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Discussion Starter #1
I'm leading a procession of people dressed in period costumes down an old uneven street on the 2nd September - being Britain, it may be wet. So it's not marching on a parade ground etc. Having never marched before nor with my sax, how can I prevernt myself falling A over T? I'd hate to damage my sax. I'll have one eye on the sheet music I'm going to transcribe, that I've ordered a lyre for, so my eyes won't be a hundred percent on the road. How the hell do I get myself into these fixes, after so long playing sax?!

Can any military band or high school saxophonists advise me, please?
 

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It's been a long time since I did any marching, but back in high school, we always had to memorize all of our music. I'm not sure how feasible that is for you, but it definitely makes marching easier.
 

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Pick up your feet, nice and high! Seriously, it's part of marching discipline, for just this reason; that simple thing will carry you safely over most uneven ground (within the limits of the unevenness of streets in particular). And you'll be surprised at how much your eye can monitor beyond the music on the lyre, even while you're reading music, in the situation: your body will figure out rather quickly how not to fall down. Though memorizing the music, nevertheless, is a very good idea.
 

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It depends on the style of marching that you are doing. Marching is alot like walking, with your horn in front of you. I would also suggest memorizing your music, it can give you a chance just to watch the road 100% of the time. Just hope no livestock is going in front of you. :(
 

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Of course "leading a procession" is not necessarily marching at all. Unless it's a highly organized procession, everyone will be walking in any case. Watch out for the other people! If your procession is in essence a mob, somebody else might trip you.
 

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Roll your feet. This keeps your body from bobbing up and down, which would cause instability in your sound. Think of each step in triplets:
1) Heel
2) Middle of foot
3) Ball/Toes

Of course, if everyone else is just walking, you're going to look pretty funny. But, roll-stepping, along with the afore-mentioned high-stepping, are the two standard options for marching bands. Good luck, sounds like you're going to need it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your advice, peeps. To be honest, I think the locals go OTT with their ideas and what finally comes off. I'm probably too dedicated in what I do for these sort of events - for free (though I might get £50 this time out) but that's the way I am. Maybe I should downgrade it slightly and not worry too much about marching perfectly (since I'll have a rabble behind me, consisting of fleet-footed young ones and doddery senior people, just think how uneven this procession's gonna be!) and the three or four marching tune I've thought of, although I've never played them before, I picked out - without sheet music - on the sax with only a couple of bum notes first time through, whilst trying to march around the house!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for more info. guys. The lyre had arrived when I got home from work, so I've just been playing Rule Britannia, The British Grenadiers and When Johnny Comes Marching Home, whilst marching around the house, avoiding the cat under my feet!
 

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gearaholic said:
Roll your feet. This keeps your body from bobbing up and down, which would cause instability in your sound. Think of each step in triplets:
1) Heel
2) Middle of foot
3) Ball/Toes

Of course, if everyone else is just walking, you're going to look pretty funny. But, roll-stepping, along with the afore-mentioned high-stepping, are the two standard options for marching bands. Good luck, sounds like you're going to need it!
Do what he said. If you want to have any kind of decent sound while playing, march heel-toe.
 

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When I was at Camp Leroy Johnson in New Orleans in 1957 the parade ground was full of gopher holes and did not work well with a tight embrochure.

Street parades are not a big deal unless you have horses in front of you without a pooper scooper following.

Worst was a Masonic parade during Mardi Gras - they had elephants.
Did I tell you I was a tap dancer?
 

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spartacus said:
Did I tell you I was a tap dancer?
No. I'd love to see you buck and wing.
 
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