problem players

LeDragon

Active Member
My opinion:

Players not attending rehearsals without explanation - unacceptable

Players not attending rehearsals giving trivial excuses e.g. football on tv - unacceptable - I agree with Hellraiser that priorities need to be addressed.

Players not attending rehearsal due to work/family/study committments - fair enough, I don't think that anyone should have a problem with this. I take my banding extremely seriously but I know that it is not the be all and end all of life. However, I don't think that I, or any of my band, could put up with someone who only attended say once a month. Even with home practice, they could not possibly know how the MD had worked on individual pieces and thus would slow down the bands progress upon their return to rehearsal - they may well be able to play their part, but they will not know the style that the rest of the band has been told to play it.

I do not know how my band would deal with someone if they did not attend rehearsal without explanation - the situation has not arisen. I am lucky with my band that the attendences are very good - the best of any band that I have been in.
 

trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
If they are absent without any notification - there is a major problem. The frustrations that an empty seat causes are many and can be felt throughout the band.

Yes, banding is just a hobby, but to play music as part of any ensemble is a group activity. A good ensemble works as a team. You don't let the other members of that team down.

In most of the groups I work with, if you are unable to make a rehearsal (or performance) you put in a dep. You are the one responsible for finding a dep and if they stuff it up, it reflects upon you.
The chance of this happening in the brass band world I see as minimal, but is certainly a different viewpoint.

Many of the players I work with could sight-read just about any piece, in concert, but that isn't the point. The aim of the rehearsals is not to note-bash, it is to develop a team musical sense of style. If you work with the same guys regularly, you think as a team. That is what rehearsals are best for. If someone is missing, they will have a different mindset when it comes to the performance.


My biggest frustration with rehearsals is not the players who are missing (with notification) but those players who have the misguided viewpoint that if they are present for every rehearsal, then they don't need to bother looking at the parts in between rehearsals.
 

Chris Sanders

Active Member
If a player misses more than 5 rehearsals in any 12 month period without reasonable excuse he/she should be disposed of...
 

Jasonp

Member
Sandman said:
If a player misses more than 5 rehearsals in any 12 month period without reasonable excuse he/she should be disposed of...
LOL....disposed of????....has your band got a firing squad :eek:
 

euphfanhan

Member
I can appreciate hellraiser's comment (well the first one, anyway) in the sense that players not turning up to rehearsals and then being welcomed back weeks later on the stage is very frustrating. I also agree with the comments about banding being just a hobby. For 99% of the people I know, it is just a hobby. But for me, a few of my friends, and it would appear, hellraiser too, it is more than a hobby, it is something we take seriously. Sure, I like having a laugh, and half the fun of banding is meeting new people, but to quote brassed off 'its music that matters'.
However, having only played in youth bands, I can understand people being reluctant to miss work just to turn up for a rehearsal, especially if they see banding as 'just a hobby'. Much as it pains me to say this, I LOVE being a student, I could go to rehearsals 7 nights a week without a second thought. But then again, youth bands are at a disadvantage as most players consider their social lives more important than their bands. Fortunately for me (or maybe not!), my social life is at band, and rehearsals and concerts are the only time I have to do what I love and enjoy myself. I understand for many people this is not the case, and for some, banding is something they feel obliged to do.
BUT (sorry, I'm rambling) I think hellraisers remark about kicking people out is a tad OTT. Making people choose between a hobby and a job/family is not wise, the results won't be pretty.
 

Chris Sanders

Active Member
To maintain a certain standard of playing sometimes you have to make sacrifices... If Family/Work are obstructing this then the player should leave and join someone who are at a level that it wouldnt be a problem... If that player doesnt leave then they should be disposed of!!
 
euphfanhan said:
BUT (sorry, I'm rambling) I think hellraisers remark about kicking people out is a tad OTT. Making people choose between a hobby and a job/family is not wise, the results won't be pretty.
Look, I'm just stating the fact that banding is a hobby which requires commitment because as many have pointed out it is a group activity- it's not like playing the piano where you're not answerable to anyone but yourself. It's your responsibility as a band member to attend rehearsals. If you don't then you let the team down.

I would have far more respect for an individual who told a band "I can't really make even 50% of rehearsals anymore because of X,Y&Z and therefore I feel I should move to play a less responsible part" or "Listen, I can't make an acceptable commitment to rehearsals can I just come along for a blow every now and then?".

It's people who don't make an acceptable effort to attend rehearsals that I feel are not really in a position to start demanding where they sit and automatically assume it's OK for them to walk on stage without sufficient rehearsal on their parts. This is what I have a problem with and I repeat I am quite stunned at some of the replies to this thread once again the sample of views expressed on this forum doesn't seem to square up with views of bandsmen generally from my experience.
 

WoodenFlugel

Moderator
Staff member
Getting this discussion back on topic....

My thoughts:

Hellraiser, you're right in a lot of what you say. There is a commitment level which should be expected by the band and should, wherever possible be met by all of the players. It doesn't matter how good a player is - if they aren't at the majority of the rehearsals it will impact on the performance - even if they can play their own part. There is always the potential for an unfamiliar part to throw another player - At least in the standard of bands I've played in.

However we need to keep a sense of perspective here. To compare band to work just doesn't wash. I would gladly turn up to every rehearsal, concert, contest and practice at home for at least 6 hours a day if my band were to match my salary. Sadly that is never going to happen so they have to make do with what they get from me - regular attendance at rehearsals and sometimes inconsistant playing due to a lack of time to practice at home.

