Banding and Shift-work

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by horn__blower, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. horn__blower

    horn__blower Member

    Can banding and shift work go together, or will the numerous necessary missed practices and concerts mean that you have to stop playing?

    At my rehearsal the other day, I was made to feel guilty for missing previous practices and a concert, but its not my fault :(
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I will support you 100% regarding your circumstances! Many players are forced to give up playing because of shift-work or awkward hours which makes rehearsals or contesting quite difficult. If you are on a rotating shift pattern, there is also the factor of underlying fatigue which affects concentration regardless of ability. I'm afraid that to pay the bills and feed the family work is the first priority.
  3. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member


    Afraid that family and work must come first. We have some players who work odd shifts but we have to compromise and accept that they can't make every rehearsal or every job. In most cases these players do make the effort when they are available so we don't really have grounds for complaint. Again it all comes down to the reasons why we play in a band and also a bit to do with the aspirations of the band as a whole.
  4. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I've been at my current job for nearly 2 years now, and because of my shift work, I miss 1 in 3 rehearsals. I haven't found it to be to much of a problem. I find that it makes things easier if I can re-arrange my shifts so that I can make the last few rehearsals before a contest. Most importantly, I make sure that I can play my part, if I can't, I practice it so that I can. I don't think anyone can criticise you for prioritising earning a living over band practice, however dedicated a bandsman/woman you are.
  5. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    I agree with whats previously been said. Family, Work THEN Band. You shouldn't be made to feel guilty for having to earn a living. As long as you can play your part, and attend as many rehearsals as your shifts allow, then nobody should ask for more. If its possible to change some shifts around to allow for run-ups to contests and important events, then great. Maybe have a quiet word with whoever it was who made you feel guilty, and explain your circumstances?
  6. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Things have got to be put in perspective - playing in a band is for enjoyment, we don't get paid for playing, therefore there is no contest.
  7. tubafan

    tubafan New Member

    shift work commitment

    Us players who work shifts and commit have to
    commit over and above others in time and effort
    I have to book holidays for wkend concerts and contests
    and extra rehursals but some band personnel do not appreciate
    the extra commitment needed if you are a shift worker
    the Scottish open last weekend cost me 5days holiday three over
    the weekend and two a week before the contest to be at rehursals
    and do the contest, my shifts are also 12hrs long so that makes it
    tiering to say the least also with a 112mile round trip, but if you are
    a commited bands person you will find what ever it takes to be there. Some times this is impossiable as you eventualy
    run out of holidays or you have run out of favours with your boss.

    This can also be a financial cost as holidays do equait to monetry value 5 days
    holiday @ £100 pound day =£500 before you even leave for said gig

    But if like me you enjoy the game, you put all this behind you, I just wish
    some bands people would appreciate these facts before commenting about
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I thought this was going to be about the problems faced by trombonists :shock: ;) :oops:

    As I posted on a previous thread this morning, I think all anyone can do is to be straight with the band/conductor and explain what their availability is going to be. When I started in my present line of work I had to work a 24-hour rolling shift pattern, and it wasn't even as if it was a set routine. All I could do was make sure I gave the BM as much notice as I could, and try to arrange to swap shifts if anything important was coming up. The biggest drawback, particularly as a bandsman in the SA, was that for a while I was working every Saturday and Sunday, either days or nights, as were the other three in the team, so i could only get time off by booking holidays.

    I was fortunate that eveyone was very understanding, and I hope you find the same. I did also agree to a change of instrument during that period, and I think flexibility on both sides helps.
  9. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I think it would only become a problem if your availability was totally at odds with the rest of the band.

    What annoys me is players not being available even when they are given several months advance notice and the reason for them not attending is feeble or non-existent.

