BMB Marching Technique

Table of Contents

Command/Response Key: Capitalized = On beat ::: lower case = On the “and” of beat ::: --- = Empty beat ::: ___ = Elongated word ::: / = Alternative versions of the same command


Attention, and its various forms, are the foundation of marching band. Attention is where we decide what kind of marching band we are going to be. It is determined by the intensity, passion, and care to detail you put in to executing these commands and actions each time that they are called for. "A band is not proud because it performs well, it performs well because it is proud." - George N Parks

Command: De tail --- A ten Hut

Verbal Response: Hit


  • Heels together, toes 90 degrees (first position, turned out)

  • Legs straight, but not locked

  • Hips centered (don’t spill your cereal)

  • Arms in loose fists along seam of pants

  • Chest expanded

  • Shoulders wide, down, and back

  • Chin and eyes up with pride

Horns Up/Down

Command: Band Horns Up --- / Band Horns Down ---

Verbal Response: Tsst


  • For fake horns up

    • Left hand fist, thumb towards your face

    • Right hand rests on top

    • Left hand thumb knuckle parallel with nose

    • Arms form “power triangle” (equilateral triangle)

    • Don't allow your chest and shoulders to collapse forward

    • Motion is a quick snap

      • For fake horns down

        • Snap back to standard attention

Mark Time

Command: Mark Time Mark ---

Verbal Response: And One


  • Toes come together on first two counts

  • Heels lift, toes stay in contact with the ground

Parade Rest

Command: De tail --- Pa rade Rest

Verbal Response: Tsst


  • Feet in second position (shoulder width, toes turned out)

  • With no instrument: Hands together with left in fist and right over top, in front of body


Command: Dress Left/Center/Right/Form Dress ---

Verbal Response: Tsst


  • Head snaps in commanded direction

  • Horn snaps up

  • Adjust to appropriate position

  • Wait in dress until next command


Command: Ready___ Front ---

Verbal Response: Tsst


  • Head snaps back to front

  • Return to attention position


The basis of our movement philosophy is in a straight leg technique. Marching band is unique because it combines music with an incredible visual element. We want the cleanliness of our sound to be matched and amplified by the cleanliness and unity of our movement. When the members of the ensemble understand and embrace a core visual idea we can achieve the unity of motion and music we are striving for.

Forward March

Command: For ward___ March

Verbal Response: And One


  • Straight leg

  • Feet should scuff the turf on transition between steps

  • Watch out for back knee bend, you want to keep legs straight without locking your knees all the way through the step

Backward March

Command: Back March Back

Verbal Response: Pop and One


  • Straight leg

  • Think about dragging your toes as you move backward

  • Not too high on toes, just on the platforms of your feet

  • Engaged core, this will keep you from wobbling as you go!


Command: Left/Right Slide Left/Right

Verbal Response: And One


  • Upper body remains toward the original direction of travel

          • Shoulders are always parallel to the sideline

  • Lower body shifts so feet are going the correct direction using appropriate technique

  • Can be done in either forward or backward march


Command: Ready___ Halt

Verbal Response: Point Close


  • Comes back to first position

  • Point right toe to "stab" your dot on final step

  • Bring left foot in with a straight line, don't whip your left leg around

Command/Response Key: Capitalized = On beat ::: lower case = On the “and” of beat ::: --- = Empty beat ::: ___ = Elongated word ::: / = Alternative versions of the same command