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AnHoneyMouse

Best Percussion?

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In the best drumline thread they talked about Morton having the best drumline because their snares, tenors, and basses are good. Then in another thread they said that Morton's drumline really outperforms the pit, kindof incinuating that Morton's pit isn't very good. I think that a really good all around percussion section is important, and you shouldn't get a high percussion score if your pit isn't good.

 

In fact it seems to be my mission to get people to pay more attention to the pit.

 

So who in central Illinois has the best all-around percussion? I only got to go see one show last year, and that was at U of I. I didn't see every band, I only got there in time to see the last handful (maybe 5 or 6) before the big lunch break. I don't remember a lot from that show, but I do remember Macomb having a really good drumline, and a really good pit (I think it was macomb. They did the planets, right?). IVC (Carmina Burana last year, right?) Also had a really good drumline, but their pit wasn't nearly as good. Morton (again, I think I remember it. Barber, right?) Was the same. Really good drumline, but pit not as good. Prospect was a really good drumline and pit, but they arent in central Illinois.

 

What do you think?

 

Oh, and I'm definitely going to two shows this year: Metamora (tomorrow!) and WIU. If I can get the day off, I might go to UofI or ISU too. So if anyone else is going to those shows, we can see if we think the same things!

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I think you bring up a great point.

 

I think it's really difficult to have a good pit these days. If you have a big program with a ton of kids wanting to participate, then you're in better shape for pits. You can take people from different sections and put them into pit. I know when I was in high school, they would put the people that knew how to play piano the best in the pit, so the mallets sounded awesome.

 

However, the problem is this: If you have a smaller band, you're going to need every decent marcher/player that you have on the field. That makes the pits smaller, and also (I'm not trying to rip here) but overall less musically talented. I think many times, the pit is overflow for the young kids (8th graders coming in) that either can't hack it marching, or can't make the drumline. Therefore, you're dealing with a lot of kids that don't have much experience with music at this level. Add into it the problem that a lot of those freshman kids view pit as something they have to do for one year until they can try out for the drumline/flutes/etc. again, and then you have lots of turnover.

 

The best pits are from programs that have strong concert emphasis, since the pit is most closely linked to concert percussion, much moreso than the drumline is. And at the corps level, I can see pit being paid as much attention as other sections. But at the high school level, I can understand why as much attention isn't paid to them because some bands don't even have pit percussion. Some have none, some have average, and then some have the pits that really make you stand up and notice, and those bands get rewarded more.

 

However, I think at the high school level, judges should be more concerned with the battery. They have more of an impact in tempo, dynamics, visual perf, attacks, etc. than the pit does. (just my opinion, though)

 

Plus....how can I say this without getting in trouble.....um.......everybody loves drummers!! :D

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as a pit player i totally agree with AnHoneyMouse sometimes the pit gets overlooked. we sometimes get accused of not working as hard as the marchers, just because they are marching. our school is under constuction, so pit has to haul stuff all over the place. we only have six people in our pit and only two mallet players. we still love the drumline though and do a lot of stuff with them. ie sectionals, fundraisers, etc.

 

good luck to everybody today at metamora and everywhere else.

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The pit is extremely important! How else do you get those awesome fills or bass and timpani hits? And if you don't march a cymbal line (as many bands nowadays don't) the pit is needed to give that effect in addition to the mallet music. Ours gets the same amount of attention to detail as everyone else, if not MORE.

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I think there are a lot of percussion judges out there, too, who perpetuate the impression that the pit is peripheral to the drumline (and/or band). I've heard plenty of judges' tapes that don't comment on the pit one way or the other. If more judges were maybe a little more critical or complimentary of the pit in their critiques of the band, maybe less people would consider it a "dumping grounds" for the kids who can't make drumline or don't want to march!

 

(Not to say this goes for all judges...our tapes from both Danville and Pekin this year actually focused a LOT on the mallets. From my experience, though, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.)

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UT has great concert bass drums...that's for sure. They're like canons going off. I thought their pit was better than their line, though. Both IVC and Morton beat them at Pekin. I know that was early, and you think scores are battery heavy...but I don't think I'd put money on them. The Mid-Illini has two schools that have defeated them.

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True........

 

However - they won best drums last weekend against Warren Township at the Rockford show I noticed.

 

Warren is a 6A ISU school.......

 

I actually thought UTs battery was better than the pit. Interesting though - different perspectives is what it's all about.

 

Sept. 17th - yes - they weren't the best drumline............

 

October when music and drill is fully learned now and all "extra" things are added.......I'd put UT just ahead of Morton and IVC.

 

I guess all 3 will have their chance to shine this weekend at ISU!

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Very true. I expect UT to be really solid at ISU.