    While I am having a moan I will also mention players who cherry-pick jobs. One of our players has just informed us that he can do 2 proper christmas concerts but is "unavailable" for any of the carolling !:x
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... another thing that can be mentioned is poor wages and the possibility of doing overtime at the last minute (sickness, production demands etc.). I have lost a serious amount of earnings over the years because of my commitment and sometimes trying to get in touch with someone in advance within the band can be impossible! I usually ended up saying no to the overtime and risked not getting the offer again for some time. Heheheh! Nothing like pressure from all sides to keep you on your toes, eh? :-?
  11. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Especially when they don't announce their intentions until it's too late to find a replacement or to do anything else about it:evil:

    I would totally support anyone on rotating shifts, provided they were willing to give as much advance notice as they could. I spent many years in a 24/7/365 on-call status, and have had to miss a rehearsal on very short notice or even leave in the middle of a rehearsal because I was called in. I made sure that the band leadership understood the situation ahead of time and always gave as much notice as I could - this was appreciated, even on those occasions where I wasn't able to give what I would consider adequate notice.
  12. Fergus

    Fergus Member

    My band (as with many) is made up of all walks of life and professions/trades. I think we now have to take a look at the "bigger picture" and offer support to those who do work shifts / weekends etc. In our local area the schools no longer teach brass and therefore no feeder source to the band. To aviod losing valued players we must embrace the fact that times are a changing and that in many cases the majority of people do not work Monday - Friday 9am -5pm and can only attend band rehearsals when work commitments allow.

    This of course should not be confused with those who just don't turn up because hey can't be bothered......that's for another day.
  13. mr_anon

    mr_anon Member

    Playing in a band and doing shift work- these two things are not compatible.

    If you want to play in a band and commit as you should then don't choose a job which involves shifts. Get a 9-5 type job as they're very compatible with banding. Avoid work which takes up your evenings or weekend, exams are an example.

    No band should have to sympathise with people's work. It's up to you to sort your life out around the band. Everyone works but not everyone needs to work when band is on. Go and manage your life better: if playing in a band is your main hobby and brings you happiness then find a job to fit around it.
  14. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Why do i feel that this will spark an argument?
  15. lewis

    lewis Member

    Sympathetic and upbeat as ever! This is ridiculous, are you really saying that if a person wants to take part in an amateur activity for some enjoyment they should have to completely rearrange their lives by getting a new job? And on that note which profession are you in that you can change jobs at will to suit a brass band? Or is this just the way you see banding again from your seat so high where you have been perched since you left brass bands ten years ago?
  16. mr_anon

    mr_anon Member

    I'm currently in a consultant type job which means I travel around a hell of a lot and I don't really know where I'm going to be from one week to the next. I could not play in a band with a job like this. I wouldn't have the audacity of going to a band and expecting them to understand this situation. If I wanted to return to bands then I would find myself a 9-5 job as it's compatible with banding. When I played in bands I got sick and tired of self-important people declaring what their sub 100% commitment was going to be. These people should really reconsider being in a band if they're only planning on being a part of it when it suits them, that's not a band is about.
  17. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Again, this is your view, don't try and force it on everyone else...
  18. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Once again, your post only serves to wind up members. You seem to enjoy the fact that you can hide behind your anonymity - your username even points to the fact. If you insist on forcing your views on our members - as fact - you can't really expect everyone to take you seriously when you insist on hiding behind a mask, We are not saying you have to 'reveal yourself', merely that people might take you a bit more seriously next time.

    It is a shame when interesting threads end up getting closed because they get turned into a slanging match – it’s not big, it’s not clever and it doesn’t do much for your reputation here on tMP.

    You have been asked many times via pm to change your ways and yet you still insist on being confrontational. Either post in the spirit of tMP or don’t post at all!
    Sparkly on behalf of the tMP team

  19. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Hear hear.

    Some of these replies are getting ridiculous.
  20. mr_anon

    mr_anon Member

    Now they delete my reply without explanation? I'll make my point once again

    This is an opinion which you present as fact, the same thing that you're accusing me of doing!

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