jamming tips

Discussion in 'The Cellar' started by darrylportelli, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. darrylportelli

    darrylportelli New Member

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    Hey guys
    in the many bands I had never had I a band where we could jam ''correctly'', do you have any tips on how to have a successfull jam please?
    thanks


    p.s do not say eat strawberry jam :lol:
     
  2. poeman33

    poeman33 Well-Known Member

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    Put away the "tabs" and any though of using them, or paper, or theory for awhile. Put on a song you don't know, but like, and play along. When everyone in the band can do the same, then you can get together and just jam. You have to develop your ear. I think jamming is not part of the music culture like it was in my youth. Everyone did it all the time. Even when I was on the road, bands would get together after gigs and jam. It was my favourite thing to do. I meet people all the time nowadays who can't do it at all. They learn things by rote and never develop that part of the brain that can do things on the fly and have fun with it. Not worrying about writing anything or if it is perfect...just going with the flow and having fun.
     
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  3. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    Dry erase boards are great for setting up structure or alternate structures for songs. Another thing is to never be hesitant to tell another player what they can improve upon. Some may view you as a band Nazi but as a group everyone needs to be on the same page and being tight is the name of the game. I think the biggest problem with most groups is the lack of a leader who knows what's going on. Sure, every group may have a "leader" but that person needs to be able to take control and steer the band in a positive direction. In most cases musicians are merely players and given the proper direction they will excel but if lacking the proper push they may fall short of their goals. Short term goals is another good thing to start practicing because if you can start to accomplish simple tasks that the band needs to work towards everyone will feel like they are making progress instead of running in place. There is no proven method to making any band work but there are plenty of ways that don't work, period. The most important part is finding a group of like minded individuals that share the same long term goals and can handle criticism without freaking out. I could really go on all day about this subject as it can be a complex one. It took me almost 10 years to find a group that I feel 100% that we can accomplish what we want to in life. Some guys can make it happen in 6 months, others it may take 30 years.

    Just like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous... It only works if you work it.
     
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  4. darrylportelli

    darrylportelli New Member

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    thanks 4 the replies...

    so to start jamming we could get a chord progerssion or a riff lets say A C E progression then we alternate to another riff after X number of bars then we go back to the first riff after another X number of bars of the 2nd riff........
    is it any good to start??
     
  5. Lespaulnmarshall

    Lespaulnmarshall Well-Known Member

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    The best tip you will get is, just forget everything including music theory and just f*ckin' rock out as hard as you can !!!!:headbanger:
     
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  6. RazorDave

    RazorDave Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%. Very rarely does a band without a leader work. There needs to be that one person that drives the band foward. 5 voices going in different directions is a disaster. Thats why my band is a trio. Less hassle, less drama, less bullshite
     
  7. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    All good advice, However. Make sure that you are not suffering because you are hanging with "friends" with less talent. If you are more dedicated to structuring and discipline then you will have to move on and perhaps learn more from those with even more experience than you. Allow no one to hold you back. If this is the case you can organize a suitable way to move on without hurting your friends. Good Luck.

    David

    David C. Hopkins on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
     
  8. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Perhaps I misunderstood the thread. At any age, I always learned my parts as did the other guys and it fell together as it should. If someone can't or will not learn their part then they are a weak link. This is where you decide are we jamming or do I want something more.

    David
     
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  9. vash5

    vash5 New Member

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    I would say the key is to keep it simple. Let one member of the band set up the rhythm and the melody, dont be afraid to stop them and ask questions about what they are doing, then start back up again, record it, then build on it from there.

    I too am trying to learn "the jam" these are the tips I have so far, there are also some good tips posted by people above.
     
  10. vash5

    vash5 New Member

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    On occasion there are bands where all members really put in their opinions and the give and take works out (Tool is a good example of that, even if youre not a fan) but yeah, for the most part, you're right, a leader must be established for each song, or if needed, overall.
     
  11. bloosman1

    bloosman1 Active Member

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    Bring a pad and pen with ya, take notes and be a team oriented individual! ;-(*)
     
  12. darrylportelli

    darrylportelli New Member

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    This is what I usually do...learn my parts ,the others learn theirs and we move form there and that usually works (if the others do their homework) but what I would like is to know how to go into the garage and say lets jam....ie something unplanned or unfortought....I never really got it!!! and I want to start doing it just to see what comes out of it.
    darryl
     
  13. poeman33

    poeman33 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was trying to say...just play. Start playing something and have others join in on the groove. Or join in when someone else has something going. Jamming to me was completely unstructured. It's just having fun playing.
     
