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A marching band is a type of band that performs at parades, football games, and at competitions. Marching band is considered a sport. In this article, all aspects of marching bands will be explored, investigated and probed in places no article has ever probed before.
Although the concept of marching on the field while playing had long existed within the military, Mark Tim E. Mark, a sergeant in the Union Army, pioneered a tactic to reduce casualties among the regiment's band by having them do complicated maneuvers such as pass-throughs, jazz runs (although jazz had not yet been invented), and crabbing as the battle began, dodging bullets and shells. The downside to Mark's plan was that it distracted both his, and the enemies' troops, who would often sit down on the hillside and watch Mark's marchers perform. Soon after, Confederate General Staying I. N. Step formed the first drum corps. Step's band started as a company's worth of men (100-200), but there were very few supplies left to equip them, so they were given surplus brass instruments, drums, old flags, broken rifles and dull sabers with which they were expected to fight all the way to D.C. with. Step had been impressed with Mark's band, now called the Bluecoats, and sent his unit, renamed the Carolina Crown, all the way to Pasadena, California where they did battle. The battle itself was inconclusive, but it was a sign of progress. After the war, the two drum corps reappeared some 100 years later under the same names, meeting every year in Pasadena to compete.
After the Civil War, marching bands returned to their obscure nature, performing the music of John Phillip Sousa, an immigrant from the Portuguese Azores, and pioneer of marching music in live concerts and parades. The horrors of modern warfare in 1914 as World War I began almost destroyed the marching band movement, as machine guns, tanks, and poison gas made marching a wee bit more challenging. The stock market crash of 1929 virtually spelled the end to marching bands, as many people sold their $2,000 horn for a month's worth of food. It would take another war to revive the marching band spirit.
In 1933, Adolf "The Crippler" Hitler became the first band
dictator director, ahem, director to utilize mind control in the first "Band Camp", a hellish fun experience in which there is always this one time at it in which so and so did that and yadda yadda... It was here that marching band became a cult. As his armies stormed across Europe, he had his bands march through the enemies capital, all in perfect timing, with the threat of death if they missed a beat or squeaked a note. The fatal flaw Hitler had with his directing was that he was never satisfied, and killed himself, being unable to outmarch the Allies. Despite his death, many directors saw the value in being power-hungry, seeing it as a way to vent their inner struggles by torturing a group of teens under the intense sphere of electromagnetic radiation of thermonuclear fusion and under the extreme cold produced by the lack of that radiation.
With the Cold War beginning, international competition began between Soviet Russia's "Marching Marxists", "Stalin's Steppers" in her "Communist Bloc" and America's "Uncle Sam's Marching Capitalists", "Senator McCarthy's Commie Killers" in her "NATO corps". Both sides remained in the constant competition, without ever meeting one-on-one in a competition (Though many times it seemed very close). Both sides' shows were considered so good that they were both said to be "the Bomb". The two forces only met twice by proxy, in competition with North Korea and Vietnam's "Viet Cong Guerrillas". While the U.S. won the first, the latter was a loss as Uncle Sam's band lost too many members and was running out of good players and willing participants.
In high schools and colleges across America, marching bands were becoming more mainstream. In 1956, the now commonly used term "Band Geek" was first used, being defined by Webster's dictionary as: "A sub-category of human that plays or simulates playing musical instruments at parades and football games" The definition, however, does not accurately tell the real meaning of the term, known only to the members of the "Cult".
Through the early experiments during the Civil War, to the first "Band Camps" under the direction of Hitler, marching band has developed into an international "Cult" shared by many
unfortunate superior beings of the subspecies Machine Bandus Nerdus
"The Basics", or "Fundamentals" are theories in which all things in the universe can be divided in to four beats, roasted in the sun, and bombarded with your mom/that's what SHE said jokes in order to become competent in marching techniques during a time known as "BAND CAMP". The theory, however, is false. (See any song written by Dream Theater). Band camp is divided into several phases in which your self-confidence is broken, built up, and broken again before you leave, with the ultimate purpose to mold you into brutal killing ma...Instrumentalists.
Marching is a form of walking designed exclusively to cause pain to those participating in it. It involves making the heel of your foot come into contact with the ground before your toe does, thus causing you to break your ankle. However, any injury sustained (particularly those where a person is hurt by paying too much attention to the angle of their toes, and therefore not paying attention to the flag pole traveling quickly towards one's face) can only be due to a failure to march correctly, and not simply the stupid form of walking known as "Marching". Marching is best used during a show, preferably of an erotic or burlesque nature, in which the band attempts to play the entire soundtrack to anal bandits 9 (or something very similar sounding). Marching can also occur during a period of time in which the "Dumb line" executes a K-Dance. It is not formalized which foot is supposed to come down on which beet, however, it is accepted that red beets should be touched with the left foot and purple beets with the right. In other parts of the world, it is common to march using rhubarbs instead of beets. A few special kids get the pleasure of losing their knee caps while marching and thus becoming part of the non-moving percussion section. It is a very tragic event to see the brightest marchers have to stop. However, the non-marching section is perhaps the hardest working of all the sections.
Military Marching Bands
Even though never truly admitted by the majority of the Drum Corps Community, Military Bands are largely seen as the precursor to Drum Corps.
Seen by many as the most mentally degrading form of Marching Band, this rare species of Marching Band has mostly fallen off the face of the earth due to the fact that it can only be taught by band directors who taught drill in the stone age. This is seen further seen that only small towns in the south (usually too poor to hire a new band director who is either too old, or too lazy to learn to teach drum corps) who actually understand that tradition (A concept wholly impossible for any form of Drum Corps band to comprehend) is important. These Bands have a terrible habit of being insanely disciplined and very well organized... Making a Mock of Drum Corps Bands at every opportunity, from choices of Stand Tunes to marching into stadiums, these Band Halls are considered by many to be the cleanest in the world.
