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  #41  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
They are not remotely loud. The pitch is so high that the sound doesnít carry at all. Marching snares used to have some real power and presence to the sound, even all the way across the marching field. Now you can barely hear them from any more than 50 or 60 feet away. Itís a totally unsatisfying musical experience, at least for me. Theyíre not musical instruments in any meaningful sense.
No instrument is musical by itself. It's the expression and how you play an instrument that adds the musical part. My biggest gripe with most marching style stuff is that there just needs to be more space. It's usually not pleasing to me because it's so "full". Much less so if there's a full marching band... I'm mostly referring to marching drum lines and their specific music.

Have you ever played one of the antique style marching drums with skins stretched. They sound really cool. I've helped out a few times with a local fife/drum band and they've got a good number of the replica ones that are so much fun and have such a cool tone.
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  #42  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:13 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Volume mostly. Outside playing requires it.

Also hitting quite hard you get some added durability.

I practice with everything from 7A,5B,5A,3A, 2B the intense versions (longer) and in different woods for different weights.

They ALL feel different. Some people like REALLY long sticks. some don't. Some like 2B, some like 7A... Everyone's body is different.

It is easier to play loud with a big stick, but that doesn't mean I can't play loud with a small stick and quiet with a loud stick.. Does it make sense to do it? not really, but there are no set rules.

I have found a few interesting things lately practicing with a click,pad, and about 12 different sets of sticks... I can play cleaner at slower speeds with larger sticks, I can play fastest with a 3A or a medium stick. and smaller sticks I can conserve the most energy.

I find the rebound from a large stick pop your fingers open nicely so you can start to close them again. It's almost like cheating technique a bit.. Smaller sticks require your timing to be more precise or you will flub your note. I'm not saying in marching. They need the sticks for volume. and the speeds they play at with huge sticks is mind blowing. I wish I could do that stuff. Those guys are technique monsters and could most likely do this on any stick.

One thing I find makes a HUGE difference in rebound is the taper. and stick length. My 3A's have a slightly longer taper which make them pop up really fast. Downfall once again is less volume. The are about .25 inch longer than regular 16 inch sticks too so the fulcrum is moved slightly. depending on where you hold your stick this makes a big difference in how they feel.
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  #43  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Volume. Durability. Technique.
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  #44  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Yeah, after that inaugural win in '72 you never heard much more from Anaheim. Growing up in Agoura, a lot of us (like me, who didn't make SC Vanguard) played with the Royal Cavaliers out of The Valley. They were a fully instrumented marching band and not a DCI corp. When they marched on street they used a triangle formation, with a clarinet as the single point in front. It was pretty cool. Back then SCSBOA concentrated on band reviews on the street and not field shows. The big events were the National City Review, Santa Monica, Santa Anita, and Camarillo. We always finished each year at the Simi Valley review which was part of Simi Valley Days.

If you marched for ANY corp you were damn good. Lus all that traveling all summer on a bus, sleeping in school gyms and churches. My hats off to ya, Bo!

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Ah the good old days! I eventually marched with the Anaheim Kingsmen, who were DCIís first champions in 1972. Although when we reunited in 2007, a lot of the old timers who were there didnít think much of it because DCI was brand new and nobody knew if the organization would become what it did!
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  #45  
Old 05-19-2018, 05:05 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
No instrument is musical by itself. It's the expression and how you play an instrument that adds the musical part. My biggest gripe with most marching style stuff is that there just needs to be more space. It's usually not pleasing to me because it's so "full". Much less so if there's a full marching band... I'm mostly referring to marching drum lines and their specific music.

Have you ever played one of the antique style marching drums with skins stretched. They sound really cool. I've helped out a few times with a local fife/drum band and they've got a good number of the replica ones that are so much fun and have such a cool tone.
Iíve seen plenty of video of those old drums being played, and I have calf heads on a lot of my snares and toms. The low end on those drums is huge, you can hear them from hundreds of yards away.
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  #46  
Old 05-20-2018, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Volume. Durability. Technique.