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  14. weeksie89

    weeksie89 New Member

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    Hi,
    Jamming is really great, especially in developing spontaneity. I had a jam with another guitarist and drummer today, we just started playing, decided on a key halfway through and just played like hell. It's also great for developing riffs or chord sequences. Me and the other guitarist often swapped parts halfway through. He'd nod at me, and I'd start on a bit of soloing or riffing, while he played the rhythm, then we'd swap back. Managed to fit some Hendrix, Clapton, and Wings into the mix!
    With regards to the comment about jamming becoming less common; I believe that is partially true, as more and more people take instrument lessons and so don't develop spontaneity. However, being barely a teenager myself, I can say it is still a massive part of society :)
     
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  15. 12barjunkie

    12barjunkie Well-Known Member

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    1) Learn the Roman numeral system for chord progressions (essential for communicating and keeping track of chord progressions)

    2) Have a pre planned list of chord progressions written down and learn several variations of each chord beforehand (The dry erase board was a GREAT idea!)

    3) Learn at least a little theory (simple scale forms)

    4) Learn some basic intros and endings for the chord progressions you've all agreed upon

    5) Last but not least, come up with some way to "signal" the ending of the song; a nod, a head tilt, a kick or some other action so everyone knows to go into the ending

    Good luck and have fun, man!
     
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  16. tubes

    tubes Well-Known Member

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    Revived thread!
    I agree with poeman's first comment in this thread.

    I feel I grew up with the idea that jamming and improvisation were the REAL way to play music.
    I suppose that's because I grew up listening to blues, the kind of rock where people didn't play a thing exactly the same way at each performance (e.g. Hendrix) and later, jazz.

    As 12bar said - pre-planned chord progressions can help. Really, it's easy that way.
    Also as 12bar referred to, if you use some of the classic progressions, normally indicated in Roman Nums
    - e.g. II-V-VI-I -
    you'll find yourself in familiar territory - looking at the foundations of all sorts of well-known songs in different genres.

    But also, as others have indicated, you can get something going that's much more unplanned - if you all listen to each other.

    No doubt it all works out differently for every group of people.
    Now that my thoughts have gone in this direction - seems a very big topic.

    But still, every band should mess around frequently, just listening to each other, trying things out with no expectations attached, not expecting to produce anything spectacular... that's where some magic MIGHT happen.
     
  17. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Yes, it could be a start... and NO!
    I say no because you're thinking of it too structured. There is no structure, or rules. Well, it depends on who you jam with I guess, but it's just about going with the flow, following along in conjuction with the musicians.

    And a little secret? Mistakes can be your friend when it comes to jamming :cool:
    Use them.
    Maybe you mess up with a certain thing you were repeating. Let's say there's a weird bend/vibrato/slide up that happens accidentally, then on the next bar you try to do that same "mistake", but cleaned up, maybe. Then you work with that, and it morphs into something else.
    Then the drummer (for example) can hit the snare for a break, and this will give the other musicians an opportunity to do something else (like another riff, or solo, or what ever), then the drummer can come back in with another beat, maybe with a latin groove going on...
    etc, etc.
    This is just a basic example.


    It's kind of like on the spot brainstorming with instruments. Just do what ever. The more you jam with those same musicians, the tighter the jams become, then you learn to "read" each other better, you GET TO KNOW the other musicians on a deeper (musical) level.
     
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  18. gdh1532

    gdh1532 New Member

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    depending on what instruments are in the band,, guitar, bass, drums... you can fuck all, just yell out a key,, lIke AMajor, and play whatever you want, you could do chords, modes, leads, whatever. As long as the bass player knows how to drive the song along in the Key of AMajor

    guys like Miles Davis, would just pick a key, and they would decide to just open jam in that key with any mode, or mode of mode, however it struck them.. sometimes it may sound like things are clashing, but most musicians have a natural ability to bring it all back in place.
     
  19. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    I have no real experience with a band, only a drummer and me...but we jammed alot!


    My advice...do your jamming once everyone is setup, first thing. Just let her rip...
     
  20. CaptainZero

    CaptainZero Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Smokey. This is what it's all about. You can tell bands that do this and can play anything the crowd yells out, even if they've never played it before. Once you can read the other players, it will help you with all aspects of music.
     
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