- Max Kuehn
If you want to know how to be a drum major, read this article. You’ll learn everything you need to know, from what skills you need to how to audition. A drum major is the marching band leader and is responsible for directing the band during performances.
They are typically responsible for leading the band in rehearsals and ensuring that it is ready to perform. Drum majors may also be responsible for choreographing the band’s routines and selecting the music that the band will perform.
What Does a Drum Major Need to Know?
Here are some additional drum major pointers to consider.
Being musically adept is the most important of all drum significant recommendations. This entails knowing how to read music and play your instrument and comprehending how music is composed and constructed (music theory), mastering your device to the point that playing it is second nature, and knowing how to march with precision, timing and accuracy.
While some people may believe they lack the necessary skills to become proficient in certain areas, practice can surely help.
Although some people are born with natural musical talent, anyone with the appropriate attitude can master any skill they desire! Working with a private tutor can also be beneficial.
To become a drum major, you must also have leadership abilities. Being firm in your decisions, knowing how to gain and maintain a group’s attention, and having good problem-solving skills are all universal attributes of an exceptional leader.
Being a drum major may not be for you if you are uncomfortable in a leadership role and dislike taking on responsibility; yet, this does not rule out the possibility of a quiet or shy individual being a drum major.
Anyone with ambition can figure out the best method to lead a group toward a goal, which is what leadership is all about.
Another tip for mastering the skill to conduct from a drum major. The music can become sloppy if no one is conducting the band.
Conducting is a skill that requires practice and patience to master; thus, studying from a trained teacher is recommended for the most outstanding results.
Leadership Qualities of a Drum Major
Leadership characteristics are frequently the deciding element in major drum selection, and it makes a significant difference if you can demonstrate strong leadership potential right away.
These are some of the most crucial ways to show your band’s leadership potential. This is by no means a full list, although many of these can be considered essential. You will be noticed as a strong leader if you thrive in most or all of these areas.
Simply asking your band director about auditioning for drum major is the most straightforward approach to show initiative and get on their radar.
You’d be shocked how much they’ll root for you to get the job one day simply because you took the trouble to speak with them about it. Because few other students will do this, you will undoubtedly stand out. Here are some questions you might want to ask.
- What are the requirements for becoming a drum major?
- When it comes to drum majors, what attributes or skills do you search for?
- Who is eligible for the position of drum major?
- Can drum majors be freshmen or sophomores?
- What happens during the drum major audition?
- What can I do to be considered for a drum major audition, or how do I sign up?
- When can I expect to get the drum major audition materials?
Exercise, exercise, exercise! And I don’t just mean practicing your conducting; we’ll get to that later. You should practice your primary instrument.
Be the type of band student that sets an example for others by performing well. Students who practice a lot to set an example for everyone else are the number one thing band directors tell us they want to see in their student leaders.
It is not required to rehearse in front of your director or others in the band hall. The manner you perform throughout rehearsals will reveal whether or not you are practicing.
So, instead of worrying about showing off, focus on becoming the greatest musician you can be and asking your director for assistance when needed.
The questions you ask about playing your instrument might also reveal how frequently you practice. They’ve been there and done that, so it will be noticed if you put up the effort.
The first rule of acquiring respect is to respect others. It’s crucial to get the respect of your other band members. It will be difficult for your director to consider you for a major drum part if they cannot see other students listening to you or following your instructions.
Being respected does not require a specific personality type, and being a drum major does not necessitate being an extrovert.
To gain respect in your band program, all you have to do is provide consideration. If you think this will be difficult for you, try the following.
Take note of everyone’s first name. Addressing someone by their name is one of the most fundamental ways to show respect.
Learn everyone’s name before they expect you to know it, and they’ll notice you in a good way. It’s merely the initial step, but it’ll put you on the right track with many band members.
Make friends with members of all sections of the band. You can be pleasant and respectful to everyone, but unless your band is very tiny, you won’t be able to develop intimate connections with everyone. Your band is probably too big to socialize with everyone.