Military Band uniform looks like the bastard child of the Revolutionary War and the Backlog of every uniform company ever devised by man, its soul purpose and meaning is too entangle the wearer in a gaggle of straps, belts, and tradition, tradition being the tightest of them all. These Uniforms are considered by many to be stupid, arbitrary and most certainly irritating and become the laughing stock of any drum corps style band that they have the unfortunate fate of facing on the field. But are very brutal when seen off the field,
Unlike Drum Corps Style Bands, where Drum Majors act as conductors and often mentally retarded hand wavers at any tempo over 190. Drum Majors in Military Bands are required to join the
Slaves Students on the field, often using a large object called a Drum Majors Mace "A drum majors mace is carried onto the field, it is a massive conductor stick, if dropped; an old, fat dude will run onto the field and take the mace from the drum major and require them to commit several humiliating acts in order to "earn" back the right to carry this glorified stick of metal.
Most band camps require around 10-14 hours of marching before breaks (that's sweatshop shift time) but once the day's work is done, unlike sweatshops, one gets to retire to refuge, usually in the form of cabins, and "rest" (except at those schools that dare to call their summer rehearsals "band camp" even though it is not an actual camp as students go to their home every night). At band camp, unlike in human time whose single day is equivalent to 24 hours, a marchers' day has a total of 28 hours. Where these hours are taken from is yet unknown but Russia has had its greatest researchers working on it.
The normal day at Band camp consists of marching, playing, learning steps and drills, being whipped by the band director and drum majors, denting cars parked in the parking lot, and hazing freshmen. From time to time, Satan will guest direct and take the marchers to the 11th level of hell.
Most likely, during practices, the band director will sit in the comfy shade of the press box and shout out commands in 212°F weather. They will also complain how hard it is on them to watch the marchers sweat their asses off attempting to play insane quadruplet runs at a tempo of 240 bpm while staying in step and information for a giant box rotation, inversion and collapse, and how their inability to do so is an insult to the person who wrote the show. Occasionally the band director will grow a fraction of pity for about 10 minutes and call a water break, but more frequently just call a 29 3/4 second "gulp and go", more commonly known as a "gush and go".
On the days that the football field is inhabited by football players, the band goes over to the Practice Field, where the band director and drill instructor stand up on the cherry picker and have this same roll, while the band members break their ankles tripping in potholes, and then are devoured alive by mutant crabgrass. Note, the band director occasionally hires the drill instructor to write the band's drill, which explains the many instances of a phallus, Ass, or a Rainbow in the drill.
The most important part of the day at band camp is the night. By nightfall, nicknames should have been distributed by marchers to the newtrainees. Since marching bands are nocturnal, they begin their mating/screeching at night. A boys' cabin should be properly "scuffed up" by throwing Skittles (and any other assortment of candy the dumb senior brought to enjoy), and getting it stuck on the walls. Toothpaste should be used to write messages of wisdom on the mirrors, such as "don't light more than one can of Axe on fire at a time" or "once in a lifetime chance". The first person to fall asleep at night usually ends up getting drawn on. There is almost always a club-footed drummer who pisses everyone off by getting up every fifteen minutes in the night to go pee.
. This drummer always thinks he is "BA" even though he always wears a polo from Walmart in the 212°F heat. The Trombone is "BA" because he is a big accoucheur (a male midwife).
Also during band camp, you will notice what type of band director you have.
- Gay - Self-explanatory, just someone who is obviously gay. Sometimes has a family but we all know how he really feels.
- Call the Cops - This one usually is completely mentally insane and needs some serious help.
- Hypocrite - Let's see you do this.
- Incompetent - An absolute joke of a director. Has no musical skill and only has the job because he minored in music because it was mandatory in his pathetic small-town community college. Bands with this kind of director have absolutely no potential and will most likely succumb to the ensuing depression.
- Creep - You will notice that this one may have started working at a school to be around 16-year-old girls. You may want to stay away from the girls' cabins in this situation.
- A Veenstra - The only type of cool band director, that most will never see because there is only one in the world...it is noted he can change his race at any time. There have also been reports that he can stop time, as well as create vortexes to alternate dimensions. There is ongoing research into the credibility of these claims.
- The God - The best band director in the world. His qualities include writing his own halftime show in two weeks, coming up with creative band dances, and taking a band of 55 to competition and getting straight ones. He will often have hilarious catchphrases the entire band will know.
The purpose of a marching band is not only to perform at football games but to compete with other bands. As said before, the football team is only the side entertainment as the band rules the field. It is for that reason that many bands join competitive organizations to avoid the hassle of turning over the field for the football team to come out and do their routine.
The second purpose is to see how rich or poor your school is. This can be determined by uniform design, cleanliness of a uniform, behavior of tuba players, and shininess of brass instruments. Most certainly at one point, you will feel poor. If you do not experience this deflating feeling, you are in the midst of a band in danger of an unfortunate "accident".
There are bands with too much money who will show up with brand new tailored uniforms every few years and with a personal truck filled with shiny, relatively new to brand new instruments. A poor band has loose-fitting uniforms (only washed once per season; at the end of it), dingy brass instruments, and finds amazement in the rich green color of the competition field.
The third purpose is to hit a field judge. Every band kid has a dream, and that is to hit a field judge at a competition. All band kids have some pent up anger and this is one way to let it out. Also, when the judges comment they can be cruel. So if you hit a field judge, good for you! Have fifty points and a cookie! Now give someone else a turn.
What to do at marching band competitions
Besides competing, there are many other things to do at a competition. You can start a drumline-off with a rival school, like in that drumline movie (because everything that happens in movies are real). You can start a physical fight with a rival band. You can place bets on a physical fight between rival bands, such as which drum major can fight the best. Of course, these fights always get more interesting when the color guard joins in with their 6-foot metal flag poles. And rifles. And sabers.
