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Bad experience at my first open blues jam

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Linas, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    So my drummer friend and I decided to go to Buddy Guys Ledgends and give it a shot at the open jam. We really didnt know what to expect, we just signed up. We eventually got called up and started playing a shuffle, which was going perfectly fine, and for some reason the guitarist/vocalist yells, STOP STOP STOP, we need to do something much slower. Im thinking what the hell is going on here. So we start playing a slow blues, and i was having a good time with it and i admit i did miss a couple changes, yes even a V once. So this guitarist got super pissed at me and is just giving me stink eye for the whole song. We got done, people were happy, and i went to grab a beer. Im talking to my friend that came to check us out and said we sounded great and then this douche bag guitarist come and bumps into me real hard making me spill amost half my beer. Are all musicians at open jams not willing to help younger ones learn or what? I wana try it again but i dont really wana go back to that bar.
  2. lamonica78


    Feb 9, 2008
    Dude, I was visiting a friend in Chicago and went to the open jam there (it was last month, the night when the tornado sirens went off in downtown Chicago!!!! I think it was on Aug 3rd or 4th...whatever the monday was after Lollapalooza)....anyway, his band does some studio work with the bassist in the house band (E.G. McDaniel) so they figured that was a great night to take me to hear some good Chicago blues. I was blown away! I tried convincing my friend (a drummer) to come jam with me and he looked me dead in the eye and was like, "Dude, we are NOT good enough to hang with these guys, trust me!" After an hour or two, I saw what he meant! Way too intimidating at that place!

    By the way....did this guitarist happen to look like Lenny Kravitz a little bit? If so, I saw him that night and while he was really good, he seemed like a douche! Didn't even stick around after he was done, just got up and left.
  3. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    no, they aren't all like that...in fact, the ones who are really good are usually the ones willing to help a younger cat who's willing to listen and learn
  4. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Sounds like you ran into a d***. They're out there, but aren't the norm.

    I've been in that club a couple of times...saw some very cool jams!

  5. EggyToast


    Jan 21, 2006
    Was the entire place only you, your friend, and the douche bag?

    Arguably, every other musician who wasn't this guitarist was "willing to help younger ones learn," and they were much nicer.

    Sounds more like you just met a douche bag.
  6. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    i have been running a successful blues jam here in phoenix for the past 2 1/2 years and have worked hard to make sure that the atmosphere created was easy and friendly. lots of incredible musicians came out to play.....it was an interesting mix....some just wanted to get up and play, others only wanted to play with certain people, and then there were some that truly wanted to foster growth in other people. the more you go to the jams, the more you will start to know people that go and you'll forge friendships, and people will begin to help. just keep in mind that it is a mixed bag, and there are definitely some people who care nothing about anyone else, and are just there to play.
  7. Yeah, sounds like you caught an a**hat. You ever show up in my neck-o-the woods you'll have a great time at the opens.
  8. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    YES!! He was a lenny kravitz look alike. He was good, but i hate him. Same thing happened, as he was leaving thats when he bumped into me. What an *******.

    There was also a rhythm guitarist who actually did help me get on track when i was off, but lenny was just sneering at me the whole time.
  9. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    You learned a valuable lesson. Jams all have their own personality. Some are elitist, some are near anarchy, some are welcoming with good players willing to help new players who appear to want to learn. My suggestion is to try different jams to try and find one you're comfortable in. When playing learn to watch your volume (the #1 problem with new players seems to be playing too loud followed closely by not playing something with an appropriate feel to the song) and be receptive to constructive criticism. Become familiar with some of the common songs being played. Most important, HAVE FUN!!!
  10. bnutz


    Mar 27, 2007
    Los Angeles

    More ofted that not, in my experience, the jerk-off-types are the guys who don't play out that much (probably because they're jerks and nobody wants them in their band) and think that a once a week jam is their moment in the spotlight, not understanding that it should really be about a bunch of players hanging out and making music together where everyone brings something to the table (and which should be fun, right?). Great musicians almost always are in it for the right reasons and are usually very helpful and quick with advice when a younger or less experienced player asks for it.

