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THE ACADEMY

DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS

Percussion Audition and Approach Book 2015

Duis Sed Sapien

Page

Nunc Et Orci

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Morbi Posuere

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1
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Welcome to the Academy Drum & Bugle Corps!!!!


You are about to embark on a journey like no other. The choice to march drum corps is not
only a step in the right direction towards performance excellence, but it also means you have your
own personal goals of fulfillment. Traits of integrity, responsibility, leadership, teamwork, ethics,
and perseverance are just some of the things youll find here. Stories and experiences of previous
marching members from all over the drum corps community would agree that drum corps can
help you on your way to self discovery.
A
As a well rounded percussion staff our mission to you and the members is to enrich the
educational, social, ethical, philosophical, and performing arts lives of young adults by providing
progressive and highly developed instruction, performing arts programs, and mentoring from
passionate, experienced, and professional individuals. With dedication, discipline, teamwork, and
a commitment to youth development and performance excellence, our members will experience
life changing moments and begin a journey that will catapult them into the real world with
invaluable skills. While providing enjoyment to our local community and audiences nationwide,
participation in The Academys percussion ensemble instills confidence, passionate, and character
driven people that will make them highly desirable candidates in the workplace and contributing
members of society.
In hac habitasse platea dictumst.
We take our jobs and your experience very seriously!
A. Proin tristique.
Enclosed you will find a packet of audition and approach information.
(item # XXXX)
$000.00
Please read through the enclosed documents
carefully
and consider the information seriously.

(item #aXXXX)
This information will help you to have
good$000.00
understanding in what we will be looking
for inB.the
2014-15
audition
proses.
Take
the
time
to
familiarize
yourself with all the materials in
Curabitur.
this handbook to help insure the best possible out come in the audition proses. This is what will
be used to determine who will be called back for the January camp. The execution of the first and
second levels of the technique program, physical condition, overall attitude, and all of the
intangibles are what we will look at when deciding who will spend the season with us.

For questions on this and all Academy related


information contact us @ ArizonaAcademy.org
2

Take your time in


reviewing the Snare
approach, and be
mindful of the bold
text; it is key to the
technique and
approach we will
be looking for from
player to player!
A

The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps


Hello and thank you for your interest in The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps and for purchasing our audition
materials. We hope that through this packet we will not only better prepare you for our audition process but also
provide you with the tools to progress as an individual. We want to give you an experience that will allow you
to grow as a performer of your instrument and as a person. Understand that all things within this packet, be it
the music or technical literature, is important information for you to read and learn prior to your audition. We
are not just looking for people who can march and play at their best. We are looking for people who can take
information maturely and apply it appropriately in all aspects of the audition, learning, and performing process.
Vibe
The vibe as a percussion ensemble at The Academy can best be described as beastly yet approachable. As
performers, you will need to be motivated and determined to achieve a high degree of excellence. We want to
see YOU behind your instrument. You should allow your personality to come through as you play and let us
know who you are. Dont be afraid to perform and let your emotions shine through the music. We believe that
the acceptance and embracing of this organic energy will thrust you into the rate of improvement we will need
to see from you as an individual. You have to be driven to perform without error.
Chops
D
C
At The Academy, we have a very high expectation for what you are capable of as an individual while behind
your instrument. You will see various exercises in the musical portion of this packet and a height system. It is
expected that you take it upon yourself to experiment heavily with our height system as well as a wide variety
of tempi. Do not just limit yourself to the suggestions and mandatory things our packet with tell you to have
prepared. We like to live by the phrase no limits. If you have no limits with your instrument of choice, you
will increase your chances of doing well in the audition process.
Sound Quality and Approach
Our sound quality at The Academy is dependent on a system of 50/50. 50% you and 50% the drum. The initial
50% starts with you and your touch on the stick. Regardless of the section you are auditioning for, we will have
a unifying concept of open hands, soft hands, and warm sounds. We use these terms to help provide you with
a physical image for the sound we want to produce. Open and soft will refer to your grip on the stick: Open
hands equal a soft touch on the stick, which equals a warm sound. The remaining 50% will come from the
drum. When open hands create a soft touch on the stick, you will produce a warm sound that will resinate
not only the stick but the entire shell of the drum. Also in our approach we will incorporate the idea of the
"traveling fulcrum": the belief that the control of the stick in slower passages comes from the wrist and a firm/
deliberate hand. While in faster passages, control will "travel" forward to the front of the hand, allowing for
more finger use and a primary fulcrum pinch. This ensures that we have an even use of wrists, fingers, and arm
at all times.
3

Stroke Types
Our stroke types at The A-Team are the foundation of everything we will do. Regardless of the
section you will be auditioning for, you will need to be extremely comfortable with them and the
terms this packet uses to describe them.
Legato Stroke
Everything we do at The A-Team will stem from the legato stroke. In its simplest form, the
legato stroke means that the stick will start and end in the same place. You will keep your
hands open and with a soft touch on the stick, you will throw the stick down with the appropriate
amount of velocity needed for the rebound of the stick to carry itself back to it's starting position.
There should be no tension anywhere in your wrists, fingers, or arm to achieve this velocity, and
you should pay close attention that all three muscle groups are as relaxed as possible. The
appropriate velocity will be determined by the speed and height in which you are about to play
and you will allow the weight of your arm and hand to propel that velocity forward. The
following is an exercise that will help build up your legato stroke. Play each bar eight times
before moving on to the next. Isolate each hand, then with double stops.

