The modern high school drumline consists of 4 instruments. The tonal bass drums, the marching snare drum, the tenors (four or more juxtaposed tenor drums), and the cymbals.

Most core-style marching snare drummers will play with traditional grip, in which the right hand has a normal forward grip and the left hand uses a more rotational sideways grip. As opposed to matched grip.

A medium sized drumline will have at least four bass drums of varying size and tone. Professional lines will play split parts, which is one of the more melodic and powerful sections of the line.

A high school line will have 1 or more tenor players. Tenors are typically played with a matched grip with special hard mallets, although snare sticks can be used. The drums are arranged, from left to right, 4-2-1-3, with 4 being the largest and 1 being the smallest.

The cymbals have a wide variety of ways to make noise, including basic crashes, cymbal rolls, and turning and letting the snare drummers play ride parts. Not a necessary part of a basic drumline.

Instead of pivoting their bodies, drummers will walk sideways, always facing the audience, one foot in front of the other, unless the marching drill calls for otherwise. This technique is called the crab step.

The doctrine of a good drumline is that the members communicate with each other to stay on the same page rhythmically. Some will use a vocal 'dut' sound to keep the beat during rests. It's just as important to listen as it is to see and play.

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