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Struggling in Auditions
Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:33 am
So I'm a sophomore and the center snare at my high school. Recently I had been auditioning for multiple different corps and ensembles of different classes and I keep getting cut. I don't know exactly what I'm doing wrong so I don't know what to work on. I'm having trouble marching in indoor since I'm tall and am not by any means the strongest in my core and legs. I would also practice the audition materials and I think i have them down but something happens at the audition and my hands freeze. In my individuals I choke everything, even 8s. It might be the way I come across also in the audition. I have adhd (not an excuse by any means) and it might be that I have trouble following instructions, staying focused, reading body language, or whatever. One audition I was told I was too nervous and I needed to relax and I would come to another audition more relaxed and get cut because I was "not mature enough". Or is it just because I'm not good enough? Or old enough? I have my mind set on one day getting into a world class drum corps or ensemble, and I have yet to give up on it despite being heartbroken from so many auditions (not all of which world class). I'm willing to put in the work, wether it's strength exercise, grids, or just more auditions. Have any of you had an experience with this? What should I work on? How do I practice marching? How do I approach an audition? Am I way too young to be in world class anyway? Are my expectations overrated?
Re: Struggling in Auditions
Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:44 am
Well, there's going to be a variety of factors that could lead to you getting cut from these ensembles. Your confidence seems to be a big one. Put your confidence first, then your playing and everything else afterwards. You simply have to be the best solo player that you can be, whether you're playing within that snare line, or by yourself in an individual setting. You have to help drive the sound of the line and contribute to it rather than rely on people around you to help make the sound better. I myself, nor anyone on this site (to my knowledge, unless you've posted videos), has seen you play. With that being said, we don't know exactly what it could be playing wise. But honestly, if you're trying out at all of these groups, you should be ASKING the instructional staff what to improve on. What have they seen that you need to work on, what suggestions can they make? Obviously there's the comments that they give you here and there throughout the weekend/day, but if you're not putting forth the effort to try and extract all the critique that you can and then running with it, you aren't getting the full value of going to these camps/auditions.
Work on the basics. Make them fun. In a way, you could be the best drummer ever. If you wanted to. That starts with mastering the basics of today's rudimental drumming, and doing all that you can with them. You got the triplet grid down? Awesome. Add drags. Then move those drags to different partials. Now shift that accent while still playing the drags. There's so much to do with the basics that people move past because they simply want to play the the fast, flashy and choppy notes. Work on your stroke types. Have you really spent time mastering your upstrokes, downstrokes, etc.? That's a going to make a huge difference in your playing. Then work on your rolls. How is your roll quality? Do the diddles sound consistent between your left and right hand? Playing some basic Short Short Long and isolating the single hand drags is going to give you an insight as to how your playing them, and the sound quality in comparison to the other hand. Them flams. Build your flam chops, and work on as many different flam exercises as you can to really build up those chops. Those right there are three huge things that are going to help lead you down a path to success. Again, these are the basics. Not a Crossmen 2012 drum break off the music section. Basics are extremely essential to your development as a drummer.
Don't lose confidence or lose hopes that you won't be in a World Class group one day. However, there's nothing wrong with marching Open Class. LOTS of good instruction and information that you can get from marching those groups. Aside from the label of "Open" and "World", drum corps is drum corps. A good friend of mine did Colt Cadets and two years of Music City DBC before making the Phantom snare line this year. How bad do you want it? How far are you willing to go to achieve what you want?
Re: Struggling in Auditions
Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:47 am
It's just a mental thing. And with that, age can help you mature mentally to get through auditions. A lot of the young kids that march World Class march under those caption heads in high school so it doesn't feel any different to them so they're super comfortable and confident in that situation. It's something that comes with multiple auditions and being able to calm your jitters.
Don't feel too bad about it, you're young and have plenty of time to march, just keep auditioning, keep getting comfortable with it, and I think a good indication on when you're ready to march WC will be when you feel confident and comfortable in that setting.
Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:58 am
These were very eye opening. thank you very much and I hope these will help me out in the long run. I'm sure they will
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:13 pm
What materials do you like to practice for like grids, singles, timing, or just anything thats good for practicing?
Re: Struggling in Auditions
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:26 pm
As far as grids, just the standard sixteenth note and triplet grids. Singles, there's a variety of things that you could practice for that. Work on eights at faster tempos, build your chops up for that. So, an exercise that we do at the ensemble I'm currently in (WGI), is we do all of 8-8-16 on one hand, decrescendo and crescendo. Then opposite hand. Then singles while also doing the decrescendo and crescendo. If that makes sense? Timing, again, grids are going to be the place for timing. They'll help you a ton with your hand and foot coordination. Really spend the time to try and figure out the relation of where your feet line up in relation to the accents in the grid.