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Best way to match a guitar riff when jamming?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by hyper, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. hyper


    Sep 22, 2004
    if me and my freind on the guitar r jamming, what is the best way to match what hes playing? ...can someone explain
  2. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    learn the notes on your guitar and them ask him the chor progressions.
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    it really comes down to playing enough so you can start to pick up what they are playing by ear. Of course, it never hurts to have them show you too if it's a bit complex.
  4. Definitely. You could always ask the guitarist for the chord progression or watch his hands and attempt to copy what he's doing, but those should only be starting points. Your ear will improve and it will get easier to pick up on what he's doing.
  5. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    Like for solos or the main riffs of a song?
    For solos if i want to get up high with a guitar i'll use artifcial harmonics and sometimes a bit of distortion.
    For main riffs get the chord progressions and then write fills to get between the chords.
  6. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    usually a riff is matched note for note or improvd a little..just learn your neck and the scales...and you will get good at figuring riffs out by ear in practice.
  7. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Scales, baby. Learn what he's playing (by asking him, by watching him, or by ear), and you'll be able to jump right in if you know your theory.
  8. Well i'm pretty new to jamming. We don't jam 100% but before we say what key we're gonna play in and then we just jump in until a main riff comes out which he solos on and off. I usually play the progression or riff and then "noodle" it every once ina bit
  9. this may not be the custom with all bass players, but i personally dont really like to copy the guitarist. the bass line(s) should fit with the guitar, yes, but i think it sounds a lot better when the bass plays something of its own. to give an example of my point, geezer butler of black sabbath often plays MORE nots than the guitarist (tony iommi), like (as someone else had mentioned) playing some scales stuff, while the guitar is playing some melody riff, or playing some little lick :bassist: while the guitar is on a rest. but what i try to do is create a riff that adds a new "dimension", if you will, to the sound, instead of just the same thing on a different octave.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Now if you wanted to take a step further take Geezer for example. Get online and get some music or tab for a Sabbath tune or any other artist you like. Iomi played a lot of power chords, so you could look to see what chord the guitar is doing and what Geezer did to jam over it to get more ideas.

  11. hells yes. \m/
  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    This is all good information for sure, but Hyper: If it's the case that you just started playing, and know nothing about bass or music theory or anything - and especially if you're like sixteen or seventeen or so, and are just getting your first jamming-with-a-band experience with other newbies... Then don't get all intimidated and freaked-out by this daunting task of 'finding that magical place for your instrument in the song' or whatever. I mean if sombody's still getting cramps in their arms and fumbling to get physically familiar with this instrument (which remember is somewhat more 'physical' than electric guitar.. well; learning full-bar chords on guitar for the first time is pretty hand-cramping too..!), then one needs to take at LEAST a couple lessons as to not start-out with really bad habits (like wearing your bass down at your knees, and playing with one or two fingers on the frets), and just PLAY-play-play.

    Since you wouldn't want to throw everything off, and make this guitarist screw up - if he's playing bar chords, then learn to tell which note is the 'root' of the chord, and copy that; then when he goes into a lead, just keep playing the same pattern through it, trying most to just NAIL the beat along with him.

    Another thing here - in case you are very new to making music with others: to a beginner, "jamming" is NOT improvising - especially a beginner BASS PLAYER! A newbie should in no way go off on any flights of fancy, but rather be a total, simple, repetitive GROOVE machine. If it feels boring to you playing the pattern for the ninty-ninth time, then you're not in the groove. A single note played once per measure should be a THRILL, Man, if you're in the groove.

    If you're not a newbie, then never mind.

  13. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I learn my guitarist chord progression, then add riffs to it using pentatonic minor and major scales.
  14. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    That feels good to read. Sometimes when I'm playing simple stuff with a band someone asks me if it's boring to play the same thing over and over again. (of course it's not THE SAME, but no one notices...) Hell no, I love to play the same thing, that's why I play bass.

    I think a good way to figure out what to play would be to listen to bands that play with chord progressions instead of "lines" most of the time. Listen to what the bass does on Oasis, or behind some Bob Dylan songs or something. That will give a good idea of what sounds jamming on chord progressions, but it won't be extremely difficult.
  15. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    What the heck here?!

    Did you guys notice? -He dumps this question on our laps - the answer to which could literally change the direction of his LIFE - we pour our hearts out to help for three days and fifteen posts, AND WHERE IS HE?

    Where are you Hyper? Report back in with us here, Man.

    How is it going? Have you been to a jam yet since you wrote in? Howd'it go?