The Secret to the Ballad


The secret to achieving a super warm and round brass sound when approaching a ballad.

One of the toughest things to accomplish on the marching field is getting your “lyrical” section (often called the ballad) to sound as good as it does off the field. A few thoughts that may help are…

• Set the “impact” form and play warm-ups and other show segments in that form. This helps as the performers will get more used to making music and blending next to these specific people.

• Once you balance the ballad on the field, continue to perform those dynamics on and off the field. Many times a dynamic will be adjusted on the field, then not used in sectionals. This builds bad muscle memory.

• Tune common chords and notes used in the production. Utilize those notes and chords in daily exercises. The more the performers get used to them, the easier performing them become.

• Sing the ballad. If the performers can generate the music without the instruments, adding the amplified sound will become more pure.

In the end, make music for your audience! There needs to be emotion, commitment, and energy, especially when that’s tough to do.