Marcato Stroke
The basic definition we will use for the marcato stroke is that the stick will end lower than it
started. The marcato stroke will be how we stop the stick down at a lower height or create our
accent sound.While performing this stroke, you will again have an open hand with a soft touch
on the stick, you will throw the stick into the head, and you will use your fingers and palm to
cushion the stick to stop at the defined tap height. You will NOT squeeze to achieve the
stopping of the stick. Squeezing the stick at any time directly goes against the aforementioned
idea of open and soft. Use the above highlighted word, cushion, as you visual image. The
following is an exercise that will help build up your marcato stroke. Play each bar eight times
before moving on to the next. Isolate each hand, then with double stops.

A. Aenean elit.

B. Lorem ipsum.

C. Vestibulum quam.

Tap Stroke
The tap stroke will be defined as a low end legato stroke because the stick will still start and
end in the same place, only it will have begun at a lower height. We believe it is important to
highlight this as a stroke type, as it is common amongst marching percussionists to squeeze
(item # XXXX) $000.00
heavily at the low end and not allow their taps to rebound. Roughly 90% of what you play at
The A-Team will be at a tap height of some kind or another. This stroke will be achieved
D. Quisque Viverra
E. Suspendisse congue.
F. Nulla quis sem.
similarly to that of the legato stroke. However, the difference here is that the velocity or weight
you put into the stick to contribute to your 50% of sound production will come primarily from
pressure in the thumb and index finger being pushed into the stick/mallet. The weight of your
arm and hand will of course play a role, although a majority of the work is coming from the
primary fulcrum. The following is an exercise that will help build up your tap stroke. Play each
bar eight
before
moving on to the next. Isolate each hand, then with double stops.
(itemtimes
# XXXX)
$000.00

Up Stroke
The up stroke is the exact opposite of our marcato stroke. The stick will end higher than where
it started. You will follow all lessons previously described in the first three stroke types to
achieve the up stroke. With open hands and a soft touch on the stick, you will play at the tap
height and, while cushioning the stick with your fingers and palm, you will pull the stick
upward with your wrist to the defined higher height. The 50% of sound production you are
responsible for will still come from pressure within the the primary fulcrum, as it is a tap. The
A will help build up your up stroke. Play
B each bar eight times before
following is an exercise that
moving on to the next. Isolate each hand, then with double stops.

E
5

Heights for Upper Battery


Our height system is very important for you to memorize and be comfortable enough with in
order to switch from one to another during reps of the audition material. Our heights break down
by 1/4 the length of the stick starting at 4 and will go up another 1/4 until getting to 20. The
height system is not just a way for us to look the same and sound the same, it is THE way that
we will make our music. The system is as follows:
2 pp (Beads below parallel and reserved for very delicate moments and p buzz rolls.)
3 p (Beads below parallel and the tap height for faster/tighter diddles.)
4 p (At parallel [1/4 of the stick] and is the tap height for open doubles.)
8 mp (1/2 the way up the stick.)
12 mf (3/4 the way up the stick.)
16 f (The length of the entire stick.)
20 ff (Sticks will be completely vertical.)
24 ff (Turn the wrist up to the 16 height and rotate from the elbows upward to the point that
the sticks are then vertical. Notice that the dynamic is still ff, because we will use this height
more so for visual volume.)
28 fff (Rotate the elbows upward directly from the set position. With the beads at vertical, raise
arms up until your wrists are in line with your eyes.)
32 ffff (Lift your arms up and straighten them entirely until hands and beads are pointing at 45
degrees upward and outward from your body.)

Heights for Bass Drums


Full stroke can also be defined as a Forte (f) stroke. When playing anything but a full
stroke, we use the same technical aspects of the stroke but with less to no arm. For a
Mezzo-Forte (mf) stroke, we use less arm but the same amount of wrist and finger as a
Forte stroke. Mezzo-Piano (mp) is all wrist and finger. Piano (p) is all wrist but always
keep in mind to have a relaxed hand when playing anything/everything.
4 p

8 mp

12 mf

16 f

WEIGHT
This exercise is to help you learn how to use the weight of your arm and hand to push into the
head to produce the 50% of sound you are responsible for. You will play each letter two times
then move on to the next letter. All buzzes will be long and will connect during hand changes.
Produce the buzz length by applying pressure or pinching with the primary fulcrum of each
hand. Once you are playing the taps, relax the pressure and keep the weight that the buzzes
created in your hands.

Other outlets for control of the stick


Fingers Manipulation
At The A-Team, we believe finger control to not be just important but vital to your success.
Although we want the use our wrists, fingers, and arm, we accept the reality that your fingers are
the part of you that hold the stick, so there must be a level of comfort in the fingers alone if we
want to achieve our soft touch on the stick. You will turn your hand all the way over to french
grip where your palm is facing the other hand, move the stick out to the tips of your fingers, and
(using only your fingers) push the stick into the head and allow it to bounce. For snare drums
left hands, you will keep your set position and open up your left hand to where all fingers point
straight forward and you will push the stick into the head using only your thumb. For this
exercise you can use our 8s exercise.

