Warming up plays a variety of roles in preparing a musician for performance. Regardless of how challenging a piece is, a solid warm up should be an unquestioned part of a rehearsal routine. If you're gearing your percussion ensemble up for competition this winter, these are a few warm up tips you can use.
To work around rehearsal time constraints, or just to make the most of your warm up time, Mike Coers for Vic Firth recommends playing pieces that simultaneously help both the pit and battery sections of your ensemble. "The Mouse," he says, is a great piece that accomplishes just that. Because it's separated into sections that feature different time signatures and rhythmic patterns, "The Mouse" allows the pit and battery to practice playing alternating parts, listening to and blending with each other.
2. Work on specific skills
Another way to use warm ups to improve your drumline is to make sure you're using ones that refine any skills needing improvement. If the performance piece features a tricky time signature, find warm ups that can simplify it. The key of warming up is to make sure your percussionists understand and are comfortable with the concept of the skill, and to instill it in their muscle memory.
3. Prepare physically
Warming up is important for physical reasons, too. Just as any athlete would stretch before playing, a drummer should do the same. In the winter, when temperatures drop and muscles can become stiff, it's especially important to make sure your drummers are warming up, literally, and increasing blood flow to their hands and arms. You can help this with stretches, some light physical exercise and warm water. Drummers can risk injury by not properly stretching prior to performing, so you should localize stretches where they will experience the most strain: shoulders, hands and wrists are some of the most important areas.
For more marching band tips and techniques, contact Marching Show Concepts today!