UT is always very solid. I doubt whoever represents 2A in finals, Murphysubro,Morton,IVC,or Herscher will get a chance to come close to them in finals, even if they have just as good a show, or nearly as good.

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Very true.  I expect UT to be really solid at ISU.

UT is always very solid. I doubt whoever represents 2A in finals, Murphysubro,Morton,IVC,or Herscher will get a chance to come close to them in finals, even if they have just as good a show, or nearly as good.

Speaking of Murphysburo and that....how good is waterloo i see they out scored them and so did someone else????

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If UT is so great why don't they go to BOA, PASIC, or WGI? Me thinks they are average at best... But that's not a bad thing. Just don't try to say ANY line in Illinois is the best in the country until you've seen Stephen Austins line from Texas... They Had 4 MAJOR DCI legends on their percussion staff and it showed. Any comments? :ph43r:

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If UT is so great why don't they go to BOA, PASIC, or WGI? Me thinks they are average at best... But that's not a bad thing. Just don't try to say ANY line in Illinois is the best in the country until you've seen Stephen Austins line from Texas... They Had 4 MAJOR DCI legends on their percussion staff and it showed. Any comments? :ph43r:

I don't think this post added anythign to this topic.

 

 

We were simply talking about best drumlines locally imo.

 

 

UT has an amazing program...their music is one of the best probably int he midwest. Their director is a workhorse.

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Having been in Pit for 4 years- I must agree that the pit seems to be overlooked. It was only my senior year that judges started commenting (good & bad) about the pit. I don't know how other schools work, but I know for me, band members would try out for drumline- even if they weren't percussionists, but if they didn't make drumline, they'd go to another instrument, not the pit. Pit did become the dumping ground it seemed, which sucked because I loved it. I wish I'd had more people in my section with me that loved it just as much. I got lucky my senior year and another girl in my section loved it as well, but it's just too bad that pit seems to be the place where the freshmen that can't make drumline get put.

 

I agree that UTHS has an awesome percussion (pit and drumline both).

 

From what I've seen this year- probably after yesterday I'd say IVC has a pretty decent pit combined with their drumline, maybe not the best in the area, but up there. I love Washington's drumline, but I'm not too impressed with their pit, so I wouldn't say they've got one of the best percussion sections around. I wish I could remember the other band that had me in awe of their pit, but I just can't remember right now. I love the mallet part Galesburg has in their percussion feature, but their problem right now is that they've got such a small percussion section (drumline and pit combined). For being so small though, they sounds really good.

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The reason we dont go to BOA, WGI, or PASIC is simple...

that all costs money, money that we dont have......our school is in horrible debt...

 

we all take pride in our music program and we take a very professional approach to our drumline...we take it very serious..and we are very proud of our win in rockford and we are working extremely hard for ISU

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From what I've seen, I think both Washington and IVC drumlines are both really outstanding. Unfortunately, I haven't seen UT's performance this year. Its difficult to judge best percussion, especially in the 4A class simply because many of the larger bands may have an awesome battery, but a weaker frontline, and the other way around also, of course. I think any band who's battery and frontline lock in the best will take the cake for sure at U of I, regardless of the level of difficulty in music.

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It seems that no one on here saw the 3A bands on Saturday at Metamora. Morton's percussion had the high score of the day. All of the percussion sections you mention from Saturday are very solid....I just wish you could have seen them.

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I think you bring up a great point.

 

I think it's really difficult to have a good pit these days. If you have a big program with a ton of kids wanting to participate, then you're in better shape for pits. You can take people from different sections and put them into pit. I know when I was in high school, they would put the people that knew how to play piano the best in the pit, so the mallets sounded awesome.

 

However, the problem is this: If you have a smaller band, you're going to need every decent marcher/player that you have on the field. That makes the pits smaller, and also (I'm not trying to rip here) but overall less musically talented. I think many times, the pit is overflow for the young kids (8th graders coming in) that either can't hack it marching, or can't make the drumline. Therefore, you're dealing with a lot of kids that don't have much experience with music at this level. Add into it the problem that a lot of those freshman kids view pit as something they have to do for one year until they can try out for the drumline/flutes/etc. again, and then you have lots of turnover.

 

The best pits are from programs that have strong concert emphasis, since the pit is most closely linked to concert percussion, much moreso than the drumline is. And at the corps level, I can see pit being paid as much attention as other sections. But at the high school level, I can understand why as much attention isn't paid to them because some bands don't even have pit percussion. Some have none, some have average, and then some have the pits that really make you stand up and notice, and those bands get rewarded more.