You can buy ad books at shows for $5 (or more) just to see your band's one pitiful solitary page. You can also buy greasy, overpriced, unhealthy food at concession stands. Hot chocolate, fried dough, nachos and more! Mmmmmmm. Of course, they're ready to be thrown up when the judges announce that your band came in last...again. Hot chocolate isn't just used for drinking, though. You can also "accidentally" spill some on the uniforms of those rich bands. That's what they get for having a supportive town and board of education.
Some people go back to their buses during competitions to hang out. And by hanging out, I mean make out with people and/or have orgies.
You can also watch other bands perform. Normally when a worse band performs, you can make fun of them and point out how no one knows when holds start and stop on their show. But when a better band performs, first you are filled with sadness about the prospect of losing to this band. Then you are filled with hate. An unstoppable burning hate. You want to do things you would have never imagined you wanted to do people. But then the hate turns back to sadness. And then back to hate during the awards ceremony.
A poor breed of sub-musician, whose ability has declined over the centuries. Old, half bald virgins, they, not being talented enough to continue any real music career, now attempt to rate high school bands by ever-changing, vague rules. The most constantly anamorphic award is the G.E., or General Effect, trophy, which is given to whoever sacrifices the most blood to the so-called "gods in the box". To get this award many schools choose to give them the youngest clarinet player, or they promise their director's firstborn. Common comments on a judges tape include:
- Shouting obscenities on their tape recorders when trapped in the center of a rotating ring the sax line forms as part of their feature. "The tonal qualities of the low brass are impeccable, but the saxophones have dire tuning issues that may cost them. Here they come now...What the-...Oh, come on!...Christ!...I still need to evaluate the trumpets...fuck."
- Getting run over by the entire drumline after stopping to comment on the uniforms "The uniforms flowing design really extenuates the music and movement of this group...Oh, a saxophone was late on the arrival of set 40: minus .05...Huh? WTF?!? CRASH!!!"
- Commenting on the excellence of the flutes and clarinets (they mistook the sax line for those instruments). "Wow! These flutes and clarinets are awesome! And they are oh so shiny and gold colored too...wonder what company makes curved metal clarinets and flutes?"
- Having an orgasmic reaction when the band completes all phrases in the woodwind feature. "...yes ...Yes ... Yes... YES... YES!!! THEY DID IT! THAT WAS GREAT"
- Using strange words to describe the music. "That is a tasty trombone sound! Piccolo could use a little tuning...Muy Bien, clarinets!"
- Living out the fantasy that they are a sports announcer instead of a lowly high school marching band judge. "He's at the 40...35...30...passes right through the trumpet line...still in step...OH! OH! OW! Slipped on the turf 2 off the 35-yard line...the lead tenor (quads) drummer has fallen...OW! There go the snares and basses...Wait! He is getting up! Ladies and gentlemen, he is getting up and getting back into formation...look at that skill and excellence...can we get an instant replay, Bob?"
- Deciding to totally disregard the color guard. If not, they only mention the color of the silks and not how they actually were being used and spun in regards to the show and theme.
- Muttering seemingly crazy talk into the mic. "I shall distract the front ensemble by making funny faces and making them think they sound horrible so I will walk around them over and over until they break....muahahahahaha."
- Marking you down for things that don't even exist.
Ask yourself this next time a judge says something stupid about your band...
If they know what they are talking about, why don't they have their own band to direct?
The Voice of God (known as the Announcer to the Infidels), for it, is God who gives thy bands scores every competition, and it is the Voice of God who bestows placements and trophies to the bands.
Major Competing Organizations
- Drum Corps International- These are not bands, but corps...the gods above all marching bands, the elite group seeking ultimate perfection. Many high school bands draw inspiration from these deities. The most hallowed Drum Corps performance ever was performed by the Cavaliers in their sacred "Frameworks" show of 2002, which was only .85 away from perfection. Some say that when a corps finally reaches a score of a perfect 100, cancer will be cured. In order to achieve this, drum corps exclude woodwinds, as they suck so much and would never be able to keep up with brass players.
- USSBA - The talent of these bands varies from region to region. The bands in the mid-west/southern area are usually pretty good but their size is comparable to that of three Drum Corps and then some. The bands in the eastern US tend to think that they can play, but higher level bands like those in TOB tend to want to throw them off of the field.
- Tournament of Bands - An organization devoted to encouraging bands to get better "through positive reinforcement". This, of course, does nothing but cause shame and humiliation to the remaining 20 bands who did not make the top 5 at the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC's). The previous reputation is what counts here. Your band can do an awesome and unique show worthy of a championship, but if Mechanicsburg even shows up to said band performance, you will lose. You can not beat Mechanicsburg because it is against TOB law. Not only will they get a 99.98 in their score (nearly perfection) at ACC's, but they will do it with an overused show theme and a completely non-biased judging panel (of course...). It can be pouring down rain/sleet/snow/lava/meteors on that band, with every single one of their enormous color-guard falling on their asses, the band doing a standstill show out of tempo, their drum major falling over and dying...and your band will still come in second place to Mechanicsburg. Yes, that is what makes TOB so exciting. Now Mechanicsburg has moved to group four, so all who are left in group three is safe, and bands like Camp Hill and Allegany have a chance at victory. However, said bands will not have a chance as West Deptford has devised a show of "complicated" 8 to 5 movements and whole notes that will score them a 96 based on a fair and balanced not New Jersey bias set of ideas. But they have the best show and will keep TOB in the balanced and non-biased position that it has been in for so many years. However, in group two we have Mechanicsburg's equivalent, Liberty. If Liberty even shows up to the competition, and just stands on the field, you're screwed. Your band can do an awesome and unique show worthy of a championship, but if Liberty even shows up to said band performance, you will lose. You can not beat Liberty because it is against TOB law.
