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The Section Leader's Role - Part 1

Every drumline in the world has a Section Leader. This is commonly the Center Snare who begins exercises and music. They are generally an experienced, stronger player in the group who beholds confidence and maturity. If you are the section leader, your primary goal should be to be a ROCK for the rest of the ensemble. Five (5) traits and characteristics to help be a better section leader:

  1. Befriend the weakest players - In a drumline, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Use your experience to help guide the younger players. This will unify the drumline and continue the legacy of strong ensembles after you graduate or age out.

  2. Lead non-drumming activities - Be the captain everywhere, including the mundane tasks like truck loading, floor folding, cleaning up, and inventory. Respect is increased within the line when you are a team member in all facets.

  3. Carry confidence and optimism 100% of the time - Complaining gets groups nowhere. Section leaders who are fearless and positive will gain cooperative peers with a passion for the activity.

  4. Perform the music at an elite level - Too many times section leaders blame others for performance issues even though their own performance is suffering. A section leader cannot expect the line to play well when they themselves are inconsistent and have poor sound. Own your craft to give everybody an opportunity to blend and balance. Drum Smart Blog: Mirror Practice - Part 1

  5. Always be Approachable - You are the middleman (or woman) between the instructors and the rest of the players. Maintain a malleable outlook toward everything and be open to change. The instructors trust you will lead by example and you are the person the rest of the line looks to for direction.

Following the steps above will help move a leader from good to great. Part 2 of this topic will focus on how the section leader set the limits of the ensemble, including capabilities, attitude, and maturity. Stay humble and hungry. Let’s drum smart.


Author: Matthew Regua

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