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  1. Registered User

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    Jul 2005
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    Default Emotional Expression in Battery?

    Hey,

    So, in lieu of corp season, I've been watching a lot of DCI vids on YouTube and have really been in love with listening to hornlines and they're warmups and books and performances and stuff. It's really amazing stuff. Some of these things really make me misty; they motivate me. I can hear the voice and soul of all the players working as one to get across the exact message they're trying to express with their playing. But I can't find that with a drumline. At least not as easily.

    When I watch a drumline, lately all I think about is technique and cleanliness and precision. Like a judge almost. It doesn't excite me like it used to in middle school when I first strapped on a bass drum and played that simple cadence. I'm not sure what's so different!

    It could be that I now have the technical knowledge that shows me what's behind all the notes a drumline is playing, and I've let that overtake my emotional enjoyment of the music. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a funky groove or a really nice clean lick just fine, but it's not like when I hear an amazing horn chorale. And it takes more.

    I'm trying to think that if I was a trumpet player (or a saxophonist like I wanted to be in 6th grade before I started hitting stuff ) that I would feel perhaps the opposite effect. That these horn players and their music would have less effect on me than a really exciting drumline would.

    All through high school I was on drumline, always the group to get the crowd fired up and the hollers as we marched to the field. And then, that excited me. But now, it's normal. It's the average thing. Repetitiveness has caused me to lose interest, it seems.

    I completely am in love with drums and playing drums and learning about drums, but the initial spark is lost, I think. I'm not about to pick up a contra and expect to make a DCI line anytime, ever. But, at least right now, I can be excited by their music more than that of a drumline.


    Am I crazy? Normal? Anyone agree or disagree? Advice?

    This being my freshman year at a university, and me commuting, I'm not doing any school organized performance this year. I have a band that I play out with, and church to drum at, but that's it. However, next year I plan on moving into Seattle and being able to be a part of the local ensembles, namely the marching band for the fall. Maybe this year off will help me wanna jump back in and have it feel similar to how it did. But I just don't know.

  2. is ridiculous...

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default

    I think you're experiencing a withdrawl of sorts. After I graduated in 08, I spent alot of time dwelling on what was with my own HS drumline. As you said, we're the ones who get the crowd pumped up, and that's exactly what we used to do. I listen to corps hornlines all the time and it inspires me in a very similar manner to you, and at one time I had the same sense of nothing when watching a drumline in the lot of on youtube.

    You know, we both had similar feelings about the same thing, but what I've discovered is that although drumming in general is repetitive, we have to find those little nuances that draw us into the activity. Take Carolina Crown from 2009; they had a fairly repetitive book, but the amount of notes they managed to pack into such a small time frame just blows my mind. I can sit and watch the same video of CC's lot warmup over and over and never get bored because there are so many notes, I just have to keep watching to take it all in. Same goes for the Bluecoats; they may not have had the most notes; but they had my favorite book hands down. I can (and do) watch every video of them from this year because everytime I watch I pick up on something new or different.

    I guess at times we, as drummers and percussionists, have to step back from the big picture and examine the small stuff. It's great to love something as a whole, but when you can find those little things that make you go nuts; that's what gets me going. All things considered, we live in a world where the ability to get video of anything we want is incredible and I find myself at times just clicking videos to find new things to listen to; I may start out by watching a video of Crossmen playing "Russian Christmas Music" (love it!) and 20 or 30 clicks later I'm watching a video of SCV's "Send in the Clowns" (also love it) and because of these great little moments of music, I find the rhythm and groove that backs it all up so much more exciting.

    You're not crazy my friend; you're just in a musical rut. Give it some time and you'll rediscover what made you love drumline so much.
    Pearl Vision VBX | Yamaha/ Tama Snares | Meinl Cymbals | Evans Drumheads | Innovative Percussion/ Vater Drumsticks
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  3. Rogers Drums Rule!

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    It's the kevlar heads...

  4. RLLRRR Music

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    Default

    I agree, to some extent. It almost feels like, and this is a shot in the dark, with all of the Corps switching staff like day-traders, the passion is being lost. Especially with the drums.