- Bands of America - Similar to the above, but in addition to traveling to several local competitions, you travel nationwide to compete in a wide variety of places against bands you may never see again (nor do you really care that much about because the local bands at home are much better at being actual rivals), all for some stupid Grand National Championship, which despite being national, only appears in major media if a band from a major city wins or one of those "underdog" schools wins. The remaining 500 bands slip off unnoticed, only to hope they have to fund left to pay for their future cross-country treks (which they won't).
- Cavalcade of Bands - Like TOB, only much more local and easier to win in thanks to the lack of the obvious bias toward bands in the TOB.(The latter has been proven as many bands that failed to win in the TOB have come here and gone out champions.)
- Gladiatorial Musical Combatants of America - The hardest form of competition, the Gladiatorial Musical Combatants of America requires all of the standard challenges such as music and marching, but also requires impressive feats in gladiatorial combat. Weapons may range from halberd to halibut, but the combat must remain fierce and must be kept in beat and in tune.
- Cacophony of Bands
- A 3- to a 5-mile form of punishment for the band, not dissimilar from an upbeat Bataan death march, intended to melt the victims' brains into a jelly-like substance while drilling the music of John Phillip Sousa into their heads.
- Normally forced upon by the town on the band. In many situations, bands have to march in parades to show the town their awful one-size-fits-all uniforms that the school district spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on.
This is pure torture for all who march.
- Often include parade commands intended to humiliate someone or something while serving as an opportunity for section leaders to demonstrate their complete control over the minds of their sections.
- Sometimes switches songs in mid-march, making it incredibly difficult to stay in step throughout the torture. Especially when the drum major can't decide how fast it wants to march. However, the spectators of these "parades" are usually too stupid to notice.
- However this is an instance where Military Style Marching Bands are in their element due to the fact that the marches of John Philip Sousa are programmed through up to four years of perfectly spaced, mentally degrading straight line drill.
The All-Powerful Glock
The Glock is the most powerful weapon mankind has ever seen. Its ability to control hundreds to step in time together, keep time, play as one, or commit mass suicide in time is unmatched. Commonly referred to as either the Glock Block or simply the Glock.
The Glock Block has often been considered the source of global warming, war, and most recently, the end of the world predicted by the Mayan calendar. The original "Glock Block" was the skull of a fallen T-Rex found by primitive homo sapiens; It is said that a young cave-lad hit the skull with his cave-lad club, and the piercing sound drove him into insanity. He later killed all of his cave-lad family members, in step, jazz style. Many have considered the banning of the Glock Block, but its hypnotic rhythm has swayed them to think otherwise, time and time again.
In ancient times, the Glock was called "God", as it was spelled similarly on the manuscript copy of the "Washington Post" march. It is now understood that it was meant to be spelled "Gok", which translates into English as "Gock".
The Glock Block has proven to be indestructible, except for one incident in which a herd of rather fat Tubists crushed it in a Tuba Stampede of angry angry-ness.
Dr. Death, M.D., is a marching band therapist who deals with cases such as people being out of step, drum majors being incapable to conduct and people who just need a good "beating" once in a while. Dr. Beat treats all these cases by beating his patients with sextuplets at 250 bpm (Dr. Beat, Ph.D. can go to 300!) until the tempo sets in permanently. Unfortunately, long-term, and sometimes even short-term exposure to such beatings can cause epileptic seizures, comas, hearing loss, explosive diarrhea, death, and spontaneous marking time to any constant beat from any source. Dr. Beat was once a major competitor to the Glock, as the doctor was powered by electricity, but now the Glock holds power over Dr. Beat via the threat of blackmail. It is rumored that the Glock possesses a photograph of Dr. Beat working with members of a high school chorus, one of the marching band's most hated enemies. The rumor states that Dr. Beat must do Gock's whim at all times, or the world will see Dr. Beat's betrayal.
Portrait of a Marching Band
- Band Director, usually an adult male who demeans other students in an attempt to make up for his unwholesome dreams of glory. He will make the band practice in any weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, apocalypses, deadly cold, and the Fires of Hell.
- Drum Major, also known as "Hitler", the alpha-band geek, who may, or may not be the master of his or her domain. Basically a metronome with a cape. They are suck-ups to the band director and are usually the closest to him and get blamed for all that goes wrong. Normally suffers from permanent PMS, and can occasionally say things like "Am I seriously going to do this without my podium?!". Usually a woodwind player or sometimes a brass player, or on occasion a snare player. Drum Majors are the people who either don't want to play anymore, get a sick pleasure out of bossing others around or are just the most BA band members. Troopers of the band, seeing as the pain of conducting is one that even Satan doesn't inflict on others. They are usually annoyed by the clarinets and saxophones at band practices and competitions. Most drum majors think they are very good at conducting, but really, they tend to look like penguins trying to fly.
- Band Captain(s), Band Captains are generally officers composed of Drum Major candidates who couldn't make the cut for whatever reason, too young, just not strong enough of a leader, or being the only person on a specific instrument. Band Captains have slightly less power than the Drum Major, but get more direct contact with members of the band they are often given equal or more respect than the Drum Major (or equal or greater hatred) which upsets the Drum Major to no extent. Band Captains can be divided into three categories. Percussion Captains, which are then subdivided into "Drumline Captains" who come from the Battery, and tend to believe themselves gods among men and believe to be the on-field drum major of the band, and "Pit Bosses" who come from the front ensemble, and tend to try hard to exert themselves over the Battery, only successful if they can beat the center snare in a test of rudiments. Then there are Woodwind captains, which can be subdivided into Flute Captains, who feel the need to compensate for their lack of sound on the field by being as angry a bitch as humanly possible; Clarinet Captains, who are generally selected when no other viable choices are available and will tend to avoid any serious responsibility at all costs, and Sax Captains, who will take their job too seriously as they then believe themselves to be all knowing masters of woodwind instruments who will try to tell clarinets and flutes how to play their instruments. Which leaves Brass Captains, which subdivide into Trumpet Captains, who will immediately go into a power rush, and try to hold a coup to seize control of the entire band, and Non-Trumpet Captains, who will hold as many sectionals as humanly possible but spend most of them thinking of mundane challenges to use against other band's brass sections during parades or football games.
