Lot Riot


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Congratulations, Faiza S!ย ๐ŸŽ‰

Thanks to everyone who entered ๐Ÿ‘‹


To kick of joining the Lot Riot Accomplice Roster, I took over the Snapchat channel and hosted a 1 day giveaway. Watch below and check out some of the additional Q&A responses below:



Q&A Responses from the Lot Riot Snapchat Takeover

What did you play in band? -taco_cat5653

Percussion! All the concert instruments, drumset, bass drum my freshman year, snare the next three! How about you?

Taco: I play baritone and want to switch to percussion.

๐Ÿ‘ I once switched a student from trombone to tuba, and then taught him how to play tenors. He ended up being drum captain senior year, played contra at Cavies, and then aged out in the Cavies bass drum section!! ๐Ÿ”ฅ

That’s so cool! ๐Ÿ‘Œ


Hey man! Did you march Cavaliers??ย Oh wait ๐Ÿ˜‚ย –aguirre28

(I answered it in the next snap) Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ easy! โ€™02-โ€™04

What got you into drum corps? -carrot_slayer

I saw an ad in the newspaper when I was in high school, saw a live show, and was hooked. Lots of practice and great teachers…I talk about it here if you want to to hear the full story! Setting Goals and Taking Action


Love the merch, dude – Lot Riot is the main brand that I wear! -estid_palaflafla

I know – aesthetically pleasing, good fit, so soft, love the story behind it! Check out: Gridbook Radio interview with Matt Verburg.



How do you teach someone how to listen back?

Experience. They have to experience the performance scenario you’re asking them to execute successfully during a rehearsal scenario. Have them set up the form with the listening demand, and play an exercise they’re familiar with, like 8’s. Have the person in the back tap off, and you stand out front to tell the players up front if they’re slow or fast. Make sure you highlight for them when the alignment is correct so they can notice how it sounds and feels. You have to tell them when they’ve hit the target so they’ll keep aiming for the bulls eye. Repeat with show music.

“You have to tell them when they’ve hit the target so they’ll keep aiming for the bulls eye.

Do you have a favorite stick you use? -gomldavidson

The innovative FS-BK is my go to marching stick. I used them when I marched, experimented with many different models, and have since gone back and now them as my default pair.

What is the best way to improve dynamics in flams and accents? -ethancox42

Establish control and consistency at a full range of dynamics fff-ppp or 18โ€ to 1โ€, and all the varying levels in between. Then practice being able to move fluidly through all those dynamics at a variety of pacing – 8 count, 4 count, 2 count crescendos and decrescendos.

The challenge is to keep a distinction between accents and tap as tempo and demand increases. Taps tend to creep up and accents come down.

Flam breakdowns are essential, and are what allow you to play with absolute understanding of what each hand is doing and how they relate to each other. Flam accent, flam tap, flam drags, etc. – they are all built from the ground up, layer by layer. For an in depth explanation, check out Volume 5 Itโ€™s All About the Inner Beats.


What’s your favorite percussion instrument? * cough cough should be marimba* -gonna.strehle

Haha – that’s like asking a parent which child is their favorite?! I love them all and in different ways ๐Ÿ˜Š Marimba is definitely one of them!

What’s the thing you love most about marching? -Anonymous

Nothing quite like flying across the field at a 6 to 5, moving in perfect synchrony with the people next to you, and having an absolute trust that everyone will execute their part perfectly. I spent so much time doing drumline and at the World Class level when it is truly perfect, I imagine it’s the similar feeling LeBron James has when he slam dunks a basketball in the final seconds of a tied game.

What do you usually play to build chops? -Seabear671

There are different kinds of chops to build. You might have singles chops, roll chops, paradiddle chops, flam drag chops, etc. Building chops is about gradually increasing the threshold of how fast, loud or soft you can play something while maintaining the quality. Make a chart for yourself and list of the skills that you’re working on, and the tempos (increasing by eight beat increments) that you’re trying to achieve. Gradually check them off as you go!