I agree with this. Technique being a big one, fatter sticks are easier to finger.






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Originally Posted by beyondbetrayal View Post

It is easier to play loud with a big stick, but that doesn't mean I can't play loud with a small stick and quiet with a loud stick.. Does it make sense to do it? not really, but there are no set rules.

I find the rebound from a large stick pop your fingers open nicely so you can start to close them again. It's almost like cheating technique a bit.. Smaller sticks require your timing to be more precise or you will flub your note.


It is easier to play loud with a bigger stick, and increased diameter means less finger movement.
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  #47  
Old 05-27-2018, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Who needs Kevlar

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f6wBD6DEKIY
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  #48  
Old 05-27-2018, 06:02 AM
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Jeebus chris! Something else to buy!!! :)

Can they sound a bit more drumlike?
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  #49  
Old 05-27-2018, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Rumor has it that Bob Crane played the snare drum on that recording.
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  #50  
Old 05-28-2018, 01:39 AM
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I'm sure he was playing something, alright!
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  #51  
Old 05-29-2018, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
Why don't regular drummers use them?

Wouldn't they last forever?
My favorite snare head, and I think it's at least partially Kevlar...
It sounds great and probably will last forever.
From Evans:
"The Evans Hybrid coated snare head Evansô Hybridô Coated snare heads feature a weave of two unique fibers originally intended for use on marching snare drums. The Hybridô can hold up to the heaviest of hitters and offers a unique, coated wear-resistant texture, which is perfect for brushes."
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  #52  
Old 05-29-2018, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Yes, lets complicate the crap out of a simple thing. That's what the world needs most, overcomplication.

Not!

Simplify!
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  #53  
Old 05-29-2018, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
Dumb question, but a Google search yielded no satisfying answers. Is it as simple as the need to project in big open areas?

Part of why I ask is because my son has had two different instructors with marching backgrounds who would grab their massive marching sticks when seriously demonstrating a rudiment on a pad. Not sure if there's something easier about it, or if they've just trained themselves that way over the years.
Mainly for sound, somewhat for volume. With heads of marching drums tuned as tightly as they are, you need some mass (and an increasing amount of kinetic force) to get a full tone out of the drum-- the fullest tone the drum is capable of, at any rate. There's no reason to use them outside of a marching setting, so those guys are just going with what they're comfortable with.

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Originally Posted by Rattlin' Bones View Post
SC Vanguard was unique in a lot of ways back then. They played with sticks cut off an inch, and with the tip end weighted down with spirals of white tape. You could then play low with power as in keep your sticking low. All wrist no arm, and to do that the tip end has to be weighted more. In marching and DCI, the lower you play, the fewer the tics. The shorter sticks also allowed them to stand closer together and created a tighter sound.
They would mark time flat footed, too-- that was part of the thing. That whole style was invented by Fred Sanford and Bob Kalkoffen; it's the style I learned because all my instructors were 70s Vanguard people. Got to work with Sanford a couple/few times, and Kalkoffen was a snare drum instructor when I was with them in '86, though I didn't get to work with him. I'm certain those lines, playing 4-9" off the drum, were louder than current lines.

Quote:
I think in 1975 their drumline got an almost perfect score with just one tic.
Yes, the tic was for a broken tenor mallet during a cymbal roll. My instructor for several years was Alan Kristensen, who was a snare drummer in that line.

Quote:
The snare sound now is pretty close to what we got out of those snares back in the day. The big difference I hear is those old snare drums were a bit louder, but the precise sticking and rudiments were being done in the early 70's same as today. The actual sound that allows the precise sticking and the tension of batter head to allow rebound was pretty much there on the snares back in the day. It's a bit exaggerated now I will agree on that point. And not nearly as loud, either.
It's not the same sound at all. The 70s-80s sound was already extreme, and the current thing is fully an order of magnitude beyond that.

