Hudson Burgess - DLX3

UVA Drumline - 2016 Performance Audio

MP3 and comments from game days - definitely not quality audio, but there's enough information to understand how we play in front of an audience. I've extracted the most important bits for you.

When you listen to the audio, focus on how we're playing as an ensemble. Don't pay so much attention to the actual notes - those will change from week to week.

Show 5 - 10/29/16

tl;dr Basses were on fire all day. Keep pushing your hands individually.

Pregame (MP3)
  • Undoubtedly the best I've heard the intro all year, especially the bass feature. Phenomenal.
  • Our tempo issues in the first few charts are finally going away. We weren't very clean in this particular run, but our effort to eradicate the issues is a great sign. As I've said before, it's mostly individual errors now instead of section-wide errors.
  • We're at a point now where we can talk about individual listening responsibilities. At least in the quads, this is something that's killing us in Tag, so I'll use it as an example.
    • Basses set the tempo
    • People closest to the basses, listen to the basses
    • People farther from the basses, listen to the members of your subsection who are closer
    • It should be pretty easy to understand how this generalizes to any other drill situation. Typically speaking, listen back or to the basses.
Halftime show (MP3)
  • "PS4!"
  • I mentioned this to the quads this week, but it's something for everyone: we get scared of phrase changes. It's not a huge problem, but it's a consistent one. Don't wait for the people around you to attack a new phrase, especially at a new dynamic. Go after it confidently as an individual, and trust that your friends will do the same.
  • Basses: end of Legend was tasty.
  • Like last week, the closer had some very choppy moments (triplet rolls at 184!). Again, not perfect, but I'm impressed with the effort.

Show 4 - 10/22/16

Writing this a week after the performance, so I don't remember much...

tl;dr I don't have much to say. Listening to the recordings, I thought this show was a good representation of where we are as a drumline.

Pregame (MP3)
  • I don't remember how the drumline did overall, but I didn't have a good run personally - I got mad at a lot of drill disasters in other sections that smashed the quads together. Let this be a lesson. Nasty things will happen during a performance that are out of your control. When that happens, focus on yourself and your responsibilities in that moment. Don't let frustration distract you.

I thought this was our best stand performance of the year. There aren't a lot of section-wide problems to talk about anymore; the devil is in the (individual players') details now.

Halftime show (MP3)
  • Back to distractions: don't let the dance team distract you. I couldn't hear it on the field, but a lot of you told me this was an issue. I appreciate the honesty, and the fact that so many of you were quick to recognize it is a sign of maturity as musicians.
  • There were a lot of choppy moments in this show. It was far from perfect, but I'm pretty satisfied with the effort. Keep pushing your hands.
  • Hi past Rachel :P

Show 3 - 10/15/16

Once again, tempo control is our biggest collective weakness. But the good news is that there are individuals starting to play more confidently. For those of you that are doing that, thank you! Most of the dirt that's happening now is coming from the remaining individuals who are, for whatever reason, less confident or less prepared.

We've genuinely written a new standard for the UVa Drumline this year. Embrace that, and use it as motivation to keep improving.

Pregame (MP3)
  • Basses: the intro feature is coming along very nicely. There's only so much I can glean from the recording, but what I can hear sounds very nice. Keep it up.
  • The transition from the intro to the march on cadence is usually a little shaky; there are always several individuals that pop out. Basses set the tempo for this, so snares / quads should listen back to them, not side to side.
    • That said, basses rushed the four shots in this particular performance. Good recovery afterwards, though.
  • The dispartiy of tempo awareness between individuals was very apparent in Virginia Swing and Swag Surfin'. As I've said before, we slow down dynamic changes in particular. Make the dynamics obvious, and push the low end.

Not our best work to be honest with you. It took us a while to get focused, there were one or two missed cut-offs, and there was a little more dirt than there should've been. We did get better as the game progressed, but it was a rough start. Stand performances are purely a mental challenge; you have the chops, I promise.