Figure A. Quads and Bass


should be comfortable with
this in both hands. Snares, in
your right hands.

Figure B. This is the motion/look


for the snares left hands.

Moeller Approach
Moeller is an approach we may very well use at times in our show or warm ups. However, the
motion we incorporate will not be as big as the traditional approach. We prefer that during this
motion you simply think of allowing your hands to be slightly more open and be less concerned
with a defined accent/tap height. Essentially every note is purely a legato stroke. Focus mainly
on having hands on the accent at the beginning of every three notes and having a small amount
of forearm support during the up stroke on the third partial.

Push Pull/Open Close


This technique is something we will use to not only further our skills of stick manipulation
through finger usage but to unify our approach of double strokes (the bread and butter of every
marching percussionist). In either hand, you will be playing a group of two notes and each note
is a legato stroke. On every first note you will attack the drum head and simply let all fingers,
minus the primary fulcrum, open up completely and let the stick fly back past its original starting
point. Next you will close your hand back around the stick which will propel the stick back down
towards the head again. For snare drums left hands, you will do the first note and allow your
entire hand to open up and the stick will bounce back past its starting point and stretch your
thumb back. Next you will push your thumb forward (similar to the motion in the finger
exercise) and wrap your fingers around the stick as is it goes towards the head. For this you will
use the legato stroke exercise.

Figure A. Step one.

Figure B. Step two.

Figure C. Step one for snares


left hand.

Figure D. Step two for snares left hand.

Roster for Audition Materials

The next portion of this audition packet will be the technique definitions for each individual
section. Remember to read all the material and to become familiar with the terms used in your
section. We expect you to have the following techniques and exercises memorized and prepared
to be used and played at a variety of tempi and heights. During your audition process, you will
want to make a great impression and we want you to give us the absolute best that you have to
offer. We would also like you to understand coming into auditions that this is a marching activity.
There will be a visual audition and we expect you to move and play. Happy practicing and
remember that at The A-Team, We love it when a plan comes together. Good Luck!!!
For all sections, our set position will be to stand with our heels together and toes apart (at the
45). All sections will begin with sticks/mallets in at their respective attention positions, during
the count off for anything we will begin marking time (whole foot a 1/2 off the ground) on the
last four beats before the attack and sticks/mallets will pop out on count three of the last four
beats. After a last time of anything is called, we will play the last time, stop marking time on the
release of the exercise, and all sticks/mallets will come back in on the count two immediately
following the exercise. For the 8s exercise, all quad and bass drummers will be expected to do
different arounds and split patterns on the spot as well as all bass drummers should be prepared
to play different drums throughout the audition and to play the unison part (snare part).

A-Team Snare Technique


This section of the packet will provide information about the approach needed to play the snare
drum successfully in The Academy percussion ensemble. You will be evaluated on your ability to
demonstrate a strong aptitude for the following concepts. Having a detailed and refined
approach in your grip, playing position, stroke, touch and dynamics/heights is essential to your
success. A snare line must be unified in every single aspect in order to achieve high levels of
performance quality. This means that heavy accountability is placed on the individual for his/her
own performance. Our goal is not only the ability to execute at a high level, but to fully master
the art of snare drumming.
Approach
When playing snare drum, the performer must embody two things: complete confidence and
absolute relaxation. When you have these two things, you will be able to perform effortlessly
with a relaxed and open hand on the stick.This will lead to producing a warm and open quality
of sound with natural resonance. Every stroke should feel heavy and should have a weighted
feeling to it. You should never squeeze the stick. Doing so will produce a thin, choked quality
of sound.
Right Hand Grip
Fulcrum Point: Between the thumb and first finger. 1/3 of the way up on the stick.
Remaining Fingers: Wrapped around naturally. May never leave the stick.
Points of Contact with the Stick: Fulcrum, fingers, and your Hypothenar muscle (fleshy part of
the palm below the pinky).
Wrist Angle: 45 degrees. Not German grip (flat). Not French grip (thumb on top).

Left Hand Grip


Fulcrum point: Between the thumb and first finger. Never disconnected. 1/3 of the way up on
the stick.

Remaining fingers: Wrapped around naturally to make C shape. Middle finger is relaxed and
on top of the stick. Stick rests on the cuticle of the ring finger. Bottom two fingers are connected
and are there for support.
Points of Contact with the Stick: Fulcrum, cuticle of the ring finger, and the middle finger
makes light contact on top of the stick.

A straight up. The palm of the


Wrist angle: Slightly turned over. The thumb should not be pointed
hand should not be too exposed either.

Playing Position
Having a proper playing position/setup is crucial to producing good sound quality and to using
the most efficient motions for the stroke. This begins with an appropriate drum height. In order to
produce consistent sound in each hand, the sticks need to have the same angle, and the fulcrums
need to be on the same horizontal plane. To get the correct angles, we use a two-finger setup
from the rim for both sticks. This gives the sticks a slight downward angle. To make the
D hand will be slightly higher than your left hand.
fulcrums match, your right

*This is an example of a two finger set up.

