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Guitarists Noodling?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Flashback Bass, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Both of the guitarist in my band noodle continuously during rehearsal. The one even noodles quite a bit between songs at gigs!

    I drives me f'ing crazy!!! I don't get it. I just stand there quietly until it's time to start the next song.

    I have some theories on the subject, but I'd like to hear what other people think.


    1. Why do guitarists noodle?

    2. Is there any way to get them to stop?
  2. 1. Either they don't know how lame this practice really is or don't care
    2. Put their guitar through a chipper
  3. 1. John Lennon used to noodle *

    2. Add a bass line to create a new song, make them share the writing credit.

    * I'm guessing.
  4. In our band 2 of the 3 guitarists do this, all of us come from very different backgrounds with different taste in music so for one of them it's his way of telling us he wants to play one of "his" songs next. The other one just sucks at guitar and doesn't put in the practice time so he is generally trying to figure out how to play the song we just got done with.

    For question 2, my drummer and I can be louder than them so he just counts us in to the next song and we start playing and let them catch up.
  5. bobbybass85


    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Cut down the time between songs. IMO nothing looks more unprofessional than when a band finishes a song and then stands around for 5 seconds waiting to start the next. Song ends, click click click boom and off goes the next song.

    If you need to switch guitars or something, then you have the vocalist engage the crowd (which should clue the guitarist in that he shouldn't be playing at that time). If not, a good chat is needed.
  6. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Seconding this. Every cover band I've been in, we've broken up the set list into "block" - 3-4 songs that kind of go together. Minimizes downtime and keeps things moving.

    I might forgive the noodling at rehearsal here and there if it's kept to a minimum and/or the player noodling is trying to figure something out. But onstage it is absolutely unacceptable.
  7. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    Our guitarist noodles at practice at full volume; even when people are speaking. It's so incredibly annoying. His wife is one of the vocalist of the band and he even does it while she's speaking.

    I called him out once and he was good for about a month. That was three years ago.
  8. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    I can agree with this to infinity. My cover band is so freaking bad at this, sometimes it's 10-15 seconds while the guitarists and singer look at each other.."what song do you want to do now?" It's horrible and I am embarrassed to be a part of it.
  9. We are a 3 piece and our guitar player/singer is very good about launching into the next song. It keeps the dance floor moving too. The best remedy for noodling is don't give noodlers time to noodle.
  10. Floridabwoy

    Floridabwoy Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    So annoying..... It is an ego thing. When he is noodling start playing on your cell phone.... then when he is ready to play a song still stay on your cell phone..... Then say "See how annoying it is?"

    Just kidding, probably a bad idea.
  11. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    They'd probably just keep noodling.:rollno:
  12. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Years ago I used to have a guitar player who was really bad about this so every time it started, I would kick on my distortion pedal and wah and just keep playing the highest notes I could on my bass. Eventually he would look at me annoyed and I'd just smile. He got the point.
  13. makaspar

    makaspar Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Austin, TX
    This.. Along with a sit down with the whole band to discuss show-flow..

    My guitarist noodles at full volume after he's set up, and we're still plugging in PA, lights, etc.. It would be nice to have his help - or at least space on stage to move, and quiet to talk - but we've gotten to the point that we just accept it.
  14. give them a mute switch on there pedal board and put a "noodling jar" in the room. for every noodle heard out loud they have to put in £1 or £5 if the noodle lasts more than a min
  15. ransombass


    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    1. ADHD

  16. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    Oh lord, I deal with ALL of the above!! It's maddening!!

    The worst for me is when we are on stage getting ready to go on again at the end of a break. I'm in charge of the music that plays during breaks and I usually play dance/R&B/Rap etc. like LMFAO (it's what works in my neck of the woods).

    My lead guitarist and drummer will start playing/noodling/trying to figure out the cool modern song that's playing on the PA. Besides being unprofessional, the really maddening part is I keep trying to convince them to learn some modern songs, but they won't stop coming up with all classic rock stuff. It makes me SO MAD!!! to even think about it....grrrrrrrr.....
  17. What a tool. He must good for you to put up with this s***!
  18. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Noodling between songs at rehearsal when you're trying to communicate and get something done, and especially at gigs is the sign of a real immature amateur/as*hole.

    Anyone who has such a 'screw the band, its all about me' attitude and won't change should be dumped.
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    That is totally unacceptable. It's one thing to not help, it's another thing to impede someone from doing it. It's totally unprofessional as well as antisocial. I don't allow it because it not only gets in the way, it makes the audience think you are about to go on when you are actually not, which compounds the unprofessionalism of one person and spreading that image to the whole band. And if you ever encounter an issue, it's absolutely annoying to hear someone noodle away while you're trying to figure out why your not getting a signal from X. Whenever I encounter noodling before a show, I tell the guys to get off stage and take five. I have no problem literally pulling a plug, but fortunately I've never had to do it. Either way, dial in your sound, and get off stage. We'll adjust levels once the whole band is ready for a soundcheck.

    One rule that I have to circumvent this is THE PA, LIGHTS AND DRUMS GET SET UP FIRST! Set up goes faster, and there's less noodling. When the band is set up at about the same time, instead of noodling, you'll get a soundcheck which is much more useful.
  20. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    drives me INSANE . my guitarists does this between songs live... I will hit MUTE on his PA channel everytime too....

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