Drum Corps Audition Tip: Playing By Yourself

Drum Corps Audition Tip: Playing By Yourself

Drum Corps Audition Tip For When You Are Playing By Yourself

Drum Corps Audition post by Anthony Huerta, DCI-WC HP

drum corps audition

Ever get the stress or worry of playing by yourself either at a drum corps audition or drumline rehearsal?  Well I know I used to and I used to HATE it.   I mean, now, I totally have no problem with it, but when I was marching in drum corps and indoor, I used to get freaked out whenever I had to play by myself.  Idk, the whole, EVERYTHING'S COMPLETELY QUIET except for you, ya now, doin your thing and playing?  All.By..Yourself…

The same thing goes for "breaking" at ANY time – not a good time.  But that's a subject for another post, you can read that post here:  How NOT to Break.


Idk about you, but for me the worrying and stress of playing by myself at times sucked, especially at a drum corps audition or drumline rehearsal. Luckily, that feeling doesn't last forever and if I can overcome it with time, practice and confidence, then I'm positive YOU can too.  Soooooo, I thought it'd be cool to share some tips and I made a short video on how to overcome this issue of playing by yourself.

Here's a cool(kinda funny) little video that will help you overcome the worry/stress of playing by yourself either at a drum corps audition or rehearsal:


Hope you enjoyed that quick little video, sorry about the camera shake – totally forgot that's a little difficult to draw on a big white board, talk to you and shoot a video on my iPhone 4S.

Anyhow, here's recap of the Drum Corps Audition Tip On Playing By Yourself:

Playing By Yourself Tip #1)  Tune Out The Pressure By Focusing On A Fixed Point:

While you're about to play at your drum corps audition or rehearsal by yourself, stare straight ahead and find a fixed point in front of you.  Try to use something that won't move and target on that.  It can be a wall, picture, far off building, mountain or whatever.  Try to steer clear of watching something that'll move often like people.  This will help you maintain your "look" while performing especially at a drum corps audition or drumline rehearsal.

Playing By Yourself Tip#2) Listen To The Metronome/Sound Quality

Tuning into the metronome as you start playing will force your mind to refocus on maintaining your playing at that tempo.  Hearing those clicks or beats will force your to make sure you are playing rhythmically correct.   How does this help you with playing by yourself?  Because now that you're listening and working to maintain correct timing with the metronome, you aren't focusing on who's watching you. No metronome?  Then focus on the quality

 of your sound – in terms of quality, I mean the evenness of the sound from hand to hand, full sounding rolls, correct flams and ya know, all that good stuff.  Focusing on that will help take the pressure off everyone watching you either at that drum corps audition or rehearsal.  Or you can always use your marking time expertise, focus on your internal Met, and then you're back to square one. :)

Playing By Yourself Tip #3) Just GO!

If you followed the advice above, then as soon as you begin playing, you'll totally tune out the worriness.  See the point of #1 & #2 are to get you to just replace the thought of "Am I gonna get accepted at this drum corps audition?" or "What are my peers thinkin at this drumline rehearsal of my playing?" and you can just focus on doing your own thing – which is playing well.

Hope this rings a bell with the whole playing by yourself thing.  I can definitely say that I have had PLENTY of times where I had to play by myself and was worried/nervous but without a doubt, you'll get better at it.  Like anything, the more you play by yourself at drum corps audition s and drumline rehearsals, it'll start becoming more natural.

Eventually [when I was at a drum corps audition, drum corps call-back audtion, or even my drumline rehearsals,] I got better at it.  I also knew that once my playing improved overall, then I didn't have to worry about what others thought – I just had to focus on playing  well.  That's ultimately what everyone wants to see anyway. :)

Let me know how your whole playing by yourself thing turns out and if you use these tips at your next drum corps audition or drumline 

drum corps audition

rehearsal, let me know. ;)

Rock On and HANDLE,



P.S.  Do others a favor and comment below with your tips on ways you get over that feeling before you play by yourself either at a drum corps audition or drumline rehearsal.