Why Don't All Bands Advertise Vacancies In One Place?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by skiosbod, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. skiosbod

    skiosbod New Member

    Hello All Bands. Just had a conversation with a Friend who rung me looking for new low end players for his band. He was ringing old numbers from members who had left the Band as no-one had inquired to his vacancies advert. When I asked where these adverts were he said they were on the Band's website only. When I suggested this website and 4 Bars Rest to advertise as they have a larger browsing audience he admitted he hadn't even thought about them. As Bands are struggling to get Brass players across the UK is this because the vacancies are not being seen by a large enough audience?
  2. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    to be fair, a lot of bands DO advertise vacancies in the same places - eg. 4br, here, banding magazines, facebook and association websites.

    I don't think the lack of players to fill vacancies has anything to do with the advertising though, I think its simply that numbers are declining anyway - for a dozen different reasons including the drop-off in brass teaching in schools and increasing demands on peoples' time, money and commitment in the rest of their lives. If someone really wants to be in a band, they'll find a band to be in. The real challenge imho is developing new players and encouraging less-interested folks to stay in/return to banding.
  3. wagger-g

    wagger-g Member

    These days recruiting is a huge issue for most bands e.g. with regards to trombone players in north west Lancashire it has reached a chronic state. I think all you can do (leaving aside the long-term solution of growing your own replacements) is repeatedly exploit every avenue. Positive contacts with the local community, good news stories in the local press, ads on band sites and talk to people. It's hard work and takes much time but what else is there!

    For me the least successful strategy, and one that many ill-advisedly spend much time on, is trying to get lapsed players to return. They left your band for a reason - they moved on so you must.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    This is true. They may come back to the place where they want to rejoin of their own accord, but persistently dragging them out of retirement when their heart is not in it is ultimately more damaging both to any possibility that they may rediscover enthusiasm and to their general feelings of friendliness towards the band and its players.
    In these circumstances, it can feel vexing when such a player is coaxed out of retirement by another band, but that's an emotion that shouldn't be given time to - it's better for them to be playing and supporting the banding scene in some way than for them not to be playing at all.

    Speaking of all this, I should go and refresh our adverts in the usual places, as it's been a while... Suspect they'll bring in the usual harvest (i.e. no-one), but one must have faith... Wouldn't it be nice to have a full regular bass section?!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    A counterpoint to the point that "Wouldn't it be a good idea if we all advertised for vacancies in the same place? [Implication: the place where everyone looks]":

    Not everyone looks in the same place. Some people aren't even really internet people at all (shock horror...).
    And further, some people enjoy the feeling of being chased. They want bands to ring them up and enquire for them personally. Which is fair enough - if they're good enough for that to happen, the system will work. But they might be missing out on playing for a band that would suit them well who just happen not to have their phone number.

    Another point is that you have no quality control over who answers your adverts. If somebody is keen but cannot blow their nose and isn't perceptive enough to realise this, then you have an awkward situation. In a number of important ways, ringing round is more likely to produce the outcome you want than advertising.
  6. I have to say that, in the past I have used 4br and this medium to advertise for players. Neither site returned any enquiries whatsoever. Now, that may be because the band in question did not appeal. I think word of mouth and the phone are the best way (if you cannot generate your own players). We did end up with an overflowing band but this was nothing to do with adverts.
  7. skiosbod

    skiosbod New Member

    I'm in North Wales at the moment and there aren't any vacancies for Trombones or Basses anywhere. I know there's not a lot of Bands in this region but where I live South Wales there are loads of vacancies but can't find a job down there anymore. Even so, the band that rang me also put adverts in local shops and Newspapers but not on the Internet
  8. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    You don't have to accept everyone who wants to join and/or answers an advert - that's where auditions and trial periods come in handy.

    Some interesting points made about ringing round rather than advertising, but my reservations would be i) you risk p*ssing off the players and other bands; ii) you might miss out on players new to the area.
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well, clearly...

    Let me rephrase that, then. If you give someone a trial period, and they are keen but cannot blow their nose and they aren't perceptive enough to realise this, then you have an awkward situation. Yes, it's an awkward situation that you know the way out of, but it's still an awkwardness that wouldn't have occurred if you'd just rung up someone whose quality is a known quantity.

    i) One doesn't generally ring players who are currently regular members with other bands. That's bad form. And one takes 'no' for an answer.
    ii) Keen and good players new to an area will usually make the first move, in any case.

    Don't get me wrong, adverts occasionally turn up a gem of a player, but they are only rarely the primary route for recruitment, in my experience.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  10. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Surely if a player contacts you about a vacancy they have seen advertised, surely its the bands responsibility to get some information from the player, i.e. what bands have you played for, what section you have played in, whats the reasons for leaving etc??

