Education : Horn Color Guard Perkusi Drill Display…Posts RSS Comments RSS

Pada tulisan ini saya akan membahas bagaimana mempersiapkan materi pengajaran untuk pemain yang sangat baru dan awam tentang perkusi Marching.

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Mr. Andy Dougharty*

If I could give just one piece of advice to competing bands it would be this :
read and understand the criteria……………….!!!!
You need to understand the criteria based judging system that is being used by just about every competition in the world. It tells you EXACTLY what you need to know to get the highest possible scores in every caption. I am always amazed (and frustrated) when people start to complain about the scores, but have no idea at all how and why we gave them the scores we did. Here is a very simple demonstration of the process :


Box 1
0 – 25
Box 2
26 – 50
Box 3
51 – 75
Box 4
76 – 100
Uses only percussion instruments
Uses woodwind and percussion instruments
Uses brass and percussion instruments
Uses brass, percussion and woodwind instruments

If this is the criteria the judges must use, then they are obligated to follow the criteria. Notice there is nothing in the criteria about quality. That might be in a different box or caption. If I was a judge and the best band I had ever seen in my life had just performed, but they only used brass and percussion instruments, then the highest score I could give would be a 75. My hands are tied! Even if I want to give them a higher score, I cannot – because the criteria determines the box in which they are scored. If they had used just one woodwind – maybe a flute in the pit for some special effect – then I would have been able to give them a score of 100.

Criteria based assessment is an excellent system when used by judges who understand how to use it correctly. It is an excellent tool for instructors who read it and pay attention to the details. Judges are human and we do our very best, but we can be affected by different things. The criteria system helps keep us honest and precise in our evaluations. The old “sliding scale” system was inconsistent and left too much room for scores based on issues not related to the caption.

Often, in the highest scoring boxes, you will see statements like “All members of the ensemble….” That means ALL MEMBERS. If I see just one member who is not doing what the caption is focussing on, then I cannot give the band any score in the range of the highest box. Your kids NEED TO KNOW this. Mati siji, mati kabe! Sometimes criteria describes “a wide range of emotion.” What is that? Making me feel good for the entire show is nice, but it is does not display a wide range of emotion. How many emotions can you describe? Wikipedia has a list that is so long that I can’t paste in here without adding several pages.

I once judged a Winterguard competition where I was given a list of criteria that included the music used in the performance. Part of the score went towards things related to music, including repertoire, continuity, suitability and quality (including mixing and editing) of sound. It was obvious right from the start that many groups had not read the criteria and had assumed that the scores would be based on just the performance and execution of technique. WRONG! I had no other choice but to follow the criteria. As a result, some groups received a score much higher or lower than they expected. The group I liked the most put on an awesome performance. They were outstanding on so many levels… until their last song. The recording sounded like someone had held their handphone close to the television to make the recording and it was such an extreme change in style of music, that it was a shock. There was no sense of continuity. My score dropped down an entire box because the criteria demanded it.

So, read the criteria carefully and make sure that you and every member of the staff and performing group know and understand what is required. If you disagree with a judge’s score and you really understand the criteria, you will be able to make a much better and more intelligent argument.

*Ketua Dewan Juri DMC 2010

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Brass Basics

Ditulis Oleh: Philip T. Cansler
These simple practice tips can lead to better playing – and a fuller life.We live in a busy world, but brass players, like all musicians, need to set aside sufficient time each day to practice. It lays the firm foundation on which we build our musicianship. By working on what is most important to improve our playing, we can practice smarter – more efficiently – and have more time for living.

Tone is the most important aspect of playing any instrument, and making tone a priority is essential to longevity as a brass player. During practice sessions, devote fifteen minutes each day to tone development. Here are three areas to cover daily.

Mouthpiece practice
James Stamp can be credited for popularizing mouthpiece practice. I have found that students with tone problems improve vastly with a few weeks of mouthpiece playing for five to ten minutes a day.

A brass instrument is an amplifier: when the lip vibrates into the mouthpiece, the instrument amplifies the sound. Some players have a technique producing a sound that may be acceptable on the instrument but horrid on the mouthpiece alone. If you make sure the lips start together and then gradually work the lower lip into the mouthpiece, the tone improves dramatically on the mouthpiece alone. When you place the mouthpiece back on your instrument, you will sound like a different player. Practicing on the mouthpiece immediately after your warm-up will focus your ear on tone.

The embouchure we should strive for can be characterized as having the lower lip pouting inside the mouthpiece, which creates the beautiful, rich sounds we hear from great brass artists. Maynard Ferguson tells students that he plays high notes by gripping the mouthpiece. He is essentially talking about gripping the inside of the mouthpiece with his lower lip.

