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How Do I Prepare for a Percussion Competition?

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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 March 2014
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There are many things you can do to prepare for a percussion competition. Some preparation methods are physical while others are mental. Practicing the piece or pieces you intend to play, thoroughly reading the entry rules, and using stamina-building exercises are all common preparations.

Many types of percussion competitions exist. You will need to know what type of competition you intend to join because preparations may differ depending on the competition. Factors such as entry fees, eligibility requirements, and time limits are very important. You should read all of the entry rules carefully to ensure you can take part in the competition.

If possible, it may be a good idea to find out who is judging the percussion competition and the type of criteria the judges will use to decide the outcome of the competition. Some percussion competitions may be informal, wherein the audience picks a winner or judges simply choose who they think sounds best. A formal percussion competition may have more specific judging criteria, such as technique and accuracy. Figuring out what is expected of a percussionist’s performance at a competition can be very helpful in your preparations.

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Making sure you are in good physical condition is a good way to prepare for a percussion competition. Some types of percussion require a greater amount of strength and endurance, while others may not be as physically demanding. Whatever type of percussion is being played, it is a good idea to be in good shape because the nature of percussion instruments requires at least some measure of physical exertion. For this reason, some people begin exercise regimens at some point prior to a competition.

When preparing for a percussion competition, some people also like to take vitamins or other supplements. There are natural supplements that claim to improve focus or enhance memory. The reason for the practice is that the vitamins and supplements may help enhance a percussionist’s concentration while playing a piece and also prevent him from forgetting what he is supposed to be playing. Some people used meditation techniques to achieve the same goals.

Perhaps the most common method used to prepare for a percussion competition is consistent practice. Find out exactly what you will be playing at the event so you can practice it over and over. If you are playing with other musicians, such as an orchestra or band, make sure to attend all scheduled practice sessions. There are many things that can be done to get ready for a percussion competition, but most other methods will not help you unless you thoroughly know the piece or pieces you will be playing.

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