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Drummers playing in 2 grades

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.. Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Gordy88 on Sun 1 Mar - 23:32:54

The RSPBA AGM is being held on 14th March next

One topic on the agends that has been pushed by the NI branch is the issue of drummers playing in 2 grades. ie Grade 1 corps players and a leading drummer in a lower grade.

Pipers can do it, and have been able to do so for years, for some reason known only the powers that be, drummers have not been allowed to.

Personally, I see no problems at all, Although a top drummer will be playing parts of the set on his own, he will still have to play along with 'lesser' drummers, so there will still a profiency gap.

I would like feedback especially from the drummers amongst us, and I am sure that pipers will have a view as well.


Cheers
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Piping Connections on Sun 1 Mar - 23:46:16

we were discussing this at the Branch the Drummer from the higher grade can only play in the lower grade band if there are a minimum of 3 side drummers i.e. Eric Ward and Rubes couldnt compete in G4
but Eric,Rubes and A.N.Other could, dont know if this has been done yet but it is getting pushed through
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Robbie.Crow on Mon 2 Mar - 3:28:04

a couldnt play... ad be too busy wi the boxin gloves..
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Mon 2 Mar - 11:22:16

You would need to look at the pros and cons of playing in two bands. It could be done but it wouldn't be an easy task especially playing at the top end. It takes a lot of time. In a lower grade band you would probably practice twice a week for sometimes long hours. Then the higher grade band, the longer the practice—sometimes three times a week and even more heading up to majors. Also at the games scheduling can be difficult, sometimes impossible. Conflicts are bound to happen. You may be drawn at the same time and especially with playing in a higher grade band you could be competing twice in one day then the lower grade bands have to qualify. You would need to prioritise and not all bands are willing to do that. I know of guys who have been told to stop splitting their interests. Also if you have been a leading drummer for a while and want to play in a higher grade you have to be humble and learn to answer to someone else. No more "Lone Ranger." If you think you know better, too bad. I have also known of disputes with members thinking they know better than the guy running the band. You can't have it all ways. Then you need to think of the costs involved with playing in two bands. Some bands charge a membership fee. We're £30.00 a month to play in Boghall plus £20.00 a practice petrol wise. You would need to think if you can afford to band subscription fees. If the band is fairly successful, this may not be necessary or at least minimal. However, if you are getting services such as lessons, the monthly fee can often be considered a very inexpensive investment. You might let your bandmates down also if you aren't putting in enough hours or can't make a gig because of split interest. In a competition or a high profile performance, if you blow your playing, you'll be letting your band down. It's a bummer to be the spoiler at a gig, but it happens.

There are pros to if you are new to playing in a higher grade you are more than likely to be surrounded by more advanced players (usually) who have a stake in improving your level of playing skill and will be willing to answer questions, provide advice and otherwise encourage you. If you are in a higher grade band and want to play in a lower grade then you are helping lower grade bands to improve.

However, I know I wouldn't be able to play in another graded band along with playing in Boghall. I want the best for the band and couldn't split my interests especially at competitions, if you did you have the worry if you aren't good enough tough you're dropped. But I have no problem in helping out lower grade bands if I have time as you know I teach Kinross in grade 4, and the juveniles etc. But then I don't have the worry of conflicts arising between the different bands as I know I don't have to be in two places at once. Just my thoughts...
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Dai Robb on Mon 2 Mar - 16:12:19

Well said Fiona, I never had this happen back in my day, but i doubt I could or would wwere i still involved. And it is as Fiona has said Conflict of interests. I can fully understand a drummer wanting to get to a higher Grade to improve his skills. But for say a Drummer in Grade one, going "back down" and playing say in Grade 4, I cant see that being benficial;
However were they to do a similar thing to Fiona and go on a voluntary(or paid) basis to help out a lower Grade band at practice etc, then ideal,
A good point made also by Fiona is the problem that could arrive at competitions were band to be drawn to play at similar times.
From a personal point of view i would not consider it
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Gordy88 on Mon 2 Mar - 16:44:07

Maybe I should clarify my post.

Any Piper can play in 2 bands as long as there are 2 clear grade between his bands,

ie a grade 1 piper can also PM a grade 4a, 4b, or 3b band, a G2 player can do any grade 4 band etc

He cannot PM both, (as far as I know) but can only PM the lower grade or be the PMs assistant.

Jim Kilpatrick couldnt do it, unless he gave up shotts leading tip and became a corps player, but a corps player from shotts could take the leading tip in any grade 4 or a 3b band.

I would venture to say that if a corps drummer from a grade 1 band had to go to a grade 4 band twice a week to keep up with the grade 4 material, he might not be as good as he thinks he is.

cheers
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Mon 2 Mar - 16:51:39

I understood what you were meaning Gordy and I know the rules being a 2 grade difference but I still think you wouldn’t find many drummers willing to do it. My previous post still stands with the conflict of interest scenario and the scheduling of band practice and competition at the games. I see the pressure that is put on certain members of our grade 1 band competing in different grades and that is just juvenile. Peter was PM of a grade 4 band for a short period but had to reconsider after getting into Boghall. I don’t think it would be a smart move for anyone but each to there own. I would rather prefer to teach the band than play that way they are getting what you could give them being a member except from boosting the members. It makes no difference to me if they pass this rule or not. I wouldn’t think much grade 1 leaders would be too happy if you were to say you were taking over another band.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Gordy88 on Mon 2 Mar - 18:38:48

Fair points Fiona,

Usually, from a pipers perspective it is not a problem.

