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For you band geeks out there...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by wdinc01, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Okay, in a few hours I'm gonna have to start marching band practice. And my band director expects us to be out practicing until 10PM! Is she gonna provide us water? Pfft, no. She expects us to bring it ourselves. And on top of that, when school actually starts next week (yeah, I'm not even in school yet), she wants us to practice three days straight, Tuesday-Wednesday, then go play a game on Friday. I think it's getting ridiculous.

    However, I know we have at least one marching competition this year (although I've heard two). And although I like knowing that we'll actually be playing/marching on the first game of the season, I really don't see us needing practices on Wednesday. I've got school work to do and TalkBass to go on so I can ignore school work.

    So for you band geeks out there, former or not, how is/was your schedule for practices? Better than mine? Worse than mine? About the same? This is her second year directing at my school, and last year she stuck to normal Tuesdays and Thursday practices, with an extra practice when the team had a bye week where we learned the last part of the show.

    Oh and for what it's worth, I'm actually going to be leaving at 9, because for the love of god, I'm not staying until 10. That and I live half an hour from my school.
  2. When I was in the band program, we had a two week band camp before school started. It was from around 9-3 Monday-Friday. We would be outside in 100+ degree weather marching. Every Monday during the school year we had a three-hour practice from 6-9. Every week-day we had to be at school at 7:30 (tardy bell rings at 7:55). On Fridays that we had a football game we would have to be at the school at 7:15 to practice with the drill team.

    That was for the first three months of school.

    I quit for the last year of high school. I couldn't take it anymore.

    We also did 3-4 competitions per year.

    Needless to say, it sucked.
  3. Welcome to high school marching band. :meh:
  4. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    When I was marching, we did 3-4 night per week until 10, and 1-2 mornings from 6-7:30. AND, most nights, we marched in the parking lot (which was painted with yardlines), because the football team had the field. the good thing ... we won the state championships mutiple times while I was there.
    We had to bring our own water. We also practiced when it was 10-degrees with over a foot of snow.

    ...wow, I sound like a crotchety old guy tellin' tales...

    It's true though. It's every bit as much of an athletic event as football. I played three different varsity sports, so I I can attest to that.

    It's all worth it when you score high at a competition. Plus .... the bus ride home in the dark is great with the band girls!!! ;)
  5. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I graduated last year, but my friends in it this year had band camp a solid week from 9 am - 9 pm in the wonderful 110 degree heat index florida humidity hell. Your camp sounds minimally bad...
  6. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    That'd be fantastic if my girlfriend, who believe me is more hardcore into band than I am, didn't have to quit because the band director was sucking up all her free time.

    Well, I'm to know that this is something normal for all serious bands. I was pretty fine with just normal practices then the FBA festival (we got straight superiors last year and a superior overall every year since the school's been open). However, I'm getting this feeling that the band director isn't going to give us a break, or if she does, it'll only be like a single five minute break. Knowing her, that's highly possible.

    Seriously, it isn't that hard to provide us water.
  7. Fontaine


    Apr 27, 2006
    this one time, at band camp...go get laid

  8. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Quit whining.

    When I was in marching band, practice was hardcore.

    Pit and Drumline had the show done, musically, the first week of band camp. Our camps were from 7 AM to 5 PM monday through thursday, for 2 weeks.

    When school started, we practiced from 6:45 AM to 8 AM before scool, and then until 7 PM after school.

    EDIT: And 1st period was a drumline period from 8:20 to 9:22... so we got our asses kicked an hour longer than the band did every day.

    And the band only had after school twice a week.

    We won everything.

    We had to drive 5 hours just for some decent competition.
  9. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Usually that meant the 2nd week of october to the 3rd week of november.... a few in december for championships.
  10. My daughter just finished 2 weeks of band camp. 10 hour days marching in the lovely Florida sunshine and humidity. She took plenty of water, Gatorade and fruit. She survived. Not it's back to 3 nights per week with somthing going on every weekend :eyebrow:
  11. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    My teens have been band-camping twice per day(2~3 hours in the morning and 3~4 hours in the evening) for two weeks in south Texas. Just ask the gas station...we live 10 miles out of town...
    School doesn't start for another week.....so 3 or 4 weeks of practice BEFORE the first half-time event...

