Did you ever do marching band/drum corps?

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
ah, the Indiana State Fair competition. I remember that!! I helped out a friend of mine who was the drum instructor in Muncie with his line preparing for that. Would drive over from C-bus in June and July. It was sos weird to me that they did that in the summer, before school even started. They would be getting done with that right as our band camp started, so it would scratch the itch in June and July when. i had nothing going on

It was so amazingly fun for me! I wish that life had allowed for me to march more. Some sports, some trouble :rolleyes: Yes, state fair is usually in August in Indiana. That was our whole summer. Band camp was fun. Good stuff
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I marched all throughout HS and college (undergrad). The high bass my freshman year in HS, then tenors the following year, followed by snare throughout the rest of HS and my first two years in college. Then I transferred to another university and went back to tenors for my final two years. I really wanted to continue marching in grad school, but there was absolutely no time for that.

I never did DCI, and fully regret never going that route. I'm sure it would have been an amazing experience. These days I'm a big Blue Devils fan and I get to see them every summer (well, except for last summer) in local SoCal competitions.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I marched all throughout HS and college (undergrad). The high bass my freshman year in HS, then tenors the following year, followed by snare throughout the rest of HS and my first two years in college. Then I transferred to another university and went back to tenors for my final two years. I really wanted to continue marching in grad school, but there was absolutely no time for that.

I never did DCI, and fully regret never going that route. I'm sure it would have been an amazing experience. These days I'm a big Blue Devils fan and I get to see them every summer (well, except for last summer) in local SoCal competitions.

love BD...Scott Johnson is a LEGEND in the activity. His drumlines have changed and influenced the whole activity for 25+ years now...great guy
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I did some marching band in HS. I played the bass drum. I only did it because the music director made it mandatory if we wanted to play in the jazz ensemble. Our marching band sucked. And the director was a douche. He had the bright idea to have someone else attached to the front of the drum. It wasn't that heavy and it would have been much easier for me to march with the drum by myself. But no. He had to go and make it even more difficult. I kept stepping on the heels of the guy in front of me. I hated it. I don't remember how long I did it for. No more than one or two years. Then I came to my senses and quit.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I did for all four years of high school back in the 80's and I'm really glad I did. Great fun from the social aspect for sure, and yes, a bit of drudgery the outdoor rehearsals learning the field show routines, late Friday night football games all over the county and early morning field shows and parades that lasted all day into the night on Saturday, It was great learning parts and playing unison with other drummers. I got so much out of it, really. My drum teacher at the time thought it was a waste of my time. and hated drum corps style technique but there's no denying that those corps drummers have some amazing hands! I think actually the act of marching itself was the biggest benefit. You have the feel to pulse, and always know were "one" is! To this day when I take walks, and listen to music, I will walk in time. I guess my marching band days will never leave me!
Yep, started in 8th grade circa 1979 on the big bass drum (and I wasn't exactly Mr. Muscle), had my first live performance in a 1 mile parade that had me struggling to hold the drum up, much less play it!
That experience cured me of playing anything that heavy (that had to be carried anyway :)), so by 9th grade I'd moved to snare and stayed there all the way through 12th. I guess the band director liked me and made me drumline captain in 11th and 12th grades with about 35 percussionists. He was a fabulous band director named Bill Fry who I reconnected with about 15 years ago, when he sent me a bunch of DVD's which had been transferred from a collection of parents' VHS recordings... so pretty grainy. But I took the time to upload them to YT and they are cool to watch occasionally (several have had hundreds of views if that means anything haha).
Our band and drill team won all sorts of awards throughout our region and state, I cannot recall ever coming in anything less than first place as a drumline or an entire corps in the numerous festivals we participated in throughout GA and FL. It was an awesome time despite the drudgery of the field. Particularly enjoyed a week of band camp each summer, we used a nearby college with dorms and all the accouterments just before school started to learn the new routines.
Also played in the symphonic band (everything from snare, tympani, bells, vibraphone, gong, hand-helds, etc.) and the kit in jazz band (which was like getting out of doing school work in order to play great music on the set for an easy 'A'!) Played at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park as well as numerous competitions in all three disciplines.