The beads must be in the center of the head at all times unless otherwise specified (edge, guts,
etc.). They must also be positioned a half inch off of the head and a half inch apart. The center of
the head provides the most open sound; playing outside of it will result in a loss of sound quality.
All of our heights are derived from the downward angle and proper bead placement. The sticks
should make a V shape that is approximately 90 degrees. In the right hand there will be a
straight line all the way from your elbow, to your first knuckle, to the tip of the stick. This will
cause your right arm to be boxed out; however, it is preferred to shift the V shape a few degrees
clockwise so that the right arm can relax in a slight bit. In the left hand there will be a straight
line from your elbow through the thumb; this creates a natural wrist angle. The rest of the arm
should hang by your side naturally.

Snare Line Expectations


We expect nothing less than maximum effort from all members to become the best snare line in
DCI. To achieve a goal of this magnitude, it requires exceptional musicians possessing great
attitudes and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of The Academy Drum and Bugle
Corps. We also expect members to arrive with an eagerness toward learning new concepts while
constantly executing to the highest level of their abilities. These people must show significant
improvement over any specified amount of time. The Academy snare line will strive to be the
hardest working section of the ensemble while constantly setting standards through their work
ethic. As a team, members and staff alike will equally commit to these goals.

B. Lorem ipsum.
A-Team Tenor Technique
The tenor (quad) line is responsible for providing the middle voice to the marching percussion
ensemble. The tenor drummer requires technical fluency in a multitude of percussive concepts.
Not only do we need to have an understanding of rhythm, but also move effortlessly around our
(item # XXXX) $000.00
drums while maintaining perfect rhythmic and dynamic clarity. These additional difficulties of
playing tenor drums does not provide us with an excuse to play poorly. It is absolutely
E. Suspendisse congue.
F. Nulla quis sem.
IMPERATIVE that we understand what everything sounds and feels like on one drum before
adding the motion around the drums. Only after youve mastered: A) efficient/correct technique,
B) rhythmic interpretation, and C) dynamic shaping on one drum are you prepared to introduce
the additional movement. In order for our tenor line to be successful, all members must know,
respect, and practice these requirements on a DAILY basis. All of the aforementioned
requirements
must$000.00
be unaffected by the movement around the drums for the tenor line to achieve
(item # XXXX)
its greatest musical potential.
Grip
Place the stick diagonally on the hand, on the back 1/3 of the stick, so the stick runs down the
natural palm lines of your hand. You should see the butt of the stick protruding from the back
part (the fatty, heel) of the hand. When done properly, the stick will be at a slight angle with
the arm, the first knuckle on the hand will be in a straight line with the arm. The palm should be
facing more downward, than inward and the thumb should be on the side of the sticks

The Fulcrum
The fulcrum is located between the pad of the thumb and the first finger. The thumb is held
firmly next to the hand with NO DAYLIGHT VISIBLE OR SPACE BETWEEN THE
THUMB AND HAND. The first finger is curled under the stick

Wrap the rest of the fingers around the stick. Be sure the stick is held with BOTH the fingers and
hand.The goal is to have a relaxed, concise grip with no spaces between the stick and hand, or
between the fingers.

Set Position
When set, both sticks will be held together with the right stick in front and the left stick behind.
The thumbs will be under the stick, so the knuckles will be under the sticks. They will be
straight and not curved. Both sticks, will be flat to the drums, just above the back rim of the
spock drums, about three finger widths above. This position should be as similar as possible to
the playing position, so few adjustments need to be made as the sticks move between playing and
set positions.

Home Base Position


The beads of the sticks will be a 1/2 apart and 1/2 inch off the head. The sticks/mallets will be at
a 10 degree angle down toward the head, and at a slight angle toward each other. The arm, wrist
and stick should make a straight line angle downward towards the drum(s)

Fig.3

Fig.7

Movement Around the Drums


Movement around the drums is based on the principle that all playing zones are in front of you,
in a straight line across the drums. Zones on drum 1 and 2 are about 3 from the rim. Zones for 3
and 4 are the closest to these home base zones. To play the outside drums, the arm slides over
with the grip staying the same. The spock drums are played directly in the center of the head and
are the ONLY drums that you will pull back for. There are two specific types of zones that will
allow us to be more efficient while moving around the drums. Stock, where we will spend
most of our time, and altered, where zones change to allow for faster scrape/sweep passages.
Squares=Stock, Circles=Altered

Any movement around the drums should include as little motion and space as possible
It is also important to understand the two motions associated with tenor drumming occur in two
separate axes, the X and Y. Although we classify our movement into these categories, our
movement always remains fluid. Movement in the X axis refers to motion across the drums
and is controlled by the forearm in order to move the wrist as one entity, allowing uniformity of
technique as we navigate the instrument. The Y axis refers to motion up and down and is
controlled primarily by the wrists.

