Went to jam with some guys

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by noname_dragon, Nov 8, 2019 at 9:39 AM.

  1. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Speaking personally, I enjoy learning songs that aren't necessarily a predictable "1,4,5,1" progression....but I also like for everyone to learn a song BEFORE going into rehearsal. Practice is to put something together and polish it, not go through the chords and LEARN it from scratch. This requires discipline and structure.....and I realize many "musicians" aren't made this way. To use a "classical music" example.....when an orchestra gets together, the players are expected to KNOW the music before they come in......the conductor then assembles the jigsaw puzzle into the final form. Just my training, I guess.
     
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  2. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    Fascinating replies, thanks!
    I'll probably go back and jam with these guys now and then. There's an opportunity to grow both in exploring improvisation, and exercising patience. I'm pretty goal oriented and a songwriter, and I think they are happy just to make some noise without boundaries. Don't want to attempt to rein them in to actually work on something... because it is their scene after all. I'll participate on occasion, they have invited me back and I will honor them by NOT rocking their boat. They are nice guys.
     
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  3. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    That kind of thing seems pretty natural to me. I played in concert bands in the brass section and learned piano, recorder and trombone in traditional music but when I picked up guitar me and my buddies jammed on whatever chords or riffs we could play and the creative atmosphere is pretty cool. I played in a couple of bands that played covers but I’ve always been in bands that did original music. Eventually our original songs became as set in stone as cover songs, even the solos.

    In the last band I was in, it was with guys I had been playing with in one band or a other for more than 20 years so we had a catalog of covers we knew pretty well and if the song permitted, we would carve a little niche in the song to take it somewhere new with a bit of an instrumental jam. We had been playing together for so long, it was easy to do and easy to bring the song back on point to finish it off. There’s something about that kind of playing. It’s the best feeling in the world for me and really what it’s all about.
     
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  4. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Loved doing this in my youth. Great way to cut your teeth. Alway jam with players that are better than you are and you will always get something out of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 4:53 AM
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  5. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Meister

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    more beer for him! :)
     
  6. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

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    Usually when I am sitting around just "jamming" over a track or something, my wife will stick her head in the door and say "That sounds like crap. Play me a song". Most audiences probably feel that way.
     
  7. teletail

    teletail TDPRI Member

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    Jams are fun if you are playing with people that play with taste and restraint. It's been my experience that most of the time they are an excuse for show-offs to play as many notes as they can as fast as they can.
     
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  8. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    It’s kind of up to you whether the looper pedal brings beer, but it’s almost guaranteed not to drink much of it!

    Growing up, the “conversation” type of jamming was just about all I did. It almost always came out of songs, but they were usually just a jumping off point and a landing pad for coming back to. I loved it - didn’t have any chops to speak of, but I listened pretty well and was alway up for trying to take it in a slightly different direction. There were almost always multiple lead instruments to interact with, not just a rhythm section and a guitar. Usually a couple of guitars, maybe a keyboard player, and occasionally a horn or two. For a while I had a housemate who was a jazz flautist and he’d sit in when it was acoustics. But we also had a drummer and a bass player that seemed to enjoy these sessions, so we often did have a rhythm section. Sometimes it was pretty bad, where we just couldn’t get anything going, sometimes it was pretty good, and occasionally it was really good - I still have great specific musical memories from some of those jams.

    After a long time away from playing, I’m way back into it again, but I’m a LOT less social than I was then and playing is a much more solitary thing. So I do a lot more acoustic stuff where I just play and sing songs and I’m learning to fingerpick. I love blues fingerpicking, but I’m still way in the muscle memory part of learning and it’s hard to envision getting good enough to improvise much with it. Maybe in time I’ll get there. But sometimes I plug in and just start noodling around with rhythms and my looper is always ready when something jells and I’ll record a loop and play to it for a while, and that’ll lead to another rhythm idea, so I’ll stop the looper and record something else on it and go from there. I’m basically limited to the “speeches” type of jamming on my own, but I change up the rhythms often enough it almost turns into a sort of stop and start “conversation”. It’s still a lot of fun in any case...

    I’ve always loved improvisation more than just learning “parts” in songs, although there was a lot of that too...
     
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  9. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat TDPRI Member

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    Audiences/critics are the worst, am I right?
     
