Memorize marching band music

Edited by Ephraim, Charmed, Eng, Anonymous and 4 others

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This article will focus on memorizing marching band music. A lot of marching band music is really feeling out the beats, but most involve reading sheet music, just like musicians in a concert band or orchestra. The difference is, when you play in a marching band, the sheet music is not in front of you, whether you're on the field, or in a parade, or wherever you are. This article will help explain how to learn your music and memorize it so when you are performing, you are always in sync with your fellow band mates.

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Steps: Music Memorization

  1. 1
    During rehearsals in the band room, or when your on the field during practice, really listen to the music and figure out where your part comes in.
    In marching band, it's not really important to know the parts of every other instrument, but it's important to know your part, and what the song should sound like as a whole. Only the conductor and the drum major need to know all the instruments' parts. During practice, if you are having a hard time figuring out where you fit in, find another person who is playing the same part as you, on the same instrument, and watch them to cue yourself as to what you are playing, and when you come in. Knowing who to watch will help you not only figure out where you belong, but if you get lost in a song, you can always look to them and get back into sync.
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  2. 2
    While rehearsing, divide your parts into sections.
    It's easier to remember that way. If, during the routine, you are marching at the same time, count your steps and turn to ensure that you are on the right note with everybody else. This is a fail-safe for when you get lost in the music and cannot see the person you are looking for, as described in step 1. Not remembering which note to play, or where you are in the song, or being unable to see the person you look to for reference, can be scary. If you divide the performance up into a number of steps that you can remember, it will activate your muscle memory. The steps will remind you where you are in the music. This of course won't work when you aren't actually marching.
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  3. 3
    In your spare time, go over the music, again and again either by concentrating on the melody, or reading the sheet music.
    Make sure you know how to play all of your parts, so you will memorize the music correctly. You won't be able to memorize a part in the music that you haven't learned to play, so learn it before trying to memorize all your parts. Play the parts of the song you have memorized over and over again. It may not be necessary to memorize the entire song, but you should know all your parts by heart. Basically the more you play the music, the more familiar you'll become with it. It's a bit like memorizing your favorite song and lyric.
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  4. 4
    It'll feel weird, but practice your parts without the luxury of the entire band playing with you.
    Get used to counting bars, and familiarize yourself with how many bars you have before you play again. Get the song into your head. Practice without your sheet music. Run the song over and over in your head, from the beginning, until it's stuck in your heard. Do this when you're practicing with your band director, as a band director will have a lot of practice and also may share a few tips on how to memorize your music. Admitting you need help is a good idea, and allows for improvement.
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  5. 5
    Practice again on any part that you tripped over during rehearsal, and strive to memorize everything you need to.
    Doing this, playing your music, and marching will condition you to remember your parts in their entirety, where you can incorporate it into the whole music selection. No one wants to forget where they are in the middle of a song, and likewise, no one wants to see this happen to anyone in the marching band. When you gap in the midst of a performance, it isn't that easy to hide, and you don't want to make it a habit.
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  6. 6
    Play your musical selection over and over again until you have memorized it fully.
    Memorize the counts in between, and if possible, learn your fellow band mates starting points and ending points. Learning their start points and maneuvers can cue you just like in step one, but in addition, you will know all the musical parts of the song. Play through your music a couple of times, take a quick break and then continue yet again. You will realize when you have learned the music fully when you even remember others peoples parts. Aspire to the complete musical mind of a marching band player.
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  7. 7
    When you are tested by your band directors; play the music you have memorized with confidence.
    Don't try too hard at playing it perfectly, but instead, let the music flow out of you naturally. By completing the steps above you should have the music memorized in your head, and once it is memorized, the music will flow out of you naturally, without having to think too much. Knowing your music will make you feel more comfortable with the music, and suddenly the test may seem so much easier than you thought. Everyone messes up so don't panic if you do…just keep on playing. Your band director will help you the best he/she can, because every one of them has been in that position before.
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  8. 8
    Don't focus all your energy on one song.
    There are many song in your repertoire, and you need to know them all equally as well.
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  9. 9
    Hand signals may be the way the choice of song is communicated to the band.
    Pay attention to the hand signals to make sure you know what's going on, what song is next. It can be embarrassing to you, and the entire band if you aren't paying attention, and you have no idea what song is coming next.
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  10. 10
    STICK to your instrument before learning another one.
    Once you have mastered your instrument, you can then go to the next instrument you are interested in playing. Switching instruments is a challenge, so make sure the one you're playing now, you have become sufficiently proficient at.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Band practice and rehearsals are paramount to learning the music and memorizing, so always attend practice and PAY ATTENTION!
  • Divide your musical parts into the steps that you take during your musical play.
  • Find another band mate that comes into the musical selection at the same time you do, and use them as a reference for when you are to join the music.
  • Play your music continually in the privacy of your own space, or on your own time, to get in some extra practice.
  • Play the music blindly without your sheet music to ensure you are exercising your muscle memory
  • If your band uses hand signals, use them to memorize the musical selections that you are to play.
  • Ensure that you have learned all the music on your instrument before turning to another instrument, as this can mess up the memory progress with your own instrument.

Questions and Answers

How to remember notes while marching?

A good tip to remember the marching band music is to keep the beat in your head during the song. Although, you should have memorized the music before you marched, keeping the beat will help you to remember the music perfectly.

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You can remember the notes for your marching band music practicing numerous times a day. Also, you can pair up your notes with the steps you take to help you remember the notes.

No hands marching band sheet music? Help what do I do?

This means that you will need to practice and memorize the marching band music before performing, as you will not have any sheet music while marching.

So how do I do that and actually memorize my music completely?

I'm needing some serious answers on this because it will make it easier for me to do stuff like the more often then other times

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What can I use to read my music of my instrument?

I don't have my music memorized and I don't have a flip book and I will soon be marching a parade in about a week

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What's the best method to learning and memorizing a lot of music in a short amount of time?

I have 3 weeks to learn 16 songs, band director only told us one song to work on I'm a percussionist Will be going on a vacation after 3 weeks, then will have one week to review all music and practice with the band.

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How do I remember the very hard parts?

Please help me because I have to be done in a couple of days

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Categories : Music

Recent edits by: flying unicorns, LilyCalico17, Doug Collins

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