- Section Leader(s), veteran players. They aren't drumming major so this is the closest to a leadership position they can gain, given to seniors and juniors. There are typically three types of section leaders. One is the "This is the most important role I've ever had so by God I'm going to do it right!". They usually are the uptight section leaders who have a bear so far up their ass that they are coughing up hairballs. The second is the "I only wanted to be a section leader so I could appear accomplished, but I don't have a leadership bone in my body". These people have the credentials but don't have the guts to tell a freshman that they are gonna run laps if they don't stop screwing around. The third and final type is the retarded bipolar mash-up of the two. These section leaders switch on and off from being the responsible uptight prick to the person you're screaming at in your head because the girl in front of you can't cover down to save her life.
- Wannabe Section Leaders(s), players who aren't section leaders but try to be anyway. They are at times referred to as the “Anti-Christ” among their peers. They are always seeking revenge or being sought for revenge. Usually pretty bitter about not being a section leader, so although they lack actual power, it's not wise to piss off the wannabe-leaders. Most are juniors who deserve to rule but lose to a senior because of seniority rule. Constantly interfere with section leader plots. They are most likely a favorite of a choir teacher. Most wannabes are good at yelling and expect the other members to roll over and take it (which they do but sometimes they have someone ball-z enough to turn around and yell "I don't have to listen to you, you're not the section leader!" which the wannabe responds by saying "no need to be a bitch about it!" and turns around, completely ignoring everyone around them and plays by themselves)
- Band Parents, an evil-subspecies of human that lurk around band camp and the sacred competitions. Research is inconclusive, but the theory has it that the secret organization of band parents constructed a formula to control band directors everywhere with profuse amounts of alcohol and valve oil.
- The Band Geek, a person who is extremely dedicated to the band and often shows up early to call times because they are excited to perform. They tend to play 4 or more instruments and confess to having dreams about the band.
- Normal, a player who is not a band geek, but probably one of the few normal people in the band. They do not want to be there but are often very talented. They are usually scapegoated, and crucified on a weekly basis.
- "'The Fat Kid"' This is the kid who joined when he found out four years of marching band was the same as a year of P.E. thus they learned to play.
- The Retard Who Gives Band a Horrible Reputation, usually the most overly-enthusiastic members of the band. These players tend to be the least talented and the most obnoxious/socially inept, yet they have the unexplainable urge to advertise to the world that they are in the band, giving the rest of the band a humiliating reputation, which for the most part is true.
- The Playa-Hater, a talented player who hates participating in band events like practice, concerts, or football games, and is only in the band because the director forces him/her to.
- Silent Bob, the band geek who never talks, but knows what they're doing. Prefers to not get into arguments. They are very reclusive and never talk to freshmen.
- H-Unit, the strongest character in the band with a sexual attraction to fire. Although they are underrated, they tend to come through in the clutch situations – usually through means of napalm, car bombs, or flaming dog shit. The H-Unit is often very good friends with the Band Geek. One day the H-Unit will burn down the band room, leaving nothing but MEMORIES.
- The Non-Leadership, a member who has a leadership position and doesn't really want to be there but has to. They have a total disregard for authority and constantly encourage people to quit the band. They are generally the best-liked members of the band leadership (except by other leaders).
- The Stoner/Peanut Gallery, a group of players who have fried their brains away by doing various drugs or through frequent head nodding. They do not contribute to the band’s performance and are often too blazed to play.
- The Hole-Filler, this character usually shows up sometime in the first month or two after band camp. He or she has no concept of what marching band means, yet the director feels he/she can adequately fill a hole in the band. This person may feel they are doing a great service and are a critical member in the band, when in fact many, if not all, other members do not even consider them a true band member. If you must march next to a hole-filler, be sure to shout vulgarities at them if/when they screw up. After all, they don't even have to play, but they do have one weakness-a better life.
- The Suck-Up, this is usually a freshman or sophomore who sucks (sometimes literally) up to his section leader and/or drum major in hopes of gaining a leadership position. This person is usually despised, especially by juniors and seniors in the section. Closely related to the wannabe section leader. In other cases, they can be known to take the form of a short little fat kid who sucks up only to the band director and assistant and yells at section leaders and drum majors.
- The Socially Inept Band Kid, this is the kid who complains about everything in the band and how much they hate it. They will, however, refuse to quit because it is the only place that they are somewhat accepted (if accepted means being slaves of drum majors and section leaders and basically any kind of upperclassmen that is).
- That One Kid Who Marched Drum Corps, this kid is the biggest bad ass in the program, but hates it because the stupid bands can never do anything right. He will quit band mid-semester and take gym instead.
- That One Kid Who Wanted to March Drum Corps, this is the kid that thought he was all tough and amazing but really his "badass-ness" makes him and the band look worse. It might be that they mark time a little "cooler" than everybody else, or that they brought their foot up higher to march than everybody else. Whatever it was, they did something different from the rest of the band just to have a few extra points taken away. This person may also be linked to the "stuck up" band member because he/she thinks that they are superior to the rest.
- The Band-Groupie, a nonmember of the marching band who holds the deranged notion that being accepted by the group means they are liked. In all actuality, the band is severely deprived of those who actually tolerate them, so they are pleased when any unknowing idiot meanders into their clutches. Band-Groupies are good for screaming like fangirls at shows, clapping at the wrong tempo, and are especially proficient at serving as much needed mutes for the Sousaphones.
