Marching while playing.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Practice, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Practice

    Practice New Friend

    Aug 7, 2010
    I need some tips on how to keep my upper body completely still while marching and playing at the same time. Front marches i am ok at. Only at times does my trumpet move slightly. I have the most trouble with backwards marching because i can't completely keep it still. I was able to keep my trumpet completely still once though during my marching fundamentals excercise, but that was only once. How can i keep it consistant?
  2. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    Well, the short answer is "more practice." Marching backwards while playing is harder than marching forward, and will take more work to master.

    The long answer is, in addition to more practice at the marching fundamentals, to work on improving your core strength and flexibility as well.

    I don't know which system you use in terms of marching fundamentals, so its hard to offer a specific recommendation, but generally when moving backwards it's important to have a good "reach" with each step, and then a smooth transition of weight from front foot to back foot. The key is to land lightly with the back foot, get the weight onto the toe without jamming it into the ground (think shifting your weight in a straight line backwards with your hips, NOT down into your back foot), and not letting the front foot flip up as it comes off the ground on the transfer. In most systems, this is accomplished by always having the toes pointed down while marching backwards. The key (as always) is in the hips and keeping them level. You want to visualize your hips moving ACROSS the field in a straight line at all times. The other thread mentioned below has some more ideas, too.

    A quick question, though. Is the slight bounce impacting your playing at all? In reality, it's nearly impossible to entirely eliminate every single bobble while marching. If you are able to play smoothly while backing up with no audible change in pitch while playing a longer note, then you are probably fine. As the season goes on, you'll get stronger and the marching will smooth out if you keep working on it. If you obsess about never EVER having a slight bounce you'll psych yourself out. If you watch the video of the Phantom Regiment horn line in the other thread about marching problems (Marching band woes) you'll notice a few bounces and bobbles in the horns, but you don't hear it in the playing. The ultimate goal is smooth musical lines with a minimum of wear and tear on the chops.

  3. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    Backwards marching?

    I will never again complain about having to march in the middle of the road in among the horse manure and potholes.
  4. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Do they let you put a rear view mirror in your lyre?
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    My reaction exactly. As a member of a very well-drilled marching band in the 60s, I do not remember any backwards marching.
  6. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    Backwards marching is for field shows, not the normal parade marching. It's pretty much standard in high schools now unfortunately.
  7. Practice

    Practice New Friend

    Aug 7, 2010
    Well you don't have to be in marching band, but i chose to be in it even though i have to be outside in the scorching summer sun for hours.

    In my marching band we don't use lyres, we have to memorize the whole music. I do the kind of marching that makes images that you can see whenever you watch from a higher point of view.
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Do you use reversing horns - like in your car? ;-) I guess this is where the french horns would come into their own too.

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