How To Be A Good Bandsman

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MRSH, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Being serious for a moment (which is very unlike me, I know ;) ). This was handed around our band many years ago and certainly serves as a reminder to what, apart from great fun, banding should be all about and, surprisingly, couldn't find it anywhere on here.

    5 tips on how to be a good bandsman

    1. Always attend rehearsals
    A band is a team effort. Other people rely on your contribution, so your absence does not only affect you. If it is impossible for you to attend, give as much notice as possible. It may well affect the preparation for the rehearsal.

    2. Respect the conductor
    Bandsmen prepare for concerts and contests which occur only a few times per year. The conductor has to prepare for each and every rehearsal. Let him know if you are not going to be there. When he announces the next piece to be played at rehearsal, don't treat this as an open invitation to complain or choose something else. When the conductor speaks, you listen. When he stops the band in the middle of a piece, you stop playing.

    3. Do your home practice
    There's nothing more frustrating than sitting in a band practice listening to someone being prepared on something that he was individually prepared on last week and the week before that and the week before that. Even if you can't take the music home, you can practise exercises to improve your lip stamina, range, tone, reading, speed of fingers and so on.

    4. Pay attention to your music
    If other players are being prepared, don't talk or look around. Follow your part. In other words, rehearse it without playing your instrument. And when you are playing remember to give the notes their full value, especially at slow tempos. A four-beat note has four full beats i.e. it finishes just before the fifth beat would begin, not just after the fourth beat starts. There's more to the music than the dots. Look at the markings, dynamics, repeats, solos, mutes in indications and so on. Look through the music and understand its geography - repeat sections, Dal Segno, Coda. Check your key signature and time signature and know where they change. Pay special attention to those awkward twiddly bits

    5. Be well-equipped
    Make sure your instrument is always playable and presentable. Carry valve oil (or slide grease) and a polishing cloth. Protect your music from damage and carry any stands mutes etc. you require. Most importantly, take a pencil to rehearsal!

    References to the conductor are male for the sake of brevity. Female conductors should not be treated differently! Similarly references to bandsmen apply to female players equally.

    P.S. Can you please do something about the system censoring the word r-e-h-e-a-r-s-e-d. Whilst it allows rehearse censoring
    r-e-h-e-a-r-s-e-d seems somewhat daft, especially on a music forum. Unless it is censored for some other reason ;):eek: tMM EDIT: DONE!!!!
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    That's going up on our Band room wall this week. :tup
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Matt, I have moved your thread to here, the rehearsal room ... a more appropriate place for discussion regarding this topic!
  4. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Agree with every single one of them like said above that is going up on our notice board as well hehehe
  5. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Really sorry - that's where I meant to put it. Oops. :oops::oops:
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - you were only really checking to see if we were paying attention ;)
  7. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I have tried to get around this one Matt, and seem to win on some occasions and not on others... very strange indeedy. The reason it is censored is because of the rear end that appears within it. vB picks this up and I guess I need to further refine how to more accurately use the wildcard censor for words such as this and Scunthorpe eh!;)

    Edit#1: rehearsed and rehearse ;) and ***** and **** and ********

    Edit#2: In the words of a certain Mr Simpson... Wooohoooooooo :)
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I would actually add another ... Be open and honest! That way, people can understand if there are any limitations that can be overcome with the knowledge and experience of others in the band.
  9. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    I don't want to quote everything from MRSH's post, but would like to add that the people I respect most of all, regardless of their playing ability are those that turn out for each and every band job, whether it be a fete, church service or carolling. These are the true bandsmen in my eyes. Invariably these are also the people who are at every rehearsal and it is so easy to overlook their contribution. Without these stalwarts I know our band would have folded years ago.

  10. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    I agree with all of the above, and have another addition: general helpfulness.

    I've seen too many players over the years who get out one seat, one stand, and their own instrument, and then stand about yakking (and often complaining about timewasting!) while two or three percussionists struggle with timps, kit, glock, xylophone, etc.

    Then at the end of the rehearsal/engagement, it's instrument in case and offski.

    In my opinion, a good bandsman lends a hand until everything is set up or put away.

    (And if you're too frail to help carry a timp downstairs, then carry a snare drum/cornet/stick case/whatever, and someone better suited to heavy lifting won't have to go back upstairs two or three times...)

    (No, I've never been a percussionist. But I frequently end up as a percussion roadie :rolleyes: )
  11. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Woohoo, I think I do all of the above! I'll still be putting it up on the wall for others though! :)

    And I think I'm quite helpful - although I tend to stick with putting up/taking down 20 music stands rather than putting chairs out, and as for percussion (my mum's the percussionist), I won't touch it! I always manage to do something wrong, and last time all I was doing was carrying the stool up the hill, and it fell apart :mad:!

    My mum tells me to go and help out with other things...:redface:

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