problem players

mikelyons

Supporting Member
Jasonp said:
Two weeks before the finals at Harrogate last year I was faced with a dilemma. A member of the band wasn't turning up to rehearsals. I had no idea why, I called but had no answer, so I had to make a decision and find a replacement, because 1. I couldn't risk going to finals with an empty seat, and 2. I couldn't risk that player being out of practice.
This particular persons commitment was usually better than most so it was very much out of character, and they were not asked at any time to leave the band, but as a result of my decision that person left the band feeling very bitter.

I think I made the right decision for the benefit of the band, and I'll always stand by it.
There will always be problems for us to make rehearsals, but If you keep your band manager informed then there shouldn't be a problem, but if you don't turn up, with no explanation why, then you have to expect action to be taken.
You were put in an invidious position, Jason. Maybe, if you had been informed of the fact that there was a temporary problem - without even necessarily knowing the details - you might have made a different decision.

I think the person involved should have made contact to let you know what had happened or that there would be a problem. However, I might (please don't take this as criticism or judgement) have made more than just a call. Maybe I might have gone round if possible - especially as this person was normally a dedicated and regular player. I think the thing is here that it's the lack of communication that is the problem.

I can see that there might be a problem if the reason is something personal, perhaps, or embarrassing, but that is where trust comes into it. If asked, I think most people would keep someone's confidentiality safe. Certainly, one of the band's 'officials' would be covered by legislation and data protection provisos about such things and be accountable if any private information leaked out. Difficult one.
 

lynchie

Active Member
I've quickly gone off some people in brass banding for having the "Miss a rehearsal and you're out" attitude. I think if a person lets you know in advance that they can't make a rehearsal, and they have a decent reason (and I'm not the sort who says the only good reason is death or incarceration either) then the band should understand that and not start searching for a replacement straight away. It makes players feel very dispensible, which is not a good way of generating commitment! Band should be, first and foremost, something you enjoy, and if you're going out of your way to get to band for fear of reprisals, you're probably not enjoying it too much.

Sure, if someone's not turning up, and hasn't said anything to the conductor (or in some cases, the all powerful committee) then I think someone should have a quiet word to explain the problems they're creating for the band. A bit of diplomacy and a soft hand can go a very long way!
 
mikelyons said:
But why should you force your idea of what someone else's level of commitment should be on them or on the band as a whole? .
Usually committed people in bands are annoyed with those who miss too many rehearsals. MDs are also frustrated. Like I said I guess it depends what kind of standards you want from your band. If you're happy turning up to rehearsals with only 12-15 people twice a week then fine. Doesn't sound like much fun to me.
 

Just Crazy

Member
hellraiser said:
If you're happy turning up to rehearsals with only 12-15 people twice a week then fine. Doesn't sound like much fun to me.
Trust me its not fun, that is what our band is like at the moment
 
mikelyons said:
Just out of curiosity, hellraiser - how many of your band are your friends? That might actually make a difference as to how you perceive someone's level of commitment.

Do you regard the members of your band as amongst your mates, or as colleagues/co-workers? How do they regard you? If one of your bandsmen was in a bind, would you help them out? If it meant interfering with your attendance at band (rehearsals or performances is irrelevant) for a few weeks, would you?

You don't need to answer.
Irrelevant questioning and I don't want to discuss the internal workings of my band on the internet.

However I do have friends & family in my present band and I don't care who it is that doesn't commit because it doesn't matter- an empty chair is an empty chair.
 
lynchie said:
It makes players feel very dispensible, which is not a good way of generating commitment!
I'm not so sure about this one. Thing is, people get away with poor committment in 'desperate' bands because they know that they can't be replaced! Maybe if someone else was breathing down their neck for the seat you'd see them turning up more often, or leaving! Win-win situation ;-)
 

Cornishwomble

Active Member
You seem to be getting a lot of flack Hellraiser! I have to say I agree with most of what you say.

In my mind, if someone has to work or has a family commitment or emergency then of course they can't be at band, as long as they have the manners to let the band know that they won't be there. The MD usually has a practice plan and missing players amy mean him having to change that plan.

If players don't turn up, cos they can't be bothered or they want to watch a certain football game on telly then they are no good to the band as they really don't care about it. If someone doesn't turn up and doesn't let anyone know even if they have a valid reason, then I have no time for them either as to me it is selfish.
 
hellraiser said:
Usually committed people in bands are annoyed with those who miss too many rehearsals. MDs are also frustrated. Like I said I guess it depends what kind of standards you want from your band. If you're happy turning up to rehearsals with only 12-15 people twice a week then fine. Doesn't sound like much fun to me.
Well I'd regard myself as a 'committed member' and personally I don't get annoyed with people who don't attend too many rehearsals. People can govern their own levels of committment and what may be acceptable for one may be different for another. That's the spice of life but providing everyone is fully informed in a polite manner then team work should enable the band to pull together when required.

Hellraiser, just to point something out - Music Man played for Wem in the areas and only attended 2 rehearsals. From your attitude displayed in this thread - this may cause you problems but I can guarantee that this caused no problems or concerns for me and probably the rest of the band. We appreicated his ability and the fact that he made the effort to travel such a long way for two rehearsals. Our performance was enhanced on the day (not that it was rewarded in the results).

