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NCAA Tournament Changes Rules In Favor of Bands

Blue Line Media ImageThe Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament has been running since 1939 to decide the National Champion. Each year 68 teams come together to battle it out in the tournament during the month of March.

Coming along with them are their fans, cheerleaders and of course pep bands.

For more traditional schools with strong marching band programs, building a pep band for these games is quite an easy task. However, other schools without a strong marching band program or real music program/school at all can struggle to put the proper instrumentation together to have a decent sounding band.

One specific area that we see this in pep bands is in the low brass section, specifically in the tuba/sousaphone section. Some schools don't have strong low brass players so they rely on electric bass players to pump out the bass line. Some bands are set up more like a small jazz band and using a tuba just doesn't make sense.

During the season there are no major restrictions on pep bands having electric bass players so many schools include them in their bands.
However, during march madness and the NCAA Tournament specifically, electronic amplification of instruments has been strictly prohibited.

Until today.

According to the new tournament manual: "Participating institution bands will be permitted to bring and play an electronic bass to the championship. No other electronic band instruments or devices will be allowed."

This is a huge win for pep bands across the country. 

Many college band directors have been advocating for this change for decades and today they can claim a small victory. There is still many more things they'd like to see changed in favor of bands, but for now they are celebrating.