What is an acceptable way to approach new players?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by SoppyBoy, May 26, 2008.

  1. SoppyBoy

    SoppyBoy New Member

    Ok, i'm sure this sort of thing has been discussed previously, but there is a situation that has come to light recently that i really feel aggrieved at, and i would like to know people's opinions on the matter. I'm not going to mention any bands or players as i would like this to be a broad thread, but i will give reference to my particular situation.

    A number of members of my band have recently been approached by another local band who would have liked to have signed them. Now personally i have nothing against this as such, as players should always have the freedom to choose where and for who they play, although obviously this would cause problems for my band. Now luckily for my band, we are proving to be quite successful at the moment, so the players that were approached were not at all interested in transferring. The problem i have is the methods they used when contacting these players.

    First of all, at a recent contest, members of this 'other' band turned up to listen. Whilst in the bar they repeatedly tried to persuade various members of our band to move, and especially the younger players. They only did this when these members were by themselves (getting food, etc.) or in small groups, and i actually had a couple of these players tell me they felt quite intimidated by the methods these people were trying to use, and they only stopped when friends of these younger members appeared.

    Then more recently, a number of our players were telephoned by some of their members. One player, who is extremely loyal to our band and would never dream of moving to this band, told them 'politely' not to call him again, as he would never be interested. Another was called and was told that he had told members of this other band that he was unhappy at our band and was looking to move elsewhere. This player asked who had given this information, but they refused to name anyone. Needless to say, our player had never even discussed this with anyone, and again 'politely' told them he was not interested.

    Now as i said, i totally agree with players being able to choose who they play for, and to a certain extent other bands approaching players. What i do take exception to is the methods being employed. Intimidating players and starting rumours is surely out of order, or is it?

    I can honestly say that when my band have approached players, it is usually after these players have shown some interest in joining or leaving their current bands, and have helped us out in concerts, etc.

    So what do people think? Am i justified in feeling a little aggrieved in the methods this other band have been employing? Is there an acceptable way of approaching players to transfer to your band? Or has my band just been too nice in the past, and this sort of pressure occurs all the time?

  2. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Hey there!

    I know what you mean, I was once approached by members of a band who had turned up at my old bandclub very drunk after one of our concerts and proceeded to offer me and my mate (who was depping) the Solo and 2nd Trom seats when the seats were already taken and they had no authority within the band to offer the seats to anyone.

    Phoning someone to join is acceptable I think, but using underhand tactics is out of order.

    Personally, I won't join any band that tries things like that.
  3. Rodney

    Rodney Member

    Surely, any form of 'poaching' is not in the best interests of brass banding.

    See ya
  4. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I would start thinking that "other band" must have some real problems if they are reduced to these sort of tactics, and in my opinion it is certainly not good practice either. I am tempted to ask you to name and shame them.
  5. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    This happened to a young close relative of mine at a recent local contest. My relative was flattered but unimpressed. Obviously, the current occupier of the position mentioned knew nothing of this informal approach...... would he/she have been impressed?

    Antics of this kind reflect badly on a band...:( ...they're not impressive....
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    ...but have been going on in perpetuity.

    It's nothing new - I quite plainly remember being present 30 years ago (I was very little ;) ) when this was happening....and I remember being camped outside Phil Shaw's girlfriend's flat when my Dad was chasing him to sign for Besses in the late 70s....anecdotally pestering until Phil gave in.

    It just depends on your expectations - to an extent it's the same thing as being headhunted for a job....what's your opinion on that?
  7. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I don't think there can be anything wrong with properly contacting a player already known to the band and saying "we have this vacancy, we think you'd be right for it, are you interested?", particularly if the player in question has already been depping for the band and so is already part of the 'extended team'. That leaves the player able to say yea or nay as they choose - I've been involved in a situation where the player felt able to say yes, and also several where they said no but have continued to have good relations with the band and help out as and when. If it's a single, polite approach then I think anyone who took offence at that isn't worth having in the bandroom anyway.

    It's a bit different if the player involved is 'under-age', but the same basic principle applies - I would in this circumstance ensure that I didn't speak to the player without a parent or responsible adult from their current band to be with them.

    However, there's no excuse for offering people seats that are already occupied!
  8. SoppyBoy

    SoppyBoy New Member

    Absolutely agree. This is how my own band have signed a couple of players over the years. The players are already happy to dep for us, and have expressed an interest if a vacancy has been there. I have personally been approached by a number of bands that i help out, and although flattering, i have been happy with my band. The difference this time is that the 'other' band started rumours with one to try and unsettle him, and contacted one player who would bleed our bands colours (sure you know what i mean!!)

