Is "loyalty" a two way street?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DublinBass, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Reading through the thread on poaching, the principle of "loyalty" came up.

    I see most individuals or bands viewing loyalty from only one direction, but not both. Now to be clear, when I speak of loyalty, I am speaking of a sense of duty or devotion.

    EX 1...a band sacks a long-term player who is not cutting it. The band is obviously not loyal to the player, right? If the player is loyal to the band, don't they step back if they know they are holding the group back?

    EX 2...a player leaves a band to play for a higher level group with more challenges. The player is obviously not loyal to the group. If the band is loyal to the player, don't they encourage them to move on to a better opportunity (rather than hold them back), and hopefully get them as a dep a tutor in the future?

    My point is, I think (in general) questioning loyalties is foolish as it should be a two way street. Thoughts?
  2. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Ultimately, nobody is loyal to anybody but themselves. All of us have double standards and are capable of outrageous double dealing. Nobody can be trusted and everyone lets you down, revealing themselves as not the person you may have thought they were. If we're in a position of power we justify our behaviour as being "good for the organisation". If we're not we justify it as being for our own "development". Any standard of behaviour can be justified in our own eyes if we are self-deceiving enough. Discuss.
  3. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    I think that Alyn, you are being a little harsh in your interpretation of individual loyalties.
    I have played in many bands, on occasions having a reputation for 'flitting around'.
    This has not generally been the case, though I have had my head turned by the odd flattering comment, or some would suggest, the offer of a new top-range euphonium - outrageous!!!!
    It has rarely been the case that I have not felt loyalty to bands or individuals, but the need to try pastures new, or even a test-piece I have wanted to play, has proved enough motivation to leave the band I have been playing for. (I have turned down an equal number of such opportunities).
    However, once the 'honeymoon period' is over with a band and the routine or travelling becomes monotonous, it has not been hard for me to walk away and seek new challenges.
    The politics and general bitching in some bands has at times proved a problem, as I don't suffer fools gladly and call a spade a spade. I have found however, that straight talking is not always welcome, most liking to give their opinion honestly, but not liking an equally honest reply!
    Little 'cliques' of players, secreting themselves in their 'fag-time forums', wishing to change the world but always being somewhere else when their open opinion is sought.
    I am my own man, make my own decisions, create my own destiny. If it's time to move on, take a break, or retire from playing, I do it.
    I can't be a yes man, a part of a clique, or a social drinker after rehearsals (I don't drink and generally live a decent distance from the band room).
    As a player, I do a decent job and hopefully contribute positively to contest results.
    As for loyalty, there are 2 or 3 bands that I hold great affection for, plus a lot of friends in other bands. But if it is time to move on, they have all known that I will do it.
    Life's too short to worry about the small-minded people who hold grudges with my attitude.
    Anyone looking for a player?:wink:
  4. Lets face it, this movement is riddled with hypocrisy. If a player joins your band who is better then the person who left, no one in your band is going to have sleepless nights worrying about the circumstances surrounding the new players arrival, no one in your band is going to be having Lady Macbeth type mental conflicts of guilt and immorality. Its sometimes quite different of course when your band looses a valued player.

    Its hard to suppress the feelings of "betrayal" when you loose a player, but in the long run (hard as that maybe to envisage when the player has just left!) its best to try and keep things as amicable as possible, because that player may come back one day.

    The part that i find very hard to deal with is when a player drops the band in the **** with no notice, before a contest or a big gig.
  5. mclaugh