Home Base
When playing a passage and the sticks are tacit, they will always float from whatever drum
was just played, back to tacit over 1 and 2.
Crossovers
A crossover occurs when we place either the left or right A) stick, B) wrist, or C) arm over one
another. This is primarily a visual component of our instrument, but also serves a utilitarian
purpose, allowing us to play the proper voices without making extreme alterations to sticking.
Remember that the first priority we have is to produce the proper sound on the instrument.
Performing crossovers cannot detract from our responsibilities as a musician. There are three
types of cross overs we will use and they are as follows:

A Stick Cross

A Wrist Cross

An Arm Cross

Before you get to camp spend some time moving around different drums using the eights
template for full battery. Here are some patterns to look at:

Drum 1 out to 3

Drum 2 out to 4

Drum 3 in to 1

Drum 4 in to 2

Triangle inwards and outwards from all drums

Z patterns inwards and outwards

A-Team Bass Technique


The technique for playing bass drum at The Academy is both visually appealing and musically
effective. It allows the player to use the same technique for any stroke to create a warm and open
sound while still allotting the player the ability to control the mallet. It all starts with the fulcrum.

The fulcrum is a T Fulcrum that connects the index finger and thumb. Without a mallet in your
hand, the thumb rests between the two knuckles on the index finger and creates a T shape
between the digits. The mallet sits between these two fingers and from there, the rest of the
fingers wrap around the mallet.

Make sure there is not much space between your little finger and the base of the mallet. We do
not choke up on the mallet because this limits abilities you have with a mallet. This is a different
way of thinking from snare or quad sticks but that is because these are different implements
played on a wildly different surface.

To create the proper look of the arms and placement on the bass drum head, relax your arms at
your side and bend from the elbow until your forearm is parallel with the ground. If the mallet is
sitting correctly in the hand, this will create a 45 degree angle in relation to your forearm which
decides what height the bass drum will be. The center of the bass drum should then be adjusted
to where the mallet head is. Dont change your hands and arms, change your equipment.

Be sure to leave just a few inches of space between the inside of your elbow and the side of your
body. If your wrist is kept in a natural line in relation to your forearm, the result is a VERY slight
downward angle into the drum head. This slight angle focuses the energy from the hand, into the
mallet, into the drum head.

When prepping for a full stroke attack, the movement initiates from the fulcrum of the hand,
rather than leading from the wrist or from the end of the mallet. The full stroke prep should be as
relaxed as possible. Most of the work is done by gravity when we let the heavy felt part of the
mallet pull the hand down towards the ground. When the mallet becomes parallel to the ground,
a burst of energy drives the mallet back into the drum head. This energy initiates from the
forearm with a small amount of movement which translates up the arm from the elbow, through
the wrist, into the fulcrum, and finally through the mallet and into the head. This exponential
energy transfer can be compared to a whip, with a small amount of energy in the elbow and
forearm translating to a very high velocity at the end of the mallet, which in turn creates a full,
warm sound from the drum.
It is highly important to have as little tension in the upper body as possible. This means the
shoulders are relaxed, the arms are relaxed, and even the hands are relaxed when not engaged in
playing. By knowing when to relax the muscles and when to engage them, a player can be as
efficient as possible and not exert any unnecessary stress on their body. Relaxation is key.

The A-Team Cymbal Technique


The technique used is the West Coast style of playing.We do not use off the hand/ release and
reloads. The Academys approach to playing cymbal is by playing with the most efficient and
affective technique while having both smooth and rigid motions creating a clean and aggressive
look.Posture should be very tall and making the body appear very large while keeping all
muscles in the body from core, back, shoulders, arms, and fingers nice and relaxed.For all sound
quality, all motions should be with a smooth, relaxed approach to get the best sound
possible.However, at times, some motions will be specified to move with high velocity for a
rigid look.Necessary positions to be familiar with during our audition process are as follows:
FLAT

FLAT-CRASH PREP

FLAT-CRASH CONTACT POINT

FLAT CRASH EXTENSION

CHOKE

PORT

CHOKE

PORT

PORT EVALS (A,V)

PORT EVAL CONTACT POINT

FLAT EVAL

FLAT EVAL CONTINUED

TAP

Take your time in


reviewing the Front
Ensemble
approach, and be
mindful of the bold
text; it is key to the
technique and
approach we will
be looking for from
player to player!

The Academy Front Ensemble Auditions


What we are looking for at the Audition
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Technique
Timing
Attitude
Preparation
Musicianship
Adaptability/Rote Learning
Sight Reading

Rack Percussion Players


If you are interested in the rack percussionist spot in the Front Ensemble, we will be looking for a
D
C
versatile player who has knowledge
of concert snare drum, mallets and accessory percussion. Please
prepare the mallet exercises to the best of your ability and a concert snare drum etude that showcases
your skills on the instrument.
Synthesizers
If you are interested in a spot playing the Synthesizer, please prepare a piano etude that will
showcase your proficiency on the instrument.
Mallet Players
Please prepare the exercises and technique described in this packet. For your individual audition, we
also ask you to prepare a short solo demonstrating your four-mallet ability.
Timpani Players
Please prepare the exercises and technique described in this packet. For your individual audition,
please prepare an etude or solo demonstrating your ability on the instrument.

