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I desperately need pit percussion help... 
 

I desperately need pit percussion help...

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I desperately need pit percussion help...    14:23 on Saturday, October 13, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

maw102190
(17 points)

I'm sorry that it's such a long post, but the information is need to give some insight to my situation.

I'm in a very interesting predicament: I'm the pit percussion section leader in my marching band and I've only been seriously playing percussion for nine weeks. What's worse, is that my section contains the members of the marching band that weren't in it from the beginning: a clarinetist who's only been playing for a year and starting coming to practice after the third week of school (and at that point, it was determined that it would be too difficult to teach him to march and add him into the drill- we had 10 charts on the field at that point) and a flutist who came to two days of band camp, decided that he wasn't going to do marching band this year, and then was begged by the band director to be in the pit (to cover a necessary part in the percussion feature).

Nonetheless, I feel like I have the pit (pun intended) of the band. The two guys act like they don't care and they never practice outside of rehearsal. After a near nervous breakdown a couple of weeks ago, I got a little help from the drum line captain, but it now appears that that has expired. My situation is worsened by my lack of experience, lack of help from anywhere, and my fellow student leadership reminding me that I'm having difficulty playing the bells in time and that I need to watch the drum major more. (It should be noted that the only thing that I've been told by an instructor was that I should play as loud as possible for the effect.)

At this point, I have three weeks until marching festival and I'm feeling frustrated and confused. If you have any experience with pit percussion, can you please share some basic pit percussion techniques with me? Anything from mallet choice for loudest volume to basic where to watch/listen hints would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    16:12 on Monday, October 15, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

pville_basscap
(4 points)

OK...UR PIT WON'T LISTEN TO U? OUR DIRECTOR JUST IMPLEMENTED SOMETHING THIS YEAR THAT I HAVE TO USE ON MY BASSLINE OFTEN, BECAUSE THEY DON'T LISTEN OR CARE!! U HAVE A TRACK AT UR SCHOOL? GIVE THEM LAPS. I CAN GUARANTEE THEY WILL LISTEN AFTERWARD.

ALSO, WITH THE PLAYING:
*ALWAYS WATCH YOUR DRUM MAJOR
*HIT THE KEYS REALLY HARD!

GIVE IT THE EFFECT!



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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    14:53 on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bandgeekluver632
(95 points)

my advise: dont b a jerk. my section leader was a total ass and i got high mark time so much it wasnt funny. i am so glad that i am now the cymbal monkey and no longer in the pit. as for playing: use dynamics. get louder and softer with the band. at the loud parts hit as hard a possible, and at the soft parts play softer while still playing loud. i cant really say that much for mallets because im a cymbal/aux. player...

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    14:57 on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bandgeekluver632
(95 points)

my advise: dont b a jerk. my section leader was a total ass and i got high mark time so much it wasnt funny. i am so glad that i am now the cymbal monkey and no longer in the pit. as for playing: use dynamics. get louder and softer with the band. at the loud parts hit as hard a possible, and at the soft parts play softer while still playing loud. i cant really say that much for mallets because im a cymbal/aux. player...

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    21:49 on Thursday, October 18, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

percussionboy1
(25 points)

You sound alot like my section leader Lynette. If you have to act like a Bi&#( sometimes THEN DO IT!!!!! You are the section leader and if you have to make your section get serious, then do whatever is necessary- especially if you are an upperclassmen!

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    21:52 on Thursday, October 18, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

percussionboy1
(25 points)

Also, here is another thing.... Dont watch the drum major. If the band gets off then you are supposed to listen and get off with them and your section should follow you. It wont make things better if you have Battery on beat w/ the major, then the horn line on a whole other measure and then Front in between or something. Listen back and if Pit gets off then it isnt your fault cuz you are supposed to listen back even though you might not want to.

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    21:50 on Saturday, November 10, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

delacroix192
(3 points)

Always be with the drum major, always. If your drum major is off, suggest using a metronome to your director away from everyone else. If your allowed to deal out punishment, then deal it out. The people on pit obviously need punishment. Don't be too much of a jerk though, if i were you, i would just make them feel guilty instead of being an outright jerk. And remember how each count looks in the conducting form.

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    12:09 on Sunday, November 11, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

silverphoenixjmp
(4 points)

I was the pit section leader this year at my school. Of course, it was only out first year having a pit, but it turned out okay. While the band went outside doing basics and working on learning the show, I kept the pit inside to work the music. If there is a recording of the songs, play with it. You'll get used to where your part is according to where the band is (like the trumpets come in here, thats where they mallets start. stuff like that). You just have to work the music to a point where its second nature.

Now, for your members that don't seem to care, you have to make them. I had the same problem. I started out nice and that didn't work. So you have to force them to work. If you have to yell do it. If you have to seperate a few people, do it. You have to force them to work. If you have any way to give them 'rewards', thats a good way to go. like "if you guys work and get this song memorized and good, then we'll go out for lunch or dinner or something" just something that will motivate them. But you have to be forceful to get them on track.

I hope this helps.

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    00:16 on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

crescalona
(24 points)

I can write for you any sheet music for percussion
crescalona@yahoo.com

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    00:43 on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Blue_whizy
(3 points)

In field season, it is only accurate for the pit to listen back to the battery or whom ever is keeping time (usually the battery). If you decide to watch the Drum Major, the audience will hear the pit sounds before those playing behind you (the rest of the band). Because the front ensemble is much closer to the audience than the rest of the band, the sounds will not be aligned since the pit sound will travel to the audience much quicker than the rest of the band. LISTEN TO THE "BACK"!

Regardless if you are out on the field for rehearsal, having a sectional, or in a competition, PLAY LIKE YOU MEAN IT! Each note requires effort and emotion. Make the music come alive. Play the music and tell the story through dynamics and expression. You are there to perform. So prove to the judges, audience, or whom ever that you are there to impress them, not to waste their time.

As for your section discipline, make sure that you get your own music down before you teach the others. Act professionally at all times, in and out of band. You need to tell them clearly and straightforward your expectations throughout the season. If they don't listen, then make them run laps or do push ups. For my pit, I make them do at least 20 push ups when they are late to a practice and run a lap if they are late to a band rehearsal. Or to use time more efficiently, you can make them owe you time for sectionals. "For every minute late, the same amount of time is owed to a one on one sectional." That way, you can get stuff done at the same time. For those who don't listen or do their part, as long as you do YOUR PART and encourage them, push them, and do your best in teaching them what they need to know, the rest is all up to them. If they're there to waste their time, that's their problem. However, you need to act confident at all times and keep your head tall. Don't let them bring you down or frustrate you. Relax and BE the leader.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    17:37 on Friday, August 15, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

musicianactor22
(5 points)

I was frontline section last year and I had this exact same problem. People not knowing anything about the instrument that they're playing. If people are not focusing when it's time to work then you need to talk to your band director about them not being in frontline. If you're section leader, you should be able to play and watch the field commander. If you have any questions, comment my page.

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Re: I desperately need pit percussion help...    16:33 on Friday, October 03, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FathomPercussion
ist

There is an easy solution to your syncronisation errors-set up percussion time ratios if the general percussion music notation is repeated in certain segments.If the notation is not repeated in broken segments the only advice i can give is to watch the major.If you dont know what a time ratio is,just ask.

   

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