#1
Today, our band director asked sophomores that wanted to try out for drum major to talk to him today. Despite me just joining the school band this year (and picking up a rather difficult new instrument, the baritone), I was always kind of interested in it.

Well, three people, including me, are interested. 2 out of 3 of us will become drum majors, and these people have been in school band for quite awhile now.

I asked our director today what we had to do for auditions, and he said that we be tested on some stuff, and we'd have to direct the band.

I'm scared shitless now. Any tips that anyone could give me to help me, maybe some things to practice? I know a drum major keeps time and informs the band of changes in tempo and dynamics, so would practicing conducting with a metronome be beneficial?

Any advice would be really helpful. I really want to get this spot.
#2
have quick, controlled, fluid motions with the hands and keep perfect time.

also, a good salute (if they test you on it) looks cool in my book.

i really don't know anything about being a drum major btw, these are just things i would expect.
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#3
Yes, practice conducting with a metronome. You also need to conduct without one, though. Start conducting with the metronome, then have someone plug headphones in, turn down the volume, something, but keep conducting. After a while, have your buddy unmute the met and see how far off you are. To conduct, you need to be able to keep time without the aid of a metronome.

As for actually conducting, make sure your movements are obvious and consistent. Make every beat one look like every other beat one, every beat two like every other beat two, etc. Be very clear with where the beat is, too. Don't just wave your arms around, be concise.

Most importantly, don't be nervous. Conducting is difficult, but everybody you'll be conducting knows that. Nobody's going to judge you. Don't be afraid to get into a groove, either. If the band sees that you're enjoying yourself and not stiff and nervous, they'll respond better. Good luck, man.

PS: I play baritone too!
Last edited by SlashYourFug at Oct 20, 2009,
#4
to pass you need to be able to keep count conducting which isn't very difficult,
make sure you know your timings (4/4,3/4,cut time,ect,ect,)
and practice and learn to play your instruments,all the drum majors in our band are terrible at there's
and make sure you are liked by students it will make your job much easier be fun and serious,kinda like a band practice sorta thing

oh and don't be idiots either like our drum majors and do dumb things like make the band practice without the drumline or make them march with 5 minuets left in class
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#5
My drum Major Audition (I did not make it by the way):

11 of us tried out. The director, drum supervisor, pagentry supervisor, general supervisor, and two drum majors were the panel that watched us.

First we had to teach volunteers a command. The panel asked us to teach a move, and we taught it to the best of our abilities.

Second we had conducting. We were told three songs to learn to conduct, and they watched each one of us conducting to a recording of the song.

Third we had I pattern (parade march). You start with a baton routine, then procede to call your band to attention, start the parade, do a salute to the judges, finish the show.

Finally we had interviews. We were asked a number of question on how we would handle different situations. Question I had were "Would you be okay with section leader instead of drum major?" "If there is a lazy band member, how do you handle them?" "What do you think is appropriate punishment for <insert rule breaking here>?"

Also, you are ALWAYS being watched from now on. So act well, act like a leader, don't get in trouble, etc.

Could be different for your school.

I also play the baritone...
#6
Quote by SlashYourFug
Yes, practice conducting with a metronome. You also need to conduct without one, though. Start conducting with the metronome, then have someone plug headphones in, turn down the volume, something, but keep conducting. After a while, have your buddy unmute the met and see how far off you are. To conduct, you need to be able to keep time without the aid of a metronome.


Yeah, I figured that. When we were practicing our songs for marching band, we had a tendency to slow down quite a bit, so we played a metronome, started the song, and after a bit our teacher turned it off and near the end of the song, he'd turn it back on to see if we had kept our tempo. Helped us quite a bit.

I think the main reason for that though is because half the band doesn't bother to watch our drum majors (who are by no means slackers, both are really, really good at their instruments), so sometimes when we'd played on the field we'd have 3 different tempos going on at once . We didn't mess up any of our contests though, except for one, but it was really cold and miserable that day. And after that we practiced, practiced, and practiced some more.
Last edited by Dregen at Oct 20, 2009,
#7
Quote by NoOne0507
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I don't think we'll have to go through all of that. Your school seems to be pretty big compared to ours, but I could be wrong. We're like a 1A school, really small.

But yeah your post helped me a lot. I'll be a little more prepared now for what is coming.
#8
My school is 4A. So yes, I think there will be some difference.

From what we were told, the most important part is the interview and teaching. This is because leadership and the ability to teach cannot really be taught, while conducting and parade marching can be taught.