    If you have a vacancy you cannot dismiss various ways of advertising, just because they haven't worked in the past.
    Bands that just give up and not bother to try and recruit get what they deserve.
  11. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Bands dont always exploit opportunities. Many want and demand 100% commitment, but if like me you are primarily a member of a non-contesting band, contesting bands wont take you.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Previous experience is no guarantee of quality! There are plenty of people tucked away in championship section bands who aren't as strong players as many in lower section bands. And some people feel quite happy spinning their CV to seem more impressive than it actually is.

    I don't think anyone's dismissing advertising, just pointing out some flaws in the principle.

    Not saying this applies to you, but there is a certain amount of trying to make the band fit to you inherent in this situation. From the perspective of whoever it is in the band that has to arrange players, having someone about who picks and chooses what they can make is very far from ideal - they want somebody who wants the seat and wants to take on the responsibilities of the seat, which include supporting the band in what rehearsals and jobs they do. Having someone semi-regular can chip away at the sense of commitment of other members of the band (there's always someone who takes the line: "If so-and-so only has to do this, then that's all I'm going to do too."), and it leaves the fixer with nearly as much work to do in maintaining the customised arrangement as if there was no player on the seat at all. The net gain is not always positive.
  13. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Theres flaws in ringing people up you know, they are probably not going to be loyal to you in the long term and will disappear when there mate goes or have a dodgy contest result. At least when someone applies to an advert, usually someone new to an area they have a more open mind, you might get a gem of a player. I have found those who are out of there depth tend to leave anyway.
  14. RamasII

    RamasII Member

    Hi Dave,

    Not always the case I guess, if you take on someone on an add hock basis they can play as an extra, then its really fit in when and if you can. Obviously if they wanted to be involved in a contest then that taking on a different amount of commitment and I would imagine that they would know that.
    Personally I like to have 'extra' players as it means more involvement around the band and also means you have more chances to fill spaces for concerts etc..
  15. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Agreed. At FGB we adopted a membership policy a few years ago that allows for extra players. If nothing else it eases the burden on arranging (and paying for...) deps!

    Oh if only that were true.... unfortunately not every band has the same morals :rolleyes:
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    There's flaws in every method of doing anything. All I'm saying is that in my experience networking pays substantially greater dividends than advertising when it comes to filling banding positions. Ringing up people you know who are unattached in my experience is no less likely to create a loyal player than just waiting for advertising responses.

    Hi Phil; yes, it depends on how you run your band, and the model used by some bands, where there is a floating pool (if that works as a metaphor!) of quasi-loyal players that are tacked on to a loyal core, does thrive on dealing with players who can only commit to a portion of the band's activities. It also relies on there being substantial player-chasing effort being put in full time by somebody or some group (as you'll know much better than most, being a sourcer of players of substantial means!). Kidlington band worked this way when I first joined it, but we have spent effort in recent years attempting to wean ourselves off this model and onto one based more on continuity and consistency [a seemingly diminishing local pool of players made the ad-hoc construction approach rather more like hard work than seemed worthwhile]. The work's not finished yet [where are those quality bass players who like to commit??], but we're getting there. If the model one is dealing with is the continuity one, then it becomes more difficult (but not impossible, depending on circumstances) to accommodate players who want fractional commitment.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  17. bassendworld

    bassendworld Member


    Most interesting concept, admiral and i guess rewarding in the long term, you ask where are the quality committed bass players in the area, clearly there aren't many as you have been advertising for a while now i note. How long can you sustain the concept without affecting the level of performance as required by your status though?

    As a bass player and Musical Director myself, I couldn't possibly commit to anything like your requirements so another band has my services and I commit as much as I can, which works well for both parties, better to have some than none at all i guess.

    Phil - the quality of your extras i know! I work a similar system at my band we have a core of 30 players and supplemnent (only replacements if vacancies on said event) that with friends from bands of a higher standarad which gives all a boost when they attend.

    Dave - Good luck with your continued search.

  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the good wishes, Ian. Our bass section still does run on a rather ad hoc basis, despite ongoing efforts, so if you happened to be interested in getting involved in a smaller way, you'd be most welcome to drop me a line. Obviously the ideal is to have the best set of players that exist out there present twice a week, but one must always compromise from an ideal. I suppose the question lies in the extent to which one welcomes that compromise, and in which particular variable one chooses to compromise.
  19. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Which brings me on to my thread I started!!

    The players aren't there and when you start requesting a player has to be this that and the other, you are only putting people off as they don't quite match your requirements, you will end up with an empty chair for a long time.

    We all would love to have black dyke standard players playing for our band, queing up waiting to join. It isn't going to happen so you have to put up with what there is a available or train them yourselves
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Yep, advertising effectively is an art form. Maybe I'm not very good at it!

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