    With Gusseck, McIntosh, Mason, Kuhn, DeLucia, Hannum, and the likes being tossed back and forth, I can't imagine that it would be very easy for them to build relationships with their lines, build up techniques and styles, etc.


    It's important to play the spaces. Silence can speak so loudly.
    Carter Beauford, modern drummer september 1997
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMixelpix View Post
    Yeah I gotta admit she managed to tune her cymbals pretty well.

  5. Curmudgeon

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    Another possibility is, that with advancing age comes musical maturity and a certain amount of refinement in your taste, appreciation and understanding of the things that make up the drumming that used to simply WOW you on a more basic level. Your increased knowledge has changed your understanding and therefore the visceral thrill that you once experienced.
    "Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice till they can't get it wrong."

    Support the artists, buy music.

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  6. Registered User

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    Jul 2006
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    Vassar, Michigan
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    I think if you really wanted to you could deffinatley play a brass instrument in drum corps and still play drums in the marching band just to see whats up. I know i did it. Most open class corps are willing to take anyone who wants to learn. There were a couple kids in my corps who have never even marched before and one had only ever played the guitar before and he ended up being one of the best marchers in the whole corps.
    It could be a good experience to see what you like about brass and what you like most about percussion. Definatley not impossible =]
    My Marching history jtlyk


    06-09 Vassar High School Marching Band
    08-09 Reese Winter Drumline
    09 Dutchboy Drum and Bugle Corps
    10 Northcoast Academy Percussion Ensemble

  7. Registered User

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    Dec 2009
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by devildrums555 View Post

    I completely am in love with drums and playing drums and learning about drums, but the initial spark is lost, I think. I'm not about to pick up a contra and expect to make a DCI line anytime, ever. But, at least right now, I can be excited by their music more than that of a drumline.
    I'm naturally a Tuba player to Open my opinion.
    I play Tenors in my high school drumline, while playing tuba in concert band. I have marched Tuba at Music city legend drum corps, and am currently marching tuba at Madison Scouts. I think the whole problem(if you call it a problem) is that we as drummers are naturally critics. We can't help but point out the good and bad when we hear the sound of a drum, its some kind of weird disease i guess. The reason we all feel a spark when we first start out, is because we are innocent and oblivious to tecnique and musicality. I don't neccesarily think that means the passion is gone, but the fascination is.
    _______________________________
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  8. Rogers Drums Rule!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisewiththeFallen View Post
    I'm naturally a Tuba player to Open my opinion.
    I play Tenors in my high school drumline, while playing tuba in concert band. I have marched Tuba at Music city legend drum corps, and am currently marching tuba at Madison Scouts. I think the whole problem(if you call it a problem) is that we as drummers are naturally critics. We can't help but point out the good and bad when we hear the sound of a drum, its some kind of weird disease i guess. The reason we all feel a spark when we first start out, is because we are innocent and oblivious to tecnique and musicality. I don't neccesarily think that means the passion is gone, but the fascination is.
    Totally off topic but - the Scouts are sounding mighty good in the videos Chris Komnick has published! Go green team!

  9. Registered User

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    I feel the same way. I think its natural. However a really good bassline still gets me pumped
    "You can't just hit a drum, you have to beat the s### out of it!"~ Eric Cartman

  10. Curmudgeon

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    As a follow up to my original comment, there may be far too much emoting in drum lines these days. As the movement gets more and more exaggerated with drill design and other choreography some of the moves that drummers are required to do is extreme to say the least. I understand that this also adds to the demand value of what they are doing. When you also contemplate the visual expressions that are shown, it sometimes becomes comical to the point of ridiculousness. I recall from my judging days I was seeing a group of young drum corps that were at their first major national contest. A couple of the corps had a real problem because their instructors had been hammering away at them to physically show the emotion and the groove. The problem... their antics were actually impeding their performance. A couple of kids playing quarter notes on cowbell were not only out of sync with each other but also out of phase with the horns. They were just trying to do what had been asked of them. We advised their staff that it would be beneficial to back off on the imposed theatrics and just let the kids naturally react to the music. Next performance came off far better as well as not looking fake.
    "Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice till they can't get it wrong."

    Support the artists, buy music.

    Member:
    Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
    American Federation of Musicians
    Percussive Arts Society
    Vic Firth Education Team

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