    I honestly don't think this band cares as long as they have the best band in the area and are able to eventually beat us...Oh, and as i said in my first post, i will not be naming the band(s) concerned (although very tempting!!)
  9. ballyhorn

    ballyhorn Member

  10. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    It's only 'poachng' when other bands try and tempt your players to move, when your own bands makes 'a, approach' to a player to fill a vacancy that is fine.

    I don't see the problem how is a band supposed to find out if a player is interested without asking them?

    and it does'nt matter if they ask them by phone, email, text or even inperson at a contest or concert.

    Players leave and join ALL bands ALL the time - unless someone out there can show that they have played the same line-up at the Area's for the last 5 years - live with it.

    Is it so bad for a band to want to be the best band in the area? Should'nt we all be aiming for that?
  11. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I think it is fine to ask players if they are interested in a vacancy after a contest, by phone, email, PM etc. If people move it is because it is a better offer, or they are not completely happy at their current band. I think it is acceptable to ask players once, or even twice, from then on it should be left to them to contact the band. I think it is a little odd to attend a concert by the band and then try to encourage players to leave. Harrasing people over time isn't really on. I also think it is inappropriate to start rumours to encourage people to move bands.
  12. SoppyBoy

    SoppyBoy New Member

    I agree that all competing bands want to try and be the best in their area, and as i've said a couple of times, i believe players should be able to move if they want to.

    Asking players if they are interested is absolutely fine, it's just the tactics that some bands employ that i take exception to. Starting rumours, and then refusing to name the people who first gave them this 'information' has got to be wrong, in any walk of life.

    As i said in my first post, the players that were approached were not remotely interested, so it's not a case of sour grapes because one of our players has left to join our 'rivals'. By all means ask a player if they are interested in joining your band, just do it with a bit of decency and respect for the players and bands concerned, or does that not count in banding?
  13. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    If the players were 'not interested' then they will not move, if however they are tempted by a (higher?) level of banding, well that is life.

    We have lost talented players to 'big name' bands and 'poached' talented plyers from 'lower' ranked bands.

    Are we in the rght or the wrong ?

    p.s. I would like to make it known that yes, I was 'tempted' by higher level banding, makes me feel a little special ;-)
  14. postie

    postie Member

    I think banding is a dog eat dog world really. Players often leave and you just have to get on with it. I think the tactics from the band who are mentioned in the original post are very suspect to say the least. Poaching goes all the time especially at big contests. As I said before you just have to get on with it.
  15. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Go on .... you know you want to.
  16. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    I think we had better get real here! I don't think we should be looking at right and wrong in this situation. I think POSTIE is right - and when you think about all the double standards in banding why try to make this one o.k. when it is not. Dog eat Dog - nothing will change there, it' just that some of you are trying to grade it to help you feel all right about it - a matter of conscience. No, no,no!!!!!!
  17. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Interesting that one or two posts above mention approaching players to join after they have depped for you. I'd say that was well out of order - you are obviously short of a player (either just for the job or permanent) so you need someone to help you out. But to then ask someone who's come along from another band to help you out - not on.

    I do dep for quite a few bands and yes I have been asked to transfer but please don't ask more than once as a polite "no thanks" should be sufficient.
  18. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Is that a valid justification?
  19. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    No, and I never said it was.

    However, one of the things that I find bemusing on tMP is the idea that virtually everything is new....and this happens because - in the main and not exclusively - the site is populated (in the posting rather than membership sense) with potentially younger and less experienced people.

    For instance, if you go through the posts on here you come across things like "why don't bands play _____ kind of music", "why don't bands play at ________ kinds of music festival", "why doesn't 'the movement' _______"....

    These arguments also have been going on for many, many years - but the original posters maybe don't realise that Bands have played 'serious' music at 'serious' music festivals and many attempts have been made both by individuals, Bands and Organisations to 'push the movement forward' with varying degrees of success.

    That said, it's also not a reason for this OP to post that he doesn't like the practice he's outlined.....my point was (and still is) that it's nothing new and maybe he's just seeing it for the first time.
  20. Naval Nick

    Naval Nick Member

    So we just sit back an let our players be poached is it? I know this has been going on for an awfully long time, and will probably never stop. So is it a case of fight fire with fire or sit back an take it? What is the accepable approach, this happens in all Jobs, Sports etc. Maybe we should just call it head hunting and accept that this is a part of what we do. There will always be the ambitious players and Unfortunately someone will always have to suffer down the line.

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