The Rise of the Band Geeks, Episode 23: Drum Cheers

Continuing my series on fun game tunes, today’s post focuses specifically on–wait for it–drum cheers, aka the cool stuff the drumline plays in the stands.


Cheer 1.  What makes Cheer 1 so great is its versatility:  it’s an offensive cheer, a defensive cheer, and, in hockey games, what the drumline plays when fans shout “Drop the Puck!” at the refs.  All three variations (that I know of) consist of distinctive yet simple arm motions.  Cheer 1 is very short and relatively simple, but it gets the job done in terms of hype.


Cheer 4/Raise the Roof.  What happened to Cheers 2-3?  Well, they are not Cheer 4, that’s what.  Cheer 4 is also known as Raise the Roof, and it is played after major plays (I think; don’t quote me on this) in games.  Cheer 4 is the one where people go “Oooooooh” and pump up their hands (as though they’re raising a roof) to a rhythm from the drumline cadence.  It is often combined with something called C1, which starts with the winds and segues into Cheer 4.


Cheer 6.  Cheer 6 is essentially the rhythm of “Let’s Go Blue” in 7/8, which evidently gives it a “disco” feel; indeed, the band shouts the name of whoever is on the ladder (or the name of another staff member) with the moniker “Disco” during the rests of the cheer.  (For instance, when the Fearless Leader is on the ladder, we yell, “DISCO FEARLESS LEADER!”)


Cheer 8.  I mentioned this in my recap of The Game the Saturday after we beat OSU as a cheer that is played when victory is in our sights.  The dance includes the whip, the nae-nae, and doing the thing where you walk backward and forward while rotating your arms in front of you before turning around with a “Yeeeeeee-haw.”  This is always a great cheer to play, and nothing beat hearing Cheer 8 called on November 27th–except, of course, the moment we won.


Cheer 10.  The rhythm of Cheer 10 resembles a familiar tune whose title is alluded to in the accompanying dance, which mimics taking a shot in basketball.  It’s got a lively rhythm and is, in my opinion, not played frequently enough.


Beyoncé.  The rhythm of this is inspired by/is a Beyoncé song, reminiscent of a Beyoncé-affiliated show that happened before my tenure.  It is in the opening line of the drumline cadence and involves a dance routine that I assume is also inspired by Beyoncé.


Sailor.  Yes, this is the name of a piece in the cadence–the ending tag, to be specific.  Sailor gets its distinction by having a cymbal crash on the “e”  of three every odd measure.  It sounds like duh-duh-restDAH, duh-duh, DAH, with the final note being a simple quarter note.


Eights.  What drumline cheer repertoire would be complete without the most basic drumline warmup known to mankind?  The Michigan Drumline’s repertoire, of course.  They do not need to play Eights in the stands because they have all the epic cheers listed above.


If you or a loved one has played Eights as a drum cheer, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

The Rise of the Band Geeks, Episode 7: The Army

  1. An undisclosed photo of a soldier from the Army (source unknown).

    From the tumultuous tides that churn and swirl in a slurry we hailed / Prowling growlers and missiles of ice / That slosh in the slush of hushed currents / In frenetic eternity.

  2. Readily we traversed / The pulsating subsurface and tenuous night / The venous channels and crumpled paths / Under silent symphonies and sonorous skies / Until we found you.
  3. A subtle force, we convened / Upon the bristled surface below the fickle water-sky / Across the ground that sops up shrill water / Or rejects it, eschews it into whiteness / Scattered across the tensile blades / erupting from matted black nuggets.
  4. North of the end of the shifting stew we mounted / Our tuneful armor / Our wooden round shells hollowed by erosive war / Our skins stretched so finely clumsy flesh would rend / The precious surface before which we stewed / Our moldable bodies balanced securely between our vessels and our weapons.
  5. Kindred warriors deluded by our stillness / Fused with our minds and our spiral limbs / Their blurred hands and cylinder knives / Rounded blades that sluice and pound / The sparse depths into oblivion / Elevated us with their hastily wrought words and / Thunderous melodies.
  6. Laconic, we allowed / You to swarm around us intrigued by our plush plumpness and stitched-on jubilee / To accumulate in trickles and honey droves toward our piano demeanor.
  7. In this soft stupor we encased you / Ensnared you in stuffed cages / Choked you gently into piles of fluff.
  8. Now we breathe into your accordion lungs / We snuggle within your marimba memories / We wrap our tendrils round your cymbal hearts / We feed you / We cultivate you / We drive you toward the day when the city folds in on itself and the clouded day becomes our night / We whet our spongy forms against the steel and the temptation and the war chant / We fashion your limbs into brass weapons / Your voices into roars / We disassemble you and rewire you and arrange your valves in sinister permutations / We polish you until we are not of you but are you / Until the day when the stadium submits and all of you, all of you, answer to us.  We are coming– for you.

Read More