    mclaugh Member

    Thank you for illustrating perfectly Alyn's perspective.
  6. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Always ready to stimulate a slow-starter!
    The fact is that a lot of players would like to give an opinion, or try a new approach in the bandroom, but a few well positioned individuals generally hold the power to impose their decisions on everyone (which contests/concerts/pieces etc).
    Rather than be controlled, I attempt to suggest options, which occasionally seems to challenge the grip that these individuals hold on the band (bands being democratically empowered trusts, that follow an agreed policy of rules/protocols).
    This may, on occasions, be recognised for what it is (genuine positive in-put), but on the whole, it just rattles M.Ds/ band officers, who feel threatened by change or others' knowledge.
    Rather than be branded a 'stirrer/trouble-maker', it is (in my opinion) better to seek a position where others' opinions/observations are welcome (within the appropriate forum).
    As a section leader, I see it my responsibility to suggest improvements to help players in my rank (including suggesting to them to do more home practise!), on one occasion this was used against me as 'bullying', by an M.D!
    I used to enjoy the simplicity and enjoyment of producing nice sounds, within a group of like-minded individuals.
    Today, it is like ducking the sniper's bullets and avoiding the stealthy assassins who are more than ready to stab you in the back.
    Modern society has robbed the hobby of it's simplistic roots and loyalty has been consigned to the memories of past generations.
    I, personally, feel few regrets about my own behaviour, just about some of the excellent opportunities missed.
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Loyalty is definitely a two-way street.

    A mate of mine had been put through a lot by a very bad and destructive relationship. Eventually, he decided enough was enough, and walked away, pulled himself together and got back on his feet. A lot of folk helped, particularly mates around him at his band, where he had never missed a rehearsal. (Except when he broke a couple of fingers.)

    Later, said band is looking to fill a particular chair. My mate's ex had apparently put her name forward for that chair, but before it was made common knowledge, the band management took him on one side and asked what his opinion on it was. Having just picked himself up from what had been a pretty disastrous time in his life, he said that he understood the band's position, but that he would not entertain the notion of playing in the same band as her. At the next rehearsal, he was told that she had been informed the band no longer had a vacancy.

    He went on to be a big figure in the band, not just as a player but with behind-the-scenes work as well, and was and a key player in helping them qualify for two subsequent national finals. I think he was eventually there about 5 years before he had to move away with work/family etc.

    So yes, very much a two-way street. And the rewards are there for both parites.
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Been there buddy (as have many others I suspect).

    It is human nature to be defensive about something a great deal of effort has been put in to, even if it is failing and someone else is tossing you golden ideas to move forwards. Though still WRONG!

    Very lucky to be in a band at present with no issues here - we all moan openly (when required) and suggestions are given genuine consideration by all before being adopted or killed.
  9. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Thanks Marc.
    I wonder what the travelling time is to your bandroom, from Walsall?
    Travelling expenses might need to be discussed!!:biggrin:
  10. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Not just in Banding but other Facets of Life too; Employment included. The manner in which my current employers handled a serious Illness of mine 7 months after joining them (when they would have been well within the law to terminate my employment), reflects in my subsequent attitude to this employer and the effort that I am prepared to put in.
  11. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    In banding the term 'loyalty' is usually only flexible from the band's point of view, not the individual. By that I mean, the band expects loyalty to be 100% from the individual player, to the point of expecting you to stay in a band that you are not enjoying any more, or putting the band before almost everything else in your life. Whereas, as far as the band is concerned (usually - not always I hasten to add), loyalty from the band to the player usually goes out of the window should another player come along, or the player's circumstances change, or for whatever reason, the band decide to get rid.

    This means that players can end up being in a lose - lose situation. You stay in a band that you're not happy with through loyalty - meaning you're not doing what is right for yourself (good for the band, bad for you), OR, you leave the band and try to do better for yourself (good for you, bad for the band).

    If only bands took it upon themselves to help people who are not enjoying it, maybe address some of the issues that are causing problems, instead of blaming the player for having no concept of the word 'loyalty''s a big decision to leave a band - especially after a long time. Being accused of being disloyal doesn't do anything other than confirm that you've made the right decision.
  12. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    I've had this problem, I've moved to huddersfield a few month ago due to work committments. Joined a band, weren't made very welcome, a bit clicky. Said to Band Mananger I wasn't enjoying it and decided to have some time-out. I came back because I felt sorry for them only having two bass players, but during that time back it only got worse. I decided to leave and basically no one gave a damm, not even a good bye from anyone or shall we sit down and sort it out. I've made the right decsion. I quit - no more banding for me!!
  13. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    Loyalty? Consider this. I was a third generation Salvationist, growing up from the age of 4 in one corps in the West Midlands. I eventually progressed through the YP band, and joined the senior band at the age of 16. From that point onwards I did not miss one single band practice, open air meeting (three on a Sunday), or service (again – three every Sunday).

