You or the Band?

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
cornetchap said:
(Yes, I was asked to move "up" from Rep to Tutti Solo cornet for accommodate a new player.)

There are those who would rate Rep above tutti cornet :wink:

BottyBurp said:
Talk about tempting fate! Only last night at band, our MD asked me if necessary, would I move onto the backrow for the Area! Naturally, I told him it wasn't a problem...

He must have been looking in as a guest, then :!: :wink: :lol:
 

WhatSharp?

Active Member
For me it's the band, But like many others I don't subscribe to the "Win at all costs" mindset.

Sitting where I do means that I am extremely exposed and if I'm not on top form, the world and his wife knows it! :D, thats my personal motivation.

I would say though that there are those who appear to have little or no ambition at all. They don't care whether the band is progressive, they'd like to just churn out out the same cheese (excuse the pun) night after night and make no effort to practice or push themselves more commonly heard by the cry of "I can't play that" and normally they don't even try. What to do with these people and how to get them motivated within a band is a far harder task to deal with than those who are ambitious, either for themselves or the band.

Just some thoughts to fuel the fires of debate anyway.
 

andyp

Active Member
Definitely the band first for me, if you start catering to "prima donnas" then more often than not you end up with no band at all. It's very easy, say, for a new conductor to bring in lots of new (and better) players, and take the band up a couple of sections very quickly. But, it's not the same collection of people, so it's not the same band any more. The aim should be to improve those that are there, which may be harder, but will work out better and give more satisfaction in the long run. Many bands have ceased to exist because people thought that ditching half the band for some better players was a "quick fix". If those players were prepared to leave one band to come to you, they might be just as prepared to "jump ship" to a (perceived) better band.
 
I may be wrong but my experience of the Salvation Army is that being asked to change instrument was in the past a regular occurence. Because the band you played in was linked to the church activities, if your Bandmaster asked you to change instruments you did it because it wouldn't always be possible to move bands because that would mean moving all your SA activities to another centre. Subsequently there are a lot of Salvationist musicians who have played a variety of instruments in the band. My father for example has played Bb cornet, horn, baritone, euph, trombone and Eb bass i his time as an SA bandsman. What this did within the SA scene is it created a level of versatility that was possibly not about in the wider band scene.

Don't know if it does anything negative regarding quality - probably does.

Might it also be the case nowadays that with a greater availability of teaching and possibly a better quality of teaching that young players become players of 'a certain instrument' earlier and are less likely to consider changing instrument for the sake of the band?

As for me, the band comes first, and if they want me to play the triangle (or carry the flag!) I'll do it - maybe!

Paul Drury
 
I'm gonna have to go with both on this one too.
In my school brass band, and windband/ orc etc. i notice that we are not as good as we could be because the players play for themselves. They all want to be noticed and so play extra loud and then someone plays louder to be heard over them etc. and it just ends up un-musical and horrible. This is a real shame because many of the players are to a high standard and perfectly capable of playing some of the pieces we play beautifully, but they don't because they concentrate on themselves and not the entire band sound.
I believe that being a good player doesn't always mean that you can play the loudest or can play the solo, it's being able to work as a team to get a great sound collectively.

I know that i wouldn't be half the player i am without the help of my band and i feel that as the band have progressed, i have also progressed.
Of course i am desperate to be the best player i can possibly be but i don't like the idea of glory searching. If me progressing helps my band then i'm well happy and so yeah, i do it for my band.
 

skweeky

Member
sayin that its the whole band rather than just one player is all well and correct but what if a band is playing tight and together and really good as a team but, for exaple, the principle cornet isnt up to the job??
 
I know what you mean skweeky but i didn't mean that a band should sacrifice good soloists for working as a team, i just think there should be a balance between the two! :D
The fact in my school band that i used as an example of this is that all the players can play their parts fine etc. and the best players do play the hardest parts etc. They just tend to play as if they were playing a solo all the time, as if they are the only ones that matter. That's what i meant by the whole band not one person thingy. Sorry, looking back at it now it was pretty unclear! :oops: but i hope that's cleared it up.

As regards the, 'would you swap for the good of the band', I know that if my MD wasn't happy with my performance etc. and someone in the band could do better than me so they asked me to swap, i wouldn't be over the moon about it because i love playing flugel but it would help the band and so i would do it.
 

eckyboy

Member
I think it is a band decission and not the MD or conductor who should make the choice as after all the band SHOULD run its own affairs.
 

sparkling_quavers

Active Member
eckyboy said:
I think it is a band decission and not the MD or conductor who should make the choice as after all the band SHOULD run its own affairs.

But this when politics become a big part of seating. I have seen too many cases of committee pressure/and or other personnel pressure on conductors to where people sit/who gets place in the band. I think (and this is only my opinion after all) that the MD should have full musical control including seating of the band. If a conductor is allowed to be controlled by other members of the band then he/she loses the respect and struggles to do the job properly.
 

Roger13

New Member
The first senior band I played in operated a principle where you took the 'end seat' if you'd been there the longest. After 15 years service I moved to another band where a system of 'musical chairs' was operated in order to keep the right people in the right seats. The first band went from 2nd section to 4th, and the second one held it's own in the Championship section. I wonder why?
 

eckyboy

Member
Fair comment sparkling_quavers
Maybe a happy medium is the best for all
I dont like bandroom politics either
 

James McFadyen

New Member
In orchestras, committees help find the gigs and do all the paper work to keep the orchestra running smoothly, everything from funding to buying new instruments.

The MD is the guy in charge of the artistic side, it is his job, in the orchestra, to make sure everyone can understand the music and play thier part.

Can we learn something from this?
 
James McFadyen said:
In orchestras, committees help find the gigs and do all the paper work to keep the orchestra running smoothly, everything from funding to buying new instruments.

The MD is the guy in charge of the artistic side, it is his job, in the orchestra, to make sure everyone can understand the music and play thier part.

Can we learn something from this?

Well Wem can't learn anything from this - it's been standard practice for years. The committee (booking secretary to be precise) sources the jobs. The committee have a fundamental role in the smooth operation of the running of the band.
The musical and artistic director ensures the musical success of the band (with a little help from the players - obviously)!
I thought this was standard etiquette within brass bands.
 

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