Is there such a thing as a happy band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by centralbankofdad, May 22, 2008.

  1. My son and I have recently left a band full of people who did not really get on with each other. I have now gone to another which, on the surface, seemed happy to find that they are all moaning about each other to the extent that a player has been asked to leave.
    Is there anyone out there who plays at a reasonable level in a band which does not continually moan and snipe at other members?
    I would love to hear from you as I am about ready to chuck the whole band thing and join the mass exodus of other bandsmen.
    :( :( :( :( :(
  2. horn1

    horn1 Member

    We're actually a very happy band, first time I've found that and still thought so after a year. Not that we're without our moans but with loosing our sponsorship it has been a particularly interesting year! ;-)
  3. sunshine

    sunshine Member

    We are a very happy band, (some of my closest friends are in the band), we have lots of fun and enjoy our banding cos after all at the end of the day it is only a hobby, (being a member of a 4th section band), and if you are not enjoying it then maybe it is the right time to move on and take up another hobby. The main two reasons for people leaving our band are the younger members going off to uni - lost 2 this year and another 2 about to go, and job relocation; and of course eventually the older members decide to call it a day.
  4. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    yes - the one I'm in!

    Being realistic every band has "issues" from time to time, it's how they get dealt with that defines whether the band is "happy" or not. With the best will in the world, 30-odd people are not going to agree 100% of the time, otherwise it'd be like the Waltons. But when people are unselfish enough to, for example, change instrument to enable someone to progress, and fill a vacancy in the process, rather than the band having to try to get a player in, that's the kind of people you want in a band.

    I've heard thousands of anecdotes from people who've left bands because of back-biting, snide comments, infighting, cliqueiness, people thinking they're better than they are, etc,etc, and I can do without any of it in my banding, thanks very much!
  5. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Dunno about the reasonable level bit :rolleyes: , but yep, we're generally a happy bunch who all enjoy each others company.:cool:
  6. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    I'd say our band is a happy one 99% of the time though our standard isn't what you might call reasonable:wink: That is to say it's much like a happy family - at any one time there is at least one member who's driving most of the other members mad! But nonetheless we all enjoy each other's company and will support any member with problems!

    Our main losses of members are with youngsters going off to uni or people moving away - in the 18 years I've been in the band we have sacked one player!
  7. Yup I think we've got it nearly right

    Hi there, I agree with some of the earlier comments regarding bands having ups and downs and occasional disagreements! On the whole the band that I've been with for 14years are a happy, balanced, mutually supporting bunch who care about each other not just as musicians but as people too. We have been through s lot in the last 2 years (3 MDs!) no band room for 18 months while the new one was being built etc. but people have stuck together and we have survived! The playing has suffered because of all te disruption but relationships are as strong as ever and players are made welcome. It is also important to keep up the social element - meals out together, barbecues etc away from the music. This way you get to know people personally and not just as players. If anyone out there fancies a blow with us, come down to Audley Brass band room on a Friday or Sunday night or visit our website :D
  8. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Centralbankofdad (love the name) I think you have been a tad unlucky. There are Bands who are friendlier and more social than others and then those who sometimes have a small group of people who like to stir and cause trouble or possibly a strong character who wants his/her own way. If you cannot find your happy band because of distance or convenience to yourselves could you try just not getting involved with the spiteful gossip and just enjoy your musicmaking? Difficult one I know as I have been in a similar situation and it isn`t nice. Verwood is one of the very friendly happy and supportive bands so I am lucky now but then most are fine and you just have to remember that musicians can be a volatile and emotional bunch sometimes! Best of luck to you. X
  9. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    The band I play for is A grade and they are a fantastic bunch. Everyone is very friendly and if ever there is a disagreement (which is hardly ever), they are quick to get it out in the open and sorted so nothing remains festering. They make a point of weeding out any problems (not people!) They make you feel welcome the minute you walk in the door. They're great! So, yes it is possible to have a happy band! :biggrin:
  10. Sounds great. Perhaps I should move to NZ.
    Seem to be plenty of happy banders around UK though.
    Perhaps it's just at the so called top level in Yorkshire and the NW that the bitching and moaning occurs.
    I have to say that it has never involved me but I just find it all very uncomfortable (not to say juvenile).
  11. Al

    Al Member

    I was in one band where at the AGM, the clique tried to oust the (in my opinion) hard working secretary. She cried her eyes out there and then, sat in front of the whole meeting on the committee table. I couldn't blame her. It was all pretty nasty stuff. It was totally unexpected to some of us although to the perpetrators, no doubt they got their result.

    I hoped I would never see such a thing again.

    I did unfortunately. Sometime after I came back to my home band and the new power clique it seemed, wanted someone out. I would be too embarrassed to say why, it really was that petty. The woman in question had joined the band as a young girl and had grown up in banding and had married within the band. Nicer people I have never met.

    Over a ridiculous matter, the secretary organised an EGM, he had even excluded the under 18s, so there was a right buzz about it all. Incidentally, the principal cornet was still at school and couldn't even attend the meeting.

