20 Things Only People In A Competitive Marching Band Will Understand

Here are some things that will make you look back on your marching band years and think, “Yeah…that was a REALLY weird time…” It's the life of a competitive marching band.

If you’ve ever been that one weird kid who opted to do competitive marching band instead of some normal sport, then you know that there are some truth, myths, and legends about this cult (I mean activity). You also know that there are some unspoken rules that everyone just kind of follows because that’s just the way it is. There is no real explanation for these rules, it’s just the way things are in the world of competitive marching bands.

You also know that the world of marching band is just overall kind of weird, and once you get into this world it’s hard to leave it when the time comes. Your band will become your family and the marching band world will become your life. Although mostly it’s just weird. Here are some things that will make you look back on your marching band years and think, “Yeah…that was a REALLY weird time…” It’s the life of a competitive marching band.


1. Football players.

If you were in the marching band than the football players were the bane of your existence. It wasn’t exactly the sport you hated, but more the lack of respect from the actual players. In a football players mind, the marching band is only halftime entertainment and no matter how many trophies or titles your band wins, you’ll always be below the football team, even if they suck.

2. The battle for the nice field.

Most high schools have two fields; the nice turf field and then the crappy grass field that is riddled with holes. This is the field that the marching band always gets stuck practicing on. This field was the worst thing to happen to a marching band because by the end of practice, you’ve probably tripped or twisted your ankle at LEAST 5 times. It gets to the point where you don’t even notice anymore.

3. The Rule of the Bass drums.

Bass drums have right of way. This is not debatable.


4. Unless you’re a tuba, you don’t know what heavy is.

Never ever complain about the weight of your instrument if you’re near a tuba. Just don’t do it. A marching tuba weighs about 35 pounds, so unless you’re lugging around 35 pounds while trying to play while also trying to do the body, just be quiet.

5. Why is there so much crap to transport?

One of the worst things about the marching band season is having to lug your instrument, your water bottle, dot book and any other props you may have, to whatever field your band is practicing at that day. Of course, you can’t take multiple trips because you’ve got to make sure you’re there in time for practice to start, because if you’re not, you’re going to be running laps. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll be able to get some perky freshmen to carry your stuff up.

6. Carbs.

During your marching band season, you will live (eat) and breathe carbs. I’m talking pasta with a side of garlic bread and a small pasta salad on the side. Why carbs? Because energy. You will be tired 95% of the time and carbo loading will give you the energy you need to get through the day.


7. Trumpets.

Trumpets are probably the most annoying section. We are very egotistical… Mostly because we’re the best… which is why we’re the worst. We put the competitive into competitive marching band.

8. Drum Corps.

We get it. You’re marching in Drum Corps. Shut up.


9. What is a family?

During competition season your friends and family do not exist. You have no friends and your family is your band. All the freshmen AND upperclassman will complain about this fact, but they will still come back next year. That’s just the way it is.

10. Yell it loud and proud.

If you see someone wearing an article of clothing with your instrument on it YOU MUST YELL AT THEM. It’s the rules.

11. Band camp.

What happens at band camp, STAYS. AT. BAND. CAMP.


12. Seven Nation Army.

Nobody knows why every band knows this song, just like nobody knows why every band gets super excited when this song comes on. They just do. I mean when this song comes on the entire marching band will just lose their minds.

13. Band parents

These people are definitely superhuman. As far as a band kid is concerned, these people can cure cancer. Band parents do everything from fix uniforms, feed you when you’re on the road, construct props and make sure that the band runs smoothly over all.

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14. Stereotypes

Every instrument stereotype that you’ve ever heard is true.

15. Band art.

There’s always that one stand that just has a bunch of drawing’s on it. Nobody actually sees someone drawing on this stand, the art just kind of appears. Nobody really questions it either.


16. The Band board.

If it’s written on the white board in the band room, it is law. If that board says overthrow the government, then you better get to it.

17. Underappreciated.

The fact that no matter how many trophies your band wins you’ll never be truly appreciated in your high school. You just silently win your trophies and celebrate with your band, but nobody else really cares. You could be the best competitive marching band and it wouldn’t change a thing.


18. Home.

The band room will become your second home. Really, it will become your first. You will eat there, do homework there, socialize there, even sleep there sometimes. You’ll honestly become a bit too comfortable in there.

19. Mom and dad.

Your mom and dad will become your personal heroes, because even when you get home at 1 am after a long weekend of competing, your parents will have a big dinner waiting for you and you will cry.

20. Color guard.

Look out for the guard. The color guard will not look out for you. They will hit you and they get some sort of sick joy out of it. I’m pretty sure they keep score somewhere.


What were some of your favorite competitive marching band memories? Let us know in the comments below!
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