What makes a person join another band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Chunky, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Having recently been advertising for players and always looking at the situations vacant I notice most of the adverts use the same key words and phrases.

    A Friendly Band. Well you would say that wouldn't you. Not going to say the previous incumbent left because they hated so & so and nobody spoke to them!

    A Committed Band. But how do you define committed when everybodies opinion of commitment varies?

    Good quality engagements. Again subjective imo, some bands happy to fill their summers with park engagements others wish to stick to quality indoor concerts.

    Well attended rehearsals. If you are advertising as some bands do for many players how can rehearsals be well attended?

    I am sure we can all think of other 'selling points' we have seen in adverts

    So the point of this, when considering moving bands what would be the thing that clinches that decision for you?
  2. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Suppose it depends what type of people you are trying to attract. If banding is something people enjoy then it surely stands to reason that every band is 'friendly'. I would never mention the 'quality' of engagements personally - the atmosphere in the bandroom is surely a more relevent selling point - given that that is where all the work is done!
  3. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    I think you miss one really important factor, and that's convenience.

    When I first joined Egham, the main reason was that the band hall was ten minutes' walk from Royal Holloway where I was studying at the time, though I suppose the band hall bar and all the friendly people willing to buy drinks for impoverished students probably had an impact too. ;)
  4. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Accesibility- Road and rail links.
  5. zak

    zak Member

    Yes I agree but quality concerts etc mean a lot to potential new members. What's the point of doing a load of work in the bandroom and never doing any good concerts to show the hard work off? A good balance of quality engagements etc would be fairly high up on most peoples list of priorities in my opinion.

  6. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Yes Zak, but unless your band has a name and has an established 'circuit' of big jobs, then you have to get people to the bandroom initially imho. In my experience people only usually make their mind up properly after a few rehearsals anyway, once they have established if they will fit in and settle comfortably.
  7. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Good point Owen, although if you really want to join a specific band you see advertising you surely would put up, if able to of course, with any inconvenience. For me personally I would not join a band just because its convenient!
  8. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    So a rehearsal is 2 hours, and you spend an hour driving each way, somewhere down the line you get there there is not a full band? Would you not feel a bit incovenienced by that? I would!
  9. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    So you would not feel inconvenienced by that scenario if you only travelled 10 minutes each way? :wink:
  10. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    I do travel 10 minutes to band - It would be less of a pain for me because the time invested getting there and back is so much less! But then again I have less of an excuse for missing!
    My point is, there is a limit to how far people are willing to travel to a rehearsal, and you have to make your band appear as accesible as possible.
  11. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    There is no answer to the question.

    Some people don't mind travelling long distances to practices, others won't and some can't. Some are committed to a band and won't leave whatever the circumstances, others are forever swapping. A player may want to improve themselves and wish to switch band, another may decide it is getting too much and want to move down a level. Some may prefer concerts to contests and would rather not be in a contesting band or at least be in one that only does a few contests. If only there were an answer we all might have full bands every week.

    Oh, I almost forgot, some bands are also in a position to help out with travelling costs in some cases. You have to do what is necessary for your band to fill the seats and retain the players. It also helps, just like at work, when players are made to feel valued.


    I left my first 2 bands for the same reason, which was change of scenery and less travelling to rehearsals.

    I ended up leaving my third band because I didn't have the time to commit to sitting on a principal chair because I was working shifts so went to another band (further away!) but with less commitment needed.

    I eventually left them for a better band, with a higher standard of musicianship around the stands. I was getting bored of not being pushed and with the general attitude of the players.

    I suppose as I have got older, my reasons have gone from distance away from home to playing standards. I doesn't matter to me now how far away my band is, as I can drive and I have my own vehicle, and if I'm going to give up 2 hours of my life, it may as well be for a good reason, such as playing better music with better musicians.

    The social sides' good as well. I don't think I've ever played with a more sociable, likeable bunch than the people who I play alongside now!
  13. ratley

    ratley Member

    I agree, 'nuff said.
  14. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    As the thread so far shows, different reasons for different people. When I was younger it was the make up of the band that was important, wanted to be with people my own age. As I've got older, I've moved for various reasons. For some reason, I had a period where I played with several first section bands who were over an hours drive from my house, not too bad in the summer but once the winter weather came, it became an issue.

    My last move was to a band that was nearer home but I didn't move for that reason. I moved to a band that had players full of committment and drive, wanting to climb the sections (they were third when I joined them), real enthusiasm and dedication. The band and MD had a clear vision of where they wanted to go, how they were going to get there and how much enjoyment they were going to get out of the whole process. I have had four of the most enjoyable years of my banding life, the band has risen through the sections, consistently improving as it did so and has established itself in the first section.

    To me now in my position, the most important thing it to enjoy my playing/banding. A long time friend and music teacher I had, who is sadly no longer with us, once told me that pleasure comes from playing well with other people who also play well. When I think back over my banding career to date, although I hadn't realised at the time, the best bit were always in a band where I was being pushed by players who were at my level or above.

    When I think of all the home practice I do, coupled with the time I spend rehearsing with the band; it's alot of my life to give to something that I don't find musically satisfying. With me, when that musical satisfaction and enjoyment goes, thats' the time to move on. I understand that people may see this as quite a selfish attitude, but it's my spare time and I give of it for nothing, I at least expect to enjoy myself doing it.
  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Accessibility would definitely be a high priority for me, especially as I am dependent on public transport. With a 1 1/2 hour journey to and from work each day, any band would need to be within easy reach.

    I would definitely want to find a friendly atmosphere and worthwhile music to play, although I do not necessarily go along with the mantra "park jobs bad, concerts good" - surely it depends a lot on the programmes put on, and the way the band approaches each engagement? There is something very satisfying about a park programme with a reasonable, appreciative audience gathered around the stand, whilst some indoor concerts attract woefuly small audiences.

    I would also look for a good relationship with my section of the band, willing to work together and not necessarily hogging all the best bits for the same players.
  16. I would turn up at the most local one (that's the main selling point for me), and do my best to make friends. I would join bands further afield, but I wouldn't think of them as 'home'. If it doesn't work, if I am gossiped about too much, or ignored etc, I'll just walk away, knowing I've tried my best.

    I like a dedication to making good music, and if they have the motivation I don't mind how good or not the band is.
  17. zak

    zak Member

    I'm not talking about as you put it, 'named bands'/top section banding exclusively. Advertising your bands concert diary/events is a excellent way of enticing people to initially come down to a band for a sit in is it not?? I still think that a part of joining a band is the enjoyment/fun side and that has got to have something to do with a bands concerts/tours/activities etc regardless of standard.

    As you say that's your opinion and mine is mine! ;)

  18. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    it would be (or will be) whether the band or seat will make me need to practice my parts, and whether I feel welcome there. The same reasons it would take me to not leave once I had joined.
  19. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    I am just in the process of changing bands, the only reason was relocation and the increasing time I was spending in that area. I wasn't able to keep up the commitment in my former band due to being about 100 miles away, they knew and understood that and I did my last contest for them on Saturday.
  20. glitzy

    glitzy Member

    Good sense of teamwork and everyone 'for' the success of the band is key for me. I left one band after 6 months because people just didn't seem to be welcoming, I tried to fit in but the band had been together so long that any new people seemed to be brushed aside. I used to travel on a bus and a train to get there(about 2hours) and at the end it just wasn't worth it, even though the band were in the Open and Masters. The musicality and challanges were there but I just didn't enjoy it.

    The band I am in now are very positive, all aiming to be successful and we have a lot of fun as well.

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