Drum Corps Auditions: Understanding Different Styles


Understanding The Different Styles At Your Drum Corps Auditions is crucial to your success.  Read on to find out what you NEED to know  before you audition and how to stand out…

What You Need To Know Before

In case you haven't noticed, not all drum corps auditons are created equal.  Though when you watch drum corps shows you may not notice, there's careful placement and style demonstrated by the members.  See, not all drum corps drum the same or march the same.  Okay, maybe you knew that much, but for real – it gets VERY detailed during the season.  

Head placement, hand technique, marching technique, show music – style plays a crucial role in defining a drum corps.  If you don't know the style before your drum corps auditions, you're in for a wake up call and on the back burner.  Here's what you need to know:

#1 Different Playing Styles At Drum Corps Auditions

Especially in the marching percussion activity, there are a wide variety of playing styles from not only drum corps to drum corps, but indoor drumlines as well.  Before it was a case of East or West coast of the U.S. but now it's even as differnet as the same area and county.  Everything from the hand technique in drumming to the type of stroke.  

Especially in World Class Drum Corps, it gets really in depth.  Knowing this info before you arrive will help you stick out above others.

What to look for –

  • How they hold their sticks or mallets
  • How they produce their sounds
  • What types of music and rudiments they play
  • They type of strokes they useDRUM CORPS AUDITONS - BOOK

#2 Different Marching Styles At Drum Corps Auditions

FACT: If you want a better chance at getting accepted at your drum corps auditions, you HAVE to know HOW they march – period.  See, especially in these modern days, SO many drum corps are changing up and really having their own specific marching styles.  

The marching and movement part of the audition DEFINITELY increases your chances of getting accepted.  I talk about it alot in my book  (on drum corps auditions here) because now a days, it's MORE than just the hands.  

You have to be able to move fluidly and maintain the drum corps technique.  Think about it, once you're in uniform, you're all the same so the Vishhh staff will MAKE sure you have great marching and movement. Know the style BEFORE you arrive.  

What to look for:

  • What the drum corps posture
  • What's the drum corps marching technique – ex. straight leg, bicycle, etc.
  • How do the members typically carry themselves on the field?
  • Foot placements in holds or between transitions
  • Past body movement they've done

Best Tip On Drum Corps Styles: 

Do your research and be involved with current or past members – the best way to prep before your drum corps auditons are not only to  learn the styles before you arrive but PRACTICE the styles as well.  Anyone can learn how to march straight leg or molar technique, but you HAVE to practice and DEVELOP the styles as well.  

Now that you have the info, make sure you do apply the info you get.  Surround yourself with past or current members, watch youtube.com videos, go to clinics – do what YOU have to do to get better.  Good luck at your drum corps auditions and if you have any questions leave a comment or shoot us an email at AH@clean-beats.com.


Anthony Huerta, DCI-WC HP

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