To develop your tone, try practicing any arpeggio exercise or passage (but avoid the high register). First play the passage on your instrument. Now create the clearest tone possible on the mouthpiece alone by working your lower lip into the mouthpiece. Once this mouthpiece tone has been improved, play it again on your instrument – and be prepared to hear a noticeable difference.

Lip bends
Practicing lip bends is actually a continuation of the concept learned from mouthpiece practice. It is an isometric exercise to develop the lower lip so it can grip the mouthpiece. Isometrics have been known for years as a solid means of building muscle. Yoga exercises, for example, are based on isometrics, toning and firming muscles through daily repetition. Similarly, for the brass player, lip bends isolate and strengthen the lower lip muscles.

Lip bends are actually note-bending exercises. Practice by playing a middle C (on the trumpet), then the half-step-lower B (second valve), then back to C. Now play the C, and use the lower lip muscle to push into the mouthpiece, which bends the C down to the B (without using the second valve). As you withdraw the lower lip, the C comes back again. Avoid kissing the mouthpiece with both lips.

Practice the lower lip roll first by pouting in a mirror. Once you have isolated the lower lip muscle, apply the technique to your instrument. Go down by half steps, recreating the half-step lower notes with your lower lip. The notes that are lowered without the new fingerings should sound almost as good as the \”real\” notes. After going through all seven positions, return to C and lip down two half steps.

After the muscles begin to develop and you start feeling some control in the lower lip (usually in one to two weeks), you can start on second line G (for trumpet) and bend the notes down by half steps through the seven positions. Each week, as you feel the progress in your lip, you can start on a higher open note.

Notes produced by bending will not be used during gigs. But the excitement you will feel when playing a high C – with the lower lip gripping the mouthpiece so firmly that you know the high C won\’t crack – will have you going back to practice lip bends for years to come.

One of the most critical practices to follow before putting the instrument away is the warm-down. Few of us are able to play for an extended period, put the instrument away, and encounter no problems the next time the horn comes out of the case. Brass players have consistency problems mainly because they bypass the warm-down. Lip muscles get tight after extended play and need to relax before stopping.

It takes only three to five minutes to relax the lips. Pedal tones are a great lip massage and will relax the muscles. Try playing a middle C, then drop the air speed and pull the mouthpiece off the lip slightly. The note should fall off to approximately an octave below, and the entire lip in the mouthpiece will pulsate. Continue through the seven positions, dropping an octave.

Next, try soft chromatics. Starting on middle C, go down through all seven positions and back up as softly as you can. If notes cut out, your lip is not relaxed enough and the lips are separating. Go back and do more pedal tones. Once you are able to play the lowest seven notes on your instrument softly without response problems, your lips are relaxed enough to put the instrument away.

If you are preparing for a special performance, warm down ten minutes the night before, with soft, low playing. The next day, your lips will be highly responsive.

So rethink your practice. Adding new concepts to your daily routine can improve your performance immensely.

Remember, it is not the time on the instrument that counts, but what and how you practice. Practice more efficiently, and you will not only notice improvements in your playing, but you will also find more time for that elusive balanced life.

Dr. Philip T. Cansler has taught in the performing and fine arts department at the University of Portland for 25 years and has published several books and numerous articles on the trumpet and brass playing. He can be reached at

General Effect Wiki

General Effect Music & General Effect Visual

The most global area of evaluation is known as effect. Music and visual presentations should create an effect unto themselves, triggering aesthetic responses to the intellectual and emotional design and performance. In essence, this is how we determine what is entertaining about a particular program. Effect captions are the most subjective to judge and yet there are established principles of design and performance practices which can determine what is effective.

Effect judges are looking at the actual design of the show, the peaks and valleys of excitement throughout, and how the performers make the show successful. Questions a judge might consider in judging effect are: Do all of the elements of visual and musical design reach an effective climax together? Are there a variety of effects in the show that display a wide array of human emotions? Does the pacing of the show vary, remain steady, or have lapses?

It is important to realize that it is not just the designers who control the effect but also the performers who bring the effects to life. The performers may be truly amazing musicians and superb marchers, yet they may have limited show material to work with. Eventually the effect wears thin. To be a good effect judge, one must have a depth of understanding of how shows are put together and how performers can not only interpret the design but also actually elevate its success.

