Six Steps to Building a Sustainable Drum Corps

In an age of instant gratification, myriad distractions and short attention spans it can be very tough to run a pipe band organization.  With so many different hobbies, sports and other activities to choose from these days it can be…

The "2346": A Warm Up You Can Count On

The importance of warming up before a rehearsal or performance cannot be overstated. If a drum corps is not warmed up properly it can mean the difference between success and failure on the field. So, which warm ups should you…

Introducing: The Drummer's Companion

In my early years, getting a piper to record my competition tunes was a complicated process involving cassette tapes, tape recorders and myriad technical difficulties.  On several occasions tapes stretched changing the tempo (only in certain parts of course) and…

Notating "Light and Shade"

For hundreds of years most of the Western world has been using a system of Italian symbols in their written music to indicate dynamic levels (loud and soft).  For some reason, pipe bands have yet to catch on to this…

Your Drum Corps Should Read Music. Here's Why:

I didn't always know how to read music.  Like many drummers in my generation I learned to play by ear, listening and watching my teachers go through the rudiments.  Drum scores were learned by repetition and use of recordings.  Written…

Humble Beginnings

Welcome to The Ups and Downs, a blog for pipe band drummers!  Working on PipeBandDrummer.com has been a passion project for me for the last several years and I have very much enjoyed the organizational challenges, creation of materials…