Long before characters in the “Drumline” movie began chanting, “One Band, One Sound,” folks in the marching band and marching percussion universe have known that groups that stay together, play together … or to put it more simply, if you are friends with your fellow musicians, you are going to be a better unit.
Drum lines are famous (or infamous) for ways in which they encourage bonding, notably through hypes.
What’s a Hype?
It’s whatever you do to get your drum line fired up to rehearse, to perform and to have a good time. Don’t think your group is hyped up enough? Well then keep reading!
Wear It on Your Sleeve
If you don’t own a dozen T-shirts and hats with your drum line’s logo and name on ‘em, then you best get designing!
Often the easiest way to show your unity is to print up a shirt to showcase your talents around town. Your band jacket definitely counts too.
But it definitely doesn’t have to be that complicated. Some matching 99-cent bandanas can do the trick. In the extreme examples, I’ve seen plenty of drum corps lines wear the same pair of shorts every single day for a summer—an awesome way to demonstrate your cohesiveness—just buy more than one pair please.
Mascots and More
What better way to hype than channeling your energy through a stuffed Pooh bear, one-eyed skull or plastic giraffe water bottle? Trust me that all three work wonders.
Having that special item or mascot that is unique to your group can be fun and create inside jokes. At the end of the day, whatever (within reason) brings a section together as friends will pay high dividends down the road in how you play and how successful you are.
So whether it’s a special handshake, a cheer you do before taking the field or just adding a ton of cool visuals to your show, get hyped.
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.