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  • Different kinds of marching

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering how you guys do your marching to a competition 2/4 march. I mean, do you have a regular mathematical system (e.g. march first 8 beats, turn around for 4 beats, march back at the beginning of new part...) or something irregular. Do people even march in an oval, or just tap one or two feet and don't march at all? (read this mentioned in an erlier thread)
    I see the top notch pipers do their marching in a fashion so they end their tune in the middle of the stage boards...how do you think about it?
    Cheers, Alex

    Piper's Heaven. Your Swiss source for Tuition - Service - Advice.
    www.pipersheaven.ch

  • #2
    Re: Different kinds of marching

    I start on one side of the judge, walk (instead of march) to the beat for 8 beats, turn around in 8 beats. Now you are at the repeat of the 1st part, walk back to where you started in 8 beats, turn around in 8 beats. That way, you always remember whether or not you are on the 1st time through a part or on the repeat (of course this depends on whether or not you remember what side you started on). With this method, you start each new part on the same side of the judge. On the repeat of the 4th part, I walk for 4 beats and stop in front of the judge and playing the remaing 12 beats of March music standing still. Then I go into the Strathspey and Reel. If you don't play the SR, I wouldn't stop, I would just keep going as normal. I figure it is best to always turn toward the judge when turning, although you might be able to hide a few small mistakes by always turning away from the judge, especially in a crowded outdoor competition arena. That in a really nutshell, is my knowledge of walking, cause I don't march. I would do it in shorts and sandals if they would let me.
    My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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    • #3
      Re: Different kinds of marching

      Friday afternoon/evening at the Pleasanton Games they held competition for the professional class at teh hotel. During the MSR I watched their marching pattern. A couple did as Partick said, march 8 and turn 8. Others marked time for the first 8 then set a pattern of marching 8 and turning 8. Some marched 8, turned 4, marked time 4 then repeated the pattern. One was random. Most of them marched 8 and some variation of turning and marking time.

      As for ending in front of the judge, yes, they all did, but again the number of counts they marked time varied gretly. From 4 to 12 counts.

      Whatever you choose, stick practice it and stick with it. You don't want to be thinking of your marching while competing.
      Character is what you are when no one is looking.

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      • #4
        Re: Different kinds of marching

        I too start on one side of the judge, usually the judges left side with my drones away from him. I play the first 8 bars, marking time, just to get the tempo correct,and then march for 4 bars and turn around facing the judge taking 4 bars again. (We must have smaller squares than else where). I always turn towards the judge.
        This way I finish on the judges left again and turn to face him if I play my S.R.
        I try not to face him completely, so I turn my drones a little closer towards him. This way it seems to give more balance to the chanter and drones together. I always try to stay about 10-15 ft from him as well, as getting too close can make your chanter seem too loud and out of balance with your drones.
        This is my prefered system. It seems to be working okay so far.

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        • #5
          Re: Different kinds of marching

          I just move my feet in time to the music, and don't think about it too much.

          I think I may take up marching in a concentric circle, just to try something different.
          http://www.chicagopipeband.com

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          • #6
            Re: Different kinds of marching

            Just do it and don't worry about it. You're not going to loose the contest for marching and turning randomly. Just do what's comfortable.
            brian dodge

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            • #7
              Re: Different kinds of marching

              Originally posted by Steve Moore:
              I think I may take up marching in a concentric circle, just to try something different.
              :idea: What about 'walking the labyrinth' while piping?
              John

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              • #8
                Re: Different kinds of marching

                Originally posted by Alex G:
                I too start on one side of the judge, usually the judges left side with my drones away from him. I play the first 8 bars, marking time, just to get the tempo correct,and then march for 4 bars and turn around facing the judge taking 4 bars again. (We must have smaller squares than else where). I always turn towards the judge.
                This way I finish on the judges left again and turn to face him if I play my S.R.
                I try not to face him completely, so I turn my drones a little closer towards him. This way it seems to give more balance to the chanter and drones together. I always try to stay about 10-15 ft from him as well, as getting too close can make your chanter seem too loud and out of balance with your drones.
                This is my prefered system. It seems to be working okay so far.
                This sounds good. The only thing I would say for me is sometimes I may march a little further and we may not finish the same, but always turn towards the judge and not too close. I would imagine Alex had some pretty good instruction on this.

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                • #9
                  Re: Different kinds of marching

                  I start out on the left foot, march the first line (first time through) in place, step off on the repeat. Try to take normal stride marching steps to the turn. It looks better then short choppy steps IMHO.

                  Don't worry to much about your feet other then the fact they are attached to you legs and they help keep time
                  Bob Norris,
                  Triad Highlanders
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                  • #10
                    Re: Different kinds of marching

                    As a long strider I have had to learn to take smaller steps just because if I take my usual steps, in some competition venues, I'd be taking three and turning and that's just a little crazy looking. Also, with uneven ground, etc. smaller steps often equal better balance for me.

                    But that said, you don't want to look like a toy soldier! Just relax and try not to concentrate so much on how you're marching as that you're keeping the beat with your feet. I think I'm on good ground to say that's all the judge is really going to notice about the way you march. If you clearly started off on a 2/4 march on the left foot, but ended on the left foot--dead give-away, somewhere you lost a beat!

                    Besides, if you get too hung up on a certain system of marching, (8 beats march, 8 beats turn, etc.), then what happens if something messes up your system? Does that blow your performance? Something to think about.

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