Tips On Writing Drill

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aleye92 Offline
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Tips On Writing Drill

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:28 am

First time writing drill for a show (specifically an indoor drumline show). Any tips on how to write drill? How does drill get incorporated with the music?

dgaking Offline
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Re: Tips On Writing Drill

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:16 pm

I am still learning a lot about writing drill and designing visual programs, so I am by no means an expert. But here is what I have learned in 2 seasons of writing both music and drill for my indoor unit.

Start with the foundations of your show design. Have the music sketched if not the entire pit book written. Come up with a tarp design. Sketch some ideas of forms you might like to see on the tarp and where in the music those "arrival points" might be.

Write a count sheet before you write any drill. The left column of the sheet lists measures & counts of the music, the next column(s) lists the primary and secondary instruments playing during those counts. The next column(s) lists the staging for each of those count sections, who is in front, back, etc. The next column might be for any other important visual notes. My count sheet also includes the original source material for the music if it is arranged. This allows me to reference it if need be, especially if I write the count sheet before I finish writing the music or if I make changes to the music later.

Once you start writing drill, you have the count sheet as your guide. I find that the count sheet speeds up the drill writing process and keeps me from making a mistake. If I try to skip that step, I end up writing mistakes in the drill, like having someone move a prop when they are supposed to play, or having a set of counts that awkwardly fits what particular marchers are playing.

sxetnrdrmr Offline
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Re: Tips On Writing Drill

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:00 pm

also, buy the WGI rule book and read what they have to say about show design.

For me, the biggest things are:
1. presenting visually what is happening in the music auraly, including tempo, dynamics, texture etc.
2. using all of the floor space effectively...think of upstage/downstage, and stage left and right placement...using negative space effectively; using negative space vs full space for contrast of solo elements etc
3. using contrast at all times to enhance effect...i.e, you don't want a 7 minute show of feet going fast...have groups moving at half-time, or even polyrhythmic to the main pulse BUT also, don't have so much going on that it is overstimulating.
4. using vertical height as well as horizontal stretching of forms
- write your drill from the audiences perspective, not as if you were above looking straight down, meaning, take into consideration the fact that the people are not in a helicopter looking straight down on the floor
5. think of density of forms versus floor size AND how floor/uniform color can effect overall visual form density. I got busted on this last year and it was an
6. make sure your floor design doesn't...or does if you want it... rope you into having to use specific drill forms all of the time AND make sure you do reference the floor design in the overall design of the show

Dennis DeLucia said it best when he told me "The best show is one where I, as an audience member, do not have to guess as to what is going on. Lead my ear, by way of my eye, to parts where I am supposed to listen. Make me go WOW! every 45 seconds, but WOW does not always mean big, loud and fast."

He, as well as many others, have said lots more, but I alwyas reference this statement as I design it indoor, outdoor, my rock band drum parts etc...
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!



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