Two-Mallet Technique
Marimba and Vibraphone players:
Grip
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Mallets should rest between the first joint of the forefinger and the thumb. This will create the
fulcrum.
There should be about an inch of mallet sticking out the back.
Wrap the remaining fingers around the mallet.
The hand should be relaxed and natural when gripping the mallet.
All fingers should REMAIN IN CONTACT with the mallet AT ALL TIMES.
Grip pressure in the front of the hand will change depending on the desired articulation. For
instance, relaxed grip produces a legato tone and increased grip pressure produces a more
staccato tone.
Matching articulation is an extremely important aspect of having a unified front ensemble. We
will be paying close attention to how quickly players can adapt to/match articulation
throughout the ensemble.

Two mallet grip

Proper mallet angle, with 1 inch of stick out


the back

Hand and Body Position


-
-
-
-
-
-

Hands should be flat and parallel to the ground.


Feet should be spread shoulder length apart.
Upper body and shoulders need to be relaxed.
Stand up straight!
Mallets should be 2 to 3 inches above the keyboard.
Mallets should remain the center of your body, except if extreme reaches for notes is required.

Correct hand/body position

The Stroke
-
-
-
-
-

The stroke is initiated from the wrist.


The stroke consists of two parts: the downward stroke and the upward lift. This creates what is
called the PISTON STROKE.
As long as the hands remain in good playing position the motion of the hand should be
straight up and down.
When playing a roll on a single note, a slight slice is used to avoid hitting the mallets together.
This is the only time slicing is allowed.
The wrist stroke should NEVER go downwards past the forearm. Doing this WILL result in
injury!

Mallets in proper playing position for


piston stroke.

INCORRECT stroke where wrist dips below


the forearm

Sound Production
-

-
-

Playing areas on the bar are a VERY IMPORTANT part of proper sound production. We play
in the center of the bar on both naturals and ACCIDENTALS. There are two exceptions to
this: one being impossible tempos which we will then play on the edge of the accidental, and
two being extreme low register notes where playing in the center may crack the bar.
Weight is an important part of producing a full sound, keeping the hands relaxed will allow
you to create this sound.
Playing soft requires firm grip pressure and short controlled strokes. SOFT DOES NOT
MEAN WEAK.

* Xylophone and Glockenspiel use a slightly different technique; grip is focus more toward the
front of the hand. These instruments require less weight for sound production.

1
2

Four-Mallet Technique:

Four mallet numbering

Marimba: Stevens Grip


Holding the mallets
-
-
-
-
-
-

Place the outside mallet between the middle and ring fingers. The ring and little fingers should
wrap around the mallet and the mallet should not stick out the back more than a quarter inch.
The mallet should rest in the meaty area of the finger, not too close to the knuckle and not
too far into the hand.
Make sure the hand is rotated so the thumb is up.
Place the end of the inside mallet into the middle of your palm, hold the mallet in place with
your middle finger and allow it to rest on your forefinger. Place the thumb on top of the
mallet to create a fulcrum; you will put pressure on this point to secure the mallet.
Your thumb and forefinger are responsible for the shifting of intervals between the two
mallets. This is done by rolling the mallet and extending the forefinger.
Intervals SHOULD NOT be shifted by extending out the ring and little finger.

Outside mallet in meaty area of fingers.

Stevens grip side view.

Stevens Grip Sound Production


-

-
-
-

Stance and body position to the keyboard should be the same as the two- mallet approach.
Thumbs should face up, the palms should face each other.
To play both mallets simultaneously stroke should be initiated from the wrist NOT the elbow.
To play an individual mallet, rotate the wrist toward the keyboard (pivoting AROUND the
stationary mallet) to strike the note. The pivot is essential to avoid wavering mallets while
not in use.

When playing the outside mallet DO NOT allow the fingers to create the stroke.
rotations should be used

ONLY wrist

Take your time in


reviewing the Front
Ensemble
approach, and be
mindful of the bold
text; it is key to the
technique and
approach we will
be looking for from
player to player!

The Academy Front Ensemble Auditions


What we are looking for at the Audition
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Technique
Timing
Attitude
Preparation
Musicianship
Adaptability/Rote Learning
Sight Reading

Rack Percussion Players


If you are interested in the rack percussionist spot in the Front Ensemble, we will be looking for a
D
C
versatile player who has knowledge
of concert snare drum, mallets and accessory percussion. Please
prepare the mallet exercises to the best of your ability and a concert snare drum etude that showcases
your skills on the instrument.
Synthesizers
If you are interested in a spot playing the Synthesizer, please prepare a piano etude that will
showcase your proficiency on the instrument.
Mallet Players
Please prepare the exercises and technique described in this packet. For your individual audition, we
also ask you to prepare a short solo demonstrating your four-mallet ability.
Timpani Players
Please prepare the exercises and technique described in this packet. For your individual audition,
please prepare an etude or solo demonstrating your ability on the instrument.

