taking it too far

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jfenwick, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. jfenwick

    jfenwick Member

    When do people think md's take it too far.

    In our band we have two md's one on a monday and the other on a wednesday.

    in last nights rehearsal he was getting dead radgy and he always does thats why he has crap attendance for his rehearsal.
    He talks down to players and was constantly shouting after every two bars of music and saying that we would never be able to play it.

  2. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Joe Cook who takes us on a Wednesday is superb. He encourages all the way. If something needs putting right he does that in a much nicer manner and as a result he gets a lot more out of the band
  3. jfenwick

    jfenwick Member

    I think Joe's better coz he's used to playing in a band too so he knows what it's like.

    and plus our other md is only used to taking championship bands.

    I think I'd rather have andy back. (flip that hurt)
  4. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Unfortunately this is one of the problems with being a musician - the conductor is always right (even when he's wrong!). I've disagreed with every conductor I've played under over one thing or another (always in friendly terms :) ), but you need to respect the fact that one persons decision is final and that person is the conductor.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that it can be very frustrating being an MD :evil: - it's difficult to understand sometimes why a person cannot play a particul part correctly. These MD's vent thier frustrations in different ways

    If you find that most people in your band feel the same then you need to say something - most usually via the committee. Once these things get aired they are generally easier to deal with everyone knowing where they stand and all that. If all else fails get another MD or move rehearsal to another night when you favoured MD can do the job.
  5. blondie

    blondie Member

    IMO the only way for the MD to get the best out of the band is to be polite but definite about what he/she wants. I think there is a fine line about 'being one of the lads', and being in charge. I know i also have experienced this in my 17 years of being a musician, and it definately does not get the best out of band. You tend to dig your heels in and become dispondent about the whole thing.

    But on the plus side, when the MD is in a good mood then you couldn't ask to be in a better place!!!!!!

    I can see why MD's do get annoyed and lose their temper, as they have all the same problems that we have and can affect us all on a daily basis. But if I were and MD then lack of attendance and people talking during rehearsal unnecessarily so would drive me up the wall. I know we are all there to enjoy ourselves but its nice to be able to concentrate and put in a joint concertive effort. Just look at the results you get when that happens!!!
  6. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    I think that a good MD would understand why you can't play a certain part, but i do have to say i'm so glad that I'm not a MD!!

    I think your MD just needs to chill out a bit, an if he doesnt like whats happening at rehearsals why doesnt he leave?!

    But seriously, go and see our committee about his attitude because the chairman should say something to him. i know mine would if we had a bad conductor.
  7. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    You have large cojones for discussing this bloke's attitude on a public forum! What if he reads this, or someone he knows does?

    If he's a problem to you, and to others in the band, then it's a problem for your committee, as mentioned above. Get them to sort him out, rather than getting stressed about it yourself.
  8. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

  9. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Quite right Rutty.

    Could I please remind everyone to consider the content of your posts very carefully within this thread. Its a great topic for conversation and we look forward to all your replies, but please refrain from quoting band names or Musical Directors by name. We are quite happy to continue with this thread as long as we refrain from any derogatory comments about named individuals.

    Thank You

  10. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    We had a rehearsal tonight where for one reason or another our MD didn't turn up. Our principal cornet and solo trombone did the best they could to fill the breach but it really showed that we missed having an experienced MD. It really made me appreciate what a difficult job it is. I think that sometimes the players in a band need to look at themselves before blaming the MD. I know that for instance, I played *beep* tonight, mainly due to the fact that I didn't have the same level of concentration as when the MD is there, but this is my fault not his.

    Another thing that I find annoying is the talking in band (maybe this is just a problem at my band and not others), but if I was an MD I would be really angry at people talking when I am going to say something, I know band members are not pupils, but the MD has been appointed because he/she has musical knowledge, so he/she should be listened to. For instance, it should only be neccesary for the MD to say what bar you are starting from once. Sorry if this sounds like a rant, its the product of probably the most frustrating rehearsal I've ever been to.
  11. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    Every MD has a different approach. I once played in a band with 2 conductors, one was a stickler for discipline and absolute clinical perfection in the playing, the other was much more relaxed and like to concentrate on getting the overall music out of a piece rather than spending 20 minutes getting a particular run perfect.

