What to do with players who let you down?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stopher, Jun 27, 2004.


What would you do to a player who drops you in it last minute?

  1. Grovel and tell them we can't go without them

  2. Don't give them a solo for the next year

    0 vote(s)
  3. Phone them up and play hell

  4. Sack 'em. Don't deserve to be in my band

  5. Silent treatment for a few rehearsals

    0 vote(s)
  6. Pick on them for the next month in rehearsals

    0 vote(s)
  7. Castration

  1. stopher

    stopher Member

    Just had 2 players pull out of a contest at last minute notice and am unable to get deps for it. Just wondering what other people do in this situation.

    Ok, if it was illness or bereavement or crisis at work, I could understand but when its a case of "Can't be bothered" syndrome then I get slightly annoyed, especially when it has been on the engagement list for months and 20+ other people have arranged their commitments to be able to do it.

    Is it a choice of carry on as normal, give a bit of stick, revenge/torture, drop them for things in the future or don't ask them to do solos etc.

    Personally, Castration would be my choice
  2. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    This is one of my real pet hates!!!!!!!

    People are not obliged to turn up to band engagements/contests -they are not contracted to do it and (most) don't get paid! Saying this I feel strongly that when people join up with a band (and therefore agree with the constitution and rules of the band) that they are morally obliged to attend. In the case of most engagements the band has signed a contract to do the job! They are part of the band- they should be there! Obviously people can't always attend everything and deps need to be brought in but in my opinion (bar the few little things can pop up at late notice) there is NO reason to not give the required notice to the band. In the case of contests maybe there is no contract for the band to attend but the moral obligations are still there for the members. At the end of the day if people drop you in it they don't have much respect for the band or the people involved! People do it because they can get away with it. They wouldn't do it at work because they would get the sack-period. Band is not a job, true, but it is a commitment. If you don't want to be involved don't! but don't let your friends and collegues down.

    If I did that to a band I wouldn't expect to hold down my chair!
  3. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    sack 'em

    well maybe not, It depends, is it a regular occurance with these folk? They must have given you a better excuse than can't be bothered. No one ay Emley would dare tell us they can't be bothered.. But we do get some shocking excuses sometimes!
  4. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member


    I have a small band, and I feel it when players cannot make performances. It hurts on a personal level, but I cannot afford to make a big deal out of it. My players do the best they can. OK, so I don't always agree with their prorities (since when does a minimum wage job rank higher than a $200 performance?? Oh yeah, this is their personal income!), but I have to realise that they are doing me a favour by being interested, if I want my band to push on.

    Saying this, it is always going to hurt me when players are unavailable. I want big thigns for my band!! But we don't always get what we want.
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I agree when notice is given and there is time to find a suitable dep. However, if somebody pulls out at the last minute, they'd better have an incredible excuse - like a death in the family (Namely there own).

    One of our local bands here recently had there concert master pull out two days before contest because of differences with the director. The director has since left the band and the player decided he wanted to come back to the band.

    The band and new director (who was the assistant director at the time of the incident) took him back, but he is now playing flugel as he dare not try to return to the front row.

    Fair? I don't know, but it does illustrate at least one way to deal with it.
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately this just sems to illustrate the different interpretation of the word "commitment". It's always been drummed into me, from schooldays onwards, that if you belong to any sort of group, particularly one involved in any sort of performance together, you should endeavour to attend if at all possible.

    As I am involved in various activities, there are times when these may clash, and in most cases I would honour whichever date was in the diary first, unless there were extenuating circumstances - for example, it is easier to cover my part as one of 4 or 5 basses in the band than it is my saxophone part in the wind ensemble. Either way, I would always make sure that the leader knew as soon as I was aware of the difficulty, so that there is time to make alternative arrangements.

    As to what action you may wish to take, I suppose there will be lots of factors to take into account, not least of which is the availability of other players, but I would personally much rather be part of a group with a few less members than one where the absence of one or two at short notice undermined the group as a whole.
  7. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I am in 100% agreement with you Peter! However the commitment clashes I see on a regular basis are schoolwork, paid work and band. Rarely do I see people bailing on me for a hot date, or a family meeting. Yes it does happen, but most of the time it's unavoidable, and if I want the best from my band, I have to understand their needs too. I don't have to like the, just understand :wink:
  8. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Worried by the amount of "Castrations" :? :D
  9. jambo

    jambo Member

    The debate on commitment has been fairly well aired on tmp before but, to pull out of a contest at the last minute is simply shocking behaviour. Ok, we dont know the circumstances but im sure they're not amazing reasons otherwise the post would never have been made?