Two-Mallet Technique
Marimba and Vibraphone players:
Grip
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Mallets should rest between the first joint of the forefinger and the thumb. This will create the
fulcrum.
There should be about an inch of mallet sticking out the back.
Wrap the remaining fingers around the mallet.
The hand should be relaxed and natural when gripping the mallet.
All fingers should REMAIN IN CONTACT with the mallet AT ALL TIMES.
Grip pressure in the front of the hand will change depending on the desired articulation. For
instance, relaxed grip produces a legato tone and increased grip pressure produces a more
staccato tone.
Matching articulation is an extremely important aspect of having a unified front ensemble. We
will be paying close attention to how quickly players can adapt to/match articulation
throughout the ensemble.

Two mallet grip

Proper mallet angle, with 1 inch of stick out


the back

Hand and Body Position


-
-
-
-
-
-

Hands should be flat and parallel to the ground.


Feet should be spread shoulder length apart.
Upper body and shoulders need to be relaxed.
Stand up straight!
Mallets should be 2 to 3 inches above the keyboard.
Mallets should remain the center of your body, except if extreme reaches for notes is required.

Correct hand/body position

The Stroke
-
-
-
-
-

The stroke is initiated from the wrist.


The stroke consists of two parts: the downward stroke and the upward lift. This creates what is
called the PISTON STROKE.
As long as the hands remain in good playing position the motion of the hand should be
straight up and down.
When playing a roll on a single note, a slight slice is used to avoid hitting the mallets together.
This is the only time slicing is allowed.
The wrist stroke should NEVER go downwards past the forearm. Doing this WILL result in
injury!

Mallets in proper playing position for


piston stroke.

INCORRECT stroke where wrist dips below


the forearm

Sound Production
-

-
-

Playing areas on the bar are a VERY IMPORTANT part of proper sound production. We play
in the center of the bar on both naturals and ACCIDENTALS. There are two exceptions to
this: one being impossible tempos which we will then play on the edge of the accidental, and
two being extreme low register notes where playing in the center may crack the bar.
Weight is an important part of producing a full sound, keeping the hands relaxed will allow
you to create this sound.
Playing soft requires firm grip pressure and short controlled strokes. SOFT DOES NOT
MEAN WEAK.

* Xylophone and Glockenspiel use a slightly different technique; grip is focus more toward the
front of the hand. These instruments require less weight for sound production.

1
2

Four-Mallet Technique:

Four mallet numbering

Marimba: Stevens Grip


Holding the mallets
-
-
-
-
-
-

Place the outside mallet between the middle and ring fingers. The ring and little fingers should
wrap around the mallet and the mallet should not stick out the back more than a quarter inch.
The mallet should rest in the meaty area of the finger, not too close to the knuckle and not
too far into the hand.
Make sure the hand is rotated so the thumb is up.
Place the end of the inside mallet into the middle of your palm, hold the mallet in place with
your middle finger and allow it to rest on your forefinger. Place the thumb on top of the
mallet to create a fulcrum; you will put pressure on this point to secure the mallet.
Your thumb and forefinger are responsible for the shifting of intervals between the two
mallets. This is done by rolling the mallet and extending the forefinger.
Intervals SHOULD NOT be shifted by extending out the ring and little finger.

Outside mallet in meaty area of fingers.

Stevens grip side view.

Stevens Grip Sound Production


-

-
-
-

Stance and body position to the keyboard should be the same as the two- mallet approach.
Thumbs should face up, the palms should face each other.
To play both mallets simultaneously stroke should be initiated from the wrist NOT the elbow.
To play an individual mallet, rotate the wrist toward the keyboard (pivoting AROUND the
stationary mallet) to strike the note. The pivot is essential to avoid wavering mallets while
not in use.

When playing the outside mallet DO NOT allow the fingers to create the stroke.
rotations should be used

ONLY wrist

Stevens grip overhead view (thumbs up)

Proper positioning, with mallets centered over the


bars. Note mallet shaft angles.

Burton Grip
Holding the Mallets
!
!
!

Place the outside mallet between the fore and middle fingers; the knuckle of the forefinger
should be in contact with the mallet. The back of the mallet should rest in the meaty part of
your hand near the base of your thumb.
Grab the inside mallet with you forefinger and thumb, the thumb should gently press the
mallet into the first joint of your forefinger. Wrap the remaining fingers around the mallet.
There should be around an inch of mallet sticking out the back of the hand.
The ring finger will press the OUTSIDE mallet in the palm of the hand. Doing this will insure
the mallets not clicking while playing and it will also secure the outside mallet.

Burton grip underneath view. Note ring and


pinky finger positioning.

Burton grip overhead view.

Stance and body position to the keyboard should be the same as two-mallet approach.

Palms should be facing the ground

Hands should be two inches away from the keyboard

To play both mallets simultaneously the stroke is created by using the wrist. This should be the
same as when playing two-mallet technique.

To play individual mallets rotate the wrist in the direction of the mallet you desire to play
(pivoting AROUND the stationary mallet). The pivot is essential to avoid wavering mallets
while not in use.

