Lazy Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by eanto, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. eanto

    eanto Member

    Are you a member of a lazy band? You know the mentality; Money obviously grows on trees so I don't have to turn up for this low-brow job/fete or cold caroling session.

    I think we all enjoy the good rehearsals and the buzz that you get with a good contest experience, but that doesn't bring in the money that all (well most:rolleyes: ) bands need to survive on a day-to-day basis.

    Anyway, wot I'm saying is; I reckon you have to take the good with the bad and just pitch in to everthing! There's no 'I' in team!!

    Just a thought :)
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    where are the replies?
  3. vonny

    vonny Member

    I see a brass band as a 'community' - a group of people who help, advise and do what they can to achieve thier up-most best. There may be 'times' when difficulties arise and 'times' when the reward of success is apparent but what's the point of calling yourself a band if you don't 'produce the fruit'...

  4. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    Of course in an ideal world (the one where money does grow on trees and there's no need to practice!) every band member would have no life outside banding and always be prepared to pull more than their weight;)

    However in reality in every organisation (paid or voluntary) there are always a few willing workhorses who carry most of the load while the rest do as little as they can get away with!

    I, personally shall never forget the look of horror on the face of the parent of one of our players - "You mean, you'd sacrifice your family's social life for a band engagement?":eek: I may add when he learned to drive that player's commitment improved enormously!

    Of course those of us sad people who find themselves "married" to their band wouldn't have it any other way (most of the time!) but it's at least nice when the band sometimes recognises the amount of hard work that goes on, and does commit in advance to jobs and turn up on time and all the rest of it!

    Now back to checking and re-laminating the carol books and sorting out the folders after Malton Brass! Aaaargh!:biggrin:
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    No, Middleton are pretty good about this sort of thing usually. I'm probably one of the worst offenders :oops:

    However, in my defence, I find (and this is not about Middleton in particular but bands in general) that bands are pretty rubbish at keeping players informed about jobs. I've got 2 kids in Primary school and my missus is the secretary of a local archery club, so our calendar on the fridge fills up pretty quickly; if I only find out about a job the fortnight or even the week before, there's often already another commitment on the calendar for someone else in the family which means I can't do the band job. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. This is why I don't do much depping, although I'd like to - the phone calls are always 48 hours before the job!

    When I worked in orchestra management we used to produce a rolling schedule of the next 6 months rehearsals and jobs (with the music/perc requirements for each one) about every 2 weeks and distribute it to everyone who needed to know, including librarians and roadies. This was before the days of text messages/email so I'm sure it could be even easier now. I'd love to implement something along those lines; does anyone do that now? This would be an ideal use of a band website (instead of interminable pictures of Whit Friday/Pontins!)
  6. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Players can be just as rubbish at letting bands know whether they can or cannot do a job.

    At KSB - we put out a monthly Newsletter with all the jobs listed, times, location, what to wear etc. Job sheets with all the players names goes on a band notice board months before the job - if I know about it a sheet is done.

    2 weeks before the job I will always have to remind the players that some of them havent indicated on the sheet whether they can or can't get - no problem either way it's just the not knowing that rattles my cage.

    I know the same thing happens at two other bands - although one of them is rubbish at taking jobs on at the last minute and not checking with the band first.
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, very true! The difference in professional ensembles was that the players were contractually obliged to let the management know of anything they couldn't do at least 6 weeks in advance of the job.
  8. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Have to agree, it is nightmare getting people to commit to dates and to confirm. Even if we advise them a year ahead it makes no difference but as has been said earlier banding is only a small part of most people's lives. For those of us that do the organising and sorting deps it would be good if others understood the amount of work that goes into it and the stress it can cause.

    We send out an updater every month with all of our jobs, rehearsals etc on it and ask for people to advise when they won't be available but there are still only a minority that bother to do this.

    There was a time when the committee would ask the band if they were happy to take on jobs but all you ever got was blank faces so in the end we decided to make the decision for them.
  9. dukfuq

    dukfuq New Member

    I used to play for a lazy band and in a way I wish I still do. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we rehearsed in a proper old mans boozer and the rehearsals were every wednesday but there were moredrinking than playing. Having said that we didn't have ashortage of players because the players played for the band because we didn't want the mither and the nonsene talk that contesting brings. The pub let us rehearse for free. They were a really good band actually and if they contested I would say 3rd section considering we didn't really practice. Unfortunantley due to work commitments I moved away. I am now a committed player to the band I play for now, but I respect them very much because I think people don't have the committment anyone. I think we need more of these types of lazy bands!!!
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Arh, a fellow sufferer - can we claim time off work for stress induced by the failure of players "just to let you know"?

