Band Rant

Katelyn Smith, staff writer

Welcome to Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek. I am and have been a “band geek” ever since fifth grade. I use the word band geek loosely. What classifies a band geek? I consider a band geek someone who is passionate about music or band in general.

 I’m very involved in band. I’m in the pep band, the drumline, and I’m a member of the Rustler band. A lot of people tend to stereotype band geeks are viewed as nerds, or people who have no life besides band. I will admit that band is a gigantic part of my life, especially right now. At this point you might be wondering what instrument I play. If not, you’re about to find out.

 I’m a drummer. I always have been, and always will be. A few times people have asked me if I could pick any other instrument to play, what would it be. I always answer nothing, because percussion has a wide variety of instruments to play. Some include snare drum, cowbell, bass drum, slide whistle, slap stick, cymbals, and flexatone. I have met a lot of people who think that drummers don’t classify as musicians, that all we do is hit things.

 There is a lot more to percussion than you think. It’s about stick posture, knowing your rhythms, and knowing note names if you’re on a mallet instrument. Not only that but there are dynamics.  The volume you play and the many different instruments that you have to learn how to play. I have a bad memory when it comes to certain things, such as my core subjects in school. One thing that bugs me the most is when there are people that are drummers and they think that they can play and they’re “all that” when they never pay attention and goof off.

When you goof off or horse around, especially in the percussion section of the band room, there are quite a few instruments just sitting around either on stands, or on a table. Things can get broken very easily. Just this year alone, we’ve broken quite a few drumsticks, one strap on the cymbals came off, and we broke two quad heads.

The last and final thing that gets on my nerves is when other band members think that percussion is an easy instrument. People will go to the percussion section and sit there and play on the snare drum, or the mallet instruments. Last year, we got new marching bass drums. They’ve been sitting out in the band room so we can use them for drumline. Just today waiting for band to start, I watched 13 people hit the new bass drums as they walked by.

Percussion instruments are very expensive. We can’t just go and buy some timpani or a marimba. The school’s money goes to funding for new percussion instruments. Like bass drum beaters or timpani mallets. These mallets are specially made for these instruments. They have some sort of cotton or felt material on the end to make them sound better. The oils in your skin when you touch that material ruins the material so it all falls off and we have to replace it.

I’ve also seen some drummers going to grab the bass drum beaters and touching the tips. It kills me inside, because this is easily preventable. You would think that a drummer would know that already. In the band, people say that the drummers are known as the “weird” group. We’re not weird, we’re just drummers.