    When I was 22, I left the SA. There was no discussion; I simply stopped attending meetings and band practices. Perhaps I had reached a period in my life when I was a little confused and needed guidance. It never came. There was no visit or contact from any member of the corps or band. After a while. I simply shrugged my shoulders, and decided that the SA simply did not want me. My banding life also came to an abrupt end, at least until I started playing again 10 years later.

    How many players amongst you have witnessed the sudden departure of a band member for no apparent reason? Were those players contacted, or simply forgotten?
  14. Bass Monkey

    Bass Monkey New Member

    Banding if fickle, opportunities come to people all the time. You cannot stand in someone's way if they think they will better themselves even if you would like different.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  15. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I don't think bands really stand in anyone's way, but it is heartbreaking to give such a big part of your life up, regardless of whether you know you are making the right decision or not. Knowing that people you considered to be your friends, who you treated as an extended family, will just dump you out of their lives because you decided to do something for yourself for once....and not only that, but will actually go out of their way to treat you like some sort of banding leper.

    It is horrible...but like I said before - it only goes to prove that you have at least made one good decision.
  16. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    I have to say reading the posts above that it really is sad that we treat people like this in any walk of life. In my day job I'm a community worker for a church, and really strongly recognise the need to praise and affirm my volunteers when they give up their time to help others. I've been very lucky, as a band wife, my husbands bands have always been really friendly and accomodating, and when other bands have come a-calling (usually with a request to "pop along for a blow" or to help out with a concert- followed by a discreet request for him to hop over into their band) the response has always been a firm no. Not because he was playing with the best band ever, not because some of the bands asking weren't loads better, and there were times when he was clearly not feeling stretched musically. He stuck with his band because they stuck with him. Banding is surely about having a good time with friends? I know that there are lots of "politics" and cliques, but those bands who show disloyalty end up with fewer and fewer members, and will eventually fold.

    Hubby finally changed band after over 10 years because we moved, and he just can't make the commute. He still plays with them whenever he can, and still see's himself as loyal to the band. We are very lucky to have moved somewhere with a contesting band of the right calibre, plus TWO non contesting bands, both of whom are really pleased to see us BOTH when we turn up each week- even though Ben is championship section material, and I only just know which end to blow in (the little end right?)

    That has to be what banding is about surely? making friends, enjoying music, and having fun! for all but a lucky few it's a hobby not a career, so why get so angsted up trying to climb the greasy pole of success, dropping poo on others from as great a height as possible, sabotaging and being rude about each other in secret little corners (we all know it goes on!)

    We should all be trying to "spread a little love" and if that means that you don't play with a band who are mean and nasty so be it, that band will fold, and the bands who are open and welcoming will blossom. The saddest thing has to be those who have said on here "and now I don't play in a band" or "I stopped playing for 10 years" think of all the talent that is being wasted, and all the fun being missed out on!
  17. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I absolutely agree with everything you've said here - brilliant post :) xx
  18. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    I suggest someone should form the AFBMA“The Abandoned and Forgotten Band Members Association”. What's the betting that a championship winning band would emerge from the membership?
  19. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Sad that no one contacted you. I have been there myself and people don't do what we want or expect. I am moving on myself But I have been spoken to by some Band members who know I'm moving on, I also said I would up hold any commitments I have made. ie jobs I have agreed to attend. Not good to drop a Band in it. As mentioned I may want to return at some tim in the future.
  20. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    That is a crying shame, Not just that you finished with SA bands, but that you were lost to the church.

    At a crisis time in my youth (Im 2nd Gen) it was the not just the care of the corps, but the care of my parents, that prevented the ties from breaking; reulting in me finding my own faith.

    Its hard to find an excuse for at least the officer not enquiring as to why you had left.

    I would hope that we at Rochdale (Not just the band) would want to try to hold onto those losing faith; whether they left the band or not (Even if the individual just ended up going to another church would be a victory).

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