    Castration...too good for them!

    Withdraw all beer privilidges for the next year! Harsh but, they gotta learn! :shock:
  10. You get your eupho section to beat the living shit out of the shit shit Then you sack them and break their teeth.
  11. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    This must be the gentle Aussie approach - love it ?? :lol:
  12. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    If it's the "cant be bothered" syndrome then get rid of them... dont need them people in a band that is obviously overwise dedicated to what they do... get players who *can* be bothered, then these situations can be avoided.
  13. musicmaker

    musicmaker Member


    This is a big one for me.

    I think if you commit to a band, this don’t just mean turning up once or twice a week for rehearsals, + a few engagements.
    It means you commit to doing a little practice????
    Making sure your music is all there????
    Making sure your uniform is clean ect????
    Making sure you’re at rehearsals / engagements on time????
    Having the courtesy to let people know if you are not available???? With time for them to do something about it!!!

    My band gets fed up with me saying, “If your hobby was golf and you couldn’t put a ball in the hole, you would do it more often till you could, well that’s called PRACTICE? So if you can’t play a part in band you should play it more often, THAT’S CALLED PRACTICE!!!

    If a player lets the band down often, get rid, its better for the band moral, if you let it drag on more people will miss as they think it’s the norm. It’s not easy and you have to let them have a chance or two, but in the end action must be taken.
  14. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    considering the effort I have put into getting to gigs with my band (including my most expensive taxi ride ever) I would think someone would need a hell of a good reason to not be at a job... If anyone thinks it's ok to let down 24 people because they're a bit hungover, or have a case of CBA then they're not the kind of person I'd want to be in a band with...
  15. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Since there was no firing squad option I chose sack them. I think if it is something that happens regularly and other, committed players see it, then they will either get annoyed and leave or start to do the same thing "if they can get away with it then why can't I?"....

    PS On the castration option, what would you do to females :shock: , or is it castration because it's only a man that would let a band down? :twisted:
  16. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    That's Harsh Kirsty!!!

    Wouldn't you feel bad if I was to tell you it was the GIRLS who let me down in my band?
  17. jambo

    jambo Member

    Sounds like your girls had better watch out if Australian Eupho' finds out who they are...
  18. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    To be serious for a moment. You should always try and find out why a player has missed a job at short notice, or at least be tactful, before acting as it could be something serious.

    I had to miss an orchestra concert that I'd agreed to play due to serious personal problems (that I'm not going to talk about here). It was last minute, and I had to get someone else to pass on the message for me. A few days afterwards I got an extremely nasty letter from the concert organiser, insinuating that I had had a case of CBA and that I had "wilfully sabotaged the concert". I gave the guy a bell and told him exactly why I had missed the concert, suitably embarassed he apologised, I then told him he'd better find another trombonist in future.

    Just something to bear in mind.
  19. stopher

    stopher Member

    Thanks for the comments! Seems like it has happened to a few others.

    Not sure about the Euph section sorting it out as one was the solo Euph, note WAS solo Euph! He has gone home for the summer (being a student) but home is about an hour away and after a week of leaving messages on his mobile he sends a txt to say he can't as he is going on holiday the weeks after and needs to work to pay for it. Ok I suppose, it is work but he did promise before going home 6 weeks ago that he would do it so thats why we never looked for a dep!

    The other one is the principal percussionist who has had exams and because of this he hasn't been to rehearsals which was fair enough (although he was told that he would be needed for the contest and picked perc heavy pieces ). Anyway, because he hadn't been to rehearsals and the other 2 percs had been practicing for the contest, he thought he wasn't needed so booked his train ticket for the day of the contest to go and see his new girlfriend 300 miles away. I found out last tuesday so not quite last minute but have been unable to find a dep so far!

    I just get frustrated because of the commitment I give as conductor. Ok, I know its my choice but if I'm away, I give tha band plenty of notice and make arrangements for another conductor. When I played for this band before I left for Uni, I even found my own replacement on Sop.

    I don't want to sack them or tell them where to go as I know they are both decent players but I agree with what has been said - if you join, it's a commitment that you try your best to stick to! Just can't understand the mentality of some people!!!!!

    Anyway, rant over. Might delay the castrations a bit longer. Well, until I can find a dep!
  20. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    just sack them Chris , they need you more than you need them...