How to Conduct a Marching Band

There is nothing more fun than watching a marching band go by in a parade or before at half-time during the big football game. The person that keeps the marching band together and in sync is the conductor. Knowing how to conduct a marching band takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you feel that you have what it takes to conduct a marching ban then check out these important guidelines that you can use to help you get started.

Things required:

– Marching band
– Metronome
– Ability to read a musical score
– Baton or mace (if leading from front)
– Platform (for fixed stance)

Instructions

  • 1

    Getting started

    Try to watch as many different marching band performances as possible. Notice how the conductor controls everything through gestures. Make a note of the different movements and the placement of all the band members. This information is required and will affect your gestures. You should be aware of where every group of instruments like brass, percussion and woodwinds are placed within the marching band. Hear all group of instruments to know the volume and sound. Pay particular attention to the pitch. See whether any groups or instruments are off key.

  • 2

    Choose the piece of music

    Decide the kind of music you will use to lead. A piece of music in 2/4 time is good for an amateur band conductor. Know that a speedy tempo allows a beginner conductor with some additional gestures. Go through the entire score to know the tone and rhythm of the piece of music. Find out the top melodies and the instruments that will be used to play these. Understand the harmonies that will be played and the instruments that will be used for this.

  • 3

    Gestures

    You should be aware of the general conducting gestures. Try to stand with straight legs, feet around 12 to 18 inches apart and one foot in front of the other. Your forearms need to be parallel to the surface and the hands should be in front of the band members. Mark the beat by your right hand. In order for a march in a 2/4 time signature, force your right hand up and down in a straight line to suggest time. The hand’s top most point will be the opening beat and vice versa.

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