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  10. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, we don't do that. I wish we could. I'm starting to introduce new material. I think we're doing 4 new songs tonight at a gig. Well worn bar standards, but in our own sloppy way. I started noodling on something a little more complicated (Not hard just a lot of different parts) the other night and sang it. One guy sang it with me. So he knows it. Now I'd need to get the other guitar player to play the other "part" (not overplay) and the bass player to actually listen to it (I'm 110% sure he's never heard it, or heard of it....it's common enough).


    What I like, but don't know how to do as well, is the jam band stuff. I don't play enough of it (or with people that do) to know what happens in the "jammy" sections of the long epic songs by the principals of the genre....two chord vamp, the whole progression, a progression with a breakdown, etc?

    I play with guys that have other jobs, as do I. I love to learn. Sometimes we discuss stuff and nobody can speak the same language. Bass player speaks in real musical terms, harp guy not at all, drummer who knows what he's saying? LOL
     
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  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    This sounds a little similar to the band I recently severed ties with. We would go into practice, and the other guitarist would just launch into a song (which obviously HE knew) and we would kind of "play at it". I would keep a list of all these songs, go home and work on and learn them, and then we would NEVER play them again. At gigs, the set list (never written down) would be a stream-of-consciousness series of songs from the guitarist.....I finally caught on that this is his passive-aggressive way of performing music that HE knows (and thus sounds pretty good at) and the other players don't know. (and so don't play as well)
    I'm sure this is different from your situation. As I've stated before, many (not all) players like to jam because they're TOO LAZY to learn songs correctly. Maybe you need to look around for some other guys to play with?
     
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  12. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    Local mom and pop music store does a monthly open jam night thing that has a pretty good following. Although haven't been in awhile. Good fun and can get pretty wild at times. The owner will break out a bunch of demo gear and let them go at it. Actually a good sales tactic if you think about it. Normally it's just a 2 hour progression. Starts as an old blues standard or whatever and morphs itself into something completely different every 15 minutes or so.
     
  13. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    My wife is too nice to say that, but I KNOW she's thinking it. I'll sometimes be listening to some great jazz - Coltrane, Miles, Scofield, whatever - and she'll complain that there's no song. We like a lot of the same stuff and a LITTLE bit of the same music, but our tastes for music run in pretty different directions. I love improvised playing and for her, if there isn't a verse - chorus - verse, there's no point to it. And she likes show tunes more than anything, which would drive me crazy if she played them out loud much...

    -Ray
     
  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a little with your wife. I could listen to a 10 minute James Brown two chord vamp or the Dead doing Eyes of the World and lose myself in the rhythm with the lead stuff floating on top, but it has a base. Someone is holding it down. IMHO jazz seems rootless and a lot more enjoyed by the players at the expense of the listeners.
     
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  15. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I was in a Friday Jam band situation a few years ago. 3 or sometimes 4 guitars, 2 drummers, keys and a bass player. Once in a blue moon there a singer would show too. I hadn’t been in that kind of Jam format since I was in my early 20’s but what I found with these guys, who like me are in their 40’s & 50’s is that they were much more restrained and respectful than those jams back in the day.

    Everyone had been in bands so we had a pretty large catalog to pull from. Both drummers were on at the same time and we’d have 3 or 4 guys playing guitar working at blending the parts so as not to play over one another. It was completely opposite the constant volume control wars that young guitar players get into during jam sessions.

    Personally, my goal is to play songs that sound refined and complete whether they’re original or covers but those Jam sessions were a lot of fun too.
     
  16. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It’s fun and just has to happen naturally. With us its usually after three or fours songs one of us starts a I V VII shuffle. Then my partner looks at me and says “your turn” and I say “ME??”
     
  17. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    She couldn’t listen to that two chord vamp or Eyes either. And a lot of jazz is based on soloing over a set of changes, often pop standards, so I don’t think it’s that different. Yeah, some jazz gets pretty “out” and gets more challenging for the listener (and players) and it’s for people who WANT to take that journey, not for everyone. But that was true of the Dead too. And when I used to jam with friends or when I jam to my looper now, the music stays pretty in the pocket. Which you might like to some degree, but I don’t think she ever will.

    So when she’s around I usually play acoustic where I’m either playing songs or working out some fingerpicking thing, which is relatively non-obnoxious. Most of my electric playing happens when she’s off at yoga or something...
     
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