Summer Drummin’

Summertime: The end of the school year—and looking forward to the start of the next year. As a marching percussionist, summertime is also the time of year where you can really improve yourself and your drum line.

Once fall hits you’ve got marching band and homework. Then comes winter percussion … and more homework. At this time of year, you can truly make a leap forward in your own ability.

Practice Smart

As always, make sure to practice smart—with a metronome, working technique and rudiments.

Spend the time all summer, so that when you show up at band camp, you’ve made the necessary improvements your instructors have been asking for. The success of your drum line will largely be determined by how much hard work you put in during the summer. Plus it is an excellent opportunity to prepare for fall auditions.

See A Show

If you are not marching drum corps this summer, make sure to catch a show. And perhaps more importantly, soak up some of the parking lot action before the show. Nothing will better prepare you mentally for next season’s drumming than being inspired by your favorite drum corps drum line. And there are more opportunities than ever to catch amazing drumming on DCI’s Fan Network and your favorite corps’ website. Get online and check out groups that may not come to your local area.

Get In Shape

Don’t underestimate what it takes to get your body through the rigors of a season playing quads or bass drum.

Especially if you are new to the activity or playing a new instrument, get outside this summer and stay active. Building leg and back strength now will make your band camp experience that much more enjoyable. So take a break from learning the music while on a drum stand and strap on the drums. In a few short months, you are going to be running around on a field wearing your equipment, and there’s no time like the summer to get prepared.

About the Author

Lane Armey is the battery percussion coordinator for Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. During the past 10 years, he has worked with various groups including Northwestern University and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.