Would not trade those memories or experiences for all the tea or drums in China.

Here's a sampling of one of about a dozen videos for anyone interested in ancient history (skip the boring stuff, the last 2:00 shows off the drum line):

 
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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Our band director was very old school and hated that sound and was always telling us to tune down the snare drums, and was very resistant about multiple "tuned" bass drums too. He wanted a concert sound even on the field. The band actually did pretty well in competitions, but the drum section never won anything partly because we were way behind the times!

I LOVE tuned bass drums. I would have marched corps just to get to play those parts. So challenging and such good training.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
love BD...Scott Johnson is a LEGEND in the activity. His drumlines have changed and influenced the whole activity for 25+ years now...great guy
His "ScoJo Lick of the Week" series on YouTube has a ton of great snare licks to learn. The problem is, he makes them look so easy... but they're usually anything but. :)
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Nope. Wanted to, parents would have none of it. "It's just going to be loud and annoying all the time"
That sucks dude. As an adult I held off for many years when the kids were growing up...but no more. It might be loud and annoying to someone, but not me.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Marched all 4 years of high school with snare. Section leader and eventually prez of band. Middle school started playing in band in 8th grade but we didn't march it was just concerts.

Back then (late 60's early 70's) in SoCal there really wasn't much in the way of judged field competitions. It was all competition on street in parades and band reviews. Santa Monica had a huge annual band review. National City, too. The judging organization was SCSBOA.

Last I heard my HS has eliminated marching band and it's all jazz ensembles and concert bands now. The jazz band travels frequently to competitions all around the country. The kids are probably better musicians for it - they're not spending hours and hours working on rolling their feet/diagonals/rows. But, still, those hours in the sun working on precise marching on the street builds a discipline and mentality you carry for the rest of your life - something you don't get in a jazz ensemble. Plus marching - the drum line is very large - it's not just one dude or dudette playing a kitten a jazz ensemble.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Yep, started in 8th grade circa 1979 on the big bass drum (and I wasn't exactly Mr. Muscle), had my first live performance in a 1 mile parade that had me struggling to hold the drum up, much less play it!
That experience cured me of playing anything that heavy (that had to be carried anyway :)), so by 9th grade I'd moved to snare and stayed there all the way through 12th. I guess the band director liked me and made me drumline captain in 11th and 12th grades with about 35 percussionists. He was a fabulous band director named Bill Fry who I reconnected with about 15 years ago, when he sent me a bunch of DVD's which had been transferred from a collection of parents' VHS recordings... so pretty grainy. But I took the time to upload them to YT and they are cool to watch occasionally (several have had hundreds of views if that means anything haha).
Our band and drill team won all sorts of awards throughout our region and state, I cannot recall ever coming in anything less than first place as a drumline or an entire corps in the numerous festivals we participated in throughout GA and FL. It was an awesome time despite the drudgery of the field. Particularly enjoyed a week of band camp each summer, we used a nearby college with dorms and all the accouterments just before school started to learn the new routines.
Also played in the symphonic band (everything from snare, tympani, bells, vibraphone, gong, hand-helds, etc.) and the kit in jazz band (which was like getting out of doing school work in order to play great music on the set for an easy 'A'!) Played at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park as well as numerous competitions in all three disciplines.

Would not trade those memories or experiences for all the tea or drums in China.

Here's a sampling of one of about a dozen videos for anyone interested in ancient history:


dude...we played that exact song as well...watching that video brought back so many great...and terrible memories!!!

Go Badgers! 1981 or 1982.View attachment 99032

so much awesome in this pic!!!!

