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Marching Percussion 101: Tuning


This series of video lessons will provide students and instructors alike with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental techniques for the marching percussion section. From maintenance to performance techniques, Vic Firth’s PERCUSSION 101 will cover the essential skills necessary for today’s all-around percussionist.

The curriculum for this series was compiled by members of Vic Firth’s Collegiate Educator Program which includes some of the most influential university instructors in the country. Presented by Brian Mason and the Morehead State University Drumline, this series will help band directors and students master the fundamentals in order to become a great marching percussion section.

Video 1: Snare Drum Head Selection

A discussion of Mylar (plastic) heads vs Kevlar (woven fiber) head

Video 2: Getting a Characteristic Snare Sound

An explanation of the characteristic marching snare sound with the tension level that works for various situations

Video 3: Adjusting the Snare Strainer Unit

Demonstrating how to adjust the various knobs on the snare strainer to get a good fundamental snare sound

Video 4: Tenor Tuning

Considerations for tuning tenors, including various size drum sets, spock drums, intervals, and tuning for different venues

Video 5: Bass Drum Tuning

Considerations for bass drum tuning, including muffling, pitches, intervals, and drum size recommendations

Video 6: Front Ensemble Tuning

Tuning of the battery instruments in the front ensemble, including special tuning considerations for the concert bass drum

MP101_warmup_packetFundamental Techniques for the Contemporary Marching Percussion Section

This warmup packet contains seven fundamental exercises for the marching percussion section. Covering basic strokes, timing, two height control and rolls, these exercises were specifically designed to provide the beginning to intermediate drumline with a solid foundation for building individual and ensemble technique.

Each exercise includes a full score and suggestions to help you and your students understand the basic techniques that are included. In addition, we have provided several options that may be used if students either find the exercise too difficult, or are looking for a challenge to enhance their skills.

Essential for any program who wants to build a strong marching percussion section!


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