    Maybe try a different club, get to know some of the players and soak up what you can. I definietly think going to jams can be a really great way to get onstage experience, learn new tunes, learn from other players, etc.- if you can find the right one.

  11. babaseen

    babaseen The BJFE Blueberry for sale Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Here's a plug for any bassists (or other musicians) in the Southern NH or MA area, the blues jam at the Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester, NH on Sunday eves is an extremely friendly atmosphere that encourages younger players. It is run by a very experienced blues guitar player, Howard Randall.

    If ya go, tell him Tom with the Fiesta Red P-bass sent ya, he'll know.
  12. lamonica78


    Feb 9, 2008
    HILARIOUS!!!! I just had this feeling it was probably that guy based on what I saw that one night! Isn't it amazing how someone can make the same impression on multiple people in 10 minutes? Unfortunately it sounds like he's probably a regular there...don't let him get to you! Keep doing your thing and link up with the cool guys!
  13. Linas - Sorry to hear about your bad experience and what everyone else is saying sounds pretty right to me - that this other guitar player has an attitude problem.

    But, instead of giving you the "it's OK" speech, I'm gonna offer some friendly tough love. I've heard myself say many of the same things you said.

    "...and i admit i did miss a couple changes, yes even a V once..."

    and I admit, I was looking for my friend (guitar player) to say, "Yeah, man... don't worry about it. You did fine." Instead what he said to me was, "What are you going to do about it?"

    At first I wanted to jump up and say, "Give me a break! Hey, I only had a day to prepare and I haven't been in this sort of thing before and... and... and..."

    Bottom line - Don't look for "it's OK's" when you know you put on a less than stellar performance. Now that you've seen the gig and have a better idea what to expect, work on your changes, styles and chops and make sure the next time you're on stage no one can point at your performance (yourself included) and say, "you missed this" or "didn't do that".

    You'll know when your you-know-what doesn't stink and no one, not a douche bag guitar player, stick-up-the-butt drummer, prima donna singer - no one will be able to blame their lame performance on your mistakes.

    But also - don't let someone else's opinion of you blow your buzz - especially if he's clearly off his feed.
  14. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Anyone know a place like this NJ? North NJ to be specific, maybe even NYC? I'm curious, they seem to be a norm on the forums but I've never seen one.
  15. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    yep, don't let one jerk scare you off or spoil the experience. blues jams are a great way to connect with other musicians, get stage experience and learn new songs etc.

    The other thing to watch out for at blues jams is getting stuck up there w/ other musicians who don't know the idiom. a few times I've been paired w/ drummers who can't swing and singer/guitarists that can do neither. a good jam host will keep a few of the host band members in the lineup to "carry" the proceedings until they are confident in the competence of the jammers. IMO.
  16. A jam is a jam. It's not a show, it's not a paid performance. IMO mistakes are expected and are nothing to apologize for. If I'm willing to stand up at a jam and do my best and someone doesn't like it, tough toenails. Sounds like you met some ass who thinks he's god's gift to guitar. Forget him.
  17. When and where? I go out there a couple times a year to see family and would LOVE to come out and jam.
  18. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    if you can believe it, we were most recently hosting at a TGI Friday's. i have never been to a friday's that had music, but their management heard us at another place, and asked us to do it there. so we did. the jam was for 3 1/2 hours every thursday, and we had an average of 30 musicians steady (plus audience) every week. unfortunately, that friday's just closed, and we a currently looking for a new venue.

    you can check here - http://www.rayrayblues.com/bluesjams/

    for most regular blues jams in phoenix. alot of the players that show up at one jam, go to the others as well. its a small, tight, but good circuit / group of people. lots of incredible talent.
  19. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    hang in jams are unpredictable but fun,learn how to turn the tables on these idiots kind of make it a game,I think if you were happy with your performance and your friend in the audience liked it then it was probably pretty good so as far as older cats in the biz?well Im one so here is a wise tidbit.....in music you will meet the very best people and you will meet the worst of people so welcome to our world
  20. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Right on! This is why i will never do jams to many different types of players. I dont like adapting to someone for a few songs for fun. And old Lenny would of been lookin for teeth if he would of pulled the bump on this boy fo' sure!

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