    Do you want good, bad, or ugly performance-wise?

    Why do you think they let it replace "PE"?

    BTW: What are you playing in the marching band?
  12. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Man, for the love of the three piece!
  13. owensea777

    owensea777 Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Has anyone ever heard of a bassist in a HS marching band? One of the few football games I went to, this kid was holding a bass guitar in the marching band at half time. Although it was kinda cool, I doubt he had a wireless and an amp set up...it was kind of strange/pointless.
  14. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I played bass in the pit for two years. It was easy and fun. I didn't do crap. I was in charge of the pit the first year, then over all percussion the second year. I did absolutely nothing... the songs were pretty cool. I just had a hartke kickback connected to a giant PC backup battery. Worked out great.
  15. I played bass in the pit too. I was so badass. The songs were really cool and taught me some cool things. I used the school's Peavey amp... but I wanted to use my 4x10.

    I remember one day a tuba player comes up to me and says "Turn it up really loud... because we don't know what we're doing."
  16. AB53211


    Apr 15, 2004
    I play upright bass in pit.
    monday 3-6
    tuesday 3-6
    thursday 3-6
    friday- football games
    saturday 9-5
  17. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    To the OP.

    I WISH... WIIIIISH my school's band program was as dedicated and professional as yours. This is torture, this is training... but it will be WORTH it.

    Back in middle school, our school district's musical director showed us a video tape. It was the University of Michigan's Marching Band Homecoming Halftime performance, in 1989. I WAS AMAZED. That was a helluva thing to show me in my formative years, and it showed me how awesomely fun music could be, besides just the satisfaction of performing music. You could perform! In front of a crowd! And they'd love it!

    My director then showed me the footage of the drum major, infamously touching the top of his cap to his heels, bending all the way backward. I told him I wanted to do that. He said he would get me there. As the years went, he picked harder and harder music for me to learn. He bought me a brand new silver mouthpiece for my trumpet, which was worth far more than the trumpet itself! I busted my ass to perform a trumpet trio with two of the finest musicians in the school, and we played with fire. FIRE. It was too much fun. He kept pushing me, and kept helping me.

    Then he was gone.

    He was not a teacher's union member. And the union was complaining that a member who could teach music, wasn't chosen. So they booted him. Horsecrap. Another reason why I despise unions, but that's another thread.

    The next year, my junior year, we got a history teacher teaching us music. Bah. Freaking. Humbug. We didn't want to get up in the morning for practice. We didn't want to get on the football field to practice. We didn't want to march down the road for parades. It changed from fun to work.

    I quit band my senior year to take pre-calculus, figuring my musical career would never get off the ground now. I needed to get ready for college for education, instead of music.

    The year after I graduated, the school got a new, young, active, DRIVEN musical director. And after my brother had me come back to sit in on a practice, I was heartbroken. This was the kind of musical inspiration I was hoping for! They went to state-wide competitions! They played EVERY football game, home OR away! They had that drive again! The band grew! More people signed up the next year, and they ran out of uniforms for everyone!

    Do not regret the hard work it takes to practice for your marching band. You will look back on these years with pride and glory. Marching band is something I wish was as awesome for me, as I now know it can be. I feel jipped. I feel ripped off. I feel screwed that my drive was withered away by a crappy director who was the to ride out his tenure.

    Don't regret it like I do.
  18. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    Man I live right across the street from the local high school and man are you marching band folks annoying. Especially when its getting later and all you can hear are those stupid claves.
  19. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Baritone. Honestly, I think it's the hardest for us because he have to hold up/out our instruments like the trumpets or the french horns/mellophones, but it's much heavier. Plus I've got scrawny arms, no muscle, so I'm usually shaking and sweating like crazy.

    Anyway, got back from my practice. What really depresses me is that there are very few new people (except the colourguard). One new person in my section, but he was on trumpet last year, and we're done to four as opposed to last years six. I think the marching band is a little smaller this year, which makes me sad.

    And I realize that people out there have it worse than I do because they have to do all these practices before school starts and after school and go to competitions on weekends. But we aren't a competing band, this is our first year actually doing competitions as far as I know. And even with just the regular practices, we put on a great show, so it isn't that.
  20. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    How big were all of your bands? Our band plus the dancers was around 275-300.

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