What is a Scratch Band?

What is a Scratch Band?

scratch band - like a puzzle being put togetherA scratch band is a phrased often used and heard within the music community, and often not known about outside of the music scene.  It means a band which is pulled together to fulfil a music engagement (gig, function, wedding etc) – sometimes at short notice/last minute – and often all the musicians being used will not have played together before in this band format.  Some musicians will know each other and will have played together before in other situations, and some musicians will never have met or played together prior to this engagement.  So where you would expect the band to have played and rehearsed their songs a number of times before, this is not the case.  Unfortunately, many people make use of scratch band (s) to build a 2nd, 3rd or 4th version of the band for a specific evening, meaning that during busy periods, the band (or more importantly, the name of the band) can often be playing at multiple functions on the same night – this is achieved by using a scratch band or two.

The standard of musicianship can be high in a scratch band, and if the right players are on the gig, playing the right tunes (and if they know the tunes well enough), the client may never realise or notice.  However, from a musicians point of view, there are often many ‘seat of your pants’ moments in a scratch band, where people may get lost in the song, be playing a different version/format to others or where in general, there is no musical directorship – therefore nobody controlling the band and making sure there’re all in the right place of the songs if there happens to be an issue – this can happen simply by someone missing a signal, missing a repeat or someone playing/singing too early or too late.

A scratch band shouldn’t be confused with the term dep, or depping. A band like For Funk Sake will occasionally need to rely on a dep musician or two to play a gig when a regular musician is unavailable (holiday, other commitments etc), and as the name suggest, this would be a deputy player as a stand in – and occasional.

For Funk Sake are a formed band, not a scratch band, therefore you can be assured that if you book the band, you will never receive a band made up of random musicians pulled together solely for your event, wedding or function.  If you’d like to find out more, or request a quotation please complete the form below, visit our quote page or pop over to one of our social media channels, such as Facebook


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