View Full Version : Recruiting Tips & Tricks???

07-02-07, 03:10 AM
I saw the other thread about band size and it got me thinking about how small our band has become.

Two years ago, we could field 12-16 pipers, 3-4 sides, and a bass. (Please don't ask where our tenor drummers are, it's a sore subject for me!!!!!!)

We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago to discuss the future of our band which is now down to 8 pipers and 2 sides (we take turns on bass), when everyone comes out. We may have to turn down paying gigs for lack of bodies........:tumbleweed:

We decided to try an aggressive recriuting campaign (newspaper ads, practices in the park to attract attention, etc), but I'm not sure it will work for drummers, as there are NO good drumming instructors in Montreal, for current drummers as well as new learners.

My question to you, fellow forumites:



Pete Walen
07-02-07, 03:43 AM
Sit down with propective members, have a nice chat with some of the band mates around. Have a good laugh about what good times there are, tell 'em about all the grand things ya do as a group, buy them a beer, drop a shilling in the bottom (without them seeing) an' when they tip the pint up ta drain it - the shilling lands in their mouth - sometimes caught in the teeth - and ya can lawfully claim they've taken the King's Shilling - and are therefore in the Army and there's naught they can do...

Oh wait... you wanted recruiting for your BAND....

Sorry, my mistake... an' only off by, oh, 190 years or so...

Pete Walen
07-02-07, 03:53 AM
I was also keenly disappointed that the pubs & eateries in "Historical Williamsburg" in Virginia, would not take my farthing for my meal when visiting the daughter and her beau (and his family) at Christmas-time.

Based on the prices one place had on the wall, I'd have expected a ha'penny back after buying lunch for my wife and I...

Seriously, the hard part is finding folks who want to do this under the terms we perform under - right? Wool (lots), ties, black hats, jackets and/or waistcoats, kilts, shoes that tend to take the ideas of practical and comfortable and throw them out the window and keep what's left. Appeal for the opposite sex only goes so far.

That means - the music is what will get people recruited. When I was building a band, lo those many years ago - I looked for drummers who wanted to *play* and were willing to work hard to be the best around. Many came in and tried it - some found it wasn't to their taste - and I still see them around and talk and go to gigs they play and they'd come to mine. Some found it was beyond their ability. Some ran with it.

We downplayed the ethnic / historic / granduer of old stuff and played up what we did - a modern vibrant from of music and performance that happened to have old roots.

That might be a challenge for a military-affiliated pipe band, but that might be one approach.

07-02-07, 06:03 PM
We are in that situation...we turned down a few paying gigs last year because of the lack of pipers. As it stands, we just have a small ad in a local paper. I only noticed it one day out of the blue, but it had been running for a while.
Our band still provides the bagpipes to members, which is a plus.
When our band doesn't play somewhere, but its something like a Massed band gathering, a few of us (piper, snare, bass, tenor) go out on our own as representatives of the band. Last Gathering weekend in Kincardine, we walked out to the end of the pier and played a few tunes Sunday around noon. People were impressed and enjoyed listening to the Innisfil Pipes & Drums 'mini' band.
Think I'm kinda babbling, but just throwing some things out there.
This year is our band's 30th anniversary and we are hoping to put together a mini tattoo. This will get us some media coverage at least!

07-02-07, 06:32 PM
If you can't steal them you have to grow them.

visit the local schools, make connections with the music teachers to "advertise" your band. Cub-scouts, Scouts, Girl Guides, Cadets. Put ads up in schools, community centres, church halls, synagogues, mosques. Anyone that is capable of teaching the basics to a kid, do so.

Drummers, or the lack thereof, is always a sore point in "our" region. I always ask our drummers addn others, when they moan about not having enough, is why aren't you teaching someone? Once in a while bring in an instructor to doa workshop with whichever corps is in need. It's a slow painful process, but it works most times.

good luck!

07-02-07, 07:22 PM
in Chile he is worse, culturally despise kilts for the men, they think that they are little men or gay in using, and are much ashamed. :gah:

07-02-07, 08:28 PM
allot of people all over the world think that way. Just show them Braveheart, or Highlander, or some other British war movie. They will get over it. Wearing a kilt was NOT a popular thing to do when I was a kid. I got over it fast once I was playing with other people my own age.

07-02-07, 08:33 PM
well.. our band! where do i start! most of our players are all related in some way.. (legal and not :bg:) and that makes up most of the new members, but some do come along out of the blue (like i did) and just want to learn, and those are the types we want! sure, the family ties are good, but if a person just wants to go with a band because there cusin is in it or there brother... they are normaly the trouble makers.. the ones that come along themselfs are the ones that want to learn! (am i babbling)

anyway the point im making is; hang on, you will get members.. (steal, grow, medcaly enhance the ones you have, or cloan the whole band 3 times over but you will get it)!

07-02-07, 08:45 PM
When I was growing up in Canada, people at my school didn't even know I played the pipes as it wasn't too cool to be a bagpiper in highschool.

Our vice princple knew I was piper, seeing as i was sent down to the his office enough! ;-)

He asked me to play for the school festival and I was horrified!!!!!!!!!

I reluctently agreed to play and to my real surprize it went over really well, even got some dates out of the deal.

AJ, you will always come across the negative types, but the people that will admire you for being different will outweigh all the shallow people.

07-02-07, 09:25 PM
in Chile he is worse, culturally despise kilts for the men, they think that they are little men or gay in using, and are much ashamed. :gah:

Ah, pero Alex, las mujeres... oops, sorry kiddies, even here in Chile the women love men in kilts. I wouldn't dare mention how often I've found soft fingers explor... no, better not go there. Hey, PB, you got all the dates, you tell the stories. :rotf:

07-02-07, 09:41 PM
jajajaja , Bombero tell you histories, he had, almost one violation, my lips are sealed :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

07-02-07, 11:31 PM
If it's a short term thing and you're looking for members now, your best bet is poaching :whistle: :wink: but obviously that's not the way to go about things .... otherwise you'll need to go back to the beginning and bring the kids through!!