Drum Major Problems

ALL Drum Majors have the same problems!
Welcome to the top. It get's lonely up here!! It's alright though. When the other band members are looking up the podium, all they're gonna see is your rear end. xD So feel free to rant, complain, submit, ask, or just talk. Welcome, Drum Majors!


Yeah. You crescendo through those rests.

Alrighty so last year, our schools drum majors had maaajorr issues staying in time with each other. It always messed with the band and no one knew who to follow and there was this massive lag. This year I'm drum major and I'm afraid the same thing will happen again. How do I make sure it doesn't? During performances should I just watch my fellow dm at all times? Because he never looks at me so he won't adjust to me? Do drum majors usually watch each other? Thanks!
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

This is one of those few times when I’m really a fan of having head drum majors, because everyone knows that center podium is the Tempo King. If you don’t have a head drum major, then I suggest talking it out with your co-drum major(s) and have each of you pick a song where you’re in charge of tempo

And then, whoever the Tempo King is, has to follow center snare, because center snare is Tempo Lord. 

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Hi there! So I read one of your posts on DM/band member relationships, and I found some good advice in it! However, would it be "risque" to enter into a relationship with one of my co-DMs? Also, my school has 4 drum majors and I'm the only guy...would it cause problems?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

I think that, my advice still stands with dating within the “section” so to speak. As long as you can maintain a professional relationship when you’re on the field, I don’t see any real problem with dating another drum major. I dated one of my co drum majors. But the important thing to remember is that you have a job to do, and keeping your relationship professional on the field and when you’re leading will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. And the same goes for if you date and break up. You can’t have this awkward tension between the two of you because it comes across as dysfunctional. So the key phrase here is "maintaining a professional relationship" 
If you can do that while you’re on the field, you’re golden to do whatever you want.

I have wanted to be a drum major for a while now, I’ve been practicing a lot and think I could make the cut. However, I play the saxophone and I equally love my section, maybe even more than my love of becoming a drum major, but I also hate the woodwind music teacher for MB. I have had started having a crisis of conscious on which I should do. DM or stay with my section?

That’s really a question only you can answer. 

Asker Anonymous Asks:
I want to be drum major but all my teachers think I'm this quiet shy girl who can't pull it off with zero leadership skills. What does it mean to be a leader and how can I show it or gain experience in it?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

You know, I spend a lot of time thinking about the answer to this question because I get asked it at least once or twice a semester. And it really is a difficult question to answer. Leadership is intangible and therefore harder to define. And the answer that I have come up with is that there is no right answer.
Now like, if you want a dictionary definition, google defines it as “The action of leading a group of people or an organization” which is a kind of crappy definition for a couple of reasons: One, because you’re using the word in the definition, and two because it’s very… textbook. 

Being a leader is like… the furthest thing from textbook you can get. Because there are hundreds of thousands of ways you can lead. There are hundreds of thousands of THINGS you CAN lead. So of COURSE being a leader is going to mean something different to every body. But the things I have noticed about leaders across the board is that leaders are passionate. They are dedicated. They are well versed in their craft. They strive for the highest, and and are never happy with what they’ve done because they’re always setting that standard that they are striving for higher. They are respectful of the people they lead. And they remember that a leader is nothing without their followers. They are idealistic and open minded. 
And above all other things, leaders come from followers. In my opinion, no one is born a leader. A leader is created when a follower has so much passionate and dedication for something that they decide they want to serve through leadership to make a difference.

So I was just chosen to be one of my school's drum majors! I'm really excited but I do also have some questions. Along with being a drum major, I will by our 1st trumpet, and therefore my band director wants me to play a solo. How exactly will that work? Do I just stop conducting and play the solo, then go back to conducting or what?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

That’s essentially what you do. There are likely more than 1 drum majors, which means that you will not be center podium for whatever piece your soloing for. Its not uncommon to see that happen in a marching band. It happened twice while I was in high school. 

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Okay so I'm the drum Major for my band but I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing. I can lead big block practice but conducting is a bit more difficult. The band drags a lot and my director tells me to make sure that doesn't happen...but how can I make them play faster without being off in my counting? Thanks:)
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

Center snare is your go to person. Become friends, get to know your center snare really well. and watch his feet on the field. If you and your battery are in sync, your ensemble will have no choice but to be with you because they’re getting the same tempo signals from you and from their drum line. 

Asker troylerbae Asks:
I'm conducting I dreamed a dream from les mis and I can't find a good way to cut it off. What I mean is I cut off with a flip, circle, cut, and one of the staff doesn't like that I cut by "grabbing the sound" into a fist. How else can I cut off?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

Okay so there’s a couple things here. Instead of thinking about it as a “cut off” (which is incorrect terminology anyway), think of it as a release. (which is the correct terminology) You’re releasing the sound. In conducting classes that I’ve taken, and a few of the clinics I’ve been to, They always tell us to not close the hands because that sends a signal of strangling the sound, almost. My best advice is to look on youtube for some directors and see how they release concert ensembles and try to pull some ideas from there.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
An issue has come up with some members of my band. Our flute section leader is only a sophomore. She's very qualified and knows what she's doing. There are 2 others in her section who are both juniors. They're very disrespectful to her. They talk behind her back, make inappropriate comments during sectionals, and they try to over power her, call her show off, etc. I need to talk to the 2 members and let them know that their behavior is completely inappropriate. Any tips on how to go about it?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

Do exactly as you said. Go up and talk to them. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, have your director get involved, but I strongly recommend that you try to handle this by yourself. if you get your director involved, you could also become the brunt of some unnecessary comments. however, if the issue continues to presist, I would defiontly get your director involved. 

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Do you have any tips for know how fast to conduct a song? In other words, are there any ways to remember how fast 180 Bpm is?
drummajorproblems drummajorproblems Said:

Message in a Bottle by The Police is a song around 180bpm. and so is Livin La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin. 

Thriller is 120 bpm

And 96 bpm is like Hey, Soul Sister by Train.

Those are the songs that I keep in mind when I’m trying to remember tempo.