  • Quads in particular: that was not a good day for us. Dropped parts, stand beats were ragged, couldn't hear you half the time... what happened?
Halftime show (MP3)
  • The march on sounded much better than usual. Whatever you did, keep doing it! (Basses again: the runs were on fire)
  • Radar Love turned out well I think - the performance was our best run by far, as it should be. Not perfect, but definitely representative of our strengths and weaknesses. Our tendency to link tempo and dynamics is particularly apparent.
  • Most of the timing errors I heard were really balance issues - typically someone being too loud at the wrong time. The fact that I can make that comment is a testament to the level we're playing at.

Show 2 - 9/24/16

tl;dr Definitely better this at game than the last one! I think our performance in the stands was better than what we put on the field (wish I had recordings of that), but on the whole there's a new level of maturity emerging; I'm able to make fewer, more detailed comments than have been made in the past.

Pregame (MP3)
  • While it's getting better, tempo control is still an issue for us. The drum intro, Virginia Swing, Cav Fanfare, and Tag are the biggest offenders - practice with a metronome!
Stands (no MP3...)

I tried to run around and give you guys plenty of feedback (I'm aware that I missed the cymbals; I'll do better next time).

  • Generally, you all seemed to know on some level what I was going to say, which is a very good sign. It shows that you're becoming more aware of the bigger musical picture instead of getting bogged down in notes. Keep those things in mind during your individual practice.
  • First half was better than second half. Games are essentially 3-4 hour performances, and it's difficult to stay totally engaged for that long. Recognize when you get tired and fight it - you got into UVA, you can push through a little mental fatigue.
Halftime show (MP3)
  • Closer Walk was significantly better than Good Times. They both sounded fine in rehearsal... why the sudden drop in quality on one of them? That's a question you have to address as an individual.
  • Our signature issue this year is linking tempo and dynamics. When we change one, we change the other. It's a common error - and one that we need to fix to take this drumline to the next level. Once again, metronomes are your friend.
  • Snares: the pickup shot in Closer Walk was LIT (Rachel and I hyped each other up a little over that). That's your new standard - you've proven that you can do it.

Show 1 - 9/3/16

tl;dr We don't perform like we rehearse. We get hyped up and lose control when people are watching - tempo maintenance, stick heights, and listening all go out the window. We've done that for the past four years - make 2016 the year that we fix it!

Structurally though, we did well for the first game (especially first years!). As a drumline we were reasonably cohesive.

Pregame (MP3)
  • Bass feature in the intro: the opening unisons weren't bad, but it sounded like you guys fell apart on the splits (some of it could just be the recording, but it still needs some work).
  • Tempo maintenance is by far our biggest area for improvement. The drum intro was 10+ clicks fast; Virginia Swing slowed down a little; Cav Fanfare fluctated... you get the point. Every one of us needs to play more with a metronome individually. Learn your personal tendencies and fight them.
  • Similarly, whatever tempo gets tapped off is the tempo we need to stick with. Cav Fanfare and Swag Surfin' are the biggest offenders.
  • Heights! Accents, taps, and dynamics are the first things we lose we get tired or lack confidence. Think about playing taps at 1.5", and you'll probably achieve 3". Additionally, anything below 15" should be almost entirely wrist turn. Play the music like you play the exercises - that's why we have them!
  • Vocals. "Go Hoos," calling turns and sticks, all that fun stuff. Are we doing them? I am.

Halftime show (MP3): this was the better of the two performances because we focused so much more on it over the past two weeks.

  • Rachel - you should bring that GoPro sometime
  • Same comment from pregame about heights and dynamics - we get sloppy when we don't think about it. The march on in particular was overplayed (or maybe it was just me).
  • Our rolls are inconsistent. The roll at the end of Let's Go Crazy in particular sounded much better in rehearsal than in did in the show. Listen to the centers, and when in doubt, play lower.
  • The Macy's cadence between songs stayed pretty consistent. Nicely done!
  • Quads: someone ripped out of the triplets at the end of Cav Song. Don't finish a show like that; stay engaged until the very end!