You Might Be A Band Geek

You Might Be A Band Geek If …
1. You just found out that people pay to get into football games.
2. A story that begins, “This one time at band camp” really is a story about this one time at band camp.
3. You match step with whoever you’re walking down the hall with.
4. The football game is just the break on either side of the halftime show.
5. The only pick-up line you know is “Need any help with your fingering?”
6. You know that getting to rehearsal early means you’re on time, getting there on time means you’re late, and getting there late means you run laps.
7. You have a favorite time signature.
8. You conduct to the radio.
9. When someone asks who your favorite band is you answer, “High school or college?”
10. You know how many people fit in a tuba locker.
11. You argue with the administration to make marching band count as PE credit.
12. When people call you a band geek you smile and accept the compliment.

Got any more? Are you a band geek?

Tell me your band stories!

12 thoughts on “You Might Be A Band Geek”

  1. I’m not a band geek, but my favorite time signature is 6/8. And I would consider it a very high compliment if someone told me I was a band geek!

  2. Hey, Becky –

    This is SO FUN! I’ve always been a band geek & am definitely proud of it :-). It’s great to see what you’re doing here.

    A few commonalities …. in the (late 1960s but don’t tell anyone it was that long ago!) my band director campaigned incessantly to get us PE credits for band. (If it had worked, I’d have been able to opt out of my final year of high school & start college a year early.) I figure – with marching practice every morning, every Thursday night and Saturday morning too (not to mention all the home football games, parades, and the annual massed band festival in Berkeley) we got waayyy better exercise than many PE classes.

    I always figured the band room was my second home … definitely useful as a locker, too 🙂

    One true proof of band-geekiness: I STILL can’t tolerate myself being out of step when I hear music in public places – even working out at Curves. If the right foot lands on a strong beat, I have this deeply-ingrained shudder … “NOOO! This is WRONG!!” Another thing that’s completely built in is the old chanted “one two three four five six seven EIGHT!” with the right foot landing squarely on the chalked line (though I never walk on football fields anymore :-)….)

    One fun band story (again, late 1960s): Our director heard that the opposing football team was used to playing on a pristine, level field. We had just had a drenching November rain (in central Calif.). Our mandate for Thursday night band/marching practice? GO OUT THERE AND MESS UP THE FIELD AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! We had a glorious time marching, squelching, in the mud 🙂 I know my tennis shoes must’ve been awful, afterwards, but my mom didn’t put up a fuss when they had to go in the wash. Years later, I had great fun in fiction with a short story dealing with marching bands and mud (see “It Wasn’t My Fault…” in LAWS OF EMOTION, Thistledown Press, 1993).


    Too funny, Alison!

    I was just with my son’s band at a competition yesterday (and I’m bruised from ankle to knee, thankyouverymuch) and found out that not only does the football team (and all the sports teams) get PE credit while the band doesn’t, their ‘water girls’ get letters!!

    Crazy and absolutely scandalous. The band kids tell me that the football team comes over to watch them sometimes and remarks how much harder the band kids work than they do. Bunch of football wussies.

    You said, “I had great fun in fiction with a short story dealing with marching bands and mud (see “It Wasn’t My Fault…” in LAWS OF EMOTION, Thistledown Press, 1993).”

    Can you send me a copy? Maybe I can post it here? That would be seriously cool.


  4. Great to hear back right away, Becky 🙂

    How come YOU got bruised ankle-to-knee??? Ow!!

    During my junior year, our band director instituted(?) = instigated a program so that music kids could earn letters too – band, orchestra, I’m not sure about the choirs. So I came out of high school with my band letter (& additional pins) which I proudly wore, as well as my letter for JV tennis … which I didn’t wear, for whatever reason. True band-geek character, probably 🙂 So if your son’s school doesn’t even have a system for band kids earning a letter, maybe THAT is something that can be changed, if not the more heavy bureaucracy of PE credits.

    I’m very intrigued by your request re my short story! Not completely sure how the rights stand, since the book’s still in print – but I have the impression the publisher probably wouldn’t mind. Will have to re-key everything because it was done on a now-defunct computer – but hey, no prob! Instalments, right?

  5. Alison … I got bruised because I am such a devoted band booster. And apparently somewhat of a klutz. Who knew that a marimba would jump out and grab me?! Plus, my other job at the competition was to haul instrument cases on and off the trailer about forty-leven times. Including once in the dark! AND, at the risk of sounding like a big fat whiner, I also hauled the water wagon … by myself … up a hill that I’m fairly certain rivaled Mt Everest. So sue me. I’m a big fat whiner.

    Our kids DO earn letters. In fact, it’s the hardest letter to earn.

    But those darn PE credits really annoy the kids!

    And keep checking on the rights to the short story. I’d love to see it and I bet I know others who would too!

  6. The costs of loyal parental support…!

    Gotta watch out for those lurking marimbas; never know what they’ll think of next 🙂

    I hope your bruises are fading – or at least they are satisfying in a colorful way that brings wonderful sympathy and great appreciation for all of your support.

    Think I’ll start keying that next instalment… (Hoping you got the first, yesterday?)

    1. Wow, Sarah! You’re lucky to get your PE credit through marching. Frankly, I just can’t imagine why all schools don’t do that.

  7. joshuathetrumpetplayer

    well, i knew that if you were late for school at my school then you could go through the band room doors…nobody checked it. lol! and yeah pep band was bring your instrument play another

  8. i know what you mean when Marchiong band is not counted as a PE credit but the water girls get letters. thats messed up. i am a band geek myself and i make it known. at our school… the jocks get mad when we DONT play. so ha ha to them.

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