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mardi gras 2012

i have this crazy sort of idea for mardi gras 2012, based on three things:

1. The Tulane drum line isn't that big. my first year we had enough people to field a full battery, but my second year and this year we cut out the tenor line because we came to the conclusion that it would be better to have a fuller sound of bass drums and snares (that year ended up being 4 bass drums and 3 snares) rather than, say, have 2 snares and a single set of tenors. recruiting next year doesn't look terribly promising for percussion; unless a surge of people come in, the drumline will be pretty small again next year.

2. To help with the small drumline thing this past year, mark and i built a double-stack bass drum for the top drum. Basically our 16" bass drum has a 14" bass drum mounted on top of it.

3. Southern style mardi gras bands don't really have a pitched bass drum line like corps-style marching bands do. They have a "low" bass drum line which all play in unison and a "tom" line, which are all sideways sling-mounted 14" or 15" floor toms that all play in unison.

So the idea?

Mount 14" floor toms to the top three bass drums and have two sets of cadences: the first is the Tulane cadences that we do now (which are four in total, one of which i might replace) that are played on the pitched bass drums, and then have another set of cadences (3 or 4) that emulate the southern style cadences that use the mounted floor toms and low bass drum concept.

i'd probably make one cadence that uses both just for fun.

Chances are if i do this, i'd dismount the 14" bass drum from the double stack and make that the first bass drum. So the first bass drum would be a 14" bass drum with a 14" floor tom mounted on it, and the 16" would become the second drum.

we'll see what happens. part of whether or not it will happen will be determined by the final numbers we get in the fall.


( read spoken (3) — speak )
Mar. 6th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
I'll go back to school again for the hundredth time, enroll at Tulane, join the band and pick up the tenors or bass. ;) sound good?
Mar. 6th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Well, the appropriate term for the "FLoor Tom" is Tenor Drum. and Yes, that is a great idea. I'll write some cadences for you.
Apr. 26th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
Mendel, this is Kevin from TUMB. Yeah, I was reading your blog and clicked on the "marching athletics thing" and stumbled upon this. I know I don't know much about playing percussion, but I'd like to give my two cents.

"Southern style mardi gras bands" use completely different styles. Most cadences are meant to be things that are just marched to, simple and sweet. If you'd like to go about this idea and make new cadences? Sure. But it would require a lot of change in mentality. Southern cadences are usually grooves, with the bass drums carrying a powerful backdrop for the tenors (toms) to hit little rhythms on top of this. It's kind of like what you do in the one where we do in this one:


In that cadence, the beat 2nd plays is usually what a tenor would play, while 3/4 play the bass part. I think it would rough for drummers to translate that if they have to carry two drums. But the real decision here is if that is the style. One of the things I really like here is that the cadences are not typical college cadences, and that they are very unique, which I commend you on. In my opinion it's all up to you with where you want to continue taking this percussion section. If I were to make a decision, I would pass on adding more drums just because I think that the single double stack to could become iconic of the TUMB. And I think complicating things too much on the other drums *could* be bad. Also, the other drums would be heavier and I like big, thick bass drum sounds.

Anyways, my two cents, interesting idea, have a nice night.
( read spoken (3) — speak )


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