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Bass Sections Bass & Tenor drumming, and the new home of tenordrummer.com discussions.

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Old 03-04-2009, 11:57 AM   #41
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

20 plus years ago, maybe 25, when I saw Andy Miller performing, he was being 'highlighted' by the band to let him to show off his stuff. Standing in the middle of the circle on a make-shift podium of sorts and it was the best display of flourishing and playing the tenor drum I'd seen, playing the top and the bottom head of the drum, incorporating it into his flourishing routine.

Piece of trivia (may be of interest to tenor drummers, or not.)
Back in the 50's and 60's some tenor drummers would learn "Indian Club" routines. They did that for two reasons, to build-up tremendous strength and flexibility in the forearms and wrists but also to learn those routines and "adapt" them into tenor flourishing.

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #42
Dawn Meade
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

Hey Alba,

That is very interesting - and answers a few lingering questions I had while watching the Olympics!

(Dawn, watching rhythmic gymnastics: "Hey! She's doing a butterfly! Harry! Look! LOOK! The clubs! Butterfly!" Harry: *ignores Dawn as normal when she goes off on a tangent*)

I find it fascinating in any art form to discover the roots and related traditions and the interplay between them that leads to innovation. The example of the clubs, or Polynesian (Maori & Hawaiian) poi spinners, show how other flourish forms can serve as inspiration and exercise for modern pipe band flourish tenors.

Thanks for sharing, Alba... and Ty for all the history!

(who now wants a set of gymnastics clubs to work out with! lol)
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:30 AM   #43
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

Originally Posted by TyFry
I'm not sure if this even connects to the topic being discussed, but I thought once again for the sake of discussion that this may be of interest to members of the forum.

Doug Stronach kindly provided me with an article from August 1935 by A.D. Hamilton entitled A Straight Talk to Drummers from Piping & Dancing Bulletin. Mr. Hamilton essentially discusses the overall state of affairs of pipe band drumming in Scotland in 1935 and more importantly discusses how to create musically (or melodically) sympathetic drum scores. In essence, this article was an early discussion of the role of drummers in the context of pipe band ensemble.

Both Bert Barr and Jim Kilpatrick have told me that Alex Duthart spoke highly of this influential man. A.D. Hamilton was also one of the pioneers behind the development of the first editions of the Scottish Pipe Band Association Structured Learning Series in the 1950s. Here is what he had to say about bass and tenor drumming in Scotland in 1935. Many of his points perhaps foreshadowed what was to come in the development of the discipline close to 70 years later:

Here we have a [tenor] drum with great opportunities of improvement in the manner in which it is played by many drummers at present. Many eminent authorities in the pipe band world feel that the tenor drum plays no prominent part in the pipe band other than from the tempo and spectacular side. This, I am sure, is due to the fact that its chief use in the band at present is to act as a kind of metronome. Now this state of affairs really results from the drummers themselves, and has nothing whatever to do with the drum, because the tenor is and can be an excellent accompaniment to the side drum. Please note that I am not suggesting that the tenor drum should also supply a rhythmic accompaniment to the melody because the nature of the sound produced from the tenor is very sustained…[The] tenor drum could enhance the quality of the beatings if properly utilized…Moreover, I refuse to believe that the tenor as an instrument only has value as a mere timekeeper for the pipers, whether they need it or not. I am of the opinion that a few simple and elementary lessons in tympani-playing would greatly improve possibilities of this drum and still furnish the opportunity for spectacular flourishing…Before leaving this subject I would like to say that I believe that our tenor drums could do with being a little deeper and broader, because the bigger the drum the deeper the note, and, as it is more bass that is required to balance the band, I would suggest that if you are thinking of acquiring a new tenor, you should try this experiment. I did so with great success…I am expressing the opinion of many when I say that quite a number of our bass drums do not produce tone, but merely produce a “dull thud.” This state of affairs is due to the fact that many of our [bass] Drummers have only one idea on the subject, and that is to flourish the sticks, and to do this they must have a narrow drum. (Hamilton, 9)

As a side, the AD Hamilton articles that Tyler refers to is available as an educational download from my website www.dougstronach.com You'll have to create a userid and password to access the site but the download is free.

doug s.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:36 AM   #44
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

Thanks Doug. I find the history of pipe band drumming an interesting topic but it is hard to find information.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:23 PM   #45
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

Thank you Doug

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Old 03-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #46
Celtic Mitch
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

I wait for the day a score sheet says "Nice Swooshie Swooshies, but were a bit loud"
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:32 PM   #47
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Default Re: Mid-section adjudication

As an old tenor drummer from the "Dark Ages" of tenor drumming, yeah I remember the days when our DS would give me a dirty look if I touched my drum head. However those days are gone. Now we have the likes of TyFry who looks like he will become airborn even while hitting his drum head. I think it needs to find a happy medium. Cool flourishing really adds to the show. It's the flash. Lets face it, just watching pipers and snare drummers play can get a little boring. Espeicially for those of us who are around it all the time. I think you should look at it like the snare drummers doing back sticking and playing on each other's drums. No, it doesn't add to the music or sound, but it does look cool. In my band we do a drummers feature that includes the tenors. The tenors go into a pinwheel as the snares go into a long drawn out roll. As they go faster, we speed up the pinwheel. pretty simple right? The crowd goes APE when we do that. I'm hoping the trend is to go back to some old school flourishing that includes actually playing.
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