When two-mallet material is played holding Burton grip mallets 2 and 4 are utilized. Mallet 2 is
played using the same rotation as previously noted. Mallet 4 however is played using a wrist
stroke the motion should be straight up and down. Mallet 3 at this time will be held parallel to
the performers stomach, this will get the mallet out of the way, and the interval should be about
an octave to set this up.

Burton grip front view.

Burton grip full view. Note right foot on


pedal.

Tuning
-

Ear training is critical to playing timpani, the timpanist will be expected to sing intervals as
well as Major and minor scales.
General knowledge of clearing the heads is desired.
General knowledge of technique (French Grip) and sound production is required.

Tuning process
!
!
!
!
!
!

Pedal should be all the way down; you will tune the drum up towards the pitch.
Sing desired pitch.
Strike the drum ONCE softly with the mallet or finger and push pedal forward until desired
pitch in found.
When you believe you have found the pitch, strike the drums again ONE time to check if pitch
is correct.
For rapid changes where checking pitch is impossible, gauges can be referenced.
If pitch is out of tune while playingFIX IT!

Technique
Holding the Mallets
!
!
!
!

Timpanists will play French Grip (thumbs up).


Grab the mallet with the thumb and first joint of the forefinger.
Wrap the remaining fingers around the mallet.
The mallet held should be towards the butt end and little or no stick should be hanging out the
back.

French Grip overhead view.

Side view, very little mallet sticking out the end.

Body Position/Playing Areas


- Timpanists should always maintain good posture be
sure to sit up straight!
! Drums should be positioned so you can comfortably
tune and reach each drum without over-extending from your
elbow.
! Playing area is 3 to 4 inches away from the bearing
edge and should be centered between two tuning lugs.
! Drum should be struck in the same spot for everything
EXCEPT rolls.
! Rolls will be played at the same 3 to 4 inches from the
bearing edge however the mallets will spread apart about the
distance of a dollar bill.

French grip ready position.

The Stroke
!
!
!
!
!

Thumbs will face upwards (French Grip)


Mallets heads should stay together facing upwards.
Stroke is initiated from the wrist and will incorporation the forearms natural motion.
Mallets will return to the same upward position after the stroke.
Different articulations are achieved by using a variety of grip pressure, velocity and weight.

Normal stroke beating spot.

Rolls
! Forefinger and thumb will remain in contact with the mallet at all times.
! For slower rolls wrist only should be used, for faster rolls the back fingers should help
propel the mallets towards the head.
! Roll speed will change for crescendos only in special circumstances. Velocity, weight
and the height of the stroke are used alter dynamics during a roll.
! Each drum and pitch will have a slightly different roll speed. Finding the right speed
will provide a full rich sound that does not alter the pitch. This varies drum to drum and pitch
to pitch so some practice will help you determine which speed works best.

Roll stroke beating spots.

Muffling
Drums should be muffled on the playing spot.
- Depending on the situation you can either use your other hand to muffle or the back three
fingers if there is not much time in between muffling and
playing notes.
- Press firmly on the head to eliminate the chance that the fingers will make a buzzing sound
while muffling.
Try not to slide fingers across the head as you muffle, this will also create an unwanted sliding
sound.

This Audition book was constructed with the sole


intent to be used only by current and prospective
members of the Academy Drum & Bugle Corps.
Any and all other use of the materials in this book
is prohibited without the expressed written consent of
The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps and all
contributors involved with the construction of the
Audition book.

Two Mallet Fun

*Exercises should be played in: Major and all minor scales,


Major, minor, diminished and augmented triads and all versions of 7th chords

3
3
3
3

3
3
3
3
3

Split Triads

L etc.

The Academy 2013





3
3

*Continue upwards Chromatically through all 12 keys

Split Arpeggio 7th Chords

10

L R L R etc.

13

20

*Continue upwards chromatically through all 12 keys


Thirds

R etc.

25

*Continue upwards chromatically through all 12 keys

32

Thirds Filled In

35

L etc.

* Continue through all 12 keys chromatically

SCALES.
* Play in natural, harmonic and melodic minors as well

L etc.





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13

17

21

25

ADD-ONS

Mason

The Academy 2013

12

Laissez-Faire
MALLETS

Benoit


The Academy 2013

11

TIMPANI

The Academy 2013

16

FLOWBEE

R L R R L R

Mason

R L

L R L

R R L R R L

The Academy 2013

L R L

L R L

R L R

R L

11

16

R L

L R L



R L R R L

R R L

L R L

21

* Straight sticking is to be used in this exercise as indicated.


* Play in all keys

GREEN

G.H. Green


R L R L R L R L

etc.

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11

*Play in all twelve keys Major and minor

GREEN/FLOWBEE

The Academy 2013

* This exercise uses the root and fifth from the I and V chords. When transposing to other keys,
use the same chord tones and place the notes on the appropriate drums.

NO FLAMS

Mason/Benoit


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11

15

17

BUCKET
Block Chords

12

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13-24




18

24

14-23




36



30

42

5/4 Accent

47

49

1 etc.

51

53

55

57

59

61

The Academy 2013

BUCKET
Timpani



Block Chords

The Academy 2013

15



13-24

23

31

14-23
muffle 8th rest

39

47

5/4 Accent

50

53

56

59

61