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Homogenization of Routines
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Author:  bandfan88 [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Homogenization of Routines

While I give prop spins (get it?) to DMs of today for being able to execute their routines well, I think all these routines have become so predictable I find myself able to guess them move by move by the end of the day. What happened to the creativity? Drum majors back in my day may not have been clean, but at least there was variety. Today, everyone does the same old moves, which would be ok if they weren't in the same order. Get creative! There's more ways to go to pike on a mace than a reverse flourish or a half forward round house on military baton. Props to Arcadia's DM this past weekend at Mt. Carmel for being different with his reverse roundhouse pike, but even then... his routine looks strikingly familiar to the previous Arcadia DMs. Get creative DMs, and take what you learned from your teachers and create your own style!

Author:  dmcoach [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homogenization of Routines

bandfan88 wrote:
While I give prop spins (get it?) to DMs of today for being able to execute their routines well, I think all these routines have become so predictable I find myself able to guess them move by move by the end of the day. What happened to the creativity? Drum majors back in my day may not have been clean, but at least there was variety. Today, everyone does the same old moves, which would be ok if they weren't in the same order. Get creative! There's more ways to go to pike on a mace than a reverse flourish or a half forward round house on military baton. Props to Arcadia's DM this past weekend at Mt. Carmel for being different with his reverse roundhouse pike, but even then... his routine looks strikingly familiar to the previous Arcadia DMs. Get creative DMs, and take what you learned from your teachers and create your own style!


From an instructor's and an adjudicator's standpoint, don't be shocked, I'd rather take a cleanly executed routine any day over another that has more variety yet executed poorly. That's what I grill into all my students because it's not just the DM score that I want them to be aware of, but also the one that matters most to band directors, and that's the DM caption on the Showmanship sheet for the band.

As for pikes, oh yeah, that's an easy remedy. But as for the general routine construction, I feel that some moves need to remain on the L circuits as they tend to show off more body movement than other moves, regardless of how trained that move may be with the drum major.

:shades:

Author:  DMPwer [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homogenization of Routines

I certainly agree with the notion of placing variety in the routine. It's what the Judges also look for. But I also know that if you can't execute it correctly, it's kind of not worth having. I would suggest to Drum Majors that if you want to place a variety of routines, work them! Don't fall into the trap of doing something new a WEEK before your L-Pattern or Review. Always plan ahead, really I started to work on my L-Pattern/Parade season starting in August. This gives me immense time to add variety and execute it with perfection :)

Author:  mikekimchi [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homogenization of Routines

I must say I agree with points from all three posts. Variety is the spice of life, and it tends to be the spice of a routine as well. Without variety, a routine can be incredibly bland, no matter how well-executed.

HOWEVER, no matter how many different spins, transitions, and specialty moves you toss in there, it will most likely look sloppy if not well-executed. I've always been a stickler to be at least near-perfect with each and every move, and always want every move to make sense in respect to the entire routine (relation to content, style, and type of routine), the specific command it's being executed in (serves a purpose in relation to all of the other individual moves), even down to that very segment of the command (flows well from the preceding move, and into the following move). Having said all of that snobby-sounding jargon, you can see that I'm dead-serious about execution.

I must agree that DMs should create, practice, and perfect their routines far earlier than their first performance...definitely not a week before. During our practice (Montebello, c/o '97), we would sprint/run, pick up our batons and do our routines while talking about something else completely or had someone ask us random questions. We wanted to make sure both our brains and bodies knew our routines inside out, and could perform them under pressure. Execution mattered that much to us.

...Please bare with me...

After saying all of that mumbo jumbo about how important execution is (and it really is), variety still remains the spice of life and routines. I must agree that there are plenty of cloned routines out there today, as there were yesterday, five years ago, ten years ago, and so forth. The problem could be solved for many with correct practice habits, good direction, and dedication.

In regards to style, I believe it's totally fine and respectful to utilize one learned from others, but DMs should definitely take ownership and expand from it.

Since the first post is imploring current DMs, I'll follow suit and toss in my two cents (or more) of advice:

- Know your basics inside out! Just like your band director, other teachers, and everyone else has probably said, you cannot build something awesome without a very sturdy foundation.

- Don't be lazy! Get the basics down so you can learn more intricate moves that are probably based on those exact basics (hence the term "basic"). Just like with any other activity, you can't be pushed anymore than you'll allow yourself to be pushed.

- Add variety to your routine! Practice it early enough to have it down cold before performance. Even if you use only your basics, there are soooooooo many ways to tweek them.

- Put thought into your routine, not just random moves! Like I said earlier, routines should make sense. Think it through, and your hard work will be evident. It's so awkward seeing a move that just doesn't fit...it almost makes me ignore the rest of a well-executed command.

Sorry to all if I sound like a tyrant/whiner here. I guess this thread just opened up some frustrations I feel watching recent Youtube vids. The most important thing is to have fun, learn, and all that positive stuff. :P

Author:  iLuvMusic1191 [ Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Homogenization of Routines

mikekimchi wrote:

I must agree that DMs should create, practice, and perfect their routines far earlier than their first performance...definitely not a week before. During our practice (Montebello, c/o '97), we would sprint/run, pick up our batons and do our routines while talking about something else completely or had someone ask us random questions. We wanted to make sure both our brains and bodies knew our routines inside out, and could perform them under pressure. Execution mattered that much to us.

Since the first post is imploring current DMs, I'll follow suit and toss in my two cents (or more) of advice:

- Know your basics inside out! Just like your band director, other teachers, and everyone else has probably said, you cannot build something awesome without a very sturdy foundation.

- Don't be lazy! Get the basics down so you can learn more intricate moves that are probably based on those exact basics (hence the term "basic"). Just like with any other activity, you can't be pushed anymore than you'll allow yourself to be pushed.

- Add variety to your routine! Practice it early enough to have it down cold before performance. Even if you use only your basics, there are soooooooo many ways to tweek them.


I totally agree with you. So many drum majors are so fixed on learning tricks and specialty moves that they don't bother to perfect their basics. And the foundation of tricks are basics, so when the kids don't have their basics down you can see it in their performance because the tricks are sloppy. I would prefer to see a clean drum major with full basics than a drum major trying to do too much and the performance coming out sloppy.
And my how tradition continues... i can't count the times at Montebello when we worked out and then executed our routines for each other while talking about totally off things =) good times.

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