Exclusive Interview – May 2011, Nick Arce

Welcome and have we got an exclusive interview for you today ONLY available here on Clean-Beats.com.

Today, our FIRST ever May 2011 interview is with Nick Arce, DCI World Champion, 2009 I&E Quad Champion, and WGI World Medalist.

Great friend of mine has taken some time out of his day to spend some PHENOMENAL advice to really boost your playing and mindset.  This interview is full of great content, I’d definitely listen close.

Today’s Part 1 and at the end of the entire interview, we’ll have the download available via .MP3 for FREE, to motivate and help YOU OUT. :)


Anthony: Hey Everybody! This is Anthony Huerta from Clean-Beats.com and today we gotta super special exclusive members only, readers only, you only interview with a personal, great, super cool laid back, funny, big haired guy named Nick Arce.

How’s it going Nick?

Nick: What’s up, pretty good.

Anthony: Cool!  So hey, this is one of the 1st interviews we are gonna be having online. We are gonna be having it available for download ONLY for a little while. So make sure you download this on your hard drive and go ahead and check out the interview with your iPod or however you choose. We will also post the transcript online in a blog post as well.

So are you ready Nick?

Nick: Yea!

Anthony: Let’s get started, So 1st Nick can you just give some of the readers, the listeners just a brief background about yourself. Maybe some groups you’re a part of now? Or, just a little background about yourself.

Nick: Right now I’m currently starting my 3rd year of Blue Devils then I’ll have one more year after. Just finished my 3rd year of RCC on quads.I started playing quads my sophomore year of high school about 6 years ago. I 1st joined the band freshman year then after freshman year I’ve been playing quads ever since then.I did Impulse ‘06/’07. Mystikal in ’08. Blue Devils in ’09.

Anthony: Awesome man! That’s fantastic! Cool! So it sounds like your definitely part of the gig right? You’re definitely keeping busy.

Hey Nick, just a quick, just a quick for people who are getting first introduced to World or World Class groups, I mean you’ve done multiple amounts of groups brings you all the way from Open Class. Talked about some Impulse stuff, Mystikal, all the way through World Class with groups like Blue Devils and RCC. Can you give are readers the biggest difference about entering a World Class organization. Like, what can they expect? Or let me turn around. What would a World Class group EXPECT of a performer that’s about to join their group or that’s interested in joining their group?

Nick: Well, just from my experience from corps I’ve been in, it’s like they expect you to be professional about it.  Like your there for business, it’s a gig, you know like whatever they through at you, you gotta be ready to do it. I know from being in Open Class, it’s a little different cause coming from it into the World Class groups therewasn’t much on teach you something, you just got to know how to do it, do it, and from there on you know?

Anthony: Yea, Definitely. So you’d say like Open Class is I guess still part of the training? So to speak?

Nick: Yeah, and like a lot of more responsibility when it comes to like they already expect you to know how to run yourself for the day you know, and not be told what to do every day, every minute. Also like the maturity level is expected to be at a high level not just, you know, gotta be mature all the time.

Anthony: Yea, great! So you definitely have to step things up especially as your entering that World Class, handling that World Class material.

Hey! Did you ever have the idea in your mind or ah I guess goal that you were gonna be a part of some of these World Class groups? I mean, some people they always feel that they always know that they were gonna march with which ever drum corps or indoor group. Did you ever set in your mind? Did you ever have that idea?

Nick: Yea. At first I was just gonna start and had no idea where I was gonna march or drum.But having the people I was taught by like Javi, Jeremy, and Mike, like Corwin, like it was all like especially Jeremy and Javi. It was always just RCC and Blue Devils. Whatever they learned they just came back and taught us. And watching them perform just inspired me to go that path way. It was just “You know dude, I wanna be that!” So I guess throughout high school I knew where I wanted to be. And set goals of where I wanna make it. You know.

Anthony: That’s great man! Hey, do you set goals for yourself? Like, Do you set practice goals or like when your with a group, you set competitive goals? Or whenever you’re in a line, set section goals? Do you set personal goals? Do you ever set goals for yourself?

