Nick Arce May 2011 Interview – Part 2

Hey everyone,

here’s part 2 to the EXCLUSIVE  May 2011 Interview.  If you haven’t read Part 1, you can catch it HERE.

Nick Arce shares more motivation and exclusive info to help build yourself as a strong performer and grow your group to a strong start.


Anthony: Hey, Nick, now that you’re – World Class now a days is extremely, do you have any advice for some of these members that can get overwhelmed with information at times?  Say they’re at rehearsal and the staff is asking them something completely crazy, I’m sure you’ve experience this several times, and you’re just like “That’s not possible…”  How do you handle this?

Nick: Well you gotta understand the staff already has an idea in their head, and they wanna see that idea be performed on the spot.  Maybe not on the spot, but they wanna see what you can do with their idea; how you can bring it to life.  So you asking the question and getting overwhelmed, that’s yourself you know – “Oh wait, what do I have to do?”  Take the information that was given, do whatever and if it’s wrong THEY’LL correct it.  I’m positive the staff is smart enough – if you don’t get it, they’re gonna rephrase it you know.

And just relax, see when you get overwhelmed it’s something that you THINK is out of your control but it really is in your control.  Use what you got, calm down, pull yourself together and just do what’s good.  Don’t really trip on what not understanding something, cause it’ll be re-explained.

Anthony: Yeah, definitely, nothing lasts forever.

Hey Nick, do you ever get fear or doubt that you can’t overcome something?  Or you just won’t overcome something?  How do you handle fear and doubt?

Nick: Yeah I’ve had those moments where it’s like, “Dang, I don’t know if I can do this” for a certain set or a certain part, or like a season – physically, not mentally but physically.  I don’t know if my body can do it you know?  I definitely have had those fears, but you need to decide ‘Alright, I’m gonna do it and do it great’ or ‘I’m gonna do it, say I don’t know if I can do it’ and have those doubts in my mind and let that affect you every day.

If you have that doubt in your mind, you’re not gonna perform at your greatest because you have that ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can do it’ and you’re gonna make that slight excuse that you don’t know if you can do it and you won’t be able to do it to your fullest potential.

My advice would be don’t have that doubt and make the choice to go for it. Have that positive attitude and be like ‘Alright I have this problem, I have this doubt, I have this fear but I’m just gonna do it – be here, drum and for the performance.’

Anthony: Yeah just staying positive man.  For members that are getting ready to go on the road, summer’s approaching super quick now, they’re getting ready to go on tour or say they’re gonna start a new season, what advice can you offer to help give them a strong start to their season?  How do you bring a strong start to your season(s)?

Nick: Well, individually, I would say whatever’s given to you as far as material (sheet music, exercises), make sure that is handled – No question as far as memorization, your comfort level with it.  If your comfort level with it, isn’t where it could be or isn’t where it normally is as other things you know, then that’s already starting to see little individual weaknesses. I don’t wanna say it’s gonna slow people down but it’s gonna slow yourself down as far you are on a money level, like “How comfy are you on that part? But that part’s still not comfy, but you gotta learn another part.  THAT can cause you to get overwhelmed.  You don’t want that.

But as for a group,  I would say, you have rehearsal before you leave on tour, and that group needs to vibe before they leave on the road.  It’s really important to have a kinda a really close family, a really close group of friends with the people you’re drumming next to. I mean you’re with them all summer, you sleep with them, you’re on the bus with them, you march next to them ALL day.  People in general can get frustrated with each other and it doesn’t help when you’re not cool from the start.

You really gotta become friends, you guys gotta bond – so you start out with trust.  Trust the person next to you.  Just like a relationship, you gotta trust that person if you don’t then, (there’s always that tension) and it’s not gonna work if there’s not trust – no family kinda bond going on and a positive vibe.

Anthony: Hey Nick just going off of the vibe question, say two people aren’t getting along from the start, what could you do to make that situation better?  How would you try to make the vibe just great?

Nick: Well first of all, whatever you do, it has to be at a mature level.  For that to go away, both people have to be mature about the situation, and understand that they do need to be friends and they do need to be homies in order for the summer to be good, in order for the summer to be successful.  One person’s not cool, with everyone, it can mess up the whole group, the whole drumline. The vibe’s not gonna be good and they’re not gonna play well.

I would just say, talk it  out have a heart to heart, whatever you gotta do to make it happen.  Hug it out, I don’t know.  It definitely needs to be taken care of from the get go because then it could start building tension.

