Separate brass and percussion registrations?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Smooth and Sop'histicated, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone, I'd very much welcome your thoughts on the following...

    Every year percussion requirements in testpieces change and every year many bands struggle trying to get enough percussion players. One year its an old piece with barely enough for 1 kit player, next its a new work requiring kit plus several tuned percussionists.

    I currently know of several bands who are currently looking for percussionists to complete a team, or in some cases to be able to go to the Areas at all.

    With this in mind I propose that players should be allowed to register and play for 2 bands - one on a brass instrument, the other on percussion. I can't honestly see anything unfair or detremental in this as there seem to be very few transferable skills apart from reading note values. It might, however, free up some tallented players, make recruitment easier and allow those who so desire to learn a new skill within banding without having to give up their brass playing.

    Please note this is NOT meant to underestimate the difficulties of playing percussion, or imply that anyone can 'just go hit things'. Quite the reverse - as a sop player I watch the percussion section in awe and wonder, but I genuinely can't see why you can't do two such different things in two different bands.

    What do you think?
  2. Great idea. I would go one step further and allow a player to be registered anywhere as a BBb bass player in addition to their usual instrument.
    So few people seem willing to play this beast that the majority of bands seem to have at least one missing.
  3. DRW

    DRW New Member

    Is this just a restricted version of letting people play with one than one band? If so, why restrict it to brass / percussion crossovers?
  4. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    would that make Bass section nobbling a sport ?
  5. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Is there currently a rule that says that a cornet or trombone player can't guest as a percussionist with another band under the current guesting rules?

    Just wondering.

    I think, in general we need to get less precious on these issues.
    The current rules already allow people to sign "permanently" to a band in order to play for them in one contest and then move back within a reasonable period of time. if the rules are played correctly you can play for anyone in the regionals/nationals so the purpose of registration is diluted.

    Of course, the proported reason for registration is to stop good players playing for more than one band at the same contest.
    This would be difficult to achieve as both bands will have tough rehearsal schedules and if the player in question was to do bith its unlikely either would have played much with the full band before the day - thus making their performance less good on the day. You could argue that having someone playing with six bands in the same contest will diminish each of them.

    Then you have the issue of who counts as a good player. There are some very good players lurking around in section 3 and 4 because they can't commit to a higher ranked band. Is signing these players to those lower bands cheating?

    I wonder if the solution is some sort of loyalty bonus in the points system, but probably not workable.
  6. ben16

    ben16 Member

    One conceivable hybrid system would go like this: play for anyone you want at any contest, but the band is graded based not on promotion/relegation, but how many contests its constituent individual players have won (or some kind of ranking points its players have accrued) in the last x years. e.g. the lowest section is then for true novices.
  7. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I'm a believer in just letting anyone play for anyone... and if you want to play for three bands (I did this in Australia a few years ago), why not if you're prepared to and the bands are happy.

    I've not yet read a convincing argument against dissolving all registration rules and allowing bands to play with whatever players they want.

    It is hard to cry 'not fair' while bands already have different income streams/levels, the conductor teaches at the local music college, his wife used to play for YBS etc. etc.
  8. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    To coin a fraise from bike rallies I've been to " Run what ya brung!" In other words....... use what you have got.

    IF you can entice someone to come and play for you,all well and good. IF you can't fill all the seats,be it perc or "huffle puffs" then run with what you have got. This banding game is full of chance.

    you put the work in then you may get the result you want ,but no amount of extra players will help if the core of a band that hasn't practiced their parts! You can only gild the lilly so far!! Anybody can douse cr*p in paint but it doesn't make it a Gainsborough!!!! STOP trying to prostitute perc players, MAYBE they don't want to play for all and sundry, and besides, what makes you think that you are going to get 100% from said players on the day anyway!!!!!! ( Just a thought )

    Chin Chin
  9. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I don't' think making Percussionists a special case is the way forward - I think too many bands still don't treat percussion player and retention the same as all the other sections, and hence at contest time find themselves short. Picking Music in with parts for us to play the rest of the year round will help, although I do think the varying levels in percussion requirement in test pieces isn't helping either . . .
  10. Hi guys,

    Maybe I didn't explain myself properly....

    The idea is that since brass and percussion are so different, a very good player on one will not NECESSARILY be a very good player on the other. In other words, allowing a good euphonium player to play for a second band on timps is not allowing that band unfair advantage.

    If players are allowed to play their OWN (or similar) instruments for a second band then there is clear advantage to that second band - indeed there's no such thing as "a band" at all...

    This is why the registration system was introduced in the 1st place. Back in the old days ringers from top bands would go along to a local band, help them win a contest (and usually the soloist prizes) then the next week someone would book the local band on the strength of their results and get a totally different set of players. That's clearly not fair on the bands who field their own team, or the people who employ the band later.

    There's certainly a lot of inequality at the moment - I wouldn't disagree with that. However, if anyone can play for any band without any limits, you'll end up with a massive bidding war and just different mixes of top players turning out for every band at every contest. The notion of who or what a band is (in contest terms) is then non existant.

