Military Music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by dave_cornet, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    Are there any forum users that are in the forces (musicians). If there are any can you tell me what military life is like for a Im considering a career in the Army as a musician (because there are too few civilian jobs in music).
  2. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    The big thing to remember is that it's not all music. At the end of the day, you'll still be a soldier and, if your chosen regiment goes into battle, the odds are you'll find yourself pretty near the front line carrying bodies since most Army musicians double up as stretcher bearers.
  3. Yeah thats right, you have to do all of the training and at the end of the day you'll be an official soldier with the army. But, it CAN be a good career move and the likely hood is that you'll love it as long as you dont mind the extensive training... :lol:

  4. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    Thanks guys
    I have already looked into it a bit. I know that there is 12 weeks of basic training and then musical training at the Royal Military College of Music...for up to a year!!!!!. Are there any military bandsmen on here (or former bandsmen) that can give me some advice
  5. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Keep out of the "Duke" (if it's still open) across the road from the Kremlin.
    If you do go in there however, please say a big Hi to Tony from Dobbin. He is a Norwich fan and a great guy!!
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As others have said, military musicians are not solely musicians, although if you can put up with the military side of it - which doesn't generally intrude over-much - then it can be a good training, and a good life for someone with the right attitude and personality.

    Having said that, things do have a habit of changing, unfortunately often at the whim of people in the military or civil service hierarchy who have no understanding of the musical side of things. For example, whereas previously you belonged to a specific band, I believe I'm correct in saying that all army musicians now belong to the Corps of Army Music, meaning much less stability and the likelihood of being posted from one band to another. One of the latest things has been the decision that people will need to change bands in order to secure promotion, which is likely to cause chaos both musically for the band suddenly losing their Principal Cornet or whatever, but also to the domestic life of a player and his family who may suddenly have to uproot and move.

    As the bands have been reduced in size flowing various cuts and reorganisation the opportunities for doing outside work have been curtailed to some extent, although they are still there if you develop the right contacts.

    As to the suggestion of bandsmen (and women of course :wink: ) taking up stretcher bearing duties that has also changed. As I understand it, having put bands through far more thorough medical training than we ever had to undergo, recent conflicts have proved that even that training is nowhere near adequate. I believe at least one band is being prepared to act as a chemical decontamination unit, and other recent duties have included covering for firemen and ambulancemen during industrial disputes, as well as general logistical duties, such as the Irish Guards Band undertook during their spell in Kossovo.

    Hopefully some serving personnel will also chip in here and maybe give some pointers to the differences between the services. The RAF always seemed to me to have the best deal (as an outsider) whilst I know the marines seem very keen to recruit at the moment.
  7. musicmaker

    musicmaker Member

    Music Army type

    Well 2 days ago I started my 15th year as a music maker for the Queen. Yes you do have basic, and then some time down the crotchet factory (Kneller Hall) sweeping and cleaning, oh those were the days. (Not)
    All jobs have a bad side and if you join up as a muso in the army, basic and kh are the bad side.

    As to changes and being moved around. This is not as bad as it used to be when bands were attached to regiments, as you moved when they did, every 2 years or so. Unless you went to a guards band. (but then you march in and out of buck house every week for the rest of your life. I have lived in Catterick since 1994 and only now as moves come back in, but at the end of the day, my partner is happy to go with me IF I have to move.

    It’s a good job, hard hours in the summer and xmas, and easier other times, leave is good, free docs and dentist (save loads).

    At the end of the day, life is what you make it. I like my life!!!

    If you read web site under band members, you'll see where I’ve been, wouldn't have done that as a civi.

    DO WHAT YOU WANT. Have a nice life!!!
  8. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    I thought Kneller Hall would be one of the best thinks about the Army (as Iv'e always wanted to go to a Music College). What is the Basic Training like? Can army musicians play for local brass bands? I have looked at the RAF... but the standard is grade 8 on entry and the min. length of service is 9 years as opposed to 4 yrs in the Army. Anyway I have a year before I would be joining...but Im seriously considering it.
  9. Majoresteve

    Majoresteve Member

    As am i!!

    what methods of entry into the amry corp of music are there?
  10. matthew ellson

    matthew ellson New Member

    Military Bands

    As a member of the Scots Guards Band I would just like to inform you that we have recently been told that all musicians will take up the secondary role of nuclear/chemical and biological decontamination teams in time of conflict.As to the postings issue I joined the Guards for the stability of being permanently based in London and for the state ceremonial work, there is no greater feeling than marching down the Mall as part of the Massed Bands of the Household Division.Now I am having to think about moving on and leaving as all the good things about the job are gradually being removed.
  11. musicmaker

    musicmaker Member

    [quote Can army musicians play for local brass bands? [/quote]

    As i said in my last post im just going into my 15th year, now look at my sig below
  12. Ginge

    Ginge Member

    I may be in the Marines band service very soon! Hoping to join up in september.

    I'll know whether i'm in :D or not :cry: on the 9th july!#

    Couldn't really tell you what it's like yet, but hopefully will tell you more soon!
  13. Sharpy

    Sharpy Member

    Im in the Royal Marines at the moment and I covered the Fire Strikes and then got sent to Iraq. But on the other side of the coin, Ive been to Italy, Belgium, America, Iceland, Australia and Normandy for the D-Day 6oth. Im also off to Gibralter next month and Australia again next year.

    Follow this link,

    It'll give you some idea of what the Royal Marine Band Service is about. Speaking from experience, dont limit yourself by saying you only want to join one of the services, try and get aquaints with all of them and then make your decision.
  14. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    Give it a try Dave. I'm coming up to my 17th year and I'm currently with the Grenadier Guards Band and I've enjoyed every minute of the time I've been in. I've traveled all over the world with the job to places like Austrailia, Canada, USA and all over Europe. I also play for Staines brass band who will be at the National finals in Harrogate this year.
    It's a great job and it's very rare that we're called upon to carry out active service duties. You will have to do your 12 weeks training as a soldier and then go to Kneller Hall where you'll need to pass your first Trade test before being posted to a band.
    Things are changing in the job at the moment which some of us old farts are not too keen about, but for someone like yourself you have a good chance of a career until the age of 55.
    If you dont like it you can always get out, but I'd recommend you give it a go.
  15. musicmaker

    musicmaker Member

    jasonp i know that face

    What year were you at KH?
  16. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    Didn't go to KH, did adult training at Catterick and went to the QDG band then moved to the Grens in 94 after options for change.
  17. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    So you've been with the Grenadiers for 10 yrs (or have you just rejoined). What is it like when you join a band...because I look at some of the marching sequences that the army bands do and think s**t how do they do that. Do you work up to that gradually (starting with the static performances before attempting a proper march. How long does it take to learn the marching? That is the thing I would worry most about.
  18. Baldeagle

    Baldeagle Member

    I did 22 years with the Lancers (17th21st) and enjoyed all of it (not) left as a WO11. Life is what you make it,hard work and hard play. :roll:
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There's no need to get hung up over complicated marching formations. As with many other things, it always seems mouch worse from the outside than when you're actually doing it. Most of the time it's simply a case of following the person in front and knowing whereabouts you're supposed to end up. In my time I was not involved in anything particularly complex, although I know they had more complicated routines to learn for the US tour the year after I left, but there's always plenty of time allowed for anything out of the ordinary like that.
  20. dave_cornet

    dave_cornet New Member

    Thanks all for your views.
    I think im going to go for it sometime next year (have to do some serios practice beforehand).