There are reasons behind this, not least of which is that it allows a piper to work an apprenticeship as PM. Being PM is a lot different than being a player.

I took a grade 4ish band out at a parade last year, and I can tell you that I learned a lot, never mind setting chanters etc, setting my own is not a problem, by that I mean setting each individual note to a drone etc, but it is an education to see how difficult things can be with bad blowing etc.

In some instances I would recommend it, and I must admit, I learned a lot, but, I doubt If I would want to do both.

Cheers
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Tue 3 Mar - 11:41:20

Don't see any problem.. From my point of view if the drummer has the drive an commitment why not. Dai I also don't see it as a case of a drummer going up the grades to improve then come down the grades. There's no difference between an grade1 piper being PM of a lower grade band and teaching / bringing them on compared to a drummer.
The experience is vital to improve the lower grades.

The only hurdle is if / when the band starts to win or become successful and rises up the grades the choice would have to be made to either stay wi the band or remain wi their grade1 band.

Having said that, there are good arguments pro / anti, I'd be in the pro camp.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Tue 3 Mar - 12:50:24

Fair do’s Iain. I think what Dai was trying to explain and myself is a leading drummer of a lower grade band may want to join a higher grade band to get the experience, advice and help from people who have a higher standard of play than him but what benefits a higher grade drummer playing in a lower grade band other than the glory of having his / hers own corp and boosting member numbers. It simply doesn’t add anymore than a teacher would to a band. Whatever way it goes the player would have to be able to commit to two bands which is not easy. If your band was drawn the same time as the grade 1 band, your leading drummer wants everyone their in the run up to the competition? How can you choose without upsetting band members. You would need to sacrifice something and if you chose the grade 1 band over the lower grade what example does that set to youngsters etc. if their leading drummer doesn’t turn up. I said earlier that Peter was PM of a grade 4 band but when your position in a top grade band comes under threat why sacrifice all your years of hard work you put in to get there. I stick with the tutoring, your then getting something out it for you (i.e. playing in a decent band) and your giving something back into the community.
But if you think you can manage it why not try it!! I just wouldn’t have enough hours in the day. But I tell you there is nothing better than seeing youngsters come on. I have taught many bands, Arbroath, Kinross, Newtongrange, Boghall Novice and Juvenile and had many youngsters come to me for solos and the moment one of my pupils (Sarah) made grade 1 and won a solo competition I have never felt so proud. I have also got Ashley a 14 year old who I teach in Kinross who entered 3 solo competitions in her first year last year and qualified in to the final twice and finished 4th place. There is nothing better than knowing its you who helped them achieve that.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Tue 3 Mar - 13:31:01

Point taken, but, if it's OK fer a higher grade piper to be PM of a lower grade band it must be the same across the board.
Then the choice is theirs to make.

Yer points are all valid and to a certain degree correct, but we are talking parity here. Many players ( have done it ) so to say only pipers can do it IMO is wrong, let the individuals decide if they wanna do it.

Drumlough's current PM was playing with a grade1 band prior to me joining the ranks, he decided to stay with Drumlough.........his choice. This is my point.

Let the way be clear for both pipers and drummers.......then, let them decide.
To each their own, but this is just my opinion 'n al not be swayed.
The RSPBA need to create a level playing field across the boards.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Tue 3 Mar - 13:40:35

Yeah,



I agree that drummers should have the choice if you want all I am saying is that I don’t think many would use the rule. But hey ho…
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Tue 3 Mar - 14:12:27

Hmmmmmmmm, it might just surprise us all.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Gordy88 on Tue 3 Mar - 19:42:02

Thats the point Iain,

A level playing field for all, and the person involved can choose

As regards Tutors, I don't see much point in having a tutor if the band can't get out as they don't have a leading tip or PM.

I have spoken to a few drummers over here, and they are all for it, after all, its not compulsory, so freedom of choice rules apply

Good debate though, keep at it

Cheers
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Wed 4 Mar - 11:08:56

Redneck wrote:Point taken, but, if it's OK fer a higher grade piper to be PM of a lower grade band it must be the same across the board.
Then the choice is theirs to make.

Yer points are all valid and to a certain degree correct, but we are talking parity here. Many players ( have done it ) so to say only pipers can do it IMO is wrong, let the individuals decide if they wanna do it.

Drumlough's current PM was playing with a grade1 band prior to me joining the ranks, he decided to stay with Drumlough.........his choice. This is my point.

