A Letter to Students – Band Camp, Part 5

Dear Band Students,

Now its time to talk about something very, very dear and special to you.  To you?  Yes, to you and you don’t even have it yet!  I am of course talking about…

Marching Band Dot Book

Your dot book!  Behold!!

You’ll also need a shoe string or some variation of it to tie your book and keep around your waist or neck.  This is important because every time, EVERY TIME, you are on the field doing marching band you must, YOU MUST, have your dot book with you.

Cardinal rule no. 1:  You must have your dot book on you at all times during rehearsal

To complete the dot book package you’ll also need a pencil.  Preferably a no. 2 mechanical pencil so you can keep it attached to the book.  But you must have a writing utensil of sorts.  If we are on the field and you don’t have one please ask someone near you to borrow theirs.  I promise you will not get yelled at if I see you borrowing someone’s pencil.  You will however be letting us all down if you aren’t working in your dot book and aren’t writing in new information when you learn it.  So write in your dot books, get a pencil and keep it on you.

The dot book is where we keep all of the information you’ve just read about.  The essential six pieces of information, your coordinates (which are parts 1 and 4 of the 6 pieces), the count structure, etc.  Essentially your dot book contains your show in it.  The more you work in it and complete the information the cleaner your show will be.  We’ll go over all this in person, it is much easier to explain that way.  However just so you have a head start or a refresher for our upper classmen I will show an example of what the completed book looks like.  Remember we all have to look the same; the marching band aesthetic is about seeing a large group of people doing the same thing in perfect synchronization.  This is an example of a completed page in your book:

That’s one 3×5 indx card filled out in your dot book.  Who can tell me what is missing?  Yes that page is missing information such as total distance and midsets!  Oh no!  This person will have moderately dirty drill and is probably part of a mediocre band program.  Not us.

The other 4 pieces of information should be written in around the coordinates in the blank space.  The symbols and methods used for notating this information will be shown to you in person.  But to review, this is an example of which information goes where:

Pencil, dot book, brains.  That’s what will separate our band from any of our contemporaries.



Mr. Gillespie

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