However, if you have at least one good buddy in the flute section, Billy, the others in the flute section who are also good friends with Billy but never speak to you will treat you as Billy treats Billy.
They will treat you with respect if Billy treats you because they have developed a rapport with Billy. If Billy thinks you’re funny, the rest of the group will think so, too. And so it goes.
This, however, can work against you. As a result, make sure you are always respectful to all band members.
Don’t spread rumors. In high school, everyone gossips. This is why you will stand out if you have the self-control to avoid even harmless chatter.
When you talk behind someone’s back, it’s a signal to the person you’re talking to that you’ll be talking about them when their back is turned.
Don’t give off the wrong impression. Refrain from gossiping, and you’ll gain a reputation as someone who others can trust, and people will back you up.
Prioritize others over yourself. In the context of your band program, always consider small ways to make other people’s life simpler.
It may be anything from being the last person in line for food during a marching band competition to sprinting to obtain an ice pack for someone during a water break.
Over time, small, sincere acts will be noticed. Just make sure you’re not doing it to draw attention to yourself. Do it because you genuinely want to help others. A genuine passion for help is uncommon, and you will notice it if you embody it.
Get To Rehearsal Early
“Being on time is late, and being early is on time,” as the adage goes. You want to give your band director the idea that you are dependable and responsible. It all starts with being on time for rehearsals. To assist with rehearsal setup, arrive 10 minutes early or as soon as possible.
Being early means you’re more likely to develop acquaintances with other early band members. And because those folks are more likely to become band leaders, they are ideal buddies if you want to be a drum major.
Be Passionate About The Band
Happy attitudes and enthusiasm are contagious, and having a positive atmosphere in your band program is almost always a good thing. When practices grow long, folks who can keep the mood light and entertaining are tremendously helpful.
Make friends with folks who can elicit interest in others with infectious smiles and brilliant jokes if you aren’t one of them. It could potentially spread to you.
Help Your Band Director Out
Some things you may do to assist your band program include…
- Assist with the setup and takedown of seats and music stands.
- Ascertain that your section has their music and offer to make copies if necessary.
- Assist in filling or transporting water jugs for marching band rehearsals.
- For marching band rehearsal, place yard markers.
- For marching band rehearsal, set up the metronome speaker.
- Assist with standard organization, labeling, and distribution.
- Equipment loading and unloading assistance
Some of these responsibilities may already be assigned to specific members of your band program, but if they aren’t, volunteer. If you don’t see anything that needs to be done, ask your band director if there is anything more you can do.
Set A Good Example During Practice
Always be prepared for rehearsal and adhere to the rehearsal regulations. If you’re unsure about the rules or how to prepare, simply asking your director will demonstrate your initiative.
Many rules require explanation, and identifying those cases when rules are ambiguous demonstrates tremendous attention to detail. So don’t be shy about approaching your band director. Just make sure you follow through when they point you in the right way.
How To Become A Drum Major and Tips
Do you need some drum major conducting advice? If you want to be the best drum major you can be, here is some sound advise.
- Practice, practice, practice — and then some more practice!
- Attend every practice session, event, and competition on time.
- Support the other members of your band.
- Show your enthusiasm! Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing and show it at all times.
- Improve your communication abilities.
- Consider failure as a learning opportunity.
- Set a good example for the other members of the band.
- Always remember to be kind and professional.
As you can see, being a drum major entails more than just drumming and conducting. You must also be a teacher, a role model, a friend, an advisor, and many other things.
You must keep the band moving forward — and sounding fantastic. These drum major hints should come in handy!
Whether you audition, becoming a drum major is a huge accomplishment and a highly satisfying experience. If you decide to become a drum major, make sure you assist the future generation and teach them everything you know. Best of luck with your auditions! Fidlar hope you found this article beneficial, and please let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!