Drum Corps Drumline Audition Process

Process Of A Drum Corps Drumline Audition

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

Click here to get the INSIDE access on how to gain the edge at your drum corps drumline audition and secure your spot

This post is aimed to give you a better idea on what you can expect at your drum corps drumline audition.  You'll get a overall "process" of how modern auditions take place today.  With each season becoming more and more demanding, it's important to gain as much knowledge and understanding on  what to expect.  Think about it this way: you'd feel a lot better about your Final if you're up studying and reviewing the night before right?  Well that's what we're hear to help you with.  Here's what to expect at your drum corps drumline audition.

Drum Corps Drumline Audition Process Overview:

Your drum corps drumline audition process will basically broken up into 3 parts:  the Individual Audition, the Marching and Movement Audition, and the Ensemble Audition.   During today's modern auditions, you usually go in that order however depending on the drum corps, they can go in any order. This post will help you have a better insight on what to expect during each section during your drum corps drumline audition.

Individual Audition:

An Individual Audition is basically where you get a solo audition with either the section "tech" (such as snare tech) and/or Staff.  Some drum corps drumline auditions have have different requirements but it's good to know that there may be a few people evaluating your performance.  Some Individual Auditions may just be a tech, some have a good portion of the drum staff, so just be prepared.  

During this process, you will perform a series of tests that the tech/staff will request from you.  This can be a few of their exercises, or a few that show off your skills.  If they ask you to perform their exercises, then it is IMPORTANT you already have these memorized beforehand.

If they ask you to perform your own exercises, then be sure to already have them memorized before you arrive at your drum corps drumline audition. Common exercises they will ask you to perform are

  • 8 on  a hand type exercise
  • Double beat exercise
  • Accent Tap exercise
  • Roll exercise
  • Flam Exercise
  • (Possible Solo)

Best advice is the more "basic" exercises you can play, the better.  The staff could care less how "technical" you play, they really just want to see HOW well you play.

This is probably your best opportunity to "shine" in front of the staff because they can really see your skill as an individual.  Really hold nothing back during this section of your drum corps drumline audition.

They will evaluate how well you can play based on

  1. Tempo
  2. Sound Quality
  3. Overall Balance

All you have to do is follow those 3 steps and you'll be just fine.  (FYI:  Some drum corps drumline auditions like to offer their own audition curveballs that they may throw at you, just be aware and on your toes. This will help with those)

Marching and Movement Audition:

Another component to your drum corps drumline audition is the Marching and Movement audition.  During this section, you'll be evaluated on two parts – in some auditions you may go over one section more that others:

  1. Marching:  How well you can march individually, how well you can march with a form and how you can adapt the ensemble technique given at the drum corps drumline audition or audition info (beforehand or website).
  2. Movement:  More popular during today's drum corps drumline auditions, a movement part will be given to you to perform.  This may be a series of dance moves or choreography that you will perform and be tested on.

 In the past, this section of the drum corps drumline audition wasn't very important to battery members but in TODAY'S auditions, if you can't march or move well, you'll definitely be CUT.

This is one section where you can REALLY outperform your drum corps drumline audition competition.

Ensemble Audition:

The Ensemble Audition is generally the last part of the drum corps drumline audition process.  Typically after thorough Individual Auditions, Marching and Movement Auditions and drumming with your section, you will all get together as an ensemble to perform the last bit of tests before you get a final word.

This part of the drum corps drumline audition basically tests you on how well you can play in a line setting.  During this process they will request different exercises, single sections, combination of half and half sections or other combinations of what the staff want to see and hear.  It's important to really be on your toes during this section because it is usually fast-paced and tons of requests are given by staff.

They will be evaluating you on how well you can play with the person next to you, how clean you can play with the person next to you, how you can balance to the ensemble and how well you can do under "pressure".

Just expect plenty of quick changes in tempos, dynamics and information given by staff to see how well you can take and apply pressure.  This is another component during your drum corps drumline audition. Stay focused.

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Hope you got a better understanding of your drum corps drumline auditon from this post.  The more knowledge and information you can get before your audition, the better.  Auditions always have different components and throw different "tests" at you, so it's always good to get as much under your belt as possible.

Go hard,

Anthony Huerta, DCI-WC HP

Click here to discover the EXACT blueprint and acceptance guide to secure your spot at your drum corps drumline audition