Banding Mentality??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Chris Sanders, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Having just read the posts regarding 'Getting into a Championship Band', I find my self disgusted by the opinions of some fellow banders.

    I have been playing for 14 years, not as long as many of you I know, but as I have played in the 4th, 1st and Championship sections, I feel I have experienced boths bands and banders of almost every level.

    I was wondering if anyone shared my views on the following topics;

    1) Why do people consider themselves better players just because they maybe in a higher section? How does this affect the lower section players who maybe better players playing purely for pleasure?

    2) Do the section boundaries accuratly reflect the precise standard of each band, the points system is taken over three years, so if a band can change its personnel and programme as often as they do, then whats to say the band is still playing at the same level?

    3) Taking into account my previous question, is the points system fair? Could anyone suggest a better method of dividing sections?

    4) Should bands be allowed to borrow players for the major contests, such as the Area and Finals? Would this increase the standard of bands by players playing in more than one area, or would it destroy opportunities for players to take vacant postions?

    I hope nobody takes offence to any of my views, if you find these to be incorrect then by all means, please educate me!

  2. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    In my experience, most don't. There is a fairly strong argument for the players in the top few bands, especially the principals, being better than the rest of us though! :wink:
    I don't think it does. I know plenty of great players in lower section bands who love their banding and don't give a *beep* what people in other bands think - good on them!

    Good topic! With ref to questions 2,3 and 4, I'd say take a look at some of the past pages in this forum and you'll find loads of different opinions.
  3. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I hadn't realized that this was such a big issue. Maybe its a bigger issue in England. I guess I am of the opinion that the if you made a graph of skill level vs. frequency, you would find that it makes a bell shaped curve, with a few band members standing out as relatively brillant compared to the rest of the band (usually the principals) and a few members standing out as the "weakest link"...unfortunately this criticism would usually be directed in my direction at 2nd horn or 2nd baritone. Anyways the bulk of the players for a given band would be in the middle.

    Now what this means is that if band 'A' is 1st section and band 'B' is 2nd section that while the average band 'A' player is probably better than the average band 'B' player, there will most certainly be some band 'B' players better than some of the band 'A' players.

    So the question I think about - more than caring about what other people think - is do I want to be a star in a 'lower band' or just hang in there in a 'higher band'? (The reason why I put 'lower band' and 'higher band' in quotes is because in many cases the bell-shaped curves from different sections can practically overlap and there isn't much difference (Especially from region to region and country to country). There are probably many cases when a recently relegated 1st section band is better than the 2nd section band that was promoted and took its place.

    However, I think banding is fun to make good music and to socialize. Both of these objectives can be reached in almost any band and people that are worried about bragging that they are a better player have missed the point of banding in my book.

    I think to answer questions 2 and 3, you might want to have a rule that relegation and promotion are based on your results at your 3 most recent 'sanctioned events,' instead of just the Areas. One of these events could be Areas. If that is the only contest you do than your three Area results would be averaged. But, you could still have other sanctioned contests like the Spring Festival in Cambridge or Pontins or something (I don't know all the British Contest well enough). That way if a band had a large turnover and improved alot it may only take the one or two years to show the improvement in the tables. Just an idea.
  4. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    I've played Solo Euph in a decent Champ Section Band and Euph in a 3rd Section band.
    For me the experience is similar in terms of social enjoyment etc. but different in others.
    A great deal of lower section players play there because of time commitments.
    I left my last band (champ sect) to come back to Lostock because of this.
    There is a big overlap in terms of standard in my opinion ( Dyke etc. excepted).
    You simply can't say that you are or have to be a certain standard of player to be in a certain section.
    Just enjoy playing the best wherever you are :D
  5. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I think a lot of players do this. I know I might have played in a higher section band had I been willing to put in all the extra practice time, but I would probably have had to give up my job, my computer, sold the house and children, etc. :) It's absolutely no fun being in a championship section band if you like a life!

    It's all I can do these days to get to rehearsals/jobs on time, (though I think the band will agree I'm better than I used to be). I'm going to be late on Thursday 'cos I'm on a course in York. A top section band probably wouldn't stand for that.

    I also think that another thing that keeps some players out of higher section bands is that lower section bands tend to be more like a group of good friends (and enemies) who tend to stay together to make music. When it's comfortable, you don't want to move and leave your mates - unless you are terribly ambitious - which often means you don't have many mates. :cry:
  6. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    Without wanting to sound mean or anything, but I play in a championship section band, I'm doing A levels at the moment, and I like to think I have a life too! Yes, we practise lots, but we don't just practise. And yes I do have fun playing in a top section band.

    If they were a friendly enough band and you approached them about it in the right way, I'm sure they would.

    I like to think we're all friends here at Staffs, and I'm sure other top section bands are friends too, not just a group of people who get together to play music! :) :p
  7. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I agree there is alot of overlap in the sections due to the way that the rankings system is sorted out. There are bands in the 3/2 sections that would not be coming last in the 2/1/Ch sections. There are many very good players that choose to play in sections 4/3/2/1 due to a many reasons- loyality, work commitments, other connections with the band i.e partner, friends, family etc in the band. To be honest, yes there will be a general trend that players will get better the higher up the section you get but I think it is pretty ignorant for anybody to think there are not good players currently playing at all levels of banding. I would not be counting the number of players on one hand who would more than hold in seat in the top section in our band!
  8. And of course some top players simply prefer to make music, and not have the hassle of competing, and having competed wondering if it was really worth it.
  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    You know, some people just don't seem to have a sense of humour. Or can't recognise irony. Or at least what passes for wit in Wigan.

    Sigh! :roll:
  10. BassBlaster

    BassBlaster Member

    We have many standards in our band (Wotton), I think that over half the band have played in the 2nd-3rd section, the rest of us have come in from Championship/1st section bands. We are better than many 1st/2nd section and worse than many 3rd/4th! section bands, so as long as you are a team together it does not matter, we have got Dennis Grant ex Flowers, Principal Cornet, as our conductor, and he has already said that teamwork is the key. THAT`S IT. TEAMWORK, enjoy the music, social life and the little trials that you get, play to your best, encourage others, better and worse.
    There you are, the solution to banding life. :D
  11. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Agreed :D :D :D
    Get this bloomin thread locked like the last one :evil:
    Lets get on with playing :)
  12. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member are from wigan :wink: *cough* pies *cough*
  13. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    I like Mr Herak's suggestion regarding the sectioning, I believe this would increase both friendly competition and individual standards between bands. It would also hopefully even out the sections? I see bands who are quite comfortable in their sections, in the unfortunate position of being relegated due to their perfomance in recent years, if a band gives a freak below par performance one year, is it fair they are still being penilised for it two years later?

    I know that the current system has been used for many years, and I see that it will not change. However I cant help wondering that if all contests counted towards you're positioning, would it increase the number of bands entering competitions, or would it destroy bands through over exherting them?
  14. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I just think it's a matter of time and involvement. I made a decision when I was 16 that I didn't want a career in music. I'm happy with the band I'm in and it's fun. I suppose with some practice I could go to a higher section band, but I'm not one for the pressure (saying that I doubt I'd be playing stand-up solos at contests in a higher section band!). Being a principal is always tough at whatever level as you have to lead the section. It's taken me a while to become confident enough to express my opinion about the playing of other members of the section (always constructive by the way and a take it too!).

    If you are in a good band and you want to go up the sections then you just have to focus on competition, but if you don't care then it doesn't matter, does it?
  15. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    It generally depends on the band. If, for example, you've managed to secure a seat with Dyke, the odds are that you are a better player than the 3rd cornet at Abercwmsheepdip village band. On the other hand, I got into 2 different championship bands just by being in the right place at the right time. Each time, I joined a first section band who got promoted shortly afterwards. I don't believe for a moment that this makes me automatically a better player than some of the excellent players who choose to stay loyal to a lower section band. At the risk of causing a few blushes, John on solo euph at Wem is a prime example. He's more than a match for many players in the top section but he's happy where he is and nobody thinks any the worse of him for it.
  16. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    By the same token you could argue about the fairness of a band who consistently come just above the relegation zone putting in a freak win being rewarded for it two years later. I think that one works both ways and so don't really see a problem with it.
  17. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Good point, though ive seen more bands drop unfairly than be promoted?

    As band standards change so often, maybe the lack of consistency makes it impossible to make a 100% accurate system, however, I still think three years is a long time?
  18. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    Some good comments.I've recently left a championship band as I couldnt travel to as many rehearsals due to my new job and returned to my local band and have to say really enjoying being back.The band are commited and dont feel inferior to bands above them and play for the pure pleasure and social side of banding and if a good result comes out feel the best in the land.
  19. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    Good one Alex that's the point we should play for the enjoyment.
    It helps when the band are playing well but they must also ALL work and support each other.
    Not many bands do this and normally this is where they fall down.
    Get them working together as a team no matter what section and they will improve.
    Looks like your MD has a happy band there, long may it continue and keep enjoying your banding.

    2.25am and still to get up for work as well. :cry:
  20. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    "2.25am and still to get up for work as well. "
    I've been working for 25mins by then Moira :? He does have a happy band and anyones welcome to come along(wee plug)

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