8 Must-Haves For Tour This Summer

After three seasons of marching drum corps, you learn things that you always wish you would have known that rookie year when you were young and stupid. Here are a few things that are basic but vital to living your best life on tour.

1. Vitamin E

This stuff is huge for brass players but it can be useful for anyone marching under the sun for hours on end. Go visit your grocery store's pharmacy and find the vitamin supplements section. You’ll be looking for the little gel capsules specifically, so that you can pinch one right open and rub the gel on your lips after a long day of rehearsal. 

The vitamin E helps repair the skin on your lips and reduces inflammation from playing all day. It also can be used to treat sunburn. One big thing about vitamin E is that you MUST remove it before spending time in the sun again or else your lips will get very burnt.

2. Bungee Cords

Get a couple of them for above your bus seat. You can hang things like show shoes, flip flops, towels, and small water bottles from it. I also used a couple to hold my sleeping gear together in a tight roll so it would be easy to place under the bus.

3. Gold Bond

Use it.

4. Cooling Towel

You can get these for $5-10 at a Target or Wal-Mart and they will be a godsend in Oklahoma and Texas when it's 95 degrees with a heat index of 99.65. Also, if you're in the part of tour when you're traveling across the Plains and there's dust everywhere, cover your face with it during visual blocks or when you're not playing (see the banner picture).

5. Hard Candy

I picked up this one at Bluecoats. We were required to wear fanny packs which made perfect containers for Jolly Ranchers and other hard candies during long visual blocks in spring training. With corps using staging more as a way to learn drill, this often leaves a lot of downtime to write in your dot book or throw Life Savers at the mellophones.

6. ShoeWatch

It's high noon. It's a Saturday. You've got a free block tonight. You want to know exactly how many minutes there are left until you get to put on your "real people clothes." Wrap a watch band around your laces on one shoe so you can be the guy your section always asks, "How many cookies are left in the jar?"

Honestly, though, if you want rehearsal to fly by, don't wear one of these. Just take it all in and don't count down minutes.

7. Drum Stick

Shin splints were one of my greatest fears on tour, I fought with them each season. A drum stick, a tennis ball, and stretching on a regular basis became my best friend. Grab an old stick from a drummer friend and roll it up and down gently along each side of your shin. Also, rolling your foot over a tennis ball can really help relieve tension.

If you're really struggling with shin splints at any point, talk to your corps' athletic trainer.

8. Trash Bags

One final thing I always had in my bag: trash bags. Split a box with your friends on your first Wal-Mart trip so you all have 10 or so trash bags each for the whole season. These are perfect to throw over your rehearsal backpack if it starts raining unexpectedly, or expectedly. You can also use it as cover for yourself. 

This Week On FloMarching Radio: May 25-31

Here's our full setlist of shows you will hear this week on FloMarching Radio—our new 24/7 Drum Corps International streaming channel. Each of these lists will start playing at 1 PM ET on their respective day and then loop at least one more time until 1 PM the next day, then the new day's playlist will begin. 

This Week On FloMarching Radio: May 20-24

Here's our full setlist of shows you will hear this week on FloMarching Radio—our new 24/7 Drum Corps International streaming channel. Each of these lists will start playing at 1 PM ET on their respective day and then loop at least one more time until 1 PM the next day, then the new day's playlist will begin. 

FloMarching Launches 24/7 DCI Archives Radio Stream

With over 600 performances from DCI finalists from 1972 to 2019, plus ALL corps of the last two seasons—we're launching a 24/7 stream on FloMarching!

Full List Of Shows On FloMarching Radio

Check out our full list of available shows below. 

Watch Guide: Cadets Week... Plus A Little More

Take a look into one of the most historical corps in DCI's history—The Cadets! Also, we're unveiling something new on FloMarching this week... more info to come later on Monday, May 18th. 

Watch Guide: Blue Stars Week Is Here (May 11-15)

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Yet another week of Blue for you as we move down the list celebrating each DCI corps. Here's what's coming. 

Watch Guide: Blue Knights Take The Spotlight (May 4-8)

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NEW EPISODES: On The 50 with Dan Schack

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Coming to you from Austin, TX, at the FloSports Headquarters, we're starting a brand new project called "On The 50 with Dan Schack" hosted by designer, educator, and much, much more... Dan Schack. During this show, Dan interviews some of the most sought after designers and educators in the marching arts–period.

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A one-stop-shop for anything Mandarins. If you're a die-hard fan, it's the best way you can view the videos, training, and more—in one place!

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