Listening to other bands at contests - before you play

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by carbon selector, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. carbon selector

    carbon selector New Member

    If we get a later draw, our MD has always told players not to listen to other bands playing a test piece before we play.

    I think the reasoning behind this is that we might be put off by a different interpretation, I'm not sure.

    I know bands who are happy to go and watch others in the section play their test piece as they believe it can't possibly influence their own performance. I suppose it is better than spending a bit of time in the bar.

    I'm in two minds about this and wondered what others think?
  2. BariPower

    BariPower Member

    If its before you play it could give you a break in your concentration/focus and to be fair if the band is really good demoralise you - you might not realise it but it would always be at the back of your mind (seed of doubt!) but I imagine this could effect everyone differently.
    It wouldnt influence your performance. But your right about being in two minds about this - I love listening to bands aswell!!
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Touchy subject this. After all the hard work put into rehearsal, the last thing a conductor wants to hear is a radical shift in performance from individual players. If drawn late, the conductor may (in some instances) choose to alter aspects of style or tempo after he/she has heard some bands to gain some advantage (hypothetically speaking). It's really down to trust and discipline allowing players to listen to other bands. I personally hated it whenever this practice was used.
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Personally NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER! I like to keep my bands occupied during this time.
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    From a personal perspective I always avoided it. If we ended up with a late draw we collectively tried to occupy the Band while trying to maintain the correct mindset.
  6. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    I dont think that my performance has ever been changed by listening to another band. I enjoy listening to bands but it doesnt change what I think about my playing. Maybe thats because I have always been at the top of banding and Ive never been in awe of other bands. Mostly I just tend to think that they have it wrong!
  7. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    GET YOU!! Personally as a player at never affected me either, but as a conductor, I'm concsious (?) that is does affect other players. I agree with KMJ who managed to put it more eloquently better than I!
  8. simonium

    simonium Member

    If I feel adequately prepared I don't think anything of it and will happily listen to other bands. If...
  9. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    I have never conducted a band but I dont think that I would worry about it if I did. I did play in a band where the conductor did state that we were all banned from going into the hall to listen for this very reason. I knew it wouldnt bother me so I went in anyway but I did have friends in the band who didnt listen because of it. So I can respect both points of view.

    The slightly arrogant comments that I made were simply because I was a professional musician and so I am pretty confident in my playing. Though both were the truth.
  10. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Slightly?? LOL!!
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I've never personally found it a problem listening to other bands before playing. It can be useful to see how bands are sounding in the hall, and by that stage your own interpretation should not be affected by anything you hear.

    I've also sat next to many players - and conductors - of other bands in the same situation, including several well-knoown names, although I can see that some could have a different view on this.
  12. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    If we have time, I and many of my band listen to other bands before its our turn to play. I don't think its ever done us any harm. Personally speaking I think it helps me steady my nerves - especially if I hear a poor performance.
    Most importantly, it gives you the right to criticise the adjudicators after the event !!
  13. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    Yes slightly. Why are they any more so?

    I am Australian. I played in Waratah Brass. We won the state title 4 times during my time there and came 2nd 3 times in the National Contest.

    I moved over here in order to spend some time playing in bands. I play for Hepworth. We placed 9th at the British Open last year and have this year played in 4 contests and come 2nd each time.

    So the facts clearly state that I was at the top of banding. So that cant be arrogant as its simply the truth!

    When you play professionally you have to have a certain level of confidence in your playing. It doesnt mean that I dont try to improve myself, I was nowhere near happy with my performance at the English. It just means that I know how I will play, within a certain degree of error of course, nothing is finite in music after all.
  14. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    The first time I did the Regionals (the only contest I've ever done with a set test piece), I went in to listen to one band in our section before we played, simply so I could see the inside of the hall so I would know what to expect. It really helped with my nerves.
    I will hopefully do the same thing when we play at the national finals in September (unless we have an early draw!). I didn't go in to listen to another band in order to think about their interpretation, I just wanted to get a feel for the inside of the hall.
  15. Bassbones

    Bassbones Member

    depends on the piece for me. If it's something I can play stress free and the band is playing well I'll listen. If I ever have doubts or concerns about an aspect of the piece I will leave my listening till after playing and stay focused on my own performance.
  16. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    I personally think that it doesn't matter either way, and I think people should feel secure enough in their own or bands playing skills!
  17. carbon selector

    carbon selector New Member

    Opinions seem quite varied and it seems there is no hard and fast rule.

    My own experiences are that I know a band who were 4th section but in few years are now top of the 1st section and they often go in to listen to bands before they play, as their MD has no problem with that. Another band however, were way top of their section at the Regionals by quite a few points and they were confident to do well this year especially when they got a late draw. Quite a few of the band were in to see other bands and they came nearly last and didn't get the promotion they thought was virtually guaranteed.

    There are always other factors involved of course.

    I think if I was an MD I would tell the band to keep away from the contest hall until they have played themselves. Unfortunately, I can't really give a reason why!
  18. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    I never listen to any band at all when i play at a contest at all just keep away from the hall and only hear the band in front of my band when we are waiting to go.
    When band as played just keep out till results are to be given.
    But when i go to listen to a contest i go and hear ALL the bands.
  19. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Normally if its a set test piece contest, by the time the contest comes around I'm normally fairly sick of hearing the piece so will actively avoid listening to it. However, I will often try and support my friends' bands so it depends how much I like the piece involved. I agree however that you shouldn't be swayed by other bands performances. Chances are every performance will be different but I'm not there to say who was right and who was wrong!
  20. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Generally I won't listen to other bands in the same section before I play ( although occasionally make exception for bands that friends are playing in ) . The MD at Becontree ( when I first started playing again ) made the rationale that a) if you hear a really good couple of performances you'll be given to thinking that you can't match it and get demoralised and b) if you hear a couple of duff ones you'll be complacent and think you'll walk it.