- Piccolos - While some idiots may say "Piccolos aren't their own section! Heck, they aren't even an instrument!" the musicians with a brain know for a fact that nothing can compare to the beauty that is THE PICCOLO. The piccolo is the smallest and highest member of the musical family and functions very similarly to the flute. This tiny beast never plays a note lower than a triple D for they must be heard always. In the case that the piccolo plays even one note down an octave voluntarily or you cannot hear the piccolo from 500 miles away, you know that at least one of your piccolo players either A. Shy B. Too stupid to figure out how to play anything higher or C. Someone who just wants attention from everyone else for playing the piccolo when in reality, they hate the high pitched sound of the piccolo. If ever your piccolo player(s) complain about a high pitched noise, you know that they are just a poser and they cannot withstand the awesome power that emanates from the piccolo. Many piccolo players develop a close relationship with their piccolo and begin to refer to it as their "baby" and even name it. Some bands will refuse to have piccolos (because they either can't afford one or their flutes sound so good that the piccolos are not needed) and others will force each flute player to play the piccolo, But the smartest bands will have 1-3 piccolos. While it is amazing to hear the piccolo higher and louder than the whole brass section, having 4 or more piccolos can result in bad tuning. The piccolo is probably one of the hardest instruments to keep in tune which is why orchestras usually have one piccolo at a time. When you have an actual section of piccolos (at least 3) there will definitely be some drama usually pertaining to how "she's always so flat" or "he's always so sharp" but in reality, we know that none of them can actually tune. And when they are in tune, don't expect it to last longer than 5 seconds because every piccolo is a time bomb- destined to go extremely out of tune sooner or later. And never, never, NEVER insult a piccolo player, for they can make you go deaf if it pleases them by just bringing their "baby" up to their lips. So if you like not being deaf, then BOW DOWN!!!!
- Flutes - Walking bags of wind, looked down on by almost every other section, and let's face it, are only good for trilling. Placed behind the color guard in a line of defense if zombies attack the band. They are also known as the least intimate section because of their infamous inner section fights (which are certain to happen) and their love of gossip. To a flute player, nothing is ever going right. If you piss one off enough you are sure to get a whack on the back causing a broken flute and a lawsuit. Most likely to drop their instrument through the bleachers. Will do 'ultimate kicks' with no purpose. This section is usually in the middle of the scale, behind saxophones and in front of low brass. As nice as they seem, bears, sharks, and the black plague have all been known to be nicer. This section generally consists of the members of the band who have to play the most difficult rhythms while doing drill (and aren't the best at things like sliding and scurrying). Flutes are well known for making sure they stand exactly where their spot is on the field by some magical ability. However, if the form happens to be off a couple steps or so then on the drill sheets and you try and point this out to them, be prepared to get a tirade about how right they are. When sleep-deprived, they can be very deadly. They are subjected to cruel jokes pertaining to an R-rated film that goes by the name of "American Pie". When PMSing, which approximately 4/5 of the section is at any given time, even more deadly. Usually has most of the whiners in the band. Has some girls (not all) that people want out of the band.
- Clarinets - Known as the "the TROLLZ", as they are rarely heard. Most girl clarinets get mad very easily. More often sharp than flat. This section gets called out as a whole quite frequently, even though only about 2 players really deserve it. Time after time, the band director will take his anger out on the clarinets. They are the softest section (unless you get that 1 bad-ass player who can outplay the trumpets, although that rarely happens) even though their section is Troll filled, least regarded, and when they are complimented, it's a huge deal. They are one of the most creative sections, sometimes even coming up with their own Trolling rituals before competitions. Clarinets are also the worst dressed and least popular in the band, second only to the Trumpets. Female clarinetist also tends to have small boobs but nice butts. They either unite together to become one bitchy gossip pot or battle each other to the death. Generally, there is that 'One Guy' who knows all the girls and their secrets who everyone trusts for no reason but like him altogether. They were created along with the flute section to generate band drama, for if these two sections did not exist, there would be no drama within the band. The universe would then implode from lack of drama, and the Glock block would reign supreme. However, there are always a few members who desperately try to avoid the drama. These also occasionally occur in the flute section and are always ignored/burned at the stake/pretend they play trombone or something.
- Bass Clarinets - Similar to clarinets. Although they are one of the manly instruments, they are sometimes one of the quieter people. Instruments in the Marching Band that are seldom heard. Whenever they play by themselves during practice, a member of the band yells "Is that what they sound like!?" or "they can make sound!?". You may also hear complaints from this section about them never being heard because we all know that they sometimes suck anyway (not all, but the majority). They will vigorously take notes during band even when nobody is talking because they just need something to do besides sits there. They can usually be seen walking around attempting to glove and being almost completely antisocial.
- Saxophones - Saxes are so good, they have their own subgroups. The different subgroups of sax are listed here. They're just one giant family.
- Alto Saxophones - Obsessed with their beautiful tone they add jazz riffs and solos where they obviously belong but aren't labeled. Usually, the saxophone section is the most outgoing and incredibly messed up section in the band. Their section leader is usually the most laid back or the rare tightwad. A common nickname for the sax line is the "Saxophones", or the "Smexyphones", due of course to the sexiness the section is known for throughout the band, as it results in chattiness, and getting laid every night and day. This is the section of pure awesomeness, they're awesome incarnate.
- Tenor Saxophones - Bridging the gap between the Bari Saxophones and the Saxophones are the Tenor Saxophones. Usually the most bad-assed members of the band, they have the sexiness of the Saxophones but are able to play the lower and deeper notes of the Bari saxes. They are the manliest instrument with the exception of the few girls who play who are by far the sexiest girls in the entire band. Usually, they have the best ideas and every band member has envied them at some point.
- Bari Saxophones - Similar to the saxophones, but have the keen ability to play extremely low notes that cause the ground to vibrate. They are a very manly instrument, and those who play the Bari, tend to be the reekers of havoc among the marching band. They believe that their games are funny, and yet they only cause hilarious chaos among the marching band. Often, there is no too much Bari in the Sax Section.
- Bass Saxophones - I know what your thinking, "Bass sax? IN THE BAND ?!?!?!?", but yes, as rare as they are, they exist. 99.99999999% of the time they are males. The Bass sax is the manliest instrument in the band. if your band has one, you will win every competition in the world. The people who play this instrument are gods among men, and their epicness will emit like Body Oder to every band member, and 99% of the time, they will have cocks the size of a tuba.
