The Art And Technique Of Marching Band Performance

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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When deciding to join a marching band, there are a few things to remember. Do you have the time? Do you have the endurance? Do you have the passion? Do you have the heart? Being in a marching band means that you are in a superior performing ensemble. The art of being able to play notes and rythems on the move is unparallel to anything you could ever hope to accomplish on a stage.

Being a marchig vet of 3 years in a Grand Champion award winning band is something to be proud of. It also gives you a perception of how to improve the technique of the rookies that think they have what it takes. It is not easy, no one ever said it was. It takes alot of concentration and practice to get proficiently good.

The foot technique is the single most important thing in marching. The 8 to 5 step size is 22.5

inches. The roll through step prevents any kind of breaking in the sound. The roll through step is when you crank your toe to the sky as high as you can, and you roll on the outside of your foot in such a fashion that your steps are like the legs of a rocking chair and you get a pure sound without sounding like you're moving. The idea is to play on the move like you play standing still.

Posture. Heels together, toes apart at a 45 degree angle, hips are back, chest is out (makes you look intimidating), shoulders are back and down and the chin is raised 10 degrees above the horizon. When you raise your horn, I play Trumpet, the bell should be pointing toward the press box at the very top of the stadium. Your arms should be out away from your body and forming an upside down "V" while standing straight up, applying the posture described above.

When on the move forward you should keep straight legs and lift up out of your hips to prevent your upper body from moving at all. When backwards marching, you should be on your toes and NEVER let your heels touch the ground. Once again lifting up out of your hips, not allowing the upper body to move. The Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps out of Concord, California are arguably the best marchers in the world. They have 10 World Championships over 32 years, more than any other corps to date, to prove it.

If you do decide to join marching band, I hope you are blessed as I have been to have a director who marched Blue Devils and knows what to do and what not to do with marching. I hope to see you on the competition field someday.