Let the way be clear for both pipers and drummers.......then, let them decide.
To each their own, but this is just my opinion 'n al not be swayed.
The RSPBA need to create a level playing field across the boards.
Why did he give up the two bands to stick at one? Was it time committment, work, wants to focus on his own band and bring them up? Every point there backs what I was saying that either way he gave up one band to focus on another.
I agree that all sections should be equal and should have the choice but at present I don't know many pipe majors who play in grade 1 also. We do in Juvenile and Novice but it's all part of an organisation with us and if someone can't do the job someone else jumps in. if a band is willing to pay for a tutor then they obviously have goals. If the tutor wanted the best for the band they would work on individuals to take the band forward. Most bands aren't without a leading drummer or PM for long in the lower grades there is usually someone in the band willing and able to take the band on for example, Kinross. I teach there and have done for a couple of years now, Leading Drummer walked and they were still paying for me and Gordon to take the band forward and it's full of kids, They need to do something so the best snare drummer got nominated. It's then up to us to bring the band forward and help them to the best of our ability.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Wed 4 Mar - 13:27:24

Ian left the grade1 band to become PM prior to me joining, it was him asked me to go help out fer a season ( 3 seasons now lol ). Drumlough was where Ian was taught by his father, as was Nigel and Stevie ( Ian's brothers ) so there was a deep family tie and he seen the hard work Drumlough had put in under him in their attempt at contesting ( they were yer normal run a the mill lodge band way back ) so I suppose it was a natural decision, a choice which IMO was the correct one.

Ian had played in the good R.U.C band and when Bleary & District were a decent band, so he has had plenty of experience.

This leads me back to the original question, in Ian's case drop the PM fer L/D.......hence my approval of this proposition.

Just as you've said Fiona, each case is different, but the choice has to be made available to all.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Dai Robb on Wed 4 Mar - 14:42:14

I think the general concensus of opinion is that yes!! the choice should be available to all, but the point being how many would actually take it?
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Wed 4 Mar - 15:09:57

How long is a piece of string?. The real point is .......it should be there so as to give the option, not how many will take it.

Without sounding repetitive there has to be an open playing field to allow it to happen if / when it's needed. The argument how many will use it doesn't cut with me. We just won't know, either way, if the opportunity isn't there we'll never know.

There again, does it really matter?........so long as the ruling is in place to be used then there's no harm done either way.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Sean on Fri 6 Mar - 11:31:34

I believe Maik R. from our band is playing with The Boggies. It has no negative impact on us, only great experience gained.

Best,
Sean
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Fri 6 Mar - 11:55:40

Hi Sean,
I play with Boghall tenor corp. Maik has just joined our tenor corp this year, his first comp will be Dumbarton. Smile He has settled in well. Good guy. We have a few overseas members this year.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Sean on Fri 6 Mar - 15:59:44

Maiky is good people! Pint
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Gordy88 on Tue 24 Mar - 13:09:00

Just to update,

As the RSPBA did their best to leave the motion off the agenda Evil or Very Mad , citing a 'printers error', and only at the insistance of the NI branch was an addition to the agenda allegedly sent to bands, how much time Band secretaries would have had to put this idea to their members remains in question,

This motion was raised at the AGM, and defeated.

All the NI bands voted for it, but did not have enough to gain a passed motion. No doubt as many of the Scottish and English band reps knew nothing of it and had no instruction.

Seems sad to me, as the general concensus on here was that there was no harm in it, as long as the individual concerned was happy to put the time in,

Freedom of choice in other words,

RSPBA with their feet of clay say no, so on this issue, as with many others, the RSPBA get their way, and nothing gets changed.

I would urge every band to elect 2 members, who have a right to attend and vote at Branch meetings, and have them attend.

If we want change in certain things, this is the place to do it, not bitching on forums.

I appreciate it takes a Saturday afternoon out of each month, but out of all the grade 1 and grade 2 bands in NI, only Ballycoan was represented at the last 3 meetings, there was a better showing from the grade 3 and 4 bands though.

Wheres Arthur Scargill when you need him???? Angry

cheers
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Tue 24 Mar - 13:29:36

Gordy88 wrote:Just to update,

As the RSPBA did their best to leave the motion off the agenda Evil or Very Mad , citing a 'printers error', and only at the insistance of the NI branch was an addition to the agenda allegedly sent to bands, how much time Band secretaries would have had to put this idea to their members remains in question,

This motion was raised at the AGM, and defeated.

All the NI bands voted for it, but did not have enough to gain a passed motion

No one bring syrup o' Figs................good fer gettin' a motion passed. laughing laughing laughing
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Redneck on Tue 24 Mar - 13:30:41

Just as you say Gordy, typical of the RSPBA.........printers error my henry halls.
Somehow a don't think thiss 'll be the enda it m8.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

Post by Dai Robb on Tue 24 Mar - 14:16:52

Good point Gordy about bands having members attend meetings, surely there must be at least one or two in each Band willing to make the effort, otherwise how can they complain when things are out voted?
The RSPBA like all of their Ilk, will organise things to suit themselves, and unless the Bands and their members make the effort to stand up to them, they will get away with it.
Well done to the NI branch for insisting on the addition being sent out,
What happens now? is it put to bed and forgotten about? whilst I still dont think it would be taken up by many, the mere fact that the majority of members want it? should be enough to make sure it is pursued.
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.. Re: Drummers playing in 2 grades

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