- Trumpets - The director's (or asst. directors) favorite. Usually propelled by just 1 or 2 very good, and usually very short and quasi-attractive players, although all of them attempt to be the highest, loudest, and most arrogant (ego). Enjoys playing loudly and amazingly to deafen people within a 5-mile radius. They are granted the ability to play piccolo notes on their trumpet, which, when done correctly, will be so incredibly awe-inspiring that wars will end, all people will have enough food, all people will have shelter, and the entire world's economy will collapse and be replaced with one based on the value of chocolate. However, if a note is missed, a note is added, or the soloist squeaks, run for cover, as the world will shortly end due to a phenomenon is known to experts as "the apocalypse", because of this most non-talented trumpets are relegated to Cs and Bbs in the staff and they somehow manage to f*ck that up too. They also usually have at least one person who is proud of himself and quite arrogant.It is rumored that Chuck Norris played the trumpet.
- Mellophones - Consists of 3-4 people who are usually seen traveling together. Often called the marching French Horn. Although usually small in size, they are very powerful. Due to a new trend, there is at least one really attractive player and everyone else is oddly short or oddly tall, but they all think they are really attractive, which makes their ego expand to ridiculous levels. The Mello section often holds one or more of "the Stoners" as mentioned above. This section of the band usually consists of several really talented players and some very awful players. The mellophones tend to be forgotten about in music compositions, often having identical parts to other sections like saxes or clarinets. They are basically there to add more volume to the alto part because the saxophones just can't cut it.
- Low Brass - The section that may do more goofing off than everyone else, they also do more work when it comes to playing and marching. Usually guys with the occasional girl(who has to be pre-approved before-hand). The band director usually likes Low-brass or percussion more than any other section or part of the band/ group. This section is usually the best and closest out of all the band.
- Tubas - In the pyramid of sound, they are the spine of the band. Loved by everyone for the ability to hypnotize them with their low sound and amazing tuba dancing. They mostly consist of happy go lucky people that are always in a happy mood. Although you might get one that is always depressed 'i.e. me,' or the occasional kid who can't do anything right. Usually, though, only girl tubas are actually smart. They are the second hardest instrument to march with, after the baritone. The flag line often asks, "What is a sousaphone?" Only to get a reply back with a mouthpiece hitting their head while someone yells, "IT IS A MARCHING TUBA!!!!!". Everyone usually wishes to carry the tuba before practice but afterward, nobody does and there is a precariously place hill coming up to get to the band room. That is when you move out the way for you are about to be trampled by a tube player going full speed.
- Trombones - (A.K.A Boners) This section consists of people who are consistently awesome. They tend to spend most of any individual practice time making up awesome solos or playing ska, and any time the director attempts communication, everything gets through right away. Despite their unwillingness to practice, Trombone players have a natural tendency to be perfect. People who are confident in their girth will often play. When in large numbers, the Trombone Players M.O. is to make loud noises with no coherent thought other than to further their reputation as awesome. When small in number, there has to be one Giant (the guy who looks like he ate growth hormones as a kid). Trombone players have a natural tendency to be louder than everyone else in the band. No matter what happens trombones are also always right. The majority of trombone players are boys but female trombonists occasionally arise and tend to be quite attractive and loved by all. Mistakes are the fault of Percussion/drum majors/trumpets. It is often believed that God himself forged the first trombone known to man out of volcanic magma, awesomeness, and pop-tarts.
- Baritones - A smaller but beefier instrument with sound comparable to that of a truck backfiring. It is claimed that the baritone is a manly instrument, although, in reality, they are just trombones that are just bent more. Baritone players are often scrawny little chaps, although sometimes, there can be a larger, more manly member of the section. This person is probably a descendant of a trombone player or just good friends with one. It is the heaviest strap-free instrument in marching band. The poor bastard who has to carry the thing for the first month of the marching band is greatly rewarded with amazing biceps by the end of the season.
- Drumline - The drummers are the cockiest of band members. The drumline is its own self-sustaining unit, due to the fact that they play no notes, understand nothing about music, and are always kept in the back in EVERY SET. The drumline proves this act of separatism when they march out of the stadium separately, simply in order to make the other band kids feel awkward as they walk out of the school and see the drumline playing a kickass drumbeat that surpasses their imagination. The thoughts of cockiness are provided due to the fact that they must wait while the rest of the band get their sets fixed. The drumline thrives on criticism, which they never get from the band director, so a separate percussion instructor is usually present to help with this problem. They also use the most drugs and like to get high a lot (usually with each other). Tenors (not quads, or quints, or toms, or sextets, TENORS) are the cockiest of the drumline and think they know the most, even though half the time it's just dirt that comes from them. The basses overall, are the most chill members of the drumline. They lay down some sick beats and is especially good if it's an all-male bass line. However, when one member can't get a groove, it ruins everything. The snares are the ones who are the most advanced people in the band. They. Never. Stop. Drumming. The center snare is usually the only good one and the rest are just good looking idiots who can't march properly or in time. The cymbals are the coolest. They are bad percussionists who goof off the whole time and still win stuff. The drumline is also known for playing cadences, short pieces of loud noise that are played before and after the games while the band marches with them, feeling left out.
- Front Ensemble (Pit)
- Bass Guitar Section - The most talented and understood a section of the band. They are part of the Pit and are known to smoke a lot of weed. They play bass guitars formed from God himself in the mountains of Mordor. They often have the most talent but often end up in rehab later in life.
- Drifters- A.K.A alternates. These people are not a section, but rather a group of individuals that have switched instruments because a section needs more members or their section leaders emit Hitler-like qualities. Another reason these people usually don't get spots in the show may be because of a rare disease called Einotpleymusikworthakrapeosisshpilusgonnareaitis. Except for the occasional talented player, most of the people in this "section" are looked down on by the rest of the band for being "non-committal", or "complacent". They never get solos. Usually the kids with no friends, who are in band to 'Have a Social Life'.
