Sunday Session #19: It’s About the Little Things


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Sunday Session #19: It’s About the Little Things




We only get to make one first impression. When you step behind the instrument, so much of what you want to convey is done so non-verbally.

With drum corps auditions coming up in the next few weeks, questions about the process have been coming in almost daily! In this lesson, we highlight the small details that people often overlook in their setup – the things outside of the actual playing part. You’re busy thinking about how you’ll be evaluated when you start drumming, but realize you’re being evaluated the moment you walked up to the drum.

These details can also support or distract from the overall picture. The performers who notice and consistently execute these tiny habits at a high level tend to also be ones that have the capacity to execute the more challenging skill sets.

For teachers, “the devil is in the details.” These are the things I notice when polishing up my students. If you want to get “there,” start here – beginning with the details.



Hey Huei, just wanted inform you that because of all the videos and information that I have taken from them, I made first chair snare drum for a honor concert band. As a freshman I beat out five seniors for the top position, so thank you so much and keep up the great work!

Thanks, Ian – really appreciate the words of support. Congrats on the audition!

Also special thanks to:

Marlon Galdamez @Marlon_Galdamez

HTHS Drumline @HTHSDrumline

Cullen McBride @cwmcbride62

Sketchers @sketchers8413

Frank Sanchez @ccffrank

Kelani Adachi @bdklm82

Kyle Armstrong @kylearmstrong

Miles @Not_Miles_Davis

Kevin Bien-Aime @kevinba246

Nathan Lee @nathanlee1

I really appreciate yours and all the viewer’s time and support!

Part I: Performance Checklist

Body: feet, hips, shoulders, elbows, head, face

Hands: fingers and thumbs

Sticks: out, in, beads

Part 2: Questions/Comments


Hey Huei! What’s a good way to add velocity to the accents on a fast paradiddle & paradiddle-diddle exercise? My goal is to play with true 9/3” heights and to play some more beef. Thanks!


What’s the best way to go through a DCI/WGI packet? I kind of scatter around the packet and learn things, but I’m not sure if that’s the correct way. I just want to know how you go through one.


Hey Huei, my question is about college. I’m looking at some schools for Music Education, but I’ve also heard about people getting performance degrees, and performing with their local orchestra and getting paid, while also teaching lessons.

Can you please talk about what your post secondary education looked like and where you taught and what exactly it is you do now? My goal is to be a percussion director in the Kansas City area but I’m having trouble picking where to go to college. My bucket list goal is to start a KC area DCI corps or a WGI percussion group, as there isn’t a lot here without driving at least 4 hours away to St. Louis for Gateway. I can defiantly see myself being a college professor and going to graduate school for my masters or even doctorate.

Can you help?

Part 3: Lightning Round Q & A

@b.iggz How can you stay focused when you ate practicing?

Begin with your desired end transformation in mind.  For more practice tips, checkout the free download here: PERISCOPE SEASON 1 Complete Lesson Pack


2nd installment of a 5-part series




Huei-Yuan Pan is a Los Angeles based musician via Chicago, originally from Houston. His drum corps experience includes performing with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2001) and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2002-2003; Front Ensemble, 2004). From 2008-2011, Huei served as Director and Arranger for Green Thunder Percussion, and in 2012-2013, Percussion Caption Head with Regiment. He is currently the Director of the Jumpstart Young Musicians Program at The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles. For more on Huei, click here.

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