I think comunication is the key to happiness and that can be transpired to all walks of life, not just band. Good, thorough communication which remains polite and professional can lead to the avoidance of unnecessary confronation over trivial issues.
 

Just Crazy

Member
Roy Taylor said:
You seem to be getting a lot of flack Hellraiser! I have to say I agree with most of what you say.

In my mind, if someone has to work or has a family commitment or emergency then of course they can't be at band, as long as they have the manners to let the band know that they won't be there. The MD usually has a practice plan and missing players amy mean him having to change that plan.

If players don't turn up, cos they can't be bothered or they want to watch a certain football game on telly then they are no good to the band as they really don't care about it. If someone doesn't turn up and doesn't let anyone know even if they have a valid reason, then I have no time for them either as to me it is selfish.
here here!


How can a band go anywhere without commitment?
 

The_Fat_Ref

New Member
Hellraiser. I play in 3 bands at the mo. One on a Monday Night, one that rehearses tuesday and thursday, and one that rehearses saturday. Now add the fact that I referee my local football leagues on saturday & sunday, referees assosciation meetings and work.

At the end of the day, I love music. But commitment to a band is not what it's about. It's about the music itself. I play basically 6 days a week, andif I do not want to play (if im in a bad mood or had a bad day), I don't go. This does not mean that I should pursue another hobby. It just means that you CAN have too much of a good thing sometimes.
 

Just Crazy

Member
The_Fat_Ref said:
I play basically 6 days a week, andif I do not want to play (if im in a bad mood or had a bad day), I don't go.
But do you tell someone that you are not gonna be there?
 

Craigsav83

Active Member
The_Fat_Ref said:
Hellraiser. I play in 3 bands at the mo. One on a Monday Night, one that rehearses tuesday and thursday, and one that rehearses saturday. Now add the fact that I referee my local football leagues on saturday & sunday, referees assosciation meetings and work.

At the end of the day, I love music. But commitment to a band is not what it's about. It's about the music itself. I play basically 6 days a week, andif I do not want to play (if im in a bad mood or had a bad day), I don't go. This does not mean that I should pursue another hobby. It just means that you CAN have too much of a good thing sometimes.
Hear Hear!

I am in exactly the same situation, I play regularly in 4 bands (look at the signature) as well as freelancing with bands and orchestras in the area. I am a full time student, and also work part time. By simple calculation, this doesnt leave alot of time for any other things, and if paid work does arise, I will more often than not take it - banding is a hobby, and doesnt pay the bills. No-one has ever questioned this at any of the bands I play in. They fully appreciate my situation, and i am grateful for that.

p.s. In the run up to the areas, I passed on a gig the week before at a personal loss of over £200 - This was alot of money to pass up on.
 

Just Crazy

Member
The_Fat_Ref said:
If I remember. If I don't I usually just turn up and say sorry.
The point i was trying to say was that if you know your not gonna be there the conductor can prepare for that and not play music that it will effect.
 

Chunky

Active Member
I have been reading this post with interest.

As Chairman of a band I always tell members if they are not going to be at band just let us know.

In this day and age of mobiles and emails there is no need, except in direst circumstances, where a message cannot be sent or left.

I never ask for a reason why they are not coming if its a one off scenario. If it becomes a regular problem, rather than just say thanks your fired we will try and help, its all part of being a team.

We dont have persistent long term absentees as when somebody new comes along we explain to them the level of commitment we look for and ask if they are happy with that.

We have 3 nurses in our band all of whom work shifts and very rarely do they miss, but they know that theyre places are not under threat just because they have a run of late or night shifts.

Also we try to ensure that we get the right people in. Many people who have joined us in recent times have done so because of our attitude towards our playing and our team spirit.

Our standard does not suffer and we are not desperate, but we are a happy, full progressive band, so we must be doing something right.

Perhaps, hellraiser your band could learn something from a more open attitude?
 

Big Twigge

Active Member
Chunky said:
In this day and age of mobiles and emails there is no need, except in direst circumstances, where a message cannot be sent or left.

I never ask for a reason why they are not coming if its a one off scenario. If it becomes a regular problem, rather than just say thanks your fired we will try and help, its all part of being a team.

Our standard does not suffer and we are not desperate, but we are a happy, full progressive band, so we must be doing something right.

Perhaps, hellraiser your band could learn something from a more open attitude?
Couldn't agree more. You sum up your arguement very articulately and seem to consider most points of view. :clap:
 

Just Crazy

Member
Chunky said:
In this day and age of mobiles and emails there is no need, except in direst circumstances, where a message cannot be sent or left.

I never ask for a reason why they are not coming if its a one off scenario. If it becomes a regular problem, rather than just say thanks your fired we will try and help, its all part of being a team.

We dont have persistent long term absentees as when somebody new comes along we explain to them the level of commitment we look for and ask if they are happy with that.

We have 3 nurses in our band all of whom work shifts and very rarely do they miss, but they know that theyre places are not under threat just because they have a run of late or night shifts.

Also we try to ensure that we get the right people in. Many people who have joined us in recent times have done so because of our attitude towards our playing and our team spirit.

Our standard does not suffer and we are not desperate, but we are a happy, full progressive band, so we must be doing something right.
I second it!
 
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