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  • Drum Etiquette

    Though this would be a good topic: How does one conduct themself at the drum? What do they wear? How do they act? Any unwritten rules of what not to do?

    Hornet

  • #2
    1. What to wear: long pants, shoes with toes and a clean shirt at least. Wear the best of what you have with you.

    2. How does one conduct themselves? In a respectable manner of course. Act like a guest in someones home. Good posture is a must for me. No foolishness. Yeah, youre there to have a good time but, there is a limit.

    3. Keep your area as clean as possible. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. The same applies to #1.

    Also, its good to keep with the tempo of the dance. If youre really going and someone leads a boring song, it can be a drag.

    Just my thoughts at least.

    OTR
    The expressed opinions above are not particularly the opinions of the author's friends, family, or employer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't cross your legs at the drum

      Comment


      • #4
        Hope you don't mind a northerner speaking south of Mason-Dixon . . .This may sound odd at first, but with explanation . . .

        At the drum, I think singers should act like they do around their grandfolks. Just a few examples:

        -Wear decent, clean clothes
        -Don't cuss
        -Joking is done in a good-natured and "clean manner"

        Just curious,paraivo, what's the reasoning for not crossing one's legs?

        Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here’s my list of what singers should do/not do at the drum:

          1. Bring your own chair and drum sticks.
          2. Be respectful of others. Just because you think another drum sucks, or is singing a song incorrectly don’t make it obvious – keep your feelings to yourself.
          3. Proper posture – please guys no sloughing.
          4. Wear the best of what you got at the dance. Wear pants not shorts, a nice t-shirt, polo shirt or button shirt instead of a torn or 2 size too small shirt.
          5. Your old enough to clean up after yourself, it’s not the committee’s job to pick up your soda cans, cigarette butts etc.
          6. If you are going to sing a song make sure it fits in. If say 3 Ponca word songs are sung in a row keep the rhythm going. In other don’t throw in a Kiowa song – just my personal opinion.
          7. Don’t assume you know everything about singing.
          8. If you make a mistake pay for it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here’s my list of what singers should do/not do at the drum:

            1. Bring your own chair and drum sticks.
            2. Be respectful of others. Just because you think another drum sucks, or is singing a song incorrectly don’t make it obvious – keep your feelings to yourself.
            3. Proper posture – please guys no sloughing.
            4. Wear the best of what you got at the dance. Wear pants not shorts, a nice t-shirt, polo shirt or button shirt instead a torn or 2 size too small shirt.
            5. Your old enough to clean up after yourself, it’s not the committee’s job to pick up your soda cans, cigarette butts etc.
            6. If you are going to sing a song make sure it fits in. If say 3 Ponca word songs are sung in a row keep the rhythm going. In other don’t throw in a Kiowa song – just my personal opinion.
            7. Don’t assume you know everything about singing.
            8. If you make a mistake pay for it.

            Comment


            • #7
              What about eating food at the Drum. This a pet peave of mine.

              How about slouching?

              Keeping eyes away from the drum while singing? When I was first learnig to sing I was correcte about this more that anything.

              Hornet

              Comment


              • #8
                Singer MD,

                You just made a very good point that is not widely known to newer singers.

                When a set of songs is being sung, it is crucial to build the set. If you start of with some traditional ponca war dances and someone throws in a yellow spotted horse song or southern thunder, it could kill the set. Songs should also be picked for their tempo. When you get rocking real good and somebody sings a slow song it will have the same effect. This holds very true for gourd dancing.

                There is nothing wrong with letting a song go by you if you dont have a good one lined up. Its better than killing the set. Some head singers will allow this to happen only once and then you wont be asked to start a song anymore.

                Hornet

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the ladies in the chorus...please, no shorts or halter tops -- no matter how hot it is, this type of clothing is inappropriate. Always bring a shawl.

                  I also have a pet peeve about women who come out to the drum, chatter away, run back and forth to visit friends around the arena using the drum as their "home base," and don't sing or don't sing out loud enough to help the men. There's nothing prettier than a strong ladies' chorus complementing the men's voices and giving them a chance to rest their voices a little at the end of each "chorus" of the song.

                  Hornet mentioned eating at the drum -- I've seen it done and I've seen singers take their food elsewhere to eat. I was taught that you didn't eat at the drum -- lemons or fruit to help soothe your throat were okay, but that juicy hamburger or Indian taco doesn't do a thing for your throat as it slides straight down to your belly.

                  Ladies...what about being dressed in your dance clothes and sitting at the drum? I've heard pros and cons about doing it/not doing it. I've seen both situations at Indian and hob dances alike. I was once told that if you're going to sing then you don't dress to dance and vice versa. What's the consensus?

