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I'm a new drumtech and could use some advice
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:36 am
I am a freshman in college and received a job at a high school down the road. they are a small drumline and young. I just wanted some advice on if I should bring a metronome and if so what kind. and just some advice. thanks
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:12 am
Welcome to the wonderful world of marching percussion instructing. Here are some things that I've learned over the years.
First of all, yes. ALWAYS bring a metronome to rehearsal. It doesn't matter if you're running show music, cadences/street beats, or just simple exercises, there needs to be a point of reference that you are basing the rhythms off of. As far is which metronome is best...that's really up to you, but I haven't seen a metronome out there that can beat my Boss DB-90(aka Dr. Beat). It has so many options, you will never need another met. They are fairly pricey($150+), so if that isn't an option, at least have a met that has an audio out port(headphone jack, 5mm, etc.) and the correct cable so that you can hook it up to a speaker or long ranger and everyone can hear it over the sound of the drums.
In addition to a met, make sure that you always have a high tension drum key, allen wrench set, pliers, and a screwdriver or two. If you have each of those things, you will be able to tune/adjust any piece of equipment you will come across. I also always carry my ear plugs, my binder of music/exercises(with extra copies), extra stick tape, some band-aids, a towel for when it rains, and a few extra pairs of sticks in my backpack. Nothing slows a rehearsal down faster than having to take a break just because someone broke a stick or forgot their music. Be prepared for every situation before it even happens.
Now that you have your instructor toolbox all set, we can talk about actual instructing.
Being that you are so young yourself(only a year older than the seniors in the line), make sure that you create a level of separation between yourself and your students. You aren't there to be their best friend, you are there to make them better, and that can be very difficult if they look at you as their peer rather than their instructor. I'm not saying you can't have fun with your students, but make sure that there is a level of respect. Make sure that you really know your stuff, and be prepared to be asked all kinds of questions. Make sure you can explain things in several different ways because each student will learn a little differently. You can't just explain it one way and expect everyone to know exactly what adjustments they need to make.
Lastly, make sure that you plan out your rehearsals ahead of time. Pick one thing that you really want to accomplish that day and stay on task.
We've really only touched the tip of the iceberg here, but hopefully this helps give you an idea of what you are getting in to
Re: I'm a new drumtech and could use some advice
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:31 pm
All of the points made above are good ones, but let me make one thing clear. Don't expect every line ever to even know what a metronome is.
I taught a drumline last summer that was so elementary, it was a huge victory to be able to mark broken time to unison eighths at the end of the week. Now, your area might be way more musically developed, but some schools in my area are still in the stone age when it comes to percussion.
Know what you are up against. If they have never experienced a rehearsal with a met before, it probably wouldn't be wise to spend half of the week trying to do to many things with the met. Maybe a group might need to be more familiar with how to hold the sticks or to learn that every grouping of three eighth notes is not a triplet, or whatever. Just be careful not go to in with some mega rigid rehearsal style that will kill the week for you and for them.
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:50 am
Great point NGPercussion!
This is what has worked for me in areas where we are extremely competitive and have a good baseline of fundamentals thanks to our amazing elementary and middle school teachers. Many instructors are not as blessed as I am in my program.
Don't go over their heads on day one and scare them away from the activity altogether. Maybe go observe a rehearsal first, or at least talk to the band director about what level they are at so you can adjust accordingly.
The thing I love most about drumming is that you can really dig in at the most basic level(holding the stick, reading rhythms, stroke types, etc.) just as easily as you can dig in to the more advanced stuff(fulcrum pressures, sound quality, visuals, etc.), and most of those basic ideas are what play in to the advanced level stuff. So there really is no way to get "too basic" with your students. Especially right at the beginning.
Re: I'm a new drumtech and could use some advice
Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:57 am
All advice above applies!
The one and only thing an instructor MUST bring to every rehearsal is enthusiasm.
Since the original post was about a metronome, if you are going to use a metronome, then make sure you have all the 1/8-in jack adapters! If you have that, then you can use pretty much anything to amplify the sound... though a long ranger tends to be a good first choice. I must have four to six 1/8-in cables with 1/8-1/4 adapters ferreted away in different locations, like... my stick bag, the band director's desk, in my glove compartment, in my wife's glove compartment, etc.
In fact, if you just bring your iphone/pad/smart device of choice, you can have a ready que of actual music (selected based on tempo) ready to go. That works out well too.
Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:19 pm
I am also a new drumtech and would appreciate anymore advice. Please and thank you.