    To cut the story short, the couple left half way through the meeting with the woman in floods of tears. Although I was in no way involved, I left the band soon after. I simply did not want to be part of the organisation.

    If you are in a happy band, be thankful and enjoy it. Also, there is probably a lot of work going on in the background to keep it that way.
  12. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Your right there is a hell of alot of bitching that goes on in bands, ive recently left one for the same reason!! Its beyond me why people feel the need to snipe and bitch behind peoples backs, then they wonder why people leave...

    My new band are lovely though and i havent seen one ounce of bitchiness or moaning coming from them and they seem a very happy bunch of people...

    Having said that, since i moved to huddersfield from manchester it has taken me nearly 4 years to find a band thats friendly and welcoming and that ive actually felt a member of, I think ive been through a fair few bands in 4 years and the reasons i left the majority of the ones before (except barnsley, you lot were just too far away) were because of all the reasons youve said.
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    The Band Manager at City of Cambridge is a consultant Psychiatrist who runs a clinic specialising in treating depression. So we must be the happiest band around :biggrin:

    Oh, and being promoted to the Championship section next year :clap:
  14. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    We are a very happy band; no politics, cliques, moans and groans. They all just turn up and do exactly as the MD and I tell them! :biggrin:
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Hoo - hope that wasn't the last band you played at :) .

    There must be loads of "happy bands" about - just read all the adverts on 4barsrest - everyone of them has "a good atmosphere" or they are a "friendly band" and I've even seen one advertised as "having no band politics". Yes right - how do you prevent that - there's always going to be something happening that someone doesnt like.

    This can be simple stuff or it can be quite nasty - if people are passionate about their playing and banding then sometimes it get's very blinkered and often people have difficulty getting "their own way" so that's when the cliques get formed to push an idea in a democratic manner.

    KSB is pretty happy band at the moment although we had a most unpleasant 8 months some time ago. Fortunately that's moved on and we can get on with rehearsing and performing without having to deal with cr@p. We were having committee and band meetings on an almost weekly basis to deal with an issue - this year we've had one committee meeting so far - (says a lot really).

    So for all of you having a happy banding experience at the moment hang on to it because you never know what's round the corner - but if you do become unhappy it will eventually get resolved and you can get back to what's important.
  16. Who is likely to get frustrated?

    Banding can be VERY frustrating, and I think that this is the main reason why in-house bitchiness becomes a problem to many bands.

    This is one of my recurring concerns about banding - so I'm sorry if I get on my hobby horse!

    We have to remember individuals' motivations for coming to band.
    • Some people want a night doing anything with their friends, it doesn't really matter what, as long as it's a shared activity.
    • Some people want to make music to the best of their ability, and they don't mind if it's not the best music in the world, they enjoy the effort.
    • Some people are very competitive, and want their band to be the best band it can be, it doesn't matter who is in the band, as long as the band is the best it can be, they always want the best players to play.
    • Some want to be in the best band they can be in, it doesn't matter if they never get to play for THAT band on stage, they are still a member of THAT band.
    • Some people live for their band, it's what they do when they aren't earning money to pay the mortgage!
    All of these motivations can be there for any player of any ability, in any combination, with a bit of that reason, and a bit of the other reason all mixed in together at any time. An individual's motivation can be as changable as the weather, or as constant as a bottom C. (Damn that Dark side of the Moon! ;) )

    We also hear alot about commitment, and this is something that goes along with motivation. I might be more committed to losing weight now that my wedding is so close, and I have a waistcoat to fit into! :oops:

    How many times have we heard the reason for being "less than charitable" is that, "they" are not as committed to the band, as we want them to be?

    We have to be aware of our own motivations as well as considerate of other players' motivations, and their de-motivations! These de-motivators can include lifestyle changes (moving house, new partners, new babies), frustration (especially with band - being the only one who does anything to help organise), stress (it matters not where it comes from - work, life, band, car). All of these can interfere with someone's ability to demonstrate the commitment that they feel for any activity.

    Keeping a band of individuals happy is difficult. When so many are also members of "internal groups" in the band (partners, family, friends, cliques) trying to keep us all happy is a puzzle inside an enigma, inside a conundrum! (now who did I nick this from...?)

    I only hope that in these days, when so many kids grow up playing computer games, instead of learning how to compromise with their friends by playing outside, doing what they don't always want to do, that as adults they will begin to learn these skills so that we can all stay happy with each other! (This might have to be the subject of a different thread though!)
  17. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Not all top bands :)

    just most.
    (even more with the bands that think they are top bands)
  18. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    nope nope! You lot are lovely just a bit too far away for me!! :(
  19. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Phew thank goodness for that - must remember to only ask a question if you know what the answers going to be. ;)
  20. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Well, my personal opinion is that a good MD makes for a good band and a happy one.

    Here is my thought.

    If the MD rides you too hard, then being happy is hard. A person next to you cannot play it over and over and then it starts. When I was a MD, instead of punishing the whole band, I would pull the person aside after rehearsal and mention some things needed some work.

    If an MD lets too much go, then screwing around happens and the band never gets better.

    So a good MD finds literally a happy medium and therefore, people are generally happy.

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