 

However, I think at the high school level, judges should be more concerned with the battery. They have more of an impact in tempo, dynamics, visual perf, attacks, etc. than the pit does. (just my opinion, though)

 

Plus....how can I say this without getting in trouble.....um.......everybody loves drummers!! :D

Come on....you really think the line is more important than the pit...or at least it should be judged that way. I think the pit is equally important, and if handled correctly provides an incredible amount of color and texture to the musical performance. I'd prefer a band have a really incredible pit over a drumline anyday. However, a great drumline is important to keeping time in any marching band.

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Come on....you really think the line is more important than the pit...or at least it should be judged that way. I think the pit is equally important, and if handled correctly provides an incredible amount of color and texture to the musical performance. I'd prefer a band have a really incredible pit over a drumline anyday. However, a great drumline is important to keeping time in any marching band.

 

Timewise, the line is more important than the pit. (judging from the fact that the pit is encouraged to listen back to the band, not the other way around). From a standpoint of adding musical depth and color to a show, both the pit and drumline can be equally important, IMO.

 

Out of curiosity, what was the last pit you saw that really blew you away? I've yet to see one this year. UT had an ok pit, but most of the flash was just a big bass drum that they kept hitting at impact points.

 

Maybe the fact that I've seen fewer quality pits than quality drumlines is why I feel that judges tend to look at the drumline more, as does the average marching band spectator. Maybe it should be the other way around, but based on what I've seen, it isn't.

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Out of curiosity, what was the last pit you saw that really blew you away?

 

At Metamora, Macomb's pit was very impressive. I even wrote notes in my program. I feel like I've become the local Macomb fan club. I've never even been to Macomb (but I plan on going there on the 29th for the show at WIU). Anyway, there was lots of 4 mallet stuff - it seemed like that had 4 mallets almost the whole show. And I think I saw some of them playing with 6 mallets, but I dont know if thats even possible. Maybe I just saw wrong. They played a really cool keyboard solo that started out slow and got faster and faster, and even during the loudest parts of the band, you could hear the pit.

 

I keep talking about macombs pit. Im beginning to wonder if theyre might be the best in the state, or maybe just in central IL. I havent seen the big chicago bands yet, but i dont remember any of them being as impressive last year.

 

Whoever it was that played Karn Evil 9 also had some stuff worth remembering. Maybe its just because I like that song, but I liked how the pit played the original synthesizer parts.

 

Also at metamora, I saw metamoras pit playing some 4mallet stuff. That certainly indicates a higher level of playing, although I don't recall anything particularly impressive about it. Did I miss any others that did something cool?

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I think that everyone has a good drum line. and pit...it all boils down to if pit can listen to the band better than watching drum major...we have problems where the pit is like 1/2 a beat a head of us...but then...our director tells them to listen to us and they get back in....and if drumline can keep their beat right...lol walking down to do one of our preformances...our snare drummer kept messing up so we were all on the wrong foot..ha ha...yeah...then one of the drumline was gonna have a party...like no one came...ha ha ha...o well....we tried....yup...good luck to everyone at all competitions....

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Out of curiosity, what was the last pit you saw that really blew you away?

 

At Metamora, Macomb's pit was very impressive. I even wrote notes in my program. I feel like I've become the local Macomb fan club. I've never even been to Macomb (but I plan on going there on the 29th for the show at WIU). Anyway, there was lots of 4 mallet stuff - it seemed like that had 4 mallets almost the whole show. And I think I saw some of them playing with 6 mallets, but I dont know if thats even possible. Maybe I just saw wrong. They played a really cool keyboard solo that started out slow and got faster and faster, and even during the loudest parts of the band, you could hear the pit.

 

I keep talking about macombs pit. Im beginning to wonder if theyre might be the best in the state, or maybe just in central IL. I havent seen the big chicago bands yet, but i dont remember any of them being as impressive last year.

 

Whoever it was that played Karn Evil 9 also had some stuff worth remembering. Maybe its just because I like that song, but I liked how the pit played the original synthesizer parts.

 

Also at metamora, I saw metamoras pit playing some 4mallet stuff. That certainly indicates a higher level of playing, although I don't recall anything particularly impressive about it. Did I miss any others that did something cool?

Its good to read that, I thought I was the only one who was impressed with Macombs pit. And you are right, they were using 6-mallets and being a percussion I was very impressed. As soon as concert season starts Im going to be getting my marimba mallets out and seeing what I can do with six.

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6 mallet technique is not that standard or developed..............and is really almost useless.

 

The only thing you can do with 6 is play chords. You can do little technical things. 4 mallets allows you the independence to do much with technique, as well as have full - lush chords in chorales and ballads.

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6 mallet technique is not that standard or developed..............and is really almost useless.

 

The only thing you can do with 6 is play chords. You can do little technical things. 4 mallets allows you the independence to do much with technique, as well as have full - lush chords in chorales and ballads.

Either way, I still think its very impressive.

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