Class in Banding?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di B, Oct 29, 2003.


Which Section Is Better

  1. Championship

  2. Fourth

    0 vote(s)
  3. Who Cares? Where's the Bar?

  1. Di B

    Di B Member

    Just looking at a couple of threads and things made me start to smile (although the smile could still be the after effects of alcohol from Pontins!)

    Just wondered....... how many players are (for want of a better word) snobs?

    In banding, I have heard lots of players name drop, section/band drop and even solo dropping is done! (ie I can play this - you can't)

    When it is done directly to me I get annoyed and find myself even joining the bandwagon (?!) and name dropping back!

    Do players in the Championship Section think that 4th Section players are less capable? Do they look down on them? Would you as a Championship player mind if a 4th Section player came and sat next to you and guested?

    If you were in a 4th Section band, do you think that players in the above sections are too big for their boots and need taking down a peg or ten?

    Do people feel judged by the bands they play or have played for?

    Do you think someone is not a good player because they can't play solos well/cant triple tongue/cant play? :twisted:

    My own opinion is you have some fantastic players in lower sections who are ex-Championship players and you have some really poor players in Championship bands too..... I also think that there are indeed some 'snobs' out there and it winds me up even if I like them! :lol: I also think the majority of higher section bandsmen I know have no issues with the lower sections....

    Anyway, over to you - thoughts please!
  2. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    As someone who has never played in a Championship section band, the fact is there are a lot of superb players in top section bands, otherwise, the band wouldn't be there. Nevertheless, there are some excellent players in lower section bands as I can testify from 24 years of playing in them. OK, it could be argued that 'If that's the case, why aren't they in higher sections'? Probably (or at least, partly) because of the vagaries of the promotion/relegation system in contesting, whereby it's largely all dependent on subjective adjudication on one particular contest (which explains perhaps why YBS weren't at the Albert Hall a couple of weeks ago, a band who I'd have thought may well have won it on the Elgar had they been there, but rules are rules.....) and the simple fact is if you have an off day come the contest or the adjudicator/s doesn't/don't like your performance..... well on that basis, the lower sections are difficult to get out of, particularly 'darn sarf' when the 4th section can (and has) numbered 35+ bands at the L&SC areas. Not an easy task for one adjudicator!

    I can't say I've come across snobbery from championship section band players I've met. To partly rephrase on a recent mail by Bob Childs on 4barsrest, it's the 'wannabees' who are more likely to be snobbish about what they see as having 'been there, seen it , done it'. I've certainly come across a few in my time!

    I would say (and in all honesty, no deliberate bias) my own band (Fulham - 4th section) could quite easily survive in the 3rd section and maybe the 2nd given the GENERAL standard of their play in rehearsals, coupled with the fact they have some excellent players there, but as I say, it's what happens on the day (i.e. the areas) that by and large, dictate.
  3. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Like most bandsman out there, i started playing cornet on the back row of a 4th section band and gradually over time have improved and worked my way through the sections into a championship band.

    I can honestly say i couldn't care less who the band is, or what section the band i play/dep for is, if it is an excuse to play my cornet i'll play and be there! :D :D Be it with Black Dyke (I wish) , or helping out my local 4th section or Youth Band.

    The whole point of playing an instrument (unless of course you are one of the few able to make it your profession) is to enjoy it regardless who you play for. It's all about meeting new people and enjoying what you share in common, the ability to make music. (The best ability in the world :lol: )
    Just because someone is 'better' than the next person, doesn't make them a better person. Everyone has different goals, whether it be to make principle of Dyke or just to enjoy playing in their local band.

    It's ok some people saying 4th section bands aren't as good, but it is they who produce the good players!! Without the lower section bands we would have no championship bands. Lower section and youth bands are /will always be the future of banding, so they deserve just as much, if not more credit than the Championship bands. :D

    And at the end of the day we all end up in the same place... the bar getting totally and utterly p***ed, debating who split the best note :D
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    That's the important thing. The majority of bandsmen don't care what section you're from, they'll always let you know what they thought of your performance - sometimes they even mention the good bits!

    I can't think of many players who have been stuck up about what they do, and some of them could have quite easily made me feel about 2 inches tall quite easily with some of the things they've achieved! In fact the only couple of people I could name (but wont) were people who were in lower sections but felt they deserved to be in the championship section... inferiority complexes are a terrible thing!
  5. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    There are a lot of good players in lower sections who for one reason or another can't give the commitment that playing in championship section requires. From experience it's like having a second virtually full-time job!
    The fortnight before any major contest you spend either at work or rehearsing, but if that's what it takes to be the best that's what you have to do. Just like top athletes/footballers/etc.
    I play in Third section now, the commitment is less (mind you that's relative, we're pretty busy!) but the enjoyment is just the same.
    I think some people forget that the social side of banding is just as important as the playing, I would despair of anyone who went banding just for the playing, went straight home after every rehearsal/engagement and missed out on all the social side!
  6. Ben Williamson

    Ben Williamson New Member

    i've only played with a youth band consistantly, however i have filled in for various section bands in concert and competition and i can say that it matters not what section, as each band i've helped have been great bunchs of lads and ladettes :wink: (lasses)and really only care about the pub afterwards, which i think is an excellent mentality.

    but then if i was offered a position at a forth section, or championshp section band, i would choose the latter nine times out of ten.

    the most important thing is to enjoy what you do, thats what music is all about! (plus at contests getting so sloshed that you dont really care if you win or come last!)