Anthony: Yeah I can totally relate to that, the lines that get along the best, play the best.

For some of the beginners out there, what advice could you give them about getting started in this whole crazy marching madness activity? J Say, they’re at home, it’s day one for them and they say “I wanna start playing quads” or “I wanna start playing snare in my marching band” or “I wanna march drum corps”.  Where do you think they should start?

Nick: I would start by saying, whatever school you’re at, join that drumline.  That’s what you have to do, you can’t jump into something big without learning. So yeah join that drumline wherever you’re at and get all the help you can get.  Drum with people and drum with people who have the knowledge to teach you any basic information that you can apply to everything you learn from there on.  It’s a good idea to jump into that and talk to as many people as you can to see what you can do to fix your hands, or what do you need to do to make the quad line if you wanted to make it, who do you need to drum with?

Like alright, I’ve gonna drum with that person everyday and for me, my freshman year (of high school) I was in the Pit.  And I wanted to be in the quad line.  So I drummed with a guy from the quad line, EVERY day at lunch and learned as much as I could.  I mean, I’m not saying that that’s what you have to do but something along the lines to having that want and that desire to be in line.  That’s gonna get you further that just like ‘Oh, do I wanna do it?’  You set out to do it, you start drumming with people and you soak as much information as possible and keep doing that.

Anthony: Yeah definitely staying committed, right.  What do you think for you, you were talking about you would go everyday for lunch and started off to a slow start, super beginner type stuff in the beginning – all the way to now where you’re performing with these World Class groups, what kept you committed from the beginning?

Nick: Well there’s definitely those days where you’re just like ‘Dude I can’t do this’, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’, it’s gonna happen for everyone.  But those are just those days, you gotta take a step back and have that mindset of ‘Why did I join these groups in the first place?’.  I didn’t join these groups to get frustrated and quit, I joined these groups to become something, I joined this to get where I want to be and if you aren’t there yet, then obviously you still have a goal.  If you get frustrated, that should motivate you in itself.  Like frustrated, alright I’m gonna practice more.

I  think what got me to where I’m at,  are the people I’ve been around helped my motivation, as far as I’ve been taught, concepts that I’ve learned.  That goal in your mind, that individual goal in drumming: what is it?  And think about goal everyday to pushing yourself further.

Anthony: Yeah, you were talking about surrounding yourself around people that you did, what do you think about social support?  I know some of our readers are like “Hey man, everyone around me is not feeling it, they don’t wanna march drum corps.”  What did you do personally to keep yourself surrounded by those type of people?

Nick: I think I just kinda fell into that.  Now I think about that, I just happened to drum with those people.  You knowing  and just being aware to drum with someone that’s better than me, that’s already something to work towards – catch up to that person.  Don’t make it all crazy but be humble about it.  Catch up to that person, play little games like “Oh I learned this rudiment”, you know?  How fast you can get it, but still make it feel good.  Make it feel just like that fast tempos, as it does at the slow tempos.

Anthony: Do you think it’s important to surround yourself with these type of people?  Or for someone that’s just locked up at home, and doesn’t really wanna drum with other people, do you think it’s important for them to get that social support?

Nick: Yeah,  you gotta know where you are as far as drumming.  If you’re home all day, I guess all you can really compare yourself is to YouTube videos I guess.  But if you’re with someone, you haven’t experienced playing WITH someone.  Having the experience of hearing what it sounds to playing with someone, having that experience, knowing what it’s like to learn from a person. Knowing what it’s like to have a little challenge like ‘Oh can you I get you to learn that?’  I think it’s definitely important for that.  And it’s definitely important from people that teach you, get information from there.   Outside of drumming information. One person can only teach the individual so much while they’re in a group setting.  You can’t go through everyone, one by one, ‘you gotta do this’, ‘you gotta do this’, ‘you gotta do this’.  Take initiative, go up to them and be like “What can I do to better myself?” “How do I need to march better?”  “How do I need to play better?”  Whatever they tell you, take that to heart and you work on it. Work on it until you go back and they’re like “Yeah man, I can see that you’ve worked on it.”


Final Part 3 Available Tomorrow with tons more of valuable marching percussion and individual advice.

You’re not gonna believe what we share tomorrow.

Stay tuned,

Anthony Huerta

Take initiative, go up to them and be like “What can I do to better myself?” “How do I need to march better?”  “How do I need to play better?”  Whatever they tell you, take that to heart and you work on it.  Nick Arce