When there is "dirt" in a drumline, that means people are not playing with the same rhythm, technique, approach, and touch. But something that is often overlooked is the difference between Aggressive Dirt and Passive Dirt.

Passive Dirt comes from many individuals in the line playing timid and afraid. There is no confidence and people almost play under their ability because they are scared to play dirty. This is problematic because that kind of dirt is inconsistent and VERY hard to clean! Performers are changing the way they play every rep and there is no forward progression in critique because the comments are different every time. There is no direction.

Aggressive Dirt is when every person is playing very confidently and with the same approach individually every rep. With this approach you can begin dialing in the individuals to one another. This is much easier to clean because every person is playing consistently each rep and only minor, progressive changes are made. Drumline instruments require confident performers. It takes every person, giving 100% effort together to make a cohesive sound quality as a line.
So don't be afraid to play with confidence! Even if it is dirty, that is better than being timid. Stay consistent and confident in your approach, then adjust accordingly to clean throughout the season.


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