Kermit’s Rules

  1. If the band has an engagement and you can’t be present, don’t say anything about it.
  2. Don’t wear your uniform unless you desire it; your citizen’s dress will make the audience think you are a soloist.
  3. Always wear your cap on the side or back of your head.
  4. Remember a little decoration improves the uniform, such as: a flower stuck in the cap or a few medals on the coat.
  5. In a parade, just walk along any old way; this will cause the bystanders to think you were engaged for what you know, not for what you do.
  6. Remember the ladies on the sidewalk like to have you holler at them; this will show the other fellow that you stand in.
  7. If you hear another band playing, don’t fail to say: “Oh that is simply rotten”, and say it so strangers may hear it.
  8. Have a good time on any engagement; remember it is your picnic and you were hired to enjoy yourself.
  9. Always wait until the band is about to play and then ask: “What cher goin’ to play?” and no matter what it is, don’t fail to remark “What, that bum thing?”
  10. Always play as loud as you can, to show the people you are the whole band.
  11. Start to grumble about playing too often as soon as the parade starts, and inform those around you that if it wasn’t for crippling the band you’d go home.
  12. If you see a lady friend of one of the band members, yell out: “Say Jack, there’s Jennie”. Jack will feel grateful for this.
  13. If you are playing at a banquet, let your first question be: “When do we eat?”
  14. If you go along quietly in a parade the people will think you are only a good musician: to avoid this, keep up a conversation with members on the opposite side of the band.
  15. When anyone asks where you were taught music, just say: “Oh, I picked it up.” Never give the director any credit.
  16. Wear yellow shoes for parade jobs, but don’t holler if the leader gives you a kick with the point of a black shoe.
  17. Don’t bring your music stand; the other fellow will have one (maybe) and you can use part of his.
  18. Develop the artistic temperament; criticize the leader, and buck all tempos. You have studied and you KNOW.
  19. Save all your funny stories for a funeral job; it cheers the mourners to hear the bandmen laugh.
  20. Don’t attend rehearsal if you can find anything else to do; the other fellows are the only ones who need to rehearse.
  21. When the band is on parade and halt is called, sit down on the curb; this will show that you are a concert performer and that it makes you tired to walk.
  22. Never polish your instrument. This is an amateur’s trick and you want to appear as a professional.
  23. Blatweasels (Altos) should never be taken from the bandroom except for jobs. Practice is not needed on this instrument.
  24. The step played by the drummer is always wrong. Every man in the band should voice his opinion on this matter.
  25. Allow your tuning slide to get stuck so you cannot move it; then the band will have to tune to you.
  26. Always play middle C at the end of a strain an octave higher; this will be a strain on both you and the audience.
  27. If you are asked to play a second or third part, pack up and go home; let your slogan be “solo or nothing”.
  28. When the leader raps for order, begin to improvise; if all do this then the ensemble will be beautiful, and it makes the leader good natured.
  29. While marching, if a street car comes along, jump on the running board and ride a little way; the band will catch up with you and you will be noticed by all onlookers.

Reprinted from “Conn”

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