Nick Arce May 2011 Interview – Final Part 3

World Class Interview Conclusion Below:


Sorry for the delay.  Some technical going on, but here's the last part of the exclusive May 2011 interview on marching percussion advice from Nick Arce

You can find part one here:           click here for part one

or part two here:     click here for part two

Also, at the end of the interview, you'll have a chance to hear the interview by downloading the file to your hard drive for FREE.

The interview will only be available for a short time, so make sure you download it soon while it lasts.

And now, on to part 3 of the super-pumped interview from Nick Arce:


Anthony: What’s Nick what’s your best practice tip for some of these guys at home?

Nick: Well, you wanna get a Met (metronome).  J  I think it’s really important to drum with a Met, because obviously, it gives you a sense of time.  But say if you don’t have a Met, don’t spend hours practicing randomness.  That won’t really get you anywhere.  That’s almost like procrastinating on drumming.  I would say find something you’re not good at.  People are afraid to play what they aren’t good at and practice at.  Learn to play what you don’t know how to play and you work on that. If you work on something you don’t know how to play for like 30 minutes vs. something you know how to play for 3 hours, the 30 minutes would be best.  Definitely work on things you don’t understand and get it to a point where you can do it every time every way, you think about it the same every time and feels the same time every way.

Anthony: Hey Nick going back, the first thing you mentioned was a metronome, how important do you think drumming with a met is for our activity? How important is it to you to drum with a metronome?

Nick: I think it depends.  I mean, I think it’s really important.  But I know some groups that don’t and they’re playing clean; they’re playing together.  I think what’s really important is interpretation.  If everyone is interpreting the part the same, and it’s in tempo, maybe everything isn’t exactly metrically correct, but everyone’s interpreting the same, it can be just as good as a met.  But like I said, that all depends.  I definitely think a metronome is important because that is perfect time and that’s what everyone strives for, but there’s always going to be that human side of what we’re doing. We’re never gonna play exactly perfect, but that’s what we strive for.  The met teaches you, it’s a guideline of “this is how it should feel” and when the mets gone, you need to make it feel the same.  Think the same when the met was on.

Anthony: Hey Nick, how do you get out of your comfort zone?

Nick: I definitely think it’s just you need to be self aware of how your hands feel.  Like what you think about.  When you’re comfortable, you don’t think about it.  When it’s uncomfortable, it catches you off guard and you gotta be aware of that. You have to be aware of what makes you feel uncomfortable, check that out and tap into that, and work on that.  I know for me, I definitely had a couple of parts that felt uncomfortable this past winter.  It’s baby stuff, a small twitch here and there – it just doesn’t feel right, right there.  Ok every time you get to that, alright I gotta tap into that and  just make it feel like it does as if I were just playing by myself.  Then you isolate that, and you work on that one thing.  You make a primer out of it, you make whatever out of it.  Make a new warm up.  Work on that one thing, you make it feel good, and you apply that same information you used, and then you apply that into the music.  Then when you get there, it’s like a drill test.  You take one set then one set and you connect the dots.

Anthony: We have performers that are just like you, that go from season to season.  How do you personally balance the seasons with your outside life?  With family, school, friends.

Nick: It’s definitely time management.  You gotta have a lot more planning of what you’re going to be doing throughout the next couple of months.  Your whole schedule. It’s always like, “Oh I gotta do this, but I have rehearsal.”  Well you can’t get out of rehearsal. You gotta have time around that to do whatever it is you have to get done.  I think something too is also from a financial standpoint.  Well everyone who’s doing this activity – college students.  It’s tough.  The only thing I can really say is time management.  Use drum corps things or winter stuff, whatever it is,  those rehearsal etiquettes that you learned, those responsibilities that you learned – like being on time – the way you think or the way you should think about things, the most efficient, apply that to your every day.  It can definitely help you. Like in school, the responsibility of getting things done, not procrastinating.  You can just do it and not have to worry about it.  The responsibility thing, your mindset, how you wanna approach it.  Responsibility is the big thing.

Anthony: Just wrapping up, Nick what’s the last, best, most valuable piece of advice that you could give somebody that would really take their performance to the next level?

Nick: Well, I definitely have something that doesn’t have to do with drumming.

Anthony: Alright, that’s totally fine.

Nick: It’s the kind of person you are.  It’s about being humble and knowing the difference of what kind of confidence you have, cause some kind of people confidence can get mixed up by cockiness.  You definitely wanna humble yourself.  How you drum, show the way you drum by the way you drum.  A lot of people don’t really think about everything other than drumming.  What kind of person are you?  How does that fit with the activity?  Well it fits how you vibe with everybody.  Who you are on the field, who you are off the field.  It affects people around you.  How do you want that to come off?  How do you want your name to be out there? It’s definitely the person you are, if anything be a good person in general.  It’s gonna benefit you in the long run.

As far as drumming, practice the right way.  And be a team player, if your section leader asks you something, especially at the World Class level, you just gotta go with it.  There’s one dude that say’s something, you’re on that page.  If the staff says something, you’re on that page.  Just go with that.

Anthony: Thanks Nick that was such awesome stuff.  I know a bunch of people are gonna get valuable information from this interview.  If you wanna get a hold of Nick and ask any questions, you can contact him via Facebook under Nick Arce.  He’s totally down about helping you out and taking your performance to the next level.  Thanks for the interview, we look forward to hearing from you soon.


Wow, such valuable marching percussion and mindset information from that entire interview. Especially the final answer.  Great World Class Marching Percussion information about taking your performance to the next level.

Listen here to the entire interview on

Download file here (Right Click and Save As) – Nick Arce May 2011 Interview

Now that you have the advice, time to take action,

Anthony Huerta,