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Mustang Band in Spanos Stadium
Photo by Ian Billings

Tenor Drums Audition Instructions

Please perform the audition with marching tenor drums (quads, quints, etc.). If you do not own one, please contact your current band director to see if you might be able to utilize one for the audition. Otherwise, please email the drumline instructor in order to schedule a live audition (at which point you can use one of our instruments.)

To audition on tenor drums, please submit a video recording of the following:

  1. Record Eights TWICE: once at 130 bpm and then again at 160 bpm.
    • Be sure to observe all dynamics; all cresceno/diminuendo figures should move between piano and fortissimo. Please use the stick height definitions with which you are most comfortable.
    • Each section will have the same sticking as the first eight bars until rehearsal mark F.
  2. Record Good Beat TWICE: once at 148 bpm and then again at 160 bpm.
  3. Record Mr. P's TWICE: once at 156 bpm and then again at 170 bpm.
  4. Record Rolls on Rolls TWICE: once at 150 bpm and then again at 168 bpm, marking time to the dotted half note.
  5. Record Spree TWICE: once at 128 bpm and then again at 138 bpm.
  6. Record Musty Mambo at 120 bpm. (Reference Recording)
  7. Record an excerpt of your choice to showcase your skill level. It may be a cadence, an excerpt of a high school show, a drum corps piece, etc.
    • Please indicate what your excerpt is.
    • Please use a metronome/recording if appropriate.
    • The excerpt should include a variety of vocabulary.
    • The excerpt should be about 15-30 seconds and no longer than 1 minute.


  • At the beginning of your video, state your first and last name for the camera.
  • Stand and Mark Time during and throughout each audition excerpt.
  • Play each requirement, as written, at the specified tempo with a metronome which can be heard on the recording.
  • Please use the technique and stick height definitions most familiar and comfortable to you.
  • Any notes with a tenuto marking should be played at a height that is halfway between the tap and accent heights.
  • Ensure that your face, hands, feet and instrument are all clearly visible on the recording.
  • Only edit video BETWEEN excerpts, but not WITHIN excerpts.
  • Use a tenor drum with wood or nylon-tipped marching snare or tenor sticks, if at all possible.
  • If a tenor drum is not available, use a pad with an articulate surface (idealy laminated) with wood or nylon-tipped marching snare or tenor sticks -- DO NOT use a soft gum rubber pad.

Final Thoughts

If you have not done so already, please be sure to fill out our Online Interest Form. Also, please review our Band Camp Information, Marching Shoes Ordering Information, and our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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Would you like to know more?

All prospective and current Cal Poly students interested in joining the Mustang Band should fill out our Online Interest Form.

We enjoy meeting new students and encourage you to send an email if you have any questions or plan to visit campus. Contact information for directors and all band faculty and staff can be found on our contacts page.