    Have you considered the "well if you can't make a job, then it's your responsibility to find the dep" method? That rarely works too, reasons are:
    • "I don't know who to ask"
    • "I haven't got there phone number"
    • "They won't come again 'cos they are fed up with depping for me"
    Thanks for the opportunity for a rant.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  11. Bunnymonster

    Bunnymonster Member

    Our band is generally really good at turning up and our concerts secretary runs a really tight ship with regards to jobs.

    However, I run the attendance diary for our band (and I deal with uniforms, yes it does say 'MUG' on my forehead!). Most of the time it works well; everybody is expected to be there (rehearsal or job) unless they have told me and therefore they are in the diary. However there are still 3 types of player that really rattle my cage:
    1) people who will only ring the conductor, regardless of how many times he says to tell me
    2) people who say that they have told me they are going to be absent, when clearly they are lying
    3) people who tell me the things they can't do just as I'm walking on stage/going to the toilet/locking up the bandroom etc. and expect me to remember their personal engagements when I'm clearly busy with something else!!!!! AAAAAAAAAaaaaaargh!!!!!!

    As above, thanks for the opportunity to rant!
  12. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    Nice to hear we're not alone!;)

    Our system is that a list of all known summer engagements is handed out to all players in about March along with a request to let the Secretary know if there are any jobs you can't do. At about the same time a list goes up in the bandroom on which people are asked to put their holiday dates. We have a monthly newsletter with an updated list of engagements - this is circulated to all band members and is also available on the band website. About a fortnight before each job, the secretary goes round all players individually to check their availability for that job, and then has the frantic dep-hunting to do! And even so she is likely to meet the reply "Well, I'm not sure, it depends":frown:

    I won't say they're lazy - it's just they require spoon-feeding, and are , of course, used to it!
  13. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member

    Lazyness takes many other forms too ...............

    Why is it generally bass players who help percussionists the most? I guess it must be an appreciation of lugging large gear around.

    I realise this is a sweeping generalisation, but in my experience, if you see a timp at head height, it's usually got a bass player under it. (or a soprano in Gresley's case - although in fairness, he does have the physique of a bass player)
  14. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I wouldn't say that bands that don't do "low brow jobs" are lazy. I used to play for a band that would do a massive amount of jobs during the summer to bring in money, however this normally meant that the band was stupidly busy from about june til september. One year in particular sticks in my mind when we qualified for the nationals, started on the piece in june, got into july and the summer jobs started as well as the time of the contest we'd been out every weekend in august as well as 2 practises a week plus sectionals...and they say banding is fun ;)
  15. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Whitwell Brass Band website has a comprehensive and up to date list of all jobs. At present it stretches into next summer. Even speculative dates/commitment eg Whit Friday are included.

    After every rehearsal any 'notices' regarding rehearsals, engagements etc are added and an email is automatically generated and circulated to all band members. This email will also contain the full list of all jobs.

    A monthly newsletter is also distributed.

    Needless to say some of the information still passes straight over some heads!!!
  16. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member

    I don't think eanto is suggesting that bands doing 'low brow' jobs are lazy. Aimed more at certain players within bands who deem such jobs 'low brow' and therefore not worthy of putting themselves out for I think.
  17. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    Could it be because I'm married to him! I went onto Eb bass from euph as a self-defensive move so I no longer had to lug his Bb around while he helped the percussionist and before you know - guess what! yes, he's discovered a long-concealed natural affinity with timps:eek:
  18. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Absolutely Mr Guinness. Its amazing the number of deps you need to try and arrange for park jobs etc yet suddenly everybody is available to play at a beer festival!
  19. eanto

    eanto Member

    Yes, this is what I tried to say. Seems quite a lot of us have similar problems! To try and answer Anno Draconis; our web master has recently introduced a player's only area on our web site which is password controlled. It's regularly updated with new jobs but all members still have to have a look and remember the info!

    There's only one time of the year you can collect money carolling:rolleyes: but our band have only got two nights planned. I remember years ago with my first band, we were out every night for about 3 weeks solid:eek: Hard work but it brought in the dosh. I don't think most people are maxed out every evening... but it is starting to get a bit cold lately;)
  20. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    Oo-er, I envy you! After a day spent repairing carol books ready to inflict ourselves on the general public of Ryedale from next Friday. We get Tuesdays and Thursdays off from then on(provided nobody offers us money for those nights!) until about 0030 on Christmas morning. Mercifully the really lucrative jobs are ones that don't require many players - about 5 or 6 plus a collector who can work his/her way past the defences of pub landlords!

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