Band members who faff at rehearsals

mikel

Platinum Member
This thread makes me kind of glad i have no aspirations of being in a band.... it almost sounds like it just drains all the fun out of playing :(
Not at all, the whole point of playing, for me, is playing with others. You just need rules. All band members to learn there parts at home, and no noodling at rehearsals = job done.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
This thread makes me kind of glad i have no aspirations of being in a band.... it almost sounds like it just drains all the fun out of playing :(
Would that be because of a frustration at those wanting to try new things at practice/rehearsal, or because of a frustration at having that activity so frowned upon? There's a time and place for most things and faffing can be one of them.

I'm taking most responses here as more geared toward 'rehearsals', in the strict sense. The material's already there (covers, originals - doesn't matter) and it's a run-thru of what will be a performance. It's not practice.

Practice is done on your own time and involves practicing techniques and developing ideas. I think everyone agrees this should be done away from the band.

But there are also collaborative writing sessions that bands go through where faffing rules can get decidedly grey.

If a band is writing its own material by jamming through different ideas and finding ways to transition from one part to the next, which parts are going for how long, in what order, etc., there are just going to be times when someone gets a brainwave and it's incumbent on the others to grant that person the latitude to run it to ground - let 'em faff off for a bit because striking while the iron's hot is the way to go. Sometimes it's the guitar player, sometimes the drummer. But it goes around.

There are also times where musicians feed off one another and end up down some unexpected and really cool rabbit holes. This is also not practicing or rehearsing, in the strict sense, but is a lot of fun, often surprisingly productive, and almost never a waste of anyone's time in the circles I run with. Sure, the bass player might have to take a break while the guitar player and drummer work out their idea, but it's still not a waste of his time. I'm of the opinion that people generally do their best work when they're enjoying what they're doing, so keeping buzz-kill wet-blanket rules to a minimum keeps people interested.

However, folks still gotta be mindful of the immediate shared goals and the other people in the room. For example, sometimes when a baby song is just emerging, and with the band sweating from all the labor, some nimrod guitar player from outta nowhere will bust into some totally inappropriate Eddie Van Halen riff to break up HIS monotony and it totally kills the vibe for everyone else.

That's a capital offense Faff, right there.
 
Last edited:

JustJames

Platinum Member
This thread makes me kind of glad i have no aspirations of being in a band.... it almost sounds like it just drains all the fun out of playing :(
Think of it as a necessary expense.

At its best, playing in a band is a wonderful thing. A bunch of people go into a room...and music comes out! When it works it's a near-mystical experience. Even if you jut try it once, I urge you to try it.

You don't have to inhale if you don't want to.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Think of it as a necessary expense.

At its best, playing in a band is a wonderful thing. A bunch of people go into a room...and music comes out! When it works it's a near-mystical experience. Even if you jut try it once, I urge you to try it.

You don't have to inhale if you don't want to.
I agree. It can take years for some people to mature into the right headspace for letting folks explore ideas and be themselves, while maintaining a respectful discipline in regards to everyone's time and the needs of the band as a whole. But it's all worth it once you're inside the music with a band that sounds good. Ain't nothing like it, and all the playing at home won't get you that fantastic feeling.

Don't despair, Icetech my man. It's well worth the trouble.
 

SquadLeader

Gold 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?
Faff is a great word. It's normally used up here in Northern England.

Yeah, it means just generally fussing and pissing about.

Our guitarist faffs around with his amps all the time. He's almost a parody these days of himself and he has too much money. He's always spending on new amps. We wind him up fiercely. Gig last weekend went like this:

Neil "Got meself a new box"...

Me: "How much?"

Neil: "£800"

Steve: "What's it do"

Neil: "This...<strums>"

Jon: "Umm...sounds same as the old one"

Neil: "piss off"
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
This thread makes me kind of glad i have no aspirations of being in a band.... it almost sounds like it just drains all the fun out of playing :(
I can understand that.

Me, I've never understood the point of playing drums if NOT to play them in a band.

In fact, said it before and I maintain, if I didn't play in a band(s) I'd sell them. They'd be pointless to me.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I'm sure not a fan of people playing with their toys at rehearsals.