Nick: Yeah. I think that’s what’s needed to kinda get through certain obstacles, like you can’t just dosomething and not have a goal set. Yeah, I definitely have personal goals and like section goals. Section goals having everyone on the same paper as far as how we are interpreting the music –  Like I can interpret it one way and someone can interpret it differently. Still playing it in time, just interpreting things different.  I definitely wanna have a goal in mind of how everyone is playing as far as the touch, like sound, so it all sounds the same. You know. For personal goals it’s like making everything feel good. Like making everything most efficient as possible around me with sound and marching feel fluid and not stiffing up anything I don’t really need to that’s necessary, extra tension.

Anthony: Definitely, so it’s just kinda covering all the bases right? Hey Nick, So when you make these goals how do you keep track of them? Do you have them in your head? Do you write them down? Do you kinda just…What’s your personal thing?

Nick: At first I would write them down like what I would want to fix in the season. Like for every season I would write down some of my goals like “I wanna fix my marching” and now it’s like the goals I would say they aren’t big but I would say they’re smaller in detail. Like, what I want my hands to feel like. How I wanna feel on a certain part. How do I make this part feel good? So I definitely have a list going on in my head throughout every day at rehearsal, “Alright I need to check this part again”. Until it’s like money and I don’t have to think about it anymore.

Anthony: Yea, definitely. Hey, How do you make sure you stay on track? Do you feel like you ever steer away from them? Or like what happens if you ever reach an obstacle? I mean, How do you make sure you reach these goals? Do you ever reach these goals?

Nick: Yea, like I think I prioritize all these goals cause It’s not all about your individual goals but like your group you’re in. Making sure the group goal is set out and handled correctly according to that goal. Maybe the individual have to do with getting that ultimate goal as a group. If you have a group goal, you also have an individual goal to prioritize like when to do what. Like you should be like for me, I’ve learned, I can’t be thinking of how my hands feel all the time cause I have to be able to play how I do play already. I can’t be changing them constantly or else it messes with consistency.   So definitely there’s a time and a place work on playing goals, its at home for individual time and for group ensemble, work towards those group goals.

Anthony: So really setting those priorities definitely helps you out. Nick obviously you are still an active part of the marching scene and going from season to season from drum corps to fall marching band and indoor. What keeps you motivated through all of this – to go on from season to season?

Nick: I think, because where I’m at right now I don’t want to say I have to do it, but I definitely want to keep doing it. Because I can, I want to keep doing it until I can. Like all the new ideas, pushing the envelope. Trying new things.  Like that’s what gets me excited to do another season. You think back in the day when I used march the 50, take like to take 8 to 5 steps in the winter that was all standard. I’d rather be bigger than that.   Now standard is like 6 to 5. So it’s bigger stuff and crazy stuff in Indoor so like its exciting to see what we are gonna be doing next season. Like what’s the book (music) will be like? Are we gonna be able to play it? It’s cool to know the groups are gonna be bringing something, it’s crazy. I think it’s something to definitely look forward to on marching season to season.

Anthony: It definitely keeps things fresh always pushing yourself. Nick, we have tons of new performers who sometimes they just get a little bit burned out from going season to season or sometimes they get frustrated with groups they auditioned for or are a part of. What advice can you give these guys and gals to keep going? To keep going after it? If there is any advice.

Nick: Yeah, well I think if you’re in the group you want to be in and get frustrated, like, you’re in that group cause you wanted to be there, you know? So stay course to the plan. It should all follow through and you’ll be okay at the end. If you’re using it as a stepping stone, well using it as a stepping stone, don’t get frustrated, you’re there for a reason. Where ever you’re at know your there for a reason. Work toward that goal, that place you wanna be at. If you’re frustrated with your surroundings, you really can’t control that. You can’t get frustrated with what’s out of your control.  So You kind of just have to handle you yourself, handle your own gig.  Worry about things that are in your own control and your own view.  You gotta work on yourself and make yourself a better player, a better person, so when you get to that place you wanna be at you’ll be fine and you won’t have to play catch up.

Anthony:    Yeah, that’s such an awesome answer man.  I think a lot of people, you know a lot of performers, especially the young ones, they tend to kind of get overwhelmed by everything around them and they don’t really focus on the reason why they’re there in the first place which is to get better as an individual and to grow with the group.  And I guess sometimes when you get frustrated with the group, you can always work on the individual stuff.  That’s such a great answer.


Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow, tons more VALUABLE information only here on Clean-Beats.com

“You gotta work on yourself and make yourself a better player, a better person…” Nick Arce

More to come,

Anthony Huerta


Incoming search terms:

  • nick arce
  • nick arce blue devils