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What You Get

When you purchase a piece of music from LanceDelgadoMusic, you will receive:

  1. A complete pdf score
  2. An mp3 of the entire piece
  3. A pit only pdf score
  4. An mp3 of the pit (no battery)
  5. A battery only pdf score
  6. An mp3 of the battery (no pit)
  7. PDFs of all the individual parts

Warm Up Philosophy

Teaching By Yourself

It's All About The Details




Warm Up Philosophy

My philosophy towards warm up routines is that it should provide an opportunity for the students to rehearse something correctly and achieve a good level of sound quality. Warm ups should allow the students to practice executing different techniques, a few at a time, at a high level of quality. This philosophy is drastically different from the approach of "let's challenge the students with something really hard so they won't get bored". A typical marching band / indoor drumline season is short, and should be spent perfecting musicality, listening, visual excellence and performance consistency. The season should not be spent trying to perfect the warm ups.

There is a very good reason why the groups that are really good are usually really good year after year. The opposite also holds true. The reason is, "Excellence is not a singular act, it is a habit." (Thank you Aristotle) For a line to be able to play "clean", it has to practice playing clean, a lot. If an ensemble begins each rehearsal day by immediately playing with a high level of sound quality and execution (or at least attempting to), they will learn and understand what "clean" sounds and feels like. If this is repeated on a daily basis, they will be able to achieve musical excellence much, much quicker.

Now, no line will be able to play clean right away. It takes work, discipline and patience. However, it is very possible to establish execution, technique and sound quality from the very first rehearsal. The first way is to have a warm up routine that is appropriate to the level of the group. Every group will have variables of ability level (some players or sections are more experienced than others), but most lines fall into 1 of 3 categories: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. It is of utmost importance that the music written for them (warm ups and the musical book), match the level of the group. You don't want to have a warm up book that takes all year to get clean, because you will never get to work on and enjoy concepts such as consistency from show to show, performance skills and communication. That is where the real fun happens! Besides, every show has changes throughout the season which will require the members to be learning new parts and making adjustments. It is much easier to do this when they are not still struggling with the warm ups. And of course, you don't want warm ups that are "too easy" so that the members get bored.

The warm up routine should be an opportunity for the students to practice and enjoy playing clean and together. Playing well and sounding good, produces confidence. Confidence produces consistency. Consistency produces results.


Teaching By Yourself

Sometimes a teaching situation requires you to be the only percussion instructor for your group. Being the "pit tech", "battery tech" and "Caption Head" all at once comes with some unique challenges. Obviously it is ideal for the percussion to be all together, all the time if you are the only instructor, but sometimes things like drill and music learning necessitate the groups to be seperate. This situation poses some unique questions, especially if you are dealing with a marching band rehearsal setting:

Do you work with the pit while the battery is learning drill?

During band camp, who teaches the battery how to march if you are teaching the pit?

Since the battery tends to spend more time with the winds, do you have the pit on the field when the band is learning or cleaning drill?

When I am teaching by myself, I do try to work with the pit as much as possible while the battery is learning drill. In any group where there is not a designated "pit instructor", the front ensemble may easily fall into feeling like they are "unimportant" or "seperate" from everyone else. It is of utmost importance that they recieve just as much attention and instruction as the battery. Their playing and technique needs are just as important and their contribution is invaluable to the success of the group.

I do try and work with the battery at the beginning of the marching rehearsal to work on the "percussion specific" marching techniques. It takes some planning and organizing because you need to give the pit some specific goals and things to work and accomplish if they are going to be working by themselves. Learning a specific section of the music is usually a good thing to assign during this time.

Yes, I do have the pit on the field more during drill cleaning and even sometimes during drill learning. It can be a good thing because the pit often will need to translate drill moves and counts into their music so they will know exactly how long each phrase of music will be and where to start and stop with each phrase or "chunk". This is especially helpful if the drill is not written specifically to the rehearsal markings of the music or if rehearsal markings do not exist. It is a good idea for the pit members (maybe just the section leader) to write down the counts, phrases, or chunks in his/her music so the pit will always know where to start and stop. There is nothing more annoying, time consuming and detrimental to the flow of a rehearsal than having to have someone yell down a "pit translation" every time a specific drill move is to be run or rehearsed. Also, the pit can work on being quiet and patient in an ensemble setting, as there is obviously a lot more waiting around for them in a drill focused rehearsal. It is sometimes good to have a rehearsal where you are focusing on these concepts for the pit because it is something they will be able to do well as the season progresses if they are going to function at a high level. In a beginning group especially, the ability to be focused, quiet and attentive is quite often the most important key to being successful.


It's All About The Details

Upon finishing a week of rehearsal with my students, and then traveling across the country to judge a competition, I found myself thinking a lot about 'details'. I heard that same word escaping my mouth both as an instructor and as a judge. We all know that details are important, but sometimes it is easy to let things go in the frantic rush of everyday life. The details are what separate the good from the mediocre. They separate the best from the good. They are usually the only factor that separates 1st place from 2nd. We all know that details are important, so why do we not all always take the time to dot all the "i"s and cross all the "t"s?

Time. Time is always the enemy. There is never enough of it to do everything we want to do. So how do we find the time to pay enough attention to the details? In my experience, I always try to remember to begin at the beginning. The first time the student plays the instrument, the instruction should be detail oriented. Any time you see a missed sticks in or out, or a hand out of place or a grip not utilized correctly, address it. Any time you see someone doing any of those things perfectly, address it. We all see these things every day. The problem is when we do not address them because we have to get through this music today, we have to be at the field in 10 minutes, or we are just trying to get to the section that we planned on working today. These are all obstacles that keep us from being detail oriented. The thing is, it never takes as much time as we think it is going to. Sometimes, the problem will not be fixed immediately no matter what or how you say it. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes repetition. Sometimes addressing the problem or the achievement is enough to remind the student of what you are looking for so they can work on it on their own. Teach the students to be detail oriented and they will begin to address the details themselves. Then you will not have to continuously take time out of rehearsal to say the same thing over and over again.

Also, It is important to make sure the music you are expecting the students to learn, execute and perform is within their grasp (with some practice) to perform with good technique and sound quality. If the music is too hard, they will never get past the technical aspects of it and never be able to put their attention on being detail oriented, relaxed and in complete control of what they are doing. Once the students become detail oriented, the program will be detail oriented. That is when you will really start to get things done.