3 Tips That Will Help You Get The Top Spots in Drumline or Drum Corps

So, I get this request a lot…

“Hey Karl, I’m auditioning for a spot in my HS Bassline/Quadline/Snareline (or in a Drum Corps or Independent Ensemble) and I was wondering if you had any tips on what I should do so I can be as ready as possible. I do practice a lot, but often times, I don’t know what to work on and I just end up playing random stuff. Any advice would be appreciated”

While I don’t necessarily have a secret solution that is going to help in these types of situations, there are a few things you can do to give yourself the best shot possible at making whatever spot you want when you audition.

Here’s my top 3 tips you can try right now so you can get one step closer towards your goals:

1.) If there is any audition material, learn it! If there isn’t any specific audition material (which is possible with some HS groups), make sure you can play most, if not all of the group’s basic exercises and warm ups to the best of your abilities. For example, if you play Bass Drum and you want to play Snare, you better be able to play all of the Snare parts for all the exercises and or warm ups while using the traditional grip.

2.) If you haven’t been practicing everyday since the day you decided to audition, then you better do it now. If you haven’t started yet, don’t get too down on yourself, but you better start pulling some double duty in terms of logging in the hours of necessary practice. Besides, once you make the instrument or group you want, it is expected that you will be practicing all the time, so you might as well start now!

3.) Seek out PRIVATE LESSONS so you know exactly what you are doing wrong and know specifically what you need to work on. At the very least, get someone in your group or someone who has marched the independent group you want to join to help you out on a regular basis. People with experience will know exactly what you need to do to reach the heights they have reached, so seek these people out and don’t try to do everything yourself or try to play the guessing game of what you should be working on.

Now, I can’t exactly make any guarantees, but if you do those 3 things, you’re going to give yourself a great shot at reaching your goals, playing the instruments you want and/or making the independent groups you want to make!

Speaking of Private Lessons, I myself offer them to serious students who seek help and are ready to be guided towards audition success. That being said, space is limited, so if you want to get a spot in my schedule, I suggest you go HERE right now!

So what do you think? If you were able to reach your goals in the past, how would you advise the next generation of Drummers? Leave a comment as I would love to hear from you!

Karl Arrieta