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My Passion Project
Transcript of My Passion Project
Today I added all of the accents and dynamics to the cadence. An accent is a note that is played louder than all of the others around it. Accents are very important for the percussion section because they allow for the drums to create a pulse feel. In addition, dynamics are markings that tell the players when to get loud and when to stay soft. I used these markings to increase the intensity right before the beat started
What are the Axes?
When playing the quads, all of the strokes that are made can be split up into the x-axis and the y-axis. The idea behind this is that if you can play the music on one drum, you should be able to play it exactly the same way on all of the drums just by moving your arms horizontally in addition to vertically. In other words, the vertical axis (up and down) is always the same, and the horizontal axis (side to side) comes into play only when playing around the drums and trying not to hit the rims.
What is the Drumline?
In a marching band, the drumline is the word that is used to describe the percussion section. Typically the drumline consists of four different instruments. The bass drums are the deepest drums, and there are several of different pitches. The snares are the loudest drums and make a sharp but powerful pop sound. The crash cymbals can be hit by the snare drummers or crashed by the people holding them. Finally, the quads, also known as the tenors, have 4-6 individual notes and can play very fast rhythms and melodies to complement the rest of the line.
My passion is playing the drums. I have wanted to be a drummer since I was a little kid, and I finally got the opportunity to do so in the eighth grade. Since then, I have moved through the ranks of percussion in the WPHS marching band. Currently, I play the quads. The quads are by far my favorite percussion instrument, and I love to play and practice them
My Passion Project
3rd Grade - became very interested in the drums after watching Tony
4th Grade - Auditioned for the drums but didn't get it
5th Grade - I learned to play the drums while playing the trumpet in school
7th Grade - I auditioned again for the drums, and I got it
8th Grade - I tried out for the marching band, and was promoted directly to snare
9th Grade - I played in the WPHS band, and was eventually promoted to quads
Currently - I play quads and hope to continue to get better
By: Nico C
Journal Entry 1
Today was the first day of marching season in band. Until today, we were working mostly on concert music, which features little percussion. Now though, we are starting to work on the music for next year's marching show. That means I get to take out the quads!
Journal Entry 2
Today I practiced on a practice pad, which is basically a foam drum head that is quiet for indoor practicing. Instead of working on the pieces, I worked on my rudiments. In drumming, rudiments are the fundamental building blocks upon which most marching rhythms are based
Rudiments are simple to intermediate rhythms that all drummers practice. There are about 40 traditional rudiments, and they are very much like scales played by other musical instruments. Here are two of the simplest rudiments; they are the paradiddle, and the double stroke roll
Paradiddle: RLRR LRLL
Double Stroke Roll: RRLL RRLL
Journal Entry 3
Today I began to practice the music for the memorial day parade. This year, the songs are
Our National March
. My goal when practicing new music is to work out all of the tough areas, and then work on memorizing the piece. Hopefully I will have them memorized by the time the parade comes around!
This is what the quads look like, and the player wears them with a shoulder harness. After a while they get very heavy, so quad players also need to work out their backs
The quads are played with sticks for a hard sound, or mallets to achieve softer and fuller sounds
Journal Entry 4
Today I decided that I would write my own cadence in order to expand my understanding of the percussion section. A cadence is a short piece of music for only the percussion section that typically has a strong beat for the rest of the band to march to. In order to get started, I did some research and downloaded a program called Musescore in order to begin composing it.
My desire to become a drummer is from back when I was very young. The drums had always been cool to me, however it wasn't until I saw a live performance by the Tony T Orchestra that I really fell in love. Tony T, who was the drummer for the group was amazing, and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up
Journal Entry 5
I needed inspiration for how to start my cadence, so I went on the internet and listened to many different cadences by both high school and college marching bands. Finally I found one that began with the quads playing Mary had a Little Lamb followed by a cadence. Once the quads started playing the familiar tune that everyone knew, the whole crowd went crazy. I wanted my cadence to be like that, so I decided to start it with a nursery rhyme of my own; Hot Cross Buns
Journal Entry 6
Today I started to write the cadence on Musescore. It will begin with the quads playing Hot Cross Buns once through. On the second time through, they will be joined first by the bass drums, then by the cymbals and then by the snares. After the end of the second time through, the bass drums will do a buildup leading into the part of the cadence with the beat which will feature the snares and the quads
Journal Entry 7
Today I worked more on my cadence, and listened to music for inspiration. I listened to a mix of classic rock, and funk in order to make a new and interesting beat that would flow nicely. It is coming alone nicely, and I think that it will be done in time to introduce to the incoming freshmen at the meeting on 6/2
Journal Entry 8
Today I went back and practiced my double strokes. A double stroke is a stroke that requires one arm movement, but hits the drum twice. These strokes are incredibly important for all drumming, but especially for playing the quads. I practiced on a pillow today in order to get used to having minimal bounces, so that when I play on a drum it will be easier. I practiced with a metronome, and broke my previous record of 140 bpm. 140 bpm means that if there are 140 beats in a minute, I can play four notes in each one of those 140 beats.
Journal Entry 9
Today, I used my skill with double strokes, and began to apply it to multiple drums on the quads. The technique that I was beginning to practice is known as a scrape. This is when you play a double stroke, but you hit a different drum on each bounce. At first this was incredibly hard to do without hitting the rim of the drum, but eventually, I got it down and was able to play outward scrapes confidently with both hands. Doing then inward is another story though!
Journal Entry 10
It is a good thing I have been practicing scrapes, because they show up a lot in Battle Hymn, and I need to be able to play them quickly. In addition to scrapes, there are also alot of crossovers in the song where one hand has to cross over the other. For music like this, it is important to practice the rhythms on one drum before attempting them across all four. Today, I practiced Battly Hymn, at a slow tempo in order to work out all of the motions. Research says that if you practice at a slow tempo, your muscle memory will allow you to play the music faster
Journal Entry 11
Today I went back and added in the quad, snare, bass and cymbal parts for the second half of my cadence. The quads have a melodic pattern with a strong focus on the first beat. The snares have a more syncopated pattern that I got from a rock song. The basses together with the cymbals have a hip hop beat in the background similar to what would be in a rap song. I think it is almost ready!
Journal Entry 13
Tomorrow is the Memorial Day Parade, so I need to make sure that I can play Battle Hymn up to speed. I gradually increased the tempo as I practiced, and even had my mother look at my stick strokes from different angles. She told me that my y-axis was good, but the x-axis could use some work. I'll have to get that down before tomorrow!
Journal Entry 14
The memorial day parade was canceled due to the rain, but I kept practicing the music anyway. Even though there was no need to know Battle Hymn anymore, I still wanted to see if I would have been able to play it correctly up to speed. I played it for my parents and they thought it sounded great!
I love the drums, and probably always will. Besides marching, there so many different styles of drumming, both in the USA and over seas that i would love to learn more about. While I do not plan on turning drums into a profession later in life, I definitely believe that percussion is a part of me that I will have forever
I finished the cadence! Here it is
This project has been a very interesting experience for me. I always knew that I enjoyed playing the drums, and I did not think that keeping track of it could make me love them more. I actually thought that doing this project would make me think of the drums as a chore making me start to enjoy them less. This could not have been more false. This project opened me up to the possible paths to take with my drumming, and made me look back and appreciate how far I've come. While day to day, it can sometimes feel as though I have not improved at all, looking back on where I was a year ago really showed me my progress. In addition, this project encouraged me to write my own cadence, which will soon be used in the marching band here. Overall, this was a very fun and interesting project.