    One could lead a band through a concert which was pretty much bang on in terms of musical accuracy, the other conducted concerts (often with the same programme) which may not have been as tidy, but the enjoyment and enthusiasm in the band carried across to the audience and made the whole atmosphere much better.

    Which one was right? more to the point, is there a right and a wrong way to do it?
  12. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    It's Spanish. How to say b*ll***s on a forum without getting noticed ;)
  13. bladder

    bladder Member

    Why don't you try bollox?
  14. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    anyhoo, back on topic!

    As already has been mentioned (obviously!), conductors have different approaches to taking rehearsals... you get some very patient conductors, which have a laugh but still get the job done; and then you get conductors who take it rather too seriously and then lose their temper, followed by shouting and regrettably swearing too... which I think is very sad.

    I'm lucky to have come across many 'friendly' MDs, and haven't come across too many conductors with an attitude problem or whatever (one or two mind! No names :p)... but I do know however, that if I came across a conductor who was always shouting etc, that I would do one thing... leave.
    I find that a good conductor gives inspiration... and that makes me a better player...

    As with a right or wrong way of doing things, as someone asked... No, I don't think there is a right or wrong way... but there has to be a limit!

    But, think about the MD (just for a second)... to most people, banding is a hobbie; to the MD it's a bit more than that- to some MDs, banding is their life... so the stresses of all that, and possibly home problems can be a combination of how the MD does things in rehearsals...

    I learn a lot by watching... and wanting to be a conductor myself, I've learnt an awful lot by watching a lot of MDs... I've seen how different conductors respond to different things, and there way of handling things has been different (as well as their techniques!)... From all of this, I've learnt the best way (I hope) of dealing with people, playing, style, and all the rest of it.

    I've been in rehearsals where people talk and really look like they couldn't care less... I find this frustrating as a player! so think how the MD feels!

    I think it would be good to hear MDs speak out about this topic...
  15. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    It's interesting this point about different styles of MD's. Our own is quite extrovert and very good at bringing out enjoyment at concerts and rehearsals.

    We do however on occaisions invite top conductors down to take our band and it is amazing the difference they make - under our usual MD we are 1st section band, under one of these guys we instantly become a Championship band (only for the day!). Obivously something to do with the players/MD's approach.
  16. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I think you've hit it right on the spot there Naruco. At the end of the day I think it's mainly about the conductor knowing the individuals in the band. It's exactly the same as dealing with people in any part of life. Some people may respond well to a kick up the bum others may need encouraging to give them that inspiration. Saying that 99% of people would respond to positive encouragement so that should be the default.
  17. jfenwick

    jfenwick Member

    right what he was doing.

    we were playing cavatina. OK easy but it wasn't going too well.
    he was saying

    oh your a crap band, you can't even play a piece like this you really are all rubbish, I ask no wait I demand that it be right.

    Now is that any way to inspire players and get the best out of them?
    I think not!
  18. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    Most MD's are in effect employed for their services, the majority receive payment and as such should treat it as so and remain professional - even when at times I'm sure they would love to scream and bawl.

    Everyone player differently, some are encouraged by reassuring words etc and a gently talking to - other people pull their socks up after having a severe b****cking. It is up to each and every MD to use the best approach to get the best out of their players. On a personal note I don't respond too well to a b****cking - it just makes me more despondant.
  19. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    no- I don't think MDs love to 'scream and bawl'! (and I don't think any MD who doesn't 'scream and bawl' would like to either! I know I wouldn't)
    yes, everyone plays differently, but MDs shouldnt have to shout (or give 'a severe b********' as you put it, which isn't very nice!!!!) to get a result out of people who aren't as experienced... thats off-putting and unfair! It wouldn't and doesn't work on me, and I can't imagine many people liking their MD doing it either! You said it yourself; it makes you more despondant... That would make me leave the band and find a better one!

    I'm getting the impression that some people think most MDs are like this! And I can safely (and thankfully) say, that they're not!
  20. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I've never met an MD/conductor who hasn't shouted or been extremely condescending, when it matters to them that is. Say for a contest, or concert with important people there. However, I was once guesting at a band who had a well known conductor (no names!) guesting for a rehearsal on the run up to a contest, and he/she said that the principal Euph was far too good for the band and should leave! considering he/she was supposed to be helping prepare for the contest, i don't think it helped much!

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