Starting a Band

Hello all,
I’m a SGT from Middlesex wing. My squadron staff have recently said they want to start a band at our squadron, I have been given the task of getting cadets together and running it, the problem is I haven’t got the slightest clue about how band in the RAFAC works and was wondering if anyone has any tips or any links etc that would help. I’ve watched many a video of band competitions and the like on YouTube and I’m still no closer to my goal.
Many thanks.

1 Like

A good start would be to have a look through the band manual, ACP 633.

Its available on Sharepoint if you have access.

If not, a member of staff should be able to help you!

Good luck!

Hi Heather,

Bands take a lot of momentum to get going, but are definitely worth it! What sort of instruments do you have?

It’s always worth asking other local squadrons or your Wing Bandmaster/Music Officer for support or ideas. I’d always try getting some basic drumming going first, then trying to add some music where appropriate.

Hope this helps

We currently don’t have any instruments but we are working on that. With this in mind I need some tasks for the cadets which are practical while we wait for the instruments, we are starting completely from scratch. Thanks for the other information as well, I’ll see who I can ask.

Thank you so much. I’ve had a look, this is exactly what I needed. Looks like I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

I’d also suggest contacting your Wing Music Officer who should be able to help get thing rolling.

1 Like

The easiest place to start is to get your drummers learning some basic rudiments. You dont even need sticks to do this!

Just get them understanding the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll and how they apply in marching band music. After that you can move on to more complicated stuff.

1 Like

If you are purchasing interest out right, I would strongly encourage buying some drum pads first and see if the project gets rolling or not. (Pun intended).

A lot cheaper - and prevents the civ comm splashing out on thousands of pounds worth of kit that may be abandoned in a years time.

(On a related note - it’s probably worth pointing out that the cheapest drums on the market are normally only useful as firewood - with them being a lot harder to get a decent sound/roll on, it’s a bit of a false start!)

1 Like

Do have a word with Middx Wing Band SNCO (also my Sqn SNCO) who will not only put you in touch with squadrons with bands, staff who will help, but will certainly be a great source of support.

You will need someone who is musical who can read music and be able to teach people on different instruments.
If there is another band locally try and join with them to get the experience. Then if there is enough interest on your squadron look to go it alone.

I recently started a squadron corps of drums and I’m adamant that is the way forwards for a new squadron band. Start of small, find a competent drummer/teacher and a Drum Major then slowly build on the skills. I’m writing a band drill training programme currently, would you like me to send you it when I’m done?

Best of luck

1 Like

Yes that would be a great help. Thank you so much.

To save money on drumming pads, buy some old table tennis rackets and cut the handles off!

I’d appreciate a copy if it’s on offer.

It’s still a WIP but I expect it’ll be done by this time next month at the latest

Thanks for this advice would you be able to put me in touch with them?

my pleasure

I’d love a copy of this, were planning a corps of drums in the new year

2 of our NCOs have done something similar. We started with a few posters and we invite cadets from across the wing to weekend activities. My questions to you are: Are you musical? and how many cadets at you Sqn play instruments.

It depends on the band that you want to replicate/create,

If you are looking at the traditional marching band, drums and lyres are the easiest options for them. However you could also look at “social bands” such as jazz/rock/orchestra for functions and the like