News

  • 2018 Year in Review

    2018 Year in Review

    2018 was a great year for JM Music Design. Highlights include fun and exciting visits to Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA, Honolulu Hawaii, studio sessions, and new shows opening at Carowinds Amusement Park. We have great things planned for 2019 and look for to creating more great memories! 

    Happy New Year! 

  • Project Preview

    Here is a preview of a new project in the works! With the help of Creative Assistant Clay Bradshaw, we spent sometime in the studio working on some recording and planning. A lot of exciting things in store for this composition/performance project. 

  • Monster Stomp 2016

    Another great trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg to design and work on the 2016 production of Monster Stomp. Once again, I had the previlage to work with the talented Jennifer Jancuska to put together a great show for the 2016 Fall season. The cast and entertainment crew were a true pleasure to work with throughout the process, and as always, made our jobs easy.

    Here you can find more information about Monster Stomp from the Busch Gaderns Website.

  • Mix It Up! 2016

    Mix It Up! 2016

    Had an excellent couple of weeks designing and working with the cast of Mix It Up! 2016 in Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA. Once again, I had the previlage to work with the talented Matt Hartwell and John Escalante to put together a great show for the 2016 summer season. The cast and entertainment crew were truly a pleasure to work with throughout the process and made our jobs easy.

    Here you can find more information about Mix It Up! from the Busch Gaderns Website.  

     

  • Tuning Guidelines for Marching Percussion

    A common issue I have found through working with many groups and judging is that most groups do not tune their equipment properly. There are many different ways to tune marching percussion however, I have found the following to be the most effective in the groups I have worked with. 

     

    Tuning the drum:

    Once the head is in place, tighten the lugs with your fingers to the “finger tight” position and continue using a drum key

    Tune each lug by tightening across the drum lug to lug

    Keep the head in balance during the entire tuning process

     

    Snare Drum:

    Great snare drum tuning is achieved through proper head balance and the understanding of the snare strainer. 

    The bottom heads should be the same pitch or slightly higher in pitch than the top head.

    The guts should be tightened so that they barely touch the head and should be tightened in order to get a snare response at all volumes.

     

    Tenor Drum:

    The register will depend upon the newness of the head and the size and depth of the drums. As the head becomes increasingly stretched the head will reach a range where it is not vibrating efficiently. When this happens, don’t tighten the head anymore until it has a chance to settle.

    Finger tighten at first and tune cross lug by a ¼ crank only.

    Be reactive to the pitch of the head near each lug.

    Always keep the head in balance.

    Tuning Process for tenors:

    Use “Sol Feg” as a tool for tuning.

     

    Scale Degree                1            2            3            4            5            6            b7            1

    Sol Feg Syllable            Do         Re           Mi          Fa           Sol         La           Te            Do

    Drum Number              4                          3                          2                          1

     

    Tune Drum 2 (12” drum) to a desirable pitch (Sol). 

    Tune Drum 4 (14” drum) to the root of the chord (Do).

    Tune Drum 3 (13” drum) to the third of the chord (Mi).

    Tune Drum 1 (10” drum) a minor third higher than drum 2 (Te).

    The resulting pitches are an Mm seventh chord (1 3 5 b7) or (Do Mi Sol Te).

    Tune the 6” drum to a minor third above drum 1

     

    Bass Drum: 

    The same general rules for tenor drums apply when tuning the bass drums.

    Tuning process for bass drums:

    Use “Sol Feg” as a tool for tuning. 

     

    Scale Degree                1            2            3            4            5            6            b7            1

    Sol Feg Syllable           Do         Re            Mi           Fa          Sol         La           Te            Do

    Ideal Pitch*                  Bb                         D                          F                          Ab

    Drum Number             4                           3                          2                          1

     

    *Ideal Pitch is for specific drum size

    Tune Drum 4 (28” drum) to a Bb (Do). 

    Tune Drum 3 (26” drum) to D (Mi).

    Tune Drum 2 (22” drum) to F (Sol).

    Tune Drum 1 (20” drum) to Ab (Te).

    Drum 5 (32”) is out of the tuning scheme

    Depth, resonant, low pitch to fill out ensemble

     

    The resulting pitches are an Mm seventh chord (1 3 5 b7) or (Do Mi Sol Te).