Last rehearsal, lots of time got spent with Christmas toys.
I have an attention span of about 30 seconds, and then I want to play.

I am often telling fellow players to think Minimal Equipment.
Keep the toys and gig setup complexity at home on your own time.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
In my current band, there's very little faffing, and once we have determined a setlist for a gig we run through it with a timer, bits of talking to the audience, guitar changeovers, and everything as if it were for real. Faffing is grounds for merciless ridicule, and the only breaks are once we've done the setlist.

Contrast this with another sitch from about ten years ago. My next door neighbor was turning 50 and wanted to put together a local all-star band for a huge jam concert at his party. So about fifteen people - guitarists, horn players, keyboard players, etc. showed up at my space to work it out. There was no leader to it at all, not even the guy who put it together. The "lead" guitarist was turning his stuff up to 11 and relentlessly noodling on whatever flitted into his head. It took us three hours to get through one basic song. I really hope the guy's party went well, because after that experience I was out.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I can understand that.

Me, I've never understood the point of playing drums if NOT to play them in a band.

In fact, said it before and I maintain, if I didn't play in a band(s) I'd sell them. They'd be pointless to me.
I get that.. i just play cause i love it.. played 3 hours last night and probably more tonight. It's more about relaxation for me. I just constantly hear horror stories about dealing with people in bands, obviously thats the point though is to be in a band. :)
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Thats not faffing about though, is it? Many originals have come from a riff or a guitar motif. Originals bands do this a lot.
Exactly, that's what I was saying in my post.

I've been in bands in the past where people are very just playing riffs for themselves in between songs. My current experience is different however and it's for a purpose/we are happy to engage each other in that moment.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Me, I've never understood the point of playing drums if NOT to play them in a band.
In fact, said it before and I maintain, if I didn't play in a band(s) I'd sell them. They'd be pointless to me.
I used to feel this way. And it is why I dumped my equipment during previous breaks. As I get older, and less patient with the poor state of affairs with live music in my area, my thoughts are starting to change. I'm getting satisfaction out of simply learning something new on my own.

I have been trying to get back to gigging for quite some time now. I *may* finally have a productive situation. We'll see. But, I'm about 1 or 2 more small steps away from raising the white flag and quitting on trying to find a productive gigging situation that is a match for me. If that happens, I will keep my equipment this time and just work on being a better musician.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I get that.. i just play cause i love it.. played 3 hours last night and probably more tonight. It's more about relaxation for me. I just constantly hear horror stories about dealing with people in bands, obviously thats the point though is to be in a band. :)
I hear ya. Played along on my e drums tonight to some tunes. Perhaps I'm being a bit simplistic.

But yes, for all the pleasure they bring, bands can be a real PITA to be sure. But then, occasionally, it all comes together at the gig and the world seems right.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
In a large orchestra, the conductor would not tolerate anyone making any sound unless it was in the overture. Imagine 87 people faffing all at once.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
In a large orchestra, the conductor would not tolerate anyone making any sound unless it was in the overture. Imagine 87 people faffing all at once.
Watch an orchestra before the rehearsal starts proper. They're as bad as anyone. The amount of noise that comes at the beginning of a rehearsal when everyone is setting up is quite Biblical.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Watch an orchestra before the rehearsal starts proper. They're as bad as anyone. The amount of noise that comes at the beginning of a rehearsal when everyone is setting up is quite Biblical.
In the case of most school orchestras, it then transitions almost seamlessly into the main "performance" ;)
 

TheElectricCompany

Senior Member
My Zeppelin cover band played a charity show last month where we featured multiple guest players and singers in nearly a dozen different line ups. The guest players included two guitar players, a bass player, a drummer and four singers. At the only rehearsal before the gig all of the instrumentalists knew their parts. We were able to count every song off and play it straight through without issue, but the singers were a different story. Only one of them knew his songs. He even was able to play his harmonica parts without trouble. The other three singers all needed to Google their lyrics after the first play though as well as be told the form of the song. Even when they had the lyrics pulled up in front of them on the iPad they couldn't make a clean run. It was if they'd never heard the songs before. It was pretty dang aggravating.

The show went fine at least.
 
Top