Four minutes? are you having a laugh?...........

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by fabled inferno, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. The midlands area organisers having conceeded defeat on the Timpani issue from last year, now seem determined to extract some revenge, by letting all the percussion players know that the "four minute rule" will be rigourously enforced (in the usual hysterical red print of course). At least three of the test pieces are very percussion heavy this year, and this arbitrary four minute rule clearly does not take in to account the amount of percussion that might be involved in any particular piece.

    The issues surrounding keeping the event on schedule and guarding against significant time slippage are of course self evident, but I get the impression that the tail is wagging the dog at the midlands area. All this does is put more pressure on bands and on percussion players. Perhaps someone on the committee needs to get home in time for the Antiques Road show.
  2. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    If you're so worried about it, why not offer your services to help run things rather than just moan? The Regional Committee do a lot of hard work firstly in organising the weekend and then in giving up the whole weekend, starting on the Friday evening and carrying on into Sunday night, purely for the love of banding.

    4 minutes is actually a reasonable amount of time considering that almost all the gear is provided so it only needs moving around the stage, not being completely changed between band.
  3. whitewitch

    whitewitch Member

    being in the north west area, we have already competed (2nd section) and not only did we have all our percussionists on (we are lucky to have 4) but Ray Payne and another helper were there too. we played off draw 1, then i watched all the others. everyone was set up in about 1.5 mins at the most.

    it will be fine. :)
  4. Pav

    Pav Member

    Oh, and take trap stands. None provided last year.
  5. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Ok, I'll bite.....:D
    The four minute rule is a national/Kapitol thing and it applies to all the areas, not just the Midlands.
    4 minutes is actually a surprisingly long time if you've got provided kit and a well organised stage party, and with respect very few peole seem to an issue with it.
    I suspect the red type was more about highlighting key information than hysterics.

    Believe it or not, most people who give up their time and enrgy to run contests are doing it because they want to help banders, not make your life more difficult!
    If you have anyone in your band who's really going to struggle to be ready to play in 4 minutes, I'd suggest contacting the contest organisers before the day - if you talk to them rather than about them you'll probably find them a lot more flexible and prepared to help out.
  6. :clap:
  7. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    I have no personal association with the organisation of the Midlands Area, but must rise to their defence in this instance.
    In my experience, they are a friendly, approachable group of dedicated enthusiasts, donating a good chunk of their personal time, to ensure an essential event is delivered to the Midlands banding community, in a well organised, efficient manner.
    I have not come across a 'jobs-worth', just individuals working to the constraints of National rules, as well as time and facilities allow.
    Thankyou to all contest organisers, you do a thankless task under some challenging conditions.
  8. Matt the Shed

    Matt the Shed Member

    I can see the reasons behind these sorts of rules and am always very grateful to the organisers, helpers and kit hire guys, and do my very best to thank them after playing. In particular, the SCABA team (my local association) and boys at Ev-entz are always really helpful .
    That aside, as percussion-hitter, I must say I absolutely hate it when time restrictions are imposed on setup. More often than not the setup time is more than enough, but I’ve done plenty of contests where I’ve been more stressed about setup than playing the dots because of such restrictions and sometimes this has affected my performance. This tends to be more of a problem for Entertainment contests and open-choice contests where there is often a great deal of kit reorganising required. It becomes worse for the player if no, or little kit is provided, if the stage is tight (so it’s difficult to reposition things), or you don’t have the scored number of percussionists so you have to setup two, or even three lots of kit. A few examples of difficult setups I’ve had:

    1. I played at an ents contest with two different bands, who ended up playing back-to-back. As the only percussionist for the first one I had to reposition the timps, tune them, setup a kit from back stage (with crew help, thankfully) and setup various other bits and bobs; then ‘for fairness reasons’, I had to drag all of that off stage, go through registration again, then drag it back on stage and setup again for the next band where I was in a team of two trying to play 3-4 parts. There was a setup time restriction on this, which we just about managed, but not without plenty of running about…
    2. I played at another ents contest with a tight stage and plenty of kit, much of which was supplied. There were four percussionists and a heck of a lot of kit to re-arrange. There was a restriction on playing time, which started as the first player took to stage. I can only assume there was a setup time restriction because three quarters of the way through the setup the band was sent on stage. I just remember having to complete setup with one hand, whilst playing the part with the other one as the other three percussionists madly got into position and the Ev-entz boys ran off stage. The band didn’t do brilliantly at this one, but we did win best percussion section!
    3. Plenty of times I’ve been on a small stage, playing a set piece and whilst we had a fixed position for the timps, I’ve had to move them slightly to be able to see through the forest of bass players, which isn’t always easy on some of the stages at places like Blackpool and Pontins, where they often have split level staging. Then you still have to tune them, setup any other kit you’re playing and make sure there’s a gang-way between them. Fortunately at these there don’t tend to be time restrictions, but you don’t half feel an idiot when the band has been waiting on stage for you to sort things!
    So, in summary, time restrictions on setup are bad… but ultimately thems the rules and it’s the same for everyone else… talk to the organisers and see if they can help - we did with SCABA a few years ago and ever since they've got Ev-Entz in to supply kit and help with setup. :tup
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    If you rigorously enforce a 4-minute rule for a band who want to move every scrap of percussion on stage, you maybe annoy one (slow) band.

    If you allow a percussion section to move the whole stage around for as long as they want, you annoy every band that follows them on, who will now be late on stage.

    Seems a no-brainer to me. Having had results out of various contests at nearly midnight on a couple of occasions, anything that helps a contest run to time should be applauded. If that involves penalising bands that can't get organised, so be it.

    Besides, if you can't set a stage up in four minutes when all the perc and chairs are already roughly set up, then something's wrong. Nobody took longer than 2 or 3 minutes from walking on to asking for the whistle in Yorkshire.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  10. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    +1 ... although you left off "with you" at the end.If you know there are time restrictions and don't develop a plan of attack that includes the placement of each piece of equipment and which players are responsible for moving which pieces--even if you have to pull people from other sections to help, and rehearse it ahead of time to ensure you can get everything done within the allotted time, that's on you.
  11. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Was it at Crawley Entertainments last year where the Perc was all moved to "neutral" place after each band by the "roadies" ?
    Equivalent of a "Le Mans" style start I remember, with people poised to sprint (ish) on stage to grab their pre-allotted piece of kit to move to it's preferred location...
  12. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... significant that most of the people saying "you shouldn't have a problem with it" are not percussionists ...
  13. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Perhaps some Area`s could follow the Scots lead and after consulting it`s member bands, tell Kapitol to shove it`s rules where the sun don`t shine!
    Democracy rules in Scotland banding it would seem.
  14. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    If you cant get all the spittle out of your drums in 4 minutes theres a problem !
  15. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    4 minutes is ample time to get everything right in the set up required for Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Olympus. I suspect I could set up something like Shining River in 30 seconds. But it's pretty tight for a more complicated set up like Dances and Arias or Titan's Progress that involve lots of stuff on stands, all of which need to be positioned correctly and then height adjusted. Which is why I puzzle at the seemingly 'plucked out of the air' time allowed. Why not judge each piece on how much gear is needed and also get the contest committees proactive in supplying more help when it's a heavy piece for percussion?

    The Crawley way of doing things is bonkers and is why I won't help out a band who does that contest
  16. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    Hey Ian, nice pic of Mr Redknapp in front of the Brighton Beach End by the way!
  17. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    eh ?

  18. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    (other Ian!)
  19. DaveBBb

    DaveBBb Member

    Thinking outside the box......Banish percussion from Brass Bands............Simples!

    Nothing worse than having a Timp bang away at the back of your neck all night :mad:

    I speak as a BBb Bass player lol
  20. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    agreed ! that should speed up the area's too

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