                  Pony

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                  • #10
                    The issue of drum etiquette is very important for young singers to learn about and older, more experienced singers to teach correctly. Here are just a few of my thoughts:

                    1. Wear long pants and a nice shirt. If its a t-shirt, make sure it doesn't have offensive slogans or products on there such as sex stuff or beer shirts. Cowboy or dress shirts are best.

                    2. Don't smoke at the drum. I know other people have opinions back and forth on this issue, but its hard enough to sing consistently without having to cough on someone's smoke.

                    3. As far as eating at the drum: if the drum is up on its side and you're on break I don't see a problem with it. If you are just there and the drum is out, I'm sure you can wait until the dance is over. However, I do wholeheartedly agree with Beth, diabetics should be given a break.

                    4. If you are a guest on the drum, let one of the regular singers or lead singer hit the honor beats; don't take it upon your self to do that. You'd be surprised how many times I've seen that happen on northern drums.

                    5. Don't cuss. No dirty jokes.

                    In other words, conduct yourself like a man or woman should, with decency, respect, and humbleness. Just my thoughts, Scott

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BrownHornet:
                      Looking away from the drum is the thing I'm corrected about often as well. I dont know why, but I do. If it is a boring song I just get distracted. Something I definately need to work on.

                      BeadedPony:
                      I agree with the homebase deal theres some people who get up and leave after every set. I have also heard the same about dressing and singing. For me, it depends on who you are with and where you are. If my drum is host, I dont dress out. We are being paid to sing. Just something I do. But I've been told by some head singers that if I had my clothes with me then go ahead and dance too, as long as you are there when its your turn to sing. Just a few of my thoughts.

                      OTR
                      The expressed opinions above are not particularly the opinions of the author's friends, family, or employer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have dressed in dance clothes in the chorus line when asked by certain people.
                        As to the hamburgers there is a post on somewhere that relates one man's experience
                        with a frozen one from the cooks. If someone is diabetic and neds food is one thing but not just to eat. As to singing loud enough, I was taught without mike's.
                        Both your moderator of this group and the brown hornet can attest that I have a loud mouth at times. Went to a dance and there were 6 lades out there. The only time you heard them was the lady singers song when money was being laid on their chairs. Also heard a young lady at the Ponca Hethuska sing her heart out. No mike!! Beautiful sound. Unfortunately did not get a chance to find out who she was. But I will not forget that voice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm suprised to see that no one has mentioned drunkedness as it pertains to drum ettiquette. Drunkedness at the drum is totally unnacceptable. It is a blatant sign of disrespect for not only the head singer, but for everyone present at the dance, as well as those who have helped one along on the path to becoming a good singer. Individuals should have the dignity and self respect to sober up and not reek of alcohol before sitting down at a drum.

                          Furthermore, what is the general opinion on all of these "wanna-be-indians" who are generally older white males who want to throw on a tacky ribbonshirt and put a turkey feather or two in their cap before they sit down at the drum? I can think of one individual in particular who tends to do this at every pow-wow he atends, but we won't even get into naming names.

                          Lastly, and I guess you can tell by now that I am very opinionated and set in my ways regarding singing, I would suggest this as another point of drum protocol: if you don't know a song, don't sit there and mumble and try to appear as though you know every song. It's perfectly ok to not know a song, and by all means, if you can pick it up pretty easily, GO WITH IT!!! But mumbling around like a nimrod does the rest of the singers no good whatsoever.

                          Regards......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ditto

                            Hornet

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not having any professional upbringing around the drum, I have been forced to learn as I go and I do the best that I can. The comments here are really helpful for me because lots of head singers just don't have the guts to correct you when you have done something wrong and that is just the bottom line. I do get corrected (often) about some of the things here by folks who aren't afraid to chew you out a little.

                              A pet peave of a few folks that I know is to not sing songs to yourself when it is not your time to sing. I am notorious for this but I am trying to correct it. What it ends up doing is making the singers beside you forget the ones they were thinking of and throws off their concentration at best or at worst, they'll steal the song you had in mind and leave you high and dry trying to recall another one before its your turn.

                              As for looking around, it does make sense to look around in songs like grand entry or specials just so you can keep track of where the folks are and when you might need to keep singing but in general intertribals, it doesn't do anyone any good to not pay attention.

                              Alcohol has NO PLACE at the drum. Period! If you need to drink, stay away... Nuff said.

                              Just my thoughts.....
                              Yer Moderator
                              ------------------------
                              The responses are my own opinion and you know what they means.

                              Comment

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