Band members who faff at rehearsals

Erberderber

Senior Member
I'm not sure how widely the verb "to faff" is used around the world but in British English it describes wasting time doing things that are not necessary. In rehearsals it's things like stopping everyone because they played a bum note, turning themselves up so that they are louder than everyone else, thus infuriating other members, fiddling about with their amp/pedals/strings/mic (delete where appropriate) during songs etc. I'm sitting there thinking, why can't you just play?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Agreed - faffing is instantly called out in my world. Faff & you'll be admonished. Repeat offences will earn you an exit ticket.

Drummers are just as bad with this as any other musician. Usually excessive farting around with making sure the setup is exactly right, or setting of snare wire tensions, etc, etc.

Keyboard players adjusting patches - don't even get me started on keyboard players!!!
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
Drummers are just as bad with this as any other musician. Usually excessive farting around with making sure the setup is exactly right, or setting of snare wire tensions, etc, etc.
Agreed, I can be guilty of shouting "I'm not ready" every now and then, but if a drummer faffed during a song then the whole thing would fall apart. Some guitarists seem to think they can just stop playing in the middle of a song and start twiddling knobs on the amp or unplug something, then plug it back in again or move from one side of the room to the other to see if they can hear themselves differently or whatever it is they're trying to do all as the song is continuing. It affects the synergy of the band, makes the other members feel uneasy and it's what winds me up the most.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Agreed - faffing is instantly called out in my world. Faff & you'll be admonished. Repeat offences will earn you an exit ticket.

Drummers are just as bad with this as any other musician. Usually excessive farting around with making sure the setup is exactly right, or setting of snare wire tensions, etc, etc.

Keyboard players adjusting patches - don't even get me started on keyboard players!!!
What's the matter with your keyboard player? He just uses that 1960s farfisa organ sound all the time anyway, doesn't he?


;)
 
F

funkutron

Guest
Isn't it shocking?! As an "expatriated" Brit, I must say that they do this in America as well! When my guys come over, the bass player, who is the "leader", has to spend a bunch of time ranking down my PA, which happens to be better than his, just to get his "ego" satisfied or something...I dunno. It may come to pass we'll have to have World War 3, and bomb us back to the Stone Age and start again! That's what I think, anyway! LOL!
 

fac

Senior Member
Our band is quite amateur so I don't mind people "faffing" during rehearsals. But the guitarists do it even during gigs. For some reason they have to "warm up" to the riffs right before each song starts. And one of them always starts jamming quite loudly while we're setting up the PA and drums, and also during soundcheck. Very annoying.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
...But the guitarists do it even during gigs. For some reason they have to "warm up" to the riffs right before each song starts. ...
That is a sackable offence right there!

A guitarist playing the riff of a song before the song launches robs the opening of all its impact.

As well as a no faffing rule, there should also be a no noodling rule at rehearsals. The only time a player should be playing without the band is if they need a very short while to fine tune a part of a song (which they otherwise know!).
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I was in a band where the leader/guitarist fiddled with sounds and settings for ages inbetween every song. At rehearsals he'd make us all rehearse the solos several times so he could get it just right. Took four guitars, two amps and 12 pedals to gigs, etc..

One by one the other three members quit the band, and now we've formed a new band with a new guitarist. We make a point of not wasting anyone's time, we hardly ever rehearse, we're happier than ever and getting more gigs than before.

Whenever I see someone in a band faffing about it opens old wounds and drives me crazy.

Good luck.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
Unless it's a 100% serious situation, I think designating times where it's time to get down to business and other times where faffing is more acceptable makes sense. At the start of practices, getting the levels/settings makes a lot sense because ideally, once the levels/settings/adjustments are set right, they will be minimized during the rest of practice. Not always the case I realize, but ideally so.

Playing too loud, playing random shit between songs, making adjustments for the entire practice just gets annoying. When rehearsing the set I like just having the songs we are doing as a band, and getting them tight, with a focus in mind. Other times where it's more casual are fine, but during the times where we practice the set I like for that to be everyone's goal in mind.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
As well as a no faffing rule, there should also be a no noodling rule at rehearsals.
Yes there jolly well should, especially when other people are trying to tune up, and especially when one of these is the drummer who has politely kept quiet while other people tune.

My previous band were dreadful for faffing, noodling and chatting and it drove me nuts. We could have got twice as much done in half the time. The absolute worst was when we'd call it a night, and then the guitarist would start noodling and we wouldn't finish for another half hour. I couldn't start packing up and leaving because we used to rehearse at my house.

My present band are completely different. Rehearsals are intense, we just go from song to song and we only talk about what we're playing, until we've finished. I love it.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
We have rules. No faffing, no noodling, and if you have to re tune you do it between songs, silently. We learn our parts at home, not at band practice. Band practice is for putting it all together and ironing out glitches. We dont have a leader we simply trust each other to do what is needed.

As a 5 piece we learned 26 songs, as a start up band, in 12 two hour band rehearsals. And gigged the set as soon we had them down. Its more relaxed now as we only need to learn one new song a fortnight on average, but with a start up band you want to get gigging ASAP to keep everyone interested and focused.

Faffing at band practice is a waste of everyone's time and money and cant be excused, regardless of the level the band are at.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
We learn our parts at home, not at band practice. Band practice is for putting it all together and ironing out glitches. We dont have a leader we simply trust each other to do what is needed.
This, all the way. Now, if only I could say this to the others without sounding antagonistic.

As I said before, it's the faffing DURING songs that gets me the most. I feel sorry for the singer who's singing his heart out while the lead guitarist is fiddling about adjusting things and above all, not playing. Does anyone else have someone that does this?
 

mikel

Platinum Member
This, all the way. Now, if only I could say this to the others without sounding antagonistic.

As I said before, it's the faffing DURING songs that gets me the most. I feel sorry for the singer who's singing his heart out while the lead guitarist is fiddling about adjusting things and above all, not playing. Does anyone else have someone that does this?

Yep, been in bands with people like that. After a few rehearsals either they left, were asked to leave, or I left. I am not a pro but I go to practice to play music, and having someone prating about is a waste of my time and money.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
"Practice" is what you do in private and includes learning your part...."rehearsal" is for tightening up the band.

I guess this technically isn't "faffing" but... My most recent struggle in this area is having to sit for twenty to thirty minutes (on ONE tune) while the lead vocalist taught the backing vocalists their parts. What should have been a one hour rehearsal for three tunes gets stretched out to over two hours. Ironically, if me or the bass player or keyboardist started "faffing" about during this ordeal WE were scolded!

Now these are all very "nice" people and it was "church" afterall... But finally I told them they needed to work this all out before we had a full rehearsal and that it was inconsidersate to waste the time of the rest of the band while they worked this out....

It *almost* worked....lol...
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well if the faffing and chatting starts time to start noodling to get their attention-"Hey let's play". The new band I'm in really sucks-old players picking up the instrument again so lots of trying to figure out songs they should have done before practice, faffing and farting around. Every practice I think I should quit but no I'm sticking with the fellas to see what develops. I suck too so it's a good fit LOL.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I definitely thought this thread was going to be about something else, relating to odoriferous emanations in a closed in space.

But sure, noodling drives me nuts, almost as much as players who talk into the mic to the band. And unprepared people, they're on the list as well.
 
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Jazz Man

Guest
When I was first started playing with other musicians, I was always taught by other band members, that when we rehearse......we are to behave as if we are officially playing in front of an audience.

That way, we can get used to correcting ANY mistakes on the fly as if nothing happened.......then address it after the song.

It's a skill that comes in VERY handy during live shows.
 
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