According to Hiro Songsblog a drum cadence is, “'a drumline piece played in a parading marching band between or in place of full-band pieces'. Cadences, are also: 'a chant that is sung by military personnel while parading or marching'.”
Cadences employ the four basic drum strokes and often directly include drum rudiments. They have a wide range of difficulty, from simple accent patterns to complex rhythms including hybrid rudiments, and are played by virtually every modern drum line. Cadences are important from a performance standpoint, as a good drum cadence can make the band stand out from the rest in competition. Field shows are often preceded by the band marching to the beat of the cadence.