Why don’t you tech anymore? -Victorkinderman

Priorities shift. I love teching drum lines and front ensembles. The last year for me was 2014 when I was percussion caption head at the Phantom Regiment. My daughter was born the following fall, and I didn’t want to be away once a weekend and for weeks at a time during the summer. I still judge and get to go to events as a fan now!

I’m a cymbalist, what do you recommend to help better my technique? -Super-ev

Watch videos of the best cymbal lines, wear earplugs, practice playing cymbals. Focus on sound, consistency, and dynamics. It’s much more than just visuals, playing the right dynamic, sound effect, at the right time. Always listen critically to yourself and strive to create a beautiful sound.

How do I get my section to focus more when it comes to practice? -hunt3r_duhhh

Culture of a group is created over time. For a group that is young and does not have an established positive culture, rehearsal etiquette needs to be written down somewhere expectations are crystal clear for all members.

As a section leader, leading by example is the golden rule. Earn the reputation of being the hardest worker, first to arrive, last to leave, always doing what you’re supposed to be doing, better than everyone else, always improving.

How to inspire and increase motivation within a drum line? I love your work! -Em

Thanks, Em! In high school, we use to watch videos of drum corps lines as a drumline before rehearsal started. Having a vision of what you’re working towards is so important: “Without a goal, you can’t score.”

Organize a viewing party or make a joint YouTube playlist that everyone can contribute to. Enlist the help of other section leaders, hold each other accountable, positive peer pressure, be the best and set the bar so high that everyone is fighting to catch up to you, create the expectation and reputation that the drumline is the hardest working section in your band.


Should I play bass drum?

Extremely important for developing internal pulse, understanding how to play partials, and being responsible for your part since you’re the only one playing it! Definitely made me a better snare drummer ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ช


We have five percussionists and a pit section at the back of the field. Should we all look at the drum major? -cardaddy_124

Depends on the situation, but I would recommend the center player or whoever is playing the main subject be in charge of the time, and then everyone else in the section look in to that player.

Is it normal for my wrist to hurt randomly during the day? I’m playing now it’s for two years. -Jillbill2

No, not normal. Common issues that can cause pain include not warming up enough or playing with tension in your hands or in the motion of the stroke. Remember to always strive to stay relaxed, and if you see your thumb turning white, means you’re squeezing the stick too tightly. Most importantly, if your hands hurt, you have to listen to your body and stop. Don’t “play through the pain.”

Did it come easy for you to perform in a front ensemble setting? I am the front on somewhere captain and I can I get my section to find the music and show feeling. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix that? -Ginni.strehle

1. Watch videos of the top world class groups. People won’t know what you’re talking about what it supposed to be unless they’ve seen it before.

2. Play expressively is a process. For 3/4 of the summer, Erik Johnson told me every day that I looked like a “bump on the log.” Every day I pushed on my performance ceiling, and just like developing drumming chops, I developed performance chops. Just keep reminding them every other rep, this will not happen overnight.

3. Pair older players with younger players and instruct the younger players to match the performance level of the older players. You can do friendly competitions, Side 1 versus Side 2, take turns watching each other and see if one side outperforms the other. Have three people step out and watch the entire group, and the name of the person that is performing the most (most likely one or two people will be named over and over again) Instead of setting up in a straight line, set up in the circle so everyone can see each other. Video record yourselves so people can watch the playback and then they will realize just how little they are actually expressing their performance.

By the end of the summer, I was a performance machine ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’re welcome – share it out in written format with a large group. Saying it once out loud, a lot gets lost in translation. Sharing in written format allows people to re-read and digest!


How do you balance life, work, marriage? –Victor

Wife is very supportive, I control my schedule and not the other way around, very protective and intentional on how I spend my time! It’s not balance, but an ebb and flow – sometimes it’s busier than others, and if one is suffering, it’s your life telling you you need to examine and reallocate how you’re spending your time. Your daily and weekly calendar is everything!