Friday, April 27, 2012

Common Band Terminology & Rankings As Explained By The Book

The Story...
When I was in both Junior High School,(middle school)  I had no understanding of hazing or even knew the meaning of the word, but I took part in it. either I got whipped up with no purpose or i just let things happen that i thought i couldn't control.  as a "Vet" or "Upperclassman" I also made folks do some thing s they didn't want to do. I took a beating as a crab but never actually physically beat someone.

There was no "Process" other than knowing you're a crab and you had to avoid "Veteran' .On campus, Off Campus, and In the Hood, or else you'd get Jumped on by some Veterans.. and I got caught up & beat up a few times because I couldn't run fast... What was funny about it is, one of the guys who was a a head of me  me was my crab brother in High school.  That was a wholesome experience I tell you..

In High School as a crab, there was hazing took place in the fall, but you were still a crab until "Crossing" the band  at The end of parade season.(in the 2nd semester.)  And that day was FUN as compared to Crab week in the fall which as also fun when i look back.. yet Dumb in many ways.

Our band directors were always on us about hazing in any form so nobody was just getting "Necked" in the band room. it just happened at random. 

The physical side of band was enough as it was, So eventually many of us as upperclassmen felt that there  there was no need to Beat folks up when we could just make them do push ups when things go wrong... or maybe, take a run.. or do like i did and Poke'em in the shoulder blade one good time to get their undivided attention.  (yeah that's some hazing but it's not like what I went thru)
Hey My middle and High Schools are torn down now and i think back to "Those Days" all The time. Overall. at the end of the day. Nobody was seriously Injured so we were all good. .. no doubt in the heat of the moment, sometimes you don't care.

When I was in College I never experienced physical hazing maybe its because i was older and just wasn’t around.. I mean i did the hair cut thing but that’s about all we had to do .. at the end of the year the crabs get to make fun of the upperclassman and fraternal band orgs so it’s nothing harmful to anyone.  but otherwise there were rules that crabs had such as “don’t walk on the grass” or wear a white T…  they don’t do the white Tee thing anymore do to the hazing situations that took place at other schools in recent past. they don’t want folks to confuse the separation of crab / upperclassmen as a form of hazing

With All that said.  I Understood the positions as that of Military style rankings. .Take always the Hazing part and the Rankings are still the same.

So I Give you the Simple Rankings and Positions & their Meanings of the bands I were part of.  Some parts are universal. Others depend on the band you were in or where you come from.
(Not In Alphabetical order)

  • Experiencing Your First year In Band
  • Another word for Hazing / The act of Hazing  / Taking part In Hazing as a Crab (Middle School Terminology)
  • Performing a Drum Majors  Back Band
  • Finished your first year
    "I crabbed at UTEP in 66" (lol)
Crab Brother / Sister
  • The bandsmen & women who share the same  Crab Class (Incoming year)

Crab Name: 
  • The nickname given to you by upperclassmen during your first year which sticks with you throughout your Band career or Life.
    Just like a Nickname, Crab names are given for reasons such as your peers not know your real name, or because your appearance or persona may be of something about you that they they just want to poke fun at.

Veteran (pronounced Vet'trin in N.O. 
  • Upperclassmen
  • A Person who has completed 1 fall semester in band
  • A Person who has completed a FULL Year (2 Semesters) in Band. ( Marching both Football & Parade season in New Orleans
  • (TxSU Terminology) - Oldhead

  • Alumni Bandsmen who marched before your time or a prior era.
  • A Person who has been  out of band for X amount of year
  • (TxSU Terminology)  An Upperclassman


  • SuperCrab
    • an Upperclassmen who gets treated like a Crab  due to their lack of ablility to Play and Instrument, behave or perform.
    • A Lobster ..(lol)
    SuperVet / SuperSenior  / Supetclassman
    • A Person who has Been in band Longer than any other member of the band
    • 2nd Year Senior  in a high school band
    • Someone who appears to be or may be older than everyone else in the band
    • The Amount of Years In A  Band
    Last Rip .. Final Year in band
    • Also Called Band Geeks or Band Nerds in some communities
    • A Person who is In or out of band or may have no connection to band yet LIVES band because they Love band.
    • You're on a band website as much as  Facebook & Twitter.
    • someone takes part in discussions, watching videos. and Observes from Near or Afar all in the nature of a bandsmen / former bandsmen
    • The Folks who get the footage, take pictures and are up on events, the news and the rumors,  and they SHARE WITH THE WORLD! (lol)

  • At the end of the day.. These terms are all used as part as Insider terms.

    The big separation from k-12 schools in college is that There are Sectional Letters in college, Similar to Greek Letters. but it person has a choice to take part in anything that goes along with it. it’s an optional part of the Crabbing Process.   When you get your letters, There’s a a sense of respect among the ranks of current & former bandsmen. But it doesn't really matter to folks outside of the band. or who isn’t connected to band in any way or form,

     A person who’s not in the band wouldn’t understand why things are the way they are. Only a person who experiences the life in band would know and understand it.

    That’s the reason Greek folks think it’s dumb that there’s hazing in band.. It’s also the reason Robert Ebert didn’t Know that Marching Band was such a physical Feat  until he saw the DRUMLINE movie. In that movie there Elements of a Crabbing Process that a bandsmen would recognize that the average person would assume all bands do..
    such as the “What’s up with your socks” and the Charles responds “It’s a Tuba Thang Shawty”…  If that didn’t open your eyes. I don’t know what will lol

    There was even forms of it in American Pie: Band Camp.. at the end of the day.. only the bandsmen understands what those situations were. it’s all pat of THE EXPERIANCE.

    My overall take on  Physical Hazing is that it’s very much unnecessary but now days it’s gotten to the point where the Physical Training & Recreational portion of band is being views as hazing and that’s what I personally don’t like.

    I know there are Investigations currently going on and somebody will likely see this and go nuts. Otherwise I do have a feeling that this post may be used to help somebody understand why these terms are used as positions or rankings

    but you got to understand. I’ve been out of band for a long time. and the way i see it is that  things have changed some for better, some for worse.  Yet it all took for something bad to happen to make folks realize they’re doing Too much.   I feel that I have a right to Write about my experiences.
    I’m Done for now.

    Note From The Book
    Post a Comment