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grumpyguts

Jamming - What is it?

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[quote name='SteveK' timestamp='1428701547' post='2744000']
If it's for public comsuption... Absolutely! But, If it's in the confines of a bedroom or rehearsal room, it doesn't really matter. Jamming will go someway to making you a "competent musician"... and beyond!
[/quote]

I have complete respect for your position and opinion. However, I have to disagree, the jams I have described in this thread and what I am talking about were never for public consumption.

Were about the same age with decades invested in playing,so I am assuming you know the type and caliber of jamming I'm talking about.

I have to maintain my position trying to jam with guys ( for lack of a better phrase) [i]cats that can't play[/i] could be frustrating and discouraging IMO. I am sure , considering how long you have been playing you know what it's like trying to get a groove going with a drummer that can't keep a beat or gets lost coming out of his fills?

Blue

Edited by blue

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Yes, it seems to me that the process of the "true Jam" as explained earlier is perhaps a necessary route to becoming a competent musician.

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If the cats that find they can't hold a groove care enough it should be a motivation to get better. If I find that this is me I would want to sort it out.

You could probably spend years doing covers and never really learn to play.

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I didn't want to participate to bc for different matters anymore, but anyway: this topic is too good to leave it behind.

after 33 years of being in the "biz" mostly on the creative and not the reproductive side, all I can say is: join [b]every [/b]"original" jam you can find. there is no better way to find your individual voice on your instrument, than jamming with great musicians (even not so great is good enough in the beginning - always try to play with better musos than you are).

nowadays a "jamsession" seems to be a simple open mike with mostly poorly performed covers. for sure good enough for most of the people in the audience for being easily and simply entertained...

but - when I started in the early 80s, every band that just had found each other started with a jamsession. one guy had a beat or a riff and off it goes. If you were lucky, it was the sketch of a new song the way as others here on the had mentioned. you went on and this was a way how a live set was completed in the beginning: [b]organic[/b]....It never was about theory, rules and stuff. it was just about emotions and about [b]LISTENING TO EACH OTHER[/b] while we were playing.

back to 2015: times have changed. theory, scales, chords and composing systems are tought in all these "music" schools around your place or even online, most of the newly "released" musos know their theory, but...

...what they mostly lack is [b]LISTENING[/b] and [b]CONVERTING[/b]. No scale or chord structure will help you with improvising spontaneously, if you don't connect to what you listen to. the most important thing of being a muscian is mostly underestimated nowadays: [b]being able to listen[/b] to what is surrounding you (what good musos should do ;) ). music is the most rewarding way (for me the most direct, the most beautiful, the most international and intercultural way to communicate and directly being able to see the heart of your "opponents" ;) and the only way to interagitate with every unknown human being in a peaceful way. use it, listen, learn and teach your pupils to be able to communicate on their instrument, if you want to make this world a better place.

jamming with great musicians for me is the highest and most rewarding way of living expressional music that exists. so grap every chance you get, spread the thought and keep the ball in play!

cheers from germany!

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[quote name='grumpyguts' timestamp='1428703274' post='2744019']
If the cats that find they can't hold a groove care enough it should be a motivation to get better. If I find that this is me I would want to sort it out.

You could probably spend years doing covers and never really learn to play.
[/quote]

Agreed, and for some younger players jamming was not a part of their learning curve.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='krysh' timestamp='1428711411' post='2744063']
No scale or chord structure will help you with improvising spontaneously...
[/quote]

Erm... Knowing your theory is the single thing that will help most with improvising spontaneously.

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Agree 100% with Krysh above. I started playing in the mid seventies and as far as I can remember the first time I touched a bass it was to jam with friends. I knew nothing at all about how to play, but kept doing the things that sounded right. Over the years I have picked up enough about key sigs, scales, chord structures etc to be able to guess right pretty much all the time, and my ears guide my fingers, not my brain.

I wouldn't even describe myself as self taught, everything I do comes from years of 'pointless' jamming and listening to bass players on records. I'm still playing the same style and seem to be getting away with it. If it wasn't for those endless jams in the 70s, I wouldn't be playing anything today.

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1428730292' post='2744091']
Erm... Knowing your theory is the single thing that will help most with improvising spontaneously.
[/quote]
sure, but I wanted to express something more like: you can't write a beautiful poem if you only know the letters and the grammar.
there is more than scales and theory in musical improvisation and jamming.

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and this justs fits:
http://alanpaul.net/2015/04/derek-trucks-10-commandments-of-jam/

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1428716799' post='2744083']
Agreed, and for some younger players jamming was not a part of their learning curve. I have started little grooves with our drummer and the guitarists, I'm not sure where they stand on jamming/improv. Maybe rehearsal is not the time for it.

Blue
[/quote]

However, and this will be important to newbies.

