should you do drum corps? with jake nissly

i was the worst marching band student you could ever have.

my high school marching instructor would agree. (we’re friends now, fortunately.) he didn’t deserve my disobedient, rebellious 16-year-old personality.

see, i thought that i should be a purely orchestral musician who played with relaxed, free, flowing strokes. and suddenly i was thrown into marching band and they told me to play all downstrokes. 

i basically refused to follow the instructor’s directions. that was not the smartest move i’ve ever made, to say the least. 

it made for a tense relationship and a tough marching band experience. 

ever since those days, i’ve wondered what the deal is with drum corps.

seriously. i never saw the appeal. there would have been no way i would have ever joined… ever. you have to play the same notes as everyone else…. it’s super loud… you have to exercise… you have to sleep on the bus…

but it’s SO INSANELY POPULAR. everyone talks about it on instagram.

what the hell is so great about drum corps and carrying an entire drum on your back and playing flitty-flatty cheese diddly-diddlers all day with a bunch of macho drummers?

why do people do it?! i don’t get it. (don’t @ me.)

however. there are a whole bunch of orchestra percussionists who have done it. which is surprising because i really thought that marching band technique would ruin your stroke for orchestra

in fact, one of the great american percussionists, jake nissly (my former classmate and principal percussionist of the san francisco symphony) was in the dubuque colts. 

so i brought jake to my roof and asked him to educate me about drum corps:

  1. should orchestral-track students do drum corps?

  2. how will it help?

  3. is it going to ruin your stroke?

rob knopper

hailed by @nytimes and james levine as needing 'louder triangle notes'. recorded delécluse: douze études for snare drum, percussionist in @metorchestra.