- Color Guard - Part of the band, yet not really. They have their own tightly-knit family within Marching Band. Love to laugh, and have too many inside jokes so that no one knows what they are talking about. Usually excessively ADD, and hyper. They are usually the center of where all of the band drama starts and half of them always secretly hate the other guard members. They tend to try to attract the attention of two or more brass players/drummers because waving around a giant metal pole all day isn't enough to satisfy their subconscious phallic obsessions. There is always at least one that is a known "slut" who denies it but always agrees to sneak off behind the buses with you during competitions. Additionally, there is always one "perfect" or "prodigy" that everyone seems to love. This individual is always beautiful, nice, slender, and is the comparative example that the instructor uses when trying to teach the other girls. This individual has had prior dance experience and makes the "slut" want to eat her feelings.
- Choir - One of the band’s natural enemies. The band often sends the piccolo player in to asplode their eardrums. The Choir is basically the fat lards who have no musical talent and can't even lift themselves to march so they just sit they and suck wind. However, many of the top players in the band will double in choir and band, but this generally does not lead to understanding or union between the two.
- Band Class Kids - We all know them. they just take the class to get a good grade or to join that band their friend started up. Most of them can't go ten seconds without making a penis joke and are seen watching porn on their phones instead of practicing. To them, drumsticks are swords and/or dildo's and the one guy with the backpack is always carrying food. At the end of the year the question why they did not pass, after getting told that a xylophone does not have six strings they accept their losses and blame the marching band members in that class for not helping them.
- Orchestra - The band’s other natural enemy. They are sometimes forced to perform together, even though the band usually overpowers and outplays the orchestra when this happens. They hate each other and/or are extremely jealous of each other. The main problem is when the orchestra kids become a part of the band. Every band member has issues with this and the orchestra kids are considered a traitor to their own kind and are never accepted among the band kids. They are used as sacrifices to the judges.
- Fans of Rock Music/People who play Guitar - The antithesis to the idea of marching band itself, band geeks often attempt to make fun of these people by claiming they only know three chords and how to scream.
- Cheerleaders - The other antithesis to the band geek. These girls were created for the sole purpose of being ridiculed by the band members. However considering what the band geeks are wearing at the time of this ridicule and the nature of band geeks themselves, cheerleaders often have the upper hand. it The jokes usually consists of words too large for them to understand, so saying them in front of cheerleaders is no problem. You may also hear the term "like" used in every sentence a cheerleader says, usually accented with a hip cock an eye roll. They will usually mistake every sections instrument, example: "Hey clarinet section! Those are oboes...right? (if you're lucky, they may even know what an oboe is.) While band nerds are the social outcasts, the cheerleaders are quite the opposite; their sluttiness makes them popular, especially at parties. Band nerds resent them because of their lack of intelligence and that they can't seem to get their priorities straight. At football games, they make up lame-ass cheers for the band and cheer to empty stands at away games. But once in a while, we get the occasional musically semi-smart cheerkillers in the band. However, often times the socially elite band kids will be good friends with the cheerleaders, and unions can be formed. A common joke is to whistle/comment on the cheerleaders and blame the drum major.
- Football Players - Many band geeks are incapable of thinking on the same low level as the football players. The reason isn't clear, but it as something to do with the football players rolling around the field with players of the opposing team and slamming their heads together, which usually results in the loss of brain cells. Sometimes it is debatable whether the football team can even play the game at all. That's when the band should step in and play football instead because they could do a hell of a lot better while staying in step. Football players favorite section of the band generally tends to be drum line. Mainly because it's the only thing they can hear while playing ball on the field. Also because drums make a lot of noise, and at a football players mentality, making senseless noise is actually playing Mozart. However, there is the rare "Football Band Member" who tends to play Low Brass or Percussion and uses the team to get out of the halftime show.
- Nerds - Nerds give the band a bad reputation, because of the common misconception that band members are "band geeks". The difference between "band geeks" and nerds is that "band geeks" actually have friends that don't spend all day on the computer. The majority of the band gets annoyed when there are nerds hanging around the band room before school starts just so they seem like they have friends. This is one of the reasons why the band is stereotyped as "geeks".
- Color Guard - This is NOT the musically inept flag twirlers who accompany the band in the holy halftime shows. This is referring to the JROTC Color Guard who parade onto the field being mercilessly critiqued by everybody who ever saw an Armed Forces Color Guard at a baseball game (God Forbid they actually mess up). The rivalry stems from the fact that both programs attempt to instill some form of organization, however despite the similarities they both generally dislike each other for reasons still being studied to this day.
- Everyone Else - They are just those who watch the band and stare at them and clap at the end when they really think it was boring. Some of these people actually do not pay much attention to them. Sometimes, they can make the band feel creeped out because they stare at one of the marchers for the whole entire show.
Inertia is the very thing that allows any marching band to exist. It was Winston "Badass" Churchill who first discovered inertia in WWII while secretly assassinating Adolf Hitler. Using inertia to his advantage, he was able to hypnotize all the Nazis into believing that their leader had committed suicide and that all of WWII was just a hoax. Without it, Tom Bennett's Laws of Posture/Breathing would not allow both music and marching to coexist at the same time. John Philip Sousa was well known for having early theories of inertia's existence/powers in his most famous marches, hence why he is GOD of all marches to this day (especially when it comes to adding a flat to trios). Eventually, as marching bands started to make their appearance in the USA, genius band directors followed Sousa's lead by making every marcher harness inertia's great strength. Inertia itself allows even the worst of marchers to appear as though they are role stepping in mid-air. Most recently, the trombones, after slide-raping a choir of trumpets, took their powers as demi-gods and now use inertia as their main source of badassery, even though they already had it since their conception.