We are a gigging band and the real strength of the band is they are [i]"Stars"[/i] which is the more valuable skill in our case. When I say [i]"Stars" [/i]I mean they are out front and these guys are appealing and connect with the crowd. Something many bands struggle with.

The veterans here know a band is going to get a lot more milage out of good entertaining front people than guitar heroes especially in this day and age particularly at the bar/pub level.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='SteveK' timestamp='1428699967' post='2743985']
It's nothing to do with telepathy, it's all about responding to what is going on around you.
It's quite simple - if you're serious about your instrument and want to be the best player/musician that you can be, then get yourself involved in the occasional jam session... THERE IS NO DOWN SIDE!
[/quote]there is Steve if not everyone speaks a certain language. it can be very frustrating.

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1428730292' post='2744091']
Erm... Knowing your theory is the single thing that will help most with improvising spontaneously.
[/quote] this is exactly what is needed. not saying you can't have fun without theory knowledge.. but when everyone is on the same musical theory page, you can make some proper music. not everyone fumbling around trying to think they can do everything by ear.

the band I'm in don't even know there scales or notes on there fingerboard. its very frustrating. I'm sure the drummer thinks its more organic that way. what a load of horse sh*t. this isn't gonna last long.

Edited by bubinga5

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Apologies for the thread resurrection but today was our first attempt.

Went rather well, was surprisingly tight with the drummer given it was my first time in over 25 years with a live one.

We managed to develop stuff on the hoof, wasn't all 12 bar. So possibly qualifies as a jam.

I just need to expand my improv abilities, but it was a lot of fun.

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1428615465' post='2743193']
In my experience jamming is a word used to describe the scenario when you turn up to an audition and no one else has bothered to learn the material properly and prepare their own parts.

"Hey let's just jam it man" seems to mean "I haven't got a clue how this goes so I'm going to blag it with a combination of random notes and trying to watch everyone else's fretting hand."

[/quote]

So you know the last two guitarists I played with...

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The chap on guitar spent most of the time with his back to everyone else farting around with a multitude of pedals. This approach appeared to work rather well.

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[quote name='grumpyguts' timestamp='1433766565' post='2793726']
The chap on guitar spent most of the time with his back to everyone else farting around with a multitude of pedals. This approach appeared to work rather well.
[/quote]
Quite normal I hear
Local OM is run by church so not quite the scam Blue describes luckily, and I am "the only bass player in this village" so I just have to get a slot I can stay late for
They gave me 10:10 last time which is a non starter due to home commitments

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If you jam then I would suggest a few covers that you are all on mutual terms with

Otherwise like another said, it'll turn into a 10 minute blues funk mashing in E.

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[quote name='tonyquipment' timestamp='1433768456' post='2793748']
Otherwise like another said, it'll turn into a 10 minute blues funk mashing in E.
[/quote]
And what's wrong with that? If you're new to jamming, or playing generally, then there is an awful lot that can be learnt from "a 10 minute blues funk mashing in E"... providing everyone involved is up for it and keen to experiment. Maybe next time try it in G, A, C# etc. As confidence grows maybe throw in a couple of chord changes... see what happens.

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I've done a lot of jamming in my time. Some of it turns into a stop-start song-writing session, which is a cool way to write. Others are hour long psychedelic jams where everyone just seems to compliment each other's playing, and it doesn't get boring as it's constantly changing.

I've never done a 10 minute blues in E, but that'd be fun if I was on guitar :)

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We do a lot of our writing by jamming.
Someone might have a phrase or line, play it and the rest of us will join in then somebody else might have an idea for a bridge or a chorus and we'll build a song from there.

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Too often the jams Ive heard or been invited to join have been a rhythm section doing it's thing while a guitarist wails away with little regard for anything other than extended fret w***ery.

[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1428945821' post='2746270']
this is exactly what is needed. not saying you can't have fun without theory knowledge.. but when everyone is on the same musical theory page, you can make some proper music. not everyone fumbling around trying to think they can do everything by ear.
[/quote]

I think people have managed to produce 'proper' music without being on solid ground theory wise. Incredible as it seems, it can and does happen.

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At its best, jamming is where the magic happens. All the musicians come together on the same wavelength and grooves come down from Heaven and settle under your fingers. Everyone connects, creativity flows and you can hear colours and smell numbers.

At its worst, everyone is trying to shoehorn their latest flashy licks into places they don't fit, eveyone steps on everyone else, space goes out the window and you end up with a volume contest inevitably won by the bloke with the biggest amp.

All too often, it's the latter.

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Ah, see, it's all different in France. "Jamming" here, means "Hey Joe" Always suggested by a guitarist who thinks he's better than he actually is and always ends up with a 15 minute, not very good guitar solo and me deciding to go home with my head in my hands, mumbling "never again" :huh:

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1434367913' post='2798907']
In France, it's called 'Confiture' ;)
[/quote]

Not true; it's called 'un bœuf' (beef..!). :mellow:

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