The LTWCMB Handy Guide to
Drum Major Signals!

Our recently-promoted SuperConductor, Dave Richoux, has prepared these handy signal descriptions so that band members, new and old alike, can properly interpret his mace signals.


Something is going to happen when I drop the stick down as shown in the next photo (Start the song, sing, end the song and go to cadence, etc.) May also have a whistle to get your attention, but not always.


Downbeat of first measure, continue playing song, marching, cadence until another ATTENTION sign is given. Usually the downbeat of each measure will be indicated, but probably not as dramatically unless the band is getting out of sync.


Stick will move towards the way to turn (right turn)


Stick will move towards the way to turn (left turn)


March in place if stick is moving up and down. The Stick might be held higher up if the band is large, but it will be indicating the same thing.


(Stick will be moving around in a circular motion.) If you want to, go back to the beer cart for a quick refill, but get back into formation as quickly as possible! Be alert for an ATTENTION signal and whistle when the countermarch is over. Sometimes if the parade starts up sooner than expected there might be a “strolling countermarch”- get back to your spot in the band ASAP.


Pointy end of the stick moves forward. Whistle. Cadence starts (or continues.) (If the band is playing a song, the round end probably will be up.)

Special note about 3/4 time tunes, like Doggie and Ball Game:

The first thing is everybody knowing that it will be 3/4 when the song is called. The signal for the 4 bars of 3/4 roll-off would be a hand with 3 fingers up with the stick in ATTENTION. Stop the normal cadence at the end of the usual pattern, then I will make 4 obvious DOWNBEAT motions with the stick with each measure of the roll off. Doggie would start on the upward motion of the stick at the end of the 4th measure, Ball Game would start on the downward motion of the 5th measure. This is something that should be practiced before each parade in warm-up.)

This page will be clarified and expanded as necessary, so, if you have questions or comments for its improvement, contact our SuperConductor, Dave Richoux, at:
tubaman (at) tubatoast (dot) com

Note: The red arrows may or may not be seen in the field, depending on what you have been drinking, or under bright sunlight conditions.     -- Your SuperConductor

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