Was that stick on your harness a drop stick, or did you guys use it to keep your hands all uniform distance apart...it looks like you are holding on to it
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Yep, started in 8th grade circa 1979 on the big bass drum (and I wasn't exactly Mr. Muscle), had my first live performance in a 1 mile parade that had me struggling to hold the drum up, much less play it!
That experience cured me of playing anything that heavy (that had to be carried anyway :)), so by 9th grade I'd moved to snare and stayed there all the way through 12th. I guess the band director liked me and made me drumline captain in 11th and 12th grades with about 35 percussionists. He was a fabulous band director named Bill Fry who I reconnected with about 15 years ago, when he sent me a bunch of DVD's which had been transferred from a collection of parents' VHS recordings... so pretty grainy. But I took the time to upload them to YT and they are cool to watch occasionally (several have had hundreds of views if that means anything haha).
Our band and drill team won all sorts of awards throughout our region and state, I cannot recall ever coming in anything less than first place as a drumline or an entire corps in the numerous festivals we participated in throughout GA and FL. It was an awesome time despite the drudgery of the field. Particularly enjoyed a week of band camp each summer, we used a nearby college with dorms and all the accouterments just before school started to learn the new routines.
Also played in the symphonic band (everything from snare, tympani, bells, vibraphone, gong, hand-helds, etc.) and the kit in jazz band (which was like getting out of doing school work in order to play great music on the set for an easy 'A'!) Played at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park as well as numerous competitions in all three disciplines.

Would not trade those memories or experiences for all the tea or drums in China.

Here's a sampling of one of about a dozen videos for anyone interested in ancient history:

Appears as if you went to a rich school district.

I marched with the Finleyville Royal Crusaders and the Brownsville PA marching band back in the day.

In 1969 Brownsville was considered the #1 marching band on the east coast and Finleyville was top 12 DCI corp back in the day.
Both have seen better days with Brownsville barely fielding a marching band at all.
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Appears as if you went to a rich school district.

I marched with the Finleyville Royal Crusaders and the Brownsville PA marching band back in the day.

In 1969 Brownsville was considered the #1 marching band on the east coast and Finleyville was top 12 DCI corp back in the day.
Both have seen better days with Brownsville barely fielding a marching band at all.

man...it is rough what defunding, administration changes, and extracurricular interest changes will do to a program!! Also, having a band director who is not "up" on what is new and pedagogically correct doesn't help either

We have had MANY bands follow the same route as Brownsville around here too...so sad for all of those kids. Most of the time, it is due to some higher up needing to cut money...
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Appears as if you went to a rich school district.

Actually I was one of the poorer kids around having musicians for parents :D. My next door neighbor from 1982 until I left for college was Richard Dent, Super Bowl MVP in 1985. We never belonged to the Country Club or golf course. However it was a public school system with very limited budget. I remember driving across town with a couple of other drum line friends to another school in the county (actually a poorer section) to get their rejected tritoms so we could piece together enough gear for our growing corps. Volunteer moms made our drum line uniforms (which were different from the rest of the band) and we had a great band director who helped us put it all together in with bandaids and chewing gum. Nylon snare straps and white masking tape. BUT we all had a drive to be excellent and we were. It was great
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Appears as if you went to a rich school district.

I marched with the Finleyville Royal Crusaders and the Brownsville PA marching band back in the day.

In 1969 Brownsville was considered the #1 marching band on the east coast and Finleyville was top 12 DCI corp back in the day.
Both have seen better days with Brownsville barely fielding a marching band at all.
I can’t access the video, can you upload it again?
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
dude...we played that exact song as well...watching that video brought back so many great...and terrible memories!!!



so much awesome in this pic!!!!

Was that stick on your harness a drop stick, or did you guys use it to keep your hands all uniform distance apart...it looks like you are holding on to it
Nice stache!
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
Was that stick on your harness a drop stick, or did you guys use it to keep your hands all uniform distance apart...it looks like you are holding on to it

It's a drop stick. Didn't think of it for spacing, it just worked out that way I guess. Wisconsin Marching Band wasn't very "corps" oriented but it was still intense and a hell of a lot of fun. A MAJOR part of my college experience.
 
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