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About Guitar1974

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  1. Yah, it wasn't easy back in the 90's, either. Kids now have way better access to online tutorials, lessons, audition tips, etc than we ever did. A ww kid picking up a brass instrument and immediately making BD's line is far fetched, I agree with you. But that kid certainly could go to a lower placing corps, get experience, and then eventually make BD or whatever. If/when woodwinds are added it won't be much different- a handful of talented we players will get in and the large majority cut. Sounds like your pipe dream is a large/all instruments/give everyone a chance/etc ensemble. Well, you are in luck!! I hear this already exists.. Called high school/college marching band. They do that very thing already!
  2. YES- thank you! There are a bunch of ww players in DCI now. Always have been. A great player is a great player. With hard work a talented ww player can certainly learn brass and participate. I did. Lots of other kids I know did. Would any of us rather played our woodwinds in DCI? NO WAY!! Then it wouldn't be DCI, would it? Being a woodwind player made the experience even deeper and more meaningful to me. Opened my eyes to a completely new family of instruments. After starting from scratch and going through all the work it took, I truly learned you can do anything you set your mind to do. Would I have wanted to be in DCI if it were just summer marching band? No way.
  3. I agree with this statement. But, being all brass and percussion certainly makes it a different product, a unique product, and a product that is defined in the very nature of the name "drum & bugle corps." It is not a question of "better."
  4. Absolutely, to each his own. My prior message was in response to your statement implying "a few" people may find the instrumentation an important and defining factor. My counter to your statement is that it is likely many, many diehard fans/alumni/members feel the all-brass and percussion sound and visual look is THE defining characteristic of the activity.
  5. Good grief- is it so hard to understand that MANY people, young and old alike, love the all brass and percussion of drum & bugle corps. I can't think of many kids I know who are current corps members who would enjoy clarinets and flutes in the ensemble. In fact, I don't think any current members I know would welcome that change. For many, the all brass and percussion sound and clean, uniform, muscular look of the all brass horn line is what makes drum corps unique. Add woodwinds and all the other stuff and it kills it forever. Why is this so hard to grasp? Why must we become an all star college marching band and destroy the very thing that makes drum corps so unique? So you can hear a flute solo or clarinet feature? Great if you love that- I highly recommend the mutlitude of bands and orchestras that do that kind of thing already.
  6. I joined a world class corps as a saxophone player. I learned brass to be in DCI. I wouldn't have had any interest if it had woodwinds. I wanted in BECAUSE of the all brass instrumentation. There were many other woodwind players doing the same, and feeling the same. Many woodwind players love their instruments but feel the look lame on the field and are simply not the proper tool for the job. I wanted to be in DCI because it was NOT like typical marching band with "clarinets to the box" haha...
  7. I don't see it going down like this at all (DCI increasing corps size to accommodate woodwInds, extra buses, etc). I see it like this: 1) DCI soon adopts rule that allows any instrument (woodwinds) 2) Due to many factors (high cost of obtaining and maintaining instruments, need for additional instructional staff, the fact woodwinds are finicky instruments, etc) corps will relegate 99% of woodwind use to solos or small ensembles. A novelty instrument, used- at most- like trombones/sousaphone/etc now. 3) DCI will shove woodwinds down our throats. With lots of pictures in email blasts, website coverage, etc. Just like trombones when first adopted, same for french horns, etc. There will be some great sax/flute/etc players brought in who shred and put on an entertaining show. Woodwind proponents and DCI will swoon. 4) The root of drum & bugle corps is now completely removed for the sake of what amounts to minor useage of "non-drum corps" instruments, which could easily have been omItted by using aforementioned drums & brass to play the parts. It'll be just like trombones.. For the minor/subtle difference they bring to the show the entire look of the activity was changed. Woodwinds push it even farther down the path. I'm obviously not a fan of the loss of traditional bell front brass instrumentation haha... But at this point it is silly to NOT allow woodwinds. It is all about the look- obviously enough people can't stomach seeing flutes and clarinets on the DCI field. We have the voice now in the synth. We also have strings and everything BUT woodwinds allowed on the field. It is okay to play woodwind patches in the show on a synth but not actually allow the instrument to play it live on the field. Seems odd to me at this point.
  8. Definitely! And I understand where you are coming from, I loved many of the shows this past season. My corps is probably the one pushing the envelope the most on a lot of the new tech- but I still miss my pure all-brass sound haha.. Good discussion.
  9. I respect your opinion and I still do love the activity, but my point is that the entire activity was forever changed when it no longer became an exclusive brass and percussion activity. I understand there are, presumably, many fans who love the changes and look forward to anything-goes DCI marching band. However, there are many who lament the loss of the purity of brass and percussion only. For me it has nothing to with wanting it to stay the same. I just don't agree that allowing any instrumentation was needed for it to evolve. I loved a lot of the shows this year- and every year- but feel they would be no less awesome without all the superfluous elements. I am a saxophone player. I hit the woodshed, learned low brass, and joined a drum corps because of the all brass and percussion instrumentation. I LOVED the unique instrumentation and to me the instrumentation and sonic quality is what made it cool. The all-brass acoustic large horn line blasting on bell-front brass was unique and awesome, the only thing quite like it in the world of music! Now it is gone forever. There are already a million marching bands, why did we have to dismantle drum & bugle corps and make it like everything else? Getting back to Kimber's post, the loss of the pure acoustic brass sound was what drove him away. I still love the activity, but definitely morn the loss of the unique all-brass acoustic ensemble.
  10. Well, if this is true I would say that is silly. But, if you are saying that adding a contra is the same as adding woodwinds, strings, etc then I also say that is also silly. Drum & bugle corps used to be easy to define as percussion and bell-front valved brass. That look and sound. It was cool and unique. An exotic niche that had such a unique sonic footprint and clean, muscular look. I am all for innovation and moving forward. But why change the things that made it unique to make it something that looks like everything else? Why did they add trombones and change it to look like Big 10 marching band when the baritone is essentially the same voice minus the ability to gliss? Are there seriously people out there that are saying "this show is sooo much better thanks to that 30 second trombone soli?" But we forever changed the look and definining element of drum corps for what- a very minor change in timbre? Why? All these new elements added to enhance creativity are just that- minor enhancements that forever change the look and sound of the all brass and percussion ensemble that was once drum & bugle corps.
  11. I agree in that basic timbre of brass and percussion is still the core product (for now!), but by continuing to layer in other instrumentation it looses its purity and what made it unique, IMO.
  12. There is no comparison to adding a valve or two to a bell front brass horn and adding woodwinds (or synths or strings or trombones). Adding a valve or two (or even going to Bb) are minor changes to the overall look and sound. Adding strings, synths, amps and- especially- woodwiinds is a HUGE step in a different direction. No comparison.
  13. At this point I think it is odd and silly NOT to allow woodwinds in the pit since any other instrument is allowed (strings, guitars, sousaphones, etc). Plus, anyone can pull up an oboe/saxophone/flute patch on the synth and layer in those sounds as much as they want. At this point, it's all just the look of seeing an actual woodwind instrument in the production. We've already allowed the "voice." It makes no sense to me not to just allow any instrument. That said, I am highly against it- as I am trombones, strings, etc. I love the look and sound of valved brass and percussion. Only. But that ship has sailed, sad to say. And this is from a guy who plays sax and guitar for a living haha.