Help Please - Banding meets Techonology

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DublinBass, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Our band keeps a "black book" that get's passed around rehearsal. Members tick which engagements they will be at and which they will not (usually leaving a comment as to why not). Because it is paper and pencil, they are able to change their availability if some frees up or comes up. Members are also expected to tick which rehearsals they will not be at ahead of time, and leave a comment as to why not. For the most part it works quite well, except when things come up on short notice as we only rehearse once a week.

    Can anybody think of a way to transfer this to an online format? Would it be possible to password protect it in a manner so that all band members could see who is available but only update their own status?
  2. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    you could set up a Yahoo or google group - Yahoo has a database section where you could create a simple table that people fill in. It's also free and can be a closed group so only your band members can access it.

    It has the added advantage of being effectively your bands personal mailing list service too.
  3. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    One of our players has designed a programme for us to use.

    Its entered via our website and is in a members only area, password protected.

    When a member goes into the engagement list they see all future engagements and intitially all engagements are set to 'unsure'

    The members then either click yes or no or leave as unsure.

    The people who fix our deps can click on any engagement and see who is a yes a no or an unsure!

    Also everytime a new job is added an email is generated and sent to all members telling them of a new job.

    Also 2 weeks before a job if a person is still showing unsure a reminder is sent also.

    If you want more info Pat, please feel free to contact me.
  4. persins

    persins Member


    That sounds like an awesome plan. It does necessitate all having access to the internet but certainly something worth looking into.
  5. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Agreed - but even allowing for the technology how do you get certain people to tell you whether they are or are not doing a job - we have the same system on a single sheet for each job - at the side of each name are two columns - tick if you can X if you cant. So it should be simpe to quickly see whether we need deps or not. But there's the rub - some people will almost always be there - they tend to be the first to confirm anyway and then there's THE OTHERS - they can never remember what they are doing or even when the band has jobs on despite the fact that the each get a monthly news letter with an up date on all future jobs.

    In the ideal world wouldn't it be great if all players went to all the jobs or failing that arranged their own deps - heaven:rolleyes: .

    Does having it on the web-site mean you get the information quicker or is it just a more usable format? Accessable 24 hours a day whereas our sheet is only available at rehearsals - and of course the people who miss most jobs are the ones that miss most rehearsal - grrh.
  6. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Firstly we only have about 3 people who are not on, or have access to the internet so chasing them is quite easy. For those people the administrators can amend their availability.

    We have found people are more concientious about completing their availability. Perhaps they find it easier to say no to a machine!

    People can go in and change their availability at anytime same as with paper and pencil. As soon as they update any record an email is sent to the administrators telling them that John Smith has updated his attendance record.

    The great thing is all I need to do is click on an enegaement and it tells me who is and is not available.

    It does not save the grief and effort in getting deps but it seems to be the best system we have tried.
  7. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    And that would certainly be my worry! How easy it is just to tick No, not available. Generally the rule is everyone does every job, unless work, or important family commitments clash.

    I hate giving people an option. I do send round a form about May time, asking people to complete for holidays etc. Otherwise I assume everyone is available unless they have informed me otherwise. :biggrin:
  8. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Hi Susan

    To be honest people do not miss anymore engagements than previously. The point I was making is that we seem to find out about absences sooner!
  9. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Agreed - that's not too much to ask for, is it? I'm amazed by the lifestyles of some of our players - the ones who never know were they will be from day to day - I get the impression that they're all jetting off to the South of France or Marbella or just where ever the whim takes them. But no, all pretty ordinary folks that do 9-5 jobs.

    What is always interesting is if you ask them, then they can tell you whether they are going to the job - just basically can't be asred to get of there's and walk to a board and put a tick down.

    I'm not sure if it's just a summer thing but we never seem to have a problem getting 30 players for an indoor concert - the last two outdoor jobs we had ended up with 17 and 22 players - everyone not there had a suitable excuse just no one told us till the week before - grrh. Rant over.
  10. premacyblue

    premacyblue Member

    You could set up a microsoft access program for the secretary to use. It will then print lists of who is going to what and you can print them for each band individual
  11. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Is Micrsoft Access Accessible online? Can it be password protected?
  12. You could give the absent-minded people a free wall calendar - the type with a month per page. I used to be very disorganised with appointments, until I started using those. Now I remember almost everything ;)

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