year and never does.
But I'm totally gonna try to march Alliance this summer.


BobW Offline
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Re:

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:13 pm



Here is an earlier video with a met and a different style. Hand position details have been adjusted since then.


TheKingofNone Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:01 pm



This is better. Some issues with how he holds the sticks, which, by fixing that, should fix a lot of other problems as well. Keep tweaking technique and posting videos, and we can make his hands beautiful haha
You cant just 'hit' a drum; you have to beat the s*** out of it. ~Eric Cartman

GSUS '15

I'm that guy who says he'll try out for drum corps next year and never does.
But I'm totally gonna try to march Alliance this summer.


BobW Offline
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Re:

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:28 pm



We noticed something with the left hand wobble. He was using force from his ring finger to lift the stick. Because of the way the fingers are hinged, this would also flick the stick outward on the way up, so he would have an oval-shaped path. He tried relaxing that ring finger, and the left hand stopped drawing ovals. We have worked a little bit on the slicing, with some more work to go. We'll do a video soon to represent how we have tried to incorporate the much-appreciated feedback.


BobW Offline
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Re:

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:37 pm



Here are 3 videos all from tonight.

Colt Basics at 60 BPM


Colt Basics at 100 BPM


Spartans


SteelSampson Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:07 am



I'm impressed with the dedication your son is showing. It takes a lot to put yourself out there for others to critique. He will, no doubt, improve if he keeps practicing like this. Also good to see that he's having some fun with back-sticking and visuals.

Things to work on:
1. Left hand is choked up just a little too much on the stick. The fulcrum should be about 1/3 of the way up the stick (moving away from the butt). So his left hand needs to move just slightly back towards the butt.

2. The fulcrum on the right hand needs to be fixed. The fulcrum should be created by placing the pad of the thumb opposite the pointer finger. Currently he is letting his thumb fall from the side to the bottom of the stick pushing the fulcrum back to the middle finger. So in laymans terms: Keep the pad of the thumb on the stick.

3. That right hand slice is slowly improving, but it's still there. Make sure the stick travels vertically.

4. Keep working on the other things people have mentioned. Especially dynamics: Accents 9" height, Tap 3" inch Height.

The best video(s) he could make next would be to play an "eights" and an "Accent Tap" exercise at 3", 6" and 9" each at a slow, medium and fast tempos. It would also help to use different camera angles so we could get a better look at his left hand.
These would be great since we would know exactly what he is playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxMFH-z ... 6321D94CD2

Keep it up! You're making progress!


Sangerman Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:43 pm



I'd say invest in a Kevlar head too. No one uses mylar anymore haha
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BTTB Snare July '11 - '13
Blue Saints Snare '13
Pacific Crest '16


SteelSampson Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:57 pm



Sangerman wrote:I'd say invest in a Kevlar head too. No one uses mylar anymore haha
+1


zJavier Offline
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Re:

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:11 am



One key thing you should really improve on is technique. All corps have some sort of technique, some more strict than others, but nevertheless it's really important to establish this first. Look at lines such as Blue Devils or Cadets. They're the kind of corps that put a lot of emphasis on their technique.

With your playing, try keeping this rule that was taught to me. When playing, the majority of the time you should 80% wrist motion, 10% arm motion, and 10% finger control. This varies from time depending on the context of what you're playing, but you should definitely stick to this. Also establish a firm taps and accents. If you're playing some sort of accent tap pattern, there should be only two kinds of notes being played: an accent and a tap. Don't go for an inbetweener that falls in the middle.

Last and most importantly, always improve! I know it may seem very difficult to get to such a high level when you do not have much time, but always be motivated to practice and get better. You may face a lot of criticism, but take it as a way to help improve rather than hurt you personally. I can see you're using a mylar head and have a sort of southern style. Most drum corps use the corps style of drumming (duh) so you may want to stay away from using that style at an audition. At your school do as your instructor pleases, but on your own time, improve on your style of playing to fit with a drum corps and ALWAYS USE A MET!
Good luck and keep practicing!
I'm that guy in the back that the teacher keeps asking to stop drumming on the desks.

Gold Drum Corps '15
Blue Devils B '16


BobW Offline
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Re:

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:08 pm



zJavier,

After I read your post, I asked Nick, just out of curiosity, how much is playing about wrist, arm, or finger control. He said 60%, 10% and 30%. Pretty much the same idea as what you said, more or less. That was neat.

Nick has been preparing for next weekend at the Colts. I would say the feedback from snarescience has been the most useful method to us to see where things were going off course.


SteelSampson Offline
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Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:24 am



zJavier wrote: ...I can see you're using a mylar head and have a sort of southern style. Most drum corps use the corps style of drumming (duh) so you may want to stay away from using that style at an audition. At your school do as your instructor pleases, but on your own time, improve on your style of playing to fit with a drum corps and ALWAYS USE A MET!
Southern style? :shock: I take great offense to that sir. :wink: I started percussion in the south, this is not southern style from what I saw. "Southern Style" takes after the Cavaliers, at least it did in Texas. And honestly, if anyone is teaching against "DCI Technique" you should NOT deviate from it, regardless if they are you're instructor or not. You'd be doing everyone at your school a favor by teaching your instructor correct technique. If you are in a show band you can still play with "style" and good technique.


TheKingofNone Offline
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Re: RA48

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:03 am



I think those ''styles'' go back into the olden days of DCI. Not that I've worked firsthand with a bunch of lines across the country (ha), but we're at the point where there isn't a lot of deviation between styles across 'murica, since there's not many ways to alter technique and keep the efficiency, sound, and intricacy required to play at the extremely high level most corps require.
You cant just 'hit' a drum; you have to beat the s*** out of it. ~Eric Cartman

GSUS '15

I'm that guy who says he'll try out for drum corps next year and never does.
But I'm totally gonna try to march Alliance this summer.


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