Sumber : Drum Corps WIKI

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Ditulis Oleh: Wil Bijl
After GPMB 2009 a discussion has been held between instructors of some corps and judges about the scores for General Effect.
Without mentioning the names of the units and/or the judges I have the feeling that many people in Indonesia do not really understand the common rules for the judging system.
During the discussion a statement has been made that some corps have high scores for technical captions and hence they should have received high scores for General Effect also, this is proof of a wrong conception.The technical captions Music Analyses Hornline and Percussion, Display and Showmanship and Colour Guard do not have any relationship with General Effect.
It is quite possible that a corps scores high in the technical captions but low in General Effect because the technical captions do not relate to the performance as a whole.

General Effect is about the complete concept of the show, have everything related!
As an example: in Indonesia many corps have problems to do “transitions”. A transition is a moment between two songs, or a moment to chance equipment for the colour guard.
It is many times seen that a song stops with a climax, everything stops and everyone is asking themselves: “What happens?”

When you visit a good musical and there was a nice climax the show goes on with something that attracts the attention of the audience. In corps this can be done by a single colour guard dancing or a special intro from the pit or something else but DON’T STOP after a climax! You will loose the attention of the audience and judges and it will take quite some while to attract this attention again!

Same goes for equipment changes for the guard, many times this happens when the corps does not move, The guard is running to the side to pick up new equipment so everybody is looking to that running guard, does not make any sense because the guard is only running! You should have another focus point in the show so people don’t see that the guard is picking up new flags because they’re looking to something else! Imagine the surprise when the all of a sudden the guard has other equipment without anybody noticing!

What to think about all those drills where the corps moves all the time as three different units? In Indonesia the drumline is often not an integrated part of the display! They are hanging in the back or on the side, during a percussion feature in front but seldom they are an integrated part of the display!
For the integration of the guard things became better over the last years but many corps still have a problem with integrating the guard in the complete show design!

Some corps play sweet songs and their display consists of blocks or triangles, does not fit! Sweet songs come with arcs and smooth lines, blocks and triangles go together with aggressive music!
Flag colours and shapes are also part of GE, using triangle formed flags with hard colours does not fit sweet songs!

Please evaluate your shows and see if these comments fit your scores on GE, I will be back on more special issues about judging on
These comments are meant to be neutral and of use for all instructors of corps and marching bands in Indonesia. It does not make sense to criticise judges or systems, it only makes sense to build a better show concept!

Wil Bijl
Certified judge for DCE (Drum Corps Europe)
Writer for Drum Corps World

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By : Tim Hinton

I think it’s great when a band or a band program has a style or look that is its own.  Many marching bands perform a certain type of music well, usually driven by the interests of the director.  This sense of a particular “identity” can be a strong plus for a program.

However, I want to encourage all directors to take some chances and “mix it up!”  Even if you have a certain genre or style of music that your band performs well or traditionally is known for, I suggest that you stretch those boundaries and try some new things.

In the genre of classical music we have everything from Haydn to Stravinsky and beyond.  Jazz can be Dixieland or Pat Metheny, and Broadway shows range from “Mame” to “In the Heights.”

Allow your band, your staff, and yourself to grow.  Try challenging yourself to take a different route, or at least stretch into something a little out of your comfort zone.  Your audience, fans, and students will benefit and appreciate something different.

Professional filmmaker delivers outside perspective

Throw It Down DVD Cover Throw It Down, an 88-minute documentary from director John E. Maher, offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the reality of marching in a top-ranked drum and bugle corps. The film follows the 2006 season of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio, and presents themes that are universal to anyone involved in the marching activity.

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Spectacular stage show tells environmental story through multiple art forms

Heather Henson Winter color guard has a big fan in the world of entertainment. Heather Henson, daughter of Muppets founder Jim Henson, is prominently featuring flags and props inspired by winter guard in her elaborate stage show titled Panther & Crane.

“It’s a puppet show embedded in a collage of dance and animation,” Henson says. “I love using all the senses to create emotion and mood. I also love spectacle with meaning, so there’s a story line about the environment. It’s all done in service to give people a sense of harmony and a sense of beauty of nature.”

The hour-long Panther & Crane has been performed several times for festivals and special events. Henson continues to refine the show and hopes to make it available to a broader audience.

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Five considerations for producing a quality sound

By Wayne R. Downey,

Welcome to the world of XtremeBrass technique. This guide is designed to be your “guide to success” in reaching your peak potential as a brass player. As with any road map, there must be a destination in mind. The destination for all brass players in the XtremeBrass world is developing the ability to play with a beautiful tone. That ability combined with a comprehensive understanding of brass technique will allow the player the opportunity to succeed in the art of making music.

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