    I'm afraid I don't understand the "Run what ya brung" reference here - if you have NO percussionist WHATSOEVER (the unfortunate position of a few bands I know) then no amount of chance is going to make it worth attending a contest. There's not much point trying to race a bike with an entire wheel missing...

    I guess its also pretty obvious that everyone need to practice their parts, though I'm not sure what that has to do with an idea that's simply about helping bands turn out a full team...

    Finally, who said anything about trying to "prostitute percussion players"? I certainly haven't proposed anyone playing for "all and sundry" - simply brass players from 1 band being allowed to play percussion for 1 other band if they want to.
  11. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I don't want to hijack this thread and I'm pulling it off topic a bit so I'll keep this brief and we can go somewhere else to discuss if needed!

    FABB - The Australasian Open band contest is run on a separate registration system that essentially allows bands free reign to enter a competition outside of their national registration bodies with whatever players they feel like taking (that said, I'm pretty sure you can only play for one band). There's some decent prize money and the down-under big boys are regularly in attendance as well as the smaller fish.

    There was concern at inception that this would lead to stacked bands and no spirit of competition but this has not emerged. The strong bands (ie those who do well at home) usually do well at the competition too and there hasn't been a case of minnows taking victory thanks to a chequebook. But as bands do not have to scrabble around registration red tape to put a band together a) bands want to enter and b) the bands that enter are 'strong' and everyone involved has a good time being part of a high quality performance.

    If you are the rank and file of a band, would you rather hit the stage with your gaps filled with the great or the average?
  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Back in the old days (19th century), the cost of living was low enough and contest prizes were numerous and relatively high enough that some bands could essentially be thriving contest-winning businesses. In that environment, it would very much seem worth it to pay a top player to play a difficult and exposed part if it meant the difference between not winning a prize and taking home £50 at Victorian values.

    Now... Times have changed. Contesting is about the kudos and the buzz, not the financial rewards. Music has also changed - a winning band display tends to require strong players on all seats, not just on the easily hired-in principal seats. And, let's face it, there are enough quality players around who aren't attached to a band that we are kidding ourselves if we think that our current system prevents this kind of thing.
  14. It certainly did happen mate - my father, then sop at Fairey Aviation, told me he and his mates did it many times! That was the reason for registering players with 1 band in the first place.

    Not wanting to go off from my original point of brass players being allowed to play percussion, I think a free for all would allow you to get in as many players (ringers) as you like so it wouldn't be a case of just a couple...

    I can't comment on Australasia, only what did happen here.
  15. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    The whole point is that bad perc is a whole lot worse than no perc,also, there is already in place a "borrow" rule which can and has been abused in the past.

    Rather than fostering out players,why don't we have a handicap system instead? When the band goes to sign in the officials make a note of which seats are empty and the band is judged accordingly. That seems like a much better option to me. :clap:

  16. I'm not sure who would be monumemtally stupid enough to bring in bad percussionists. What I refered to was freeing up tallented players, ie those who can actually play. It may be helpful to refer to the original post and what I actually wrote.

    Also, all players in National contests have to be registered. No borrowing is allowed.

    Similarly the effectiveness and practicality of a 'handicap' system which would effectively penalise those with a full band, seems ludicrous.

    I appreciate there are many axes to grind and tangential points peole want to make. However I am actually interested in what people think of allowing players to be registered with 2 different bands, one as a brass player, the other on percussion.
  17. DRW

    DRW New Member

    I'm a little confused. Your earlier post seemed to be justifying the idea because a brass player wouldn't be a particularly capable percussion player.
  18. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    Somehow missed the quote, this is to Centralbankofdad.

    Read Harry Mortimer's book, he made quite a good living out of it.
  19. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    In general I would question the ban on people playing for more than one band in a contest for a number of reasons:

    1. Most players doing it would be no better than any available alternative player.
    2. Even if they were substantially better this would be slightly outweighed by the band not having rehearsed as a unit often enough because of players having to rehearse with multiple bands.

    I am just not convinced that changing one or two players makes a band. There is more to it than that.

    Two areas that could be looked at are:

    1. The percussion issue, which is the original subject of the thread and seems entirely reasonable.
    2. Establishing a local group of bands with a common registration - something that already happens informally but with people re-registering with permission as required. These would be bands that are in different sections.*

    *My band has three separate bands with separate registrations ad players can't move between them without re registering. There is a case for allowing some sort of group registration where players from the lower section band can play with the higher section one if they are stuck for players.

    A lot of this comes down tot he definition of cheating of course. IOs it cheating for a championship section band to field a completely different set of players in a concert to in a contest winning performance?
  20. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    A lot of this comes down tot he definition of cheating of course. IOs it cheating for a championship section band to field a completely different set of players in a concert to in a contest winning performance?[/QUOTE]

    I'm completely open to whether this should be called cheating, but I'd be worried for any band that tried to do this, without a core of dedicated players, the one's that hang around when you've dropped a section or had a bad run of results, i think they'd quickly get into trouble. As regards concert work, if as mentioned before someone thought they were booking the 'contest' band and got the 'concert' band, I think within a couple of years the repeat bookings would dry up and the band would fold.

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