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
They are not remotely loud. The pitch is so high that the sound doesnít carry at all. Marching snares used to have some real power and presence to the sound, even all the way across the marching field. Now you can barely hear them from any more than 50 or 60 feet away. Itís a totally unsatisfying musical experience, at least for me. Theyíre not musical instruments in any meaningful sense.
Exactly. They suck. They sound like static, and they leave a big sonic hole in the music where the snare drums are supposed to go.

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
So kevlar headed drums have thicker shells? And if so, other than to support the hardware, why?

Isn't thinner louder and more resonant?
No reason, except that the drum will implode without it. Santa Clara Vanguard switched to kevlar in 1987, and they were blowing up drums even then, at relatively low tensions compared to today. A friend told me they even folded up a set of tenors. Contemporary marching snare drums are extremely sonically choked, and they get their volume purely from the amount of energy a human player can put into it-- resonance has nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
Why don't regular drummers use them?

Wouldn't they last forever?
A few animals do use them. To most people they sound like crap on regular drums played normally.
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  #54  
Old 05-30-2018, 01:13 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post

Exactly. They suck. They sound like static, and they leave a big sonic hole in the music where the snare drums are supposed to go.
So...I guess Iím being a jerk, but...why didnít someone just tell them, I donít know, ďthat sounds like total crap. Go back to normal heads.Ē?
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  #55  
Old 05-30-2018, 06:10 AM
mike d mike d is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Years ago I played in a Scottish pipe band. We cranked the crap out of the heads, and it was mostly so we could hear the definition of the intricate stuff we were playing. Volume wasn't first on the list. I later used that technique on our drum line snares (and toms to a smaller degree), in the high school band I was in as our stuff got a little faster and more complicated. I think it has to do with definition, and being able to hear the things that are being played at speed rather than volume.
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  #56  
Old 06-03-2018, 01:20 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by mike d View Post
Years ago I played in a Scottish pipe band. We cranked the crap out of the heads, and it was mostly so we could hear the definition of the intricate stuff we were playing. Volume wasn't first on the list. I later used that technique on our drum line snares (and toms to a smaller degree), in the high school band I was in as our stuff got a little faster and more complicated. I think it has to do with definition, and being able to hear the things that are being played at speed rather than volume.
Iím still curious about the technique and style of the pipe band drumming BEFORE plastic heads.
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  #57  
Old 06-03-2018, 05:54 AM
mike d mike d is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
Iím still curious about the technique and style of the pipe band drumming BEFORE plastic heads.
Good question. That pre-dates even me. ;)
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  #58  
Old 06-04-2018, 04:23 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Good question. That pre-dates even me. ;)
I think we can assume the licks were less intricate, donít you think? And maybe played with a bit more arm, versus finger and wrist, perhaps
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  #59  
Old 06-04-2018, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

Let's not forget that back before any technology was in existence, drums were used to direct armies on the battlefield. The field general would yell out orders and the drummer would relay said orders through different drum patterns. So perhaps the stick size dates back to when sticks were hand carved logs that had to project sound over muskets and cannon fire, and still survive the rigours of battle. Its not like the war would stop so the drummer could run to Guitar Center.
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  #60  
Old 06-04-2018, 05:10 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why are marching sticks so huge?

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Let's not forget that back before any technology was in existence, drums were used to direct armies on the battlefield. The field general would yell out orders and the drummer would relay said orders through different drum patterns. So perhaps the stick size dates back to when sticks were hand carved logs that had to project sound over muskets and cannon fire, and still survive the rigours of battle. Its not like the war would stop so the drummer could run to Guitar Center.
Most of the old-style rope drum sticks seem to be longer and slightly thinner than current marching sticks, with more of a taper. It appears they relied on length and arm whip to generate the necessary volume. Long sticks slow you down, but, they werenít exactly busting out Mitch Markovich solos at tempo out there on the battlefield.
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