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Hate jamming

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by gonzilla, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. gonzilla


    Jan 26, 2009
    Am I the only here that would rather have a band member send me their material to play bass under than to "jam" until something is figured out? I mean, I understand the desire to play with other people in a practice atmosphere, but I just get way too impatient with the whole "let's try this, no, I mean this... wait, what chord is this? Is it A with G in the bass? Maybe it's a G-something. Ah screw it, you don't need to know- you're just the bassist." If I'm going to create an original song, I'd rather have a recording of the rhythm and vocals and a list of the chords. That way, I have no pressure and infinite time to come back to the song later. Am I alone here?
  2. rosstanium


    Jan 5, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario
    there's value in both. the key is seeking to understand yourself as a musician and understanding others. there's nothing wrong with expanding your experience. some methods may be more "fruitful" in one's own perception, but again, there's value to both.
  3. Lefty Geek

    Lefty Geek

    Feb 13, 2006
    I am the opposite, I love to create songs by jamming. The only problem is that you need good players that know how to communicate without talking. I hate wanting to signal a change, but I can't because the guitar player is playing with his head down. Everyone needs to look at each other.

    I have a very hard time communicating new song ideas with just a bass. Much easier to convey dynamics with a guitar.
  4. I don't mind jamming something out, or figuring it out. I hate sitting around while people put together harmonies for the vocal melody, or figure out the vocal melody.

    I have had a practice slow down to nothing because they couldn't decide if something that sounded exactly the same to me sounded better than what they had just before.
  5. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    I kind of understand you. Usually jamming is fun but it often gets nowhere. It is much harder to make something good by jamming than it is by sitting and writing parts down.
  6. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I like having a recording to work with, and a chart helps speed things up. Still, the best stuff always comes to the top when I'm playing live with the band. Ideally, I'd like to have all of the above.

    There are times I have a day to go from learning a song to performing it, and in those cases I just do the best I can with what I have, which is often a simple chart and a couple of run throughs with the band. A challenge, to say the least! :)

    Now, a true jam, where everyone starts from ground zero to create something new, is a lot of fun, and this is often where a lot of really good new stuff comes from. I do wish I had more opportunities for that kind of creative work.
  7. A musician sent me MP3's of his music with another bassist playing on it. I tried my best to learn the songs note for note and it was going well most of the time. 3/4 of the way through the session he stops and gets upset and say's I'm out of tune on a few of the songs. The next day I'm sent an e-mail that it was a jam session and I was suppose to play along to what he was doing...

    Sitting in a kitchen drinking beer and jamming with some friends is fun, but not something I would use as a way to work on new material.
  8. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I Love to jam... in fact I host a music jam focused on experimental music once a month at a local recording studio.

    And I to learn or read parts... I find that in the cover band I'm in, I do best if I learn the original bass part, then add my own twists (and I have a twisted mind!).
  9. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    I hate trying to jam out new parts to a song, but the straight up alcohol induced Imagineering session is always fun.
  10. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I think that open jamming is about the best practice you can get, particularly if you're learning unfamiliar progressions and changes. You can always read the charts while you do it, so you have an idea where you're going next, but also keeps you in the pocket with the other players you'll be performing the piece with.
    Charts and recordings are great for reference, but I've always been of the school that says to be tight, a bass player needs to hold the melody line(s) together while staying in the drummer's hip pocket, and unlike reading charts or playing along to a recording, when actual humans are involved the various individual "band" dynamics fluctuate.
    You are the glue.
    IMO, jamming keeps your chops up, and also keeps you fluid when actually performing the material you're learning.

    My $.02...
  11. Kuchar


    May 31, 2006
    In my opinion (of course)

    If you just get sent the chords and melody then you have no input toward the creation of the song.. So you are basically playing FOR the other players.

    If you jam out the song and give it your own feel then you are playing WITH the other players and actually helping to create the song.

    I don't like being "just the bass player" I like to give every song my own opinion and touch.