As a member of my band for nearly 20 years now I think I can call myself a committed member, and I have to say that other people missing rehearsals doesn't annoy me. I understand that we all have lives outside of bandrooms and other things may well get in the way. However I do get annoyed when someone is constantly missing rehearsals with poor or no excuses. In that case then maybe a quiet word with the player is appropriate, however I do not agree with sacking a player outright, this kind of Victorian attitude is what scares a lot of players away from partaking in Brass Bands I think.
 
hellraiser said:
Sounds like a disaster to me!
I think you'll find that most decent people are governed by something called a conscience so it is fair to place a certain amount of trust in individuals to take responsibility for their own attendance and if they believe in the team work ethic, they will work for the good of the whole band - be it offering to 'relegate' themselves if they can't committ or actually attending to fill what would otherwise be an empty seat.

I must stress Hellraiser that I agree with you totally in the essence that for people to not present apologies and just not do anything is unacceptable but providing they offer their apologies in advance I believe their decision not to attend should be respected - they obviously didn't take the decision lightly.

You have sparked a cracking debate but if you have this issue and were looking for answers in how to deal with the problem I would probably suggest that you verbally communicate with the player/s in question. You may discover that they do not actually realise the frustration that they are causing and they may appreciate you highlighting the issue - only if they know can they be expected to take action. Best of luck if it is an issue, if it isn't then forgive the above rambling paragraph.
 
WoodenFlugel said:
However we need to keep a sense of perspective here. To compare band to work just doesn't wash. I would gladly turn up to every rehearsal, concert, contest and practice at home for at least 6 hours a day if my band were to match my salary.
Good post WoodenFlugel but this particular quote I didn't enjoy so much. I guess it depends what motivates you in life. Of course a paycheque is essential and I'm not interested in telling people what to do in their work/career.

I've seen youngsters at 16 quit playing in a band because they decide to take a part time job at a supermarket on top of their studies. Personally I've found this to be disappointing. None of my business if they choose to take a job people would say BUT if their decision impacts on their attendance at band and means they can never play with the band on weekends anymore because they're working then the situation which they've created for themselves does affect me! Then it's quite infuriating when people who've made a conscious decision to take up a job which they knew would mean ruling themselves out of attending sufficient rehearasals and engagements start to criticise the band when they find someone else or move them onto a less exposed part.

Finally, and perhaps even more provocatively, what does it suggest about you as a person if you only take something seriously if there's money on offer? ;-)
 

euphfanhan

Member
hellraiser said:
Look, I'm just stating the fact that banding is a hobby which requires commitment because as many have pointed out it is a group activity- it's not like playing the piano where you're not answerable to anyone but yourself. It's your responsibility as a band member to attend rehearsals. If you don't then you let the team down.

I would have far more respect for an individual who told a band "I can't really make even 50% of rehearsals anymore because of X,Y&Z and therefore I feel I should move to play a less responsible part" or "Listen, I can't make an acceptable commitment to rehearsals can I just come along for a blow every now and then?".

It's people who don't make an acceptable effort to attend rehearsals that I feel are not really in a position to start demanding where they sit and automatically assume it's OK for them to walk on stage without sufficient rehearsal on their parts. This is what I have a problem with and I repeat I am quite stunned at some of the replies to this thread once again the sample of views expressed on this forum doesn't seem to square up with views of bandsmen generally from my experience.
Yes, I agree with that, but kicking people out causes a lot of bad feelings, and in some cases, one person going means several people going. And as each case is different, I don't see how you can set restrictions on how many chances a player gets after missing rehearsals.
 

Craigsav83

Active Member
hellraiser said:
Look, I'm just stating the fact that banding is a hobby which requires commitment because as many have pointed out it is a group activity- it's not like playing the piano where you're not answerable to anyone but yourself. It's your responsibility as a band member to attend rehearsals. If you don't then you let the team down.

I would have far more respect for an individual who told a band "I can't really make even 50% of rehearsals anymore because of X,Y&Z and therefore I feel I should move to play a less responsible part" or "Listen, I can't make an acceptable commitment to rehearsals can I just come along for a blow every now and then?".

It's people who don't make an acceptable effort to attend rehearsals that I feel are not really in a position to start demanding where they sit and automatically assume it's OK for them to walk on stage without sufficient rehearsal on their parts. This is what I have a problem with and I repeat I am quite stunned at some of the replies to this thread once again the sample of views expressed on this forum doesn't seem to square up with views of bandsmen generally from my experience.
I dont think anyone disagrees that banding requires a level of commitment - obviously there are 25 players.

On your second point specifically... I am sitting on a sop seat, which has been pretty much empty for many years - my first contest with the band (I was on rep at the time) saw a sop player being drafted in on the day of the contest - this is less than ideal.

As for walking onto stage without sufficiant rehearsal on parts... I have already played in several concerts this year (and other years) where I have been sight reading on the stage - not uncommon to me, and I have done this in championship section bands recently, as well as my current band.
 

Chris Sanders

Active Member
euphfanhan said:
Yes, I agree with that, but kicking people out causes a lot of bad feelings, and in some cases, one person going means several people going. And as each case is different, I don't see how you can set restrictions on how many chances a player gets after missing rehearsals.
No matter how nice or popular a person is, if they are not maintaining the required commitment then unfortunately they can not continue to let the rest of the band down... It is unfair to the people who turn up regularly and work hard to get where they are...
 

euphfanhan

Member
I know the feeling, but in one of the bands I play in, there was so much pressure on players coming regularly, that half the band quit. We have merged with another band, but still have not recovered from so many absent players. The quality of music has decreased and the band still feels very much like two different groups playing the same music at the same time. It's not a nice atmosphere, and its the dedicated players that are suffering, not the ones who left.
 
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