    Ben x
  7. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    So very true. I remember playing at Pontins 2002, with a band in section 3...and we came last!! :cry: Dissapointed yes of course we were, but it still didn't stop us heading for the bar, having a whale of a time and meeting/ speaking to loads of other players. :D

    The banding community is so good, it doesn't matter who you are or who you play for.
  8. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    as a general rule, I think we can definately say that in the top section, the general standard of banding is higher than in the bottom section, however, even though I feel that I could play for a fairly decent top section band, none of the very top ones maybe, I don't want to, it's just not as fun for me, I don't know why, but there you go.
  9. SammyT

    SammyT Member

    As someone who has spent most of her banding life playing in the 2nd (and the odd 1st ) section bands IMHO my present band is the best band I have ever played for............................and they are 4th section (3rd from jan).
    When I joined we were lower 4th section and have gradually improved over the years to eventually get 2nd at the nationals this year!
    For me the playing ability of the band has nothing to do with it. It is the social side. We all enjoy a drink in the bar after contests (win or lose) and just have a great time together (all ages from 7 to 80). I love it!! :bounce :bounce

    I love playing and those who know me know I like to drink as well (also watching rugby) :guiness

    I have played next to a player who played in 4th section for family commitments but now has had the chance to play for a championship band and he enjoys both.

    I think the snobbery is stupid. I will play for any section as long as I can play and of course have a drink and a laff afterwards! :D :D :lol:
  10. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    sorry, just thought about it, and from my experience the snobbery isn't in the very top bands, more the ones just below the top, or ones that have had a sudden rise to 'power' so to speak. oh well.
  11. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    I think a reason a lot of top section banders might seem snobby and appear to "name-drop" is a result of the people they spend most of their time with. They meet other players at the contests they play at and the bands they have played in, and if they have played in top section bands, they will naturally have met, and be friends with, some "big name" players. The reality is that most players in champ section bands are just as friendly and sociable as any other banders. You only have to look at how many of these players teach, or do workshops with their bands to see that they wish everyone to improve and be good players, no matter what level they play at.
  12. SammyT

    SammyT Member

    I agree neil, hopefully we are not though!
    For me getting p****d in the bar is the best bit! ALong with meeting other band members - especially tMPers
  13. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    The thing I miss most about 4th section playing is the beer time. At most contests the 4th section starts the day leaving plenty of drinking / socialising time. The higher up the sections you play, the less time you have to get all that name dropping done in the bar.
  14. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    I used to play for a youth band but then last year moved to a 1st section band, unfortunately next year we're moving down :(. But our audience still likes and they're the people that count! It's still the cheery band that it used to be and it hasnt made any difference to the players, we just look forward to our next engagement and try our best! :D :p
  15. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    For me I don't think it matters diddly squat what section you're in. As long as you and all your pals in the band get along and have the same goals. I've certainly never been happier than I am at the 'co. We've been through a lot in the last two years and we drink together and have parties at each others houses and we really want to play well. But of course that could be a typical story from any band in any section.

    No matter what situation you're in you will always find snobs. Of course they're rife in top section and 4th section and probably each section in between. There will be a pecking order within each section, and within each band. People are like that.

    Be content to make music and be happy. And drink lots of falling down water as well.
  16. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    At Pontins I think I managed to meet at least 1 person from every section, most of them drunk. Didn't seem to matter what section they were from, though the champiuonship player (you know who you are!) was wasted after only about 2 pints. Do you lose the ability to hold your beer when you enter the higher echelons of banding? :D

    As somebody said earlier, most of the arrogance I've come across has been from 'on the up' bands rather than the bands that are already there.


    I don't see that it matters at all about sections.
    I used to play with a band that worked its way up from 4th section to 1st section in the 4 years that I was with them.
    But now I play with a non contesting band and find it much more fun. :)

  18. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    This happens all the time.

    This was one of the things that annoyed me about the professinal brass playing world - too much name dropping and 1-upmanship going on, and then there was always the risk that someone more important than you would enter the room and the person you were talking too would drop the conversation and make a beeline for them.

    We all have our own merits as do the bands we play in, lets save the competition for the contest day.
  19. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    This is the best topic I've read yet on this forum.

    It doesn't matter how you put it, the best band's from a playing perspective are always going to be in the top section. However, all the comments on this topic just go to show that a band is more than it's parts, (and results).

    I think that the band I play for has a great balance and most people get on really well. We do all the social things that have already been mentioned and generally have a great time.

    As long as you are happy playing then fine. Enjoyment of playing in your band is afterall what keeps you there whether that is a Championship section band or Fourth section band.

    However, I would say that 'snobbery' is a difficult matter to gauge. Some people look at antics of certain bands and see it as being snobbery when in fact it is far from it. However, I appreciate that there is a fine line between banter and snobbery.

  20. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    And probably the best point made on this topic.

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