Drums Corps

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Double_G, May 22, 2005.

  1. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

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    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    OK, I'm a 16 year old sophomoreand am seriously considering Drum Corps in the future, probably before High School is over and into my college years until I age out. I'm not Wynton or Maynard so I don't think I have the range to pull it off. But, overall I believe I have the skills needed to go through my years of HS in a corp. I would like to know if you have to be able to blow you brains out to be a trumpet player in a Corps and be taken seriously. The last thing I would want to do is travel to Rosemont, IN.(Cavaliers), Rockford IL. (Phanton Regiment), or somewhere in New Jersey I have never heard of (Cadets), and be laughed out because I can't play a Triple C and hold it a 16 hours rehearsal day like most of those guys can. If you could tell me a little about your experiences I would be very appreciative.

    Also, I don't know what faithful followers of this site think about DCI/Drum Corps, but I have heard mixed reaction from many different people about it. Of course the people involved with it at anytime say it is awesome, but those who have not been seem to disagree with what they believe it teaches (i.e. If you can't squeal on 1st trumpet or play a mellophone lick so fast your head spins...your worthless). So, I would like to get an unbais answer from whomevery will listen, on this topic as well.

    Thanks, Andrew
     
  2. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I had the exact same worries when I auditioned for a corps, don't worry, there's a lot of really bad players that go through corps, there's actually very few players that are worth writing home about. A lot of times you'll see a clarinet player marching sop, how do they do it you ask? Try rehearsing 14 hours a day and see if you don't pick up a strange instrument pretty quick :D There's a lot of great things that come from doing drum corps (though I've never done it myself but came very close to), but there's also a lot of aspects of marching drum corps that are very bad for your playing. It's a great experience from what I hear and those that have done it usually don't regret it, but if you want to join to better yourself as a trumpet player, save your time and money and just find a really good lesson teacher, unfortunately, every single trumpet player that I've seen come out of drum corps has caused more damage to their playing than good. Something to think about. Best of luck!
     
  3. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

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    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    Thanks for the advice. But, on the causing more damage than anything, I don't understand how it would completely destroy your embouchure. Would it not continue to build the muscles in your lips and face until you would be comfortable playing any note, anywhere in the register, at any dynamic easily, without much strain or frustration? The only way I could see that is if you developed your muscles so that they stiffened to the point of not allowing them to vibrate as the focused air passes through them. Just another question.

    BTW what corps did you audition for?

    Andrew :D
     
  4. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I auditioned for the Cavaliers in 2001 and went to every camp up until Spring camp, then I decided not to do it. Like anything else, too much of a good thing is bad. So when you decide to blow your brains out (and you will be blowing your brains out) for 8 hours a day, there's much strain and tension that develops in that. No matter how may times you do it, it doesn't really get any easier, you'll get to the point where your endurance will be able to take it, but it'll just learn to take a hit as opposed to actually growing stronger. The problem is that depending on what part you play, your range will suffer, an example of that is that if you end up playing lead sop, you'll be playing in the high G and beyond range all summer long, and the rest your range will suffer. A lot of my students that have done it have said that in the beginning they tell themselves that they'll be careful and after every rehearsal they'll do warm downs and what not, but truth is, by the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is look at your horn let alone spending 30min to an hour getting your face back to where it's supposed to be. Now, with all that said and done, I don't want to come off like I'm bashing drum corps, because I'm not, I'm just letting you know that there are consequences to playing 8 hours a day for three months straight. I want to be very clear of that, and not to mention there have been many great trumpet players to have come out of drum corps (Chris Martin comes to mind), but again, drum corps is something that is done for the experience and to grow as a person, not so much to better yourself as a trumpet player, again, best of luck with your summer!!
     
  5. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    I wouldnt say many, but Craig Morris, Peter Bond, and Chris Martin did march corp and came out non the worse. ;-)
     
  6. ALLCHOPS

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

    Age:
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    328
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    Nov 14, 2003
    Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
    Drum Corps!

    Go for it! IMHO it will be one of the most fullfilling experiences in your life!!

    Socially as well as musically it will be most rewarding!!

    Good luck!

    Tony G
     
  7. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Re: Drum Corps!


    You can’t be serious

    :?:
     
  8. ALLCHOPS

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

    Age:
    52
    328
    1
    Nov 14, 2003
    Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
    ?

    Done
     
  9. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Re: ?

    So you got your ego stroked and had to follow a schedule for the first time in your life. How is that “one the most fulfilling experience in your life�

    Not once do you list anything really having to do with music in your post. If Drum corp. put you on the path in life, as if Jesus himself spoke to you, good for you. But don’t act like it is the spiritual Mecca of the music world.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I have never personally marched in a drum corps, but I have gone to some shows and I have a few friends that marched corps so I will relate the little bit that I have garnered from that.

    I don't think that marching in a drum corps is necessarily about the music. Drum corps is it's own genre of music and it is what it is - loud, brash....and exciting as anything! I have never particularly cared for the corps that specifically play arangments of classical material, but that is just my personal preference. I like the corps that use a lot of Latin or Jazz. Can you say "Malaguena"? :D

    What I do think that drum corps is about, is teamwork - the sum of the parts make the whole and no one can stand out too much. I also think it has a lot to do with comraderie. If you decide to go march drum corps, chances are, you will make friends that you will have for the rest of your life. I have always enjoyed being a part of something bigger than myself and I don't think that drum corps would be any exception to that.

    The people that I know that were in it all look back on it very fondly and if asked, I'm positive that they all would tell you that they wouldn't change a thing if given the chance. One guy I know loves it to the point where even after he aged out, he has maintained some sort of participation with it since then and he will be 42 this year. He drove trucks, busses, helped set up meals, worked the recruitment booth, etc. And I don't think that it hurt his musicianship a lot either - while he isn't a "pro" player, he is very good, (another former Army Bandsman) and he still plays in brass bands - one of his other loves in life. And did I mention that he met his wife through drum corps?

    About the chops thing and whether you have to be awesome - no you don't. If you can play and are serious about playing, you will be able to hang, even if you aren't put on screaming lead. Again, it isn't about individual players, it's about working together to polish the show so that you can score the best you can.

    Of course I could also recount story after story that has been told to me about bus breakdowns, flat tires, sleeping on gym floors, cold showers, etc, but those stories were always told with a hint of nostalgia of having "been there" during their good ol' days, and for those doing the telling, the good far outweighed the bad.

    I say to do for a summer and see if you like it. In retrospect, I wish that I would have. If you don't like it, no one is going to force you to stay, and no one is going to force you to sign up again. My bet is that you would have the time of your life.

    One last comment, and then I'll stop my ramble. When I was on my way back to Baltimore last summer from visting my hometown in Nebraska, I ran into a bunch of kids in the Denver airport who had just finished competing in the DCI World Championships held Denver last summer. (August 7th) While waiting on delayed flights, I got to talking to some of these guys and many of them seemed truly sad that the summer was over and that they were going to leave their drum corps brothers and sisters. NONE of them had any regrets about doing it.
     

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