View Full Version : Bass Drum Competition
10-11-2004, 10:41 AM
I have never observed a bass drum competion, since none have been held in our area. This year, the LA Highland games are expanding the competition to drummers and I want to compete. I cannot find defined instructions for what is expected of a bass drummer in a competition. Could someone please tell me what I am to play, for how long, and anything else that you feel is relavent. Remember, I have no experience with competion, so any advice is appreciated.
10-11-2004, 12:43 PM
There are two types of bass drumming contests. The first type is a line contest, where all bass drummers in the same category go out at the same time and play with a duty band. Generally, a march at the amateur level and an MSR at the open level. However, this type of contest is rare these days, except on the Canadian circuit which always uses this method. I am sure a few other games might still use this as well. This contest is make it up as you go, unless you know the tunes.
The second type is an individual contest where you provide your own accompaniment. I'll go out on a limb and say that this is the type of contest you would be playing in. Generally at the amateur level the individual plays a medley. I think it is usually 3-5 mins long, but don't hold me to that. I suggest playing what your band plays in a contest. For example, if your band plays only march medley, then play that no problems. If your band plays a medley with varying times, play that. I have seen people play 2 or 3 marches strung together. I have also seen people play a march, 2 jigs, a slow air, 2 strathspeys, 2 reels, and a hornpipe. In the open category it is a bit more strict. You must play an MSR. You might have to play a medley sometime, although I have never seen it offered.
In my opinion this is the downfall of the amateur level. Sometimes you are supremely outmatched. Especially if someone can play a long medley, and someone else doesn't have that luxury. However, I think there is also a novice category now.
Hope this helps,
Good Luck :thumb:
10-11-2004, 05:50 PM
Most of the EUSPBA games that offer individual bass competitions list the required set on the solo entrance form. Amateur level is usually a QMM or Medley with only a couple of games requiring both. Using your grade's tunes works most of the time; if you are G5, I suggest learning the G4 sets as it will put you more inline with other competitors. Remember, it is not so much what you are playing as how you are playing. Good luck.
10-11-2004, 07:53 PM
Thank you for your comments. They have helped. :D
10-12-2004, 01:21 PM
As the Chairman for the Southwest Branch and a Bass player..... I assure you that I intend on stirring the interest in the Bass and Tenor competitions. The only competition in the area this year was at Tulsa..... 6 bass drums...... nice competition..... Duty band...... The rules say if it is sanctioned..... it is to be a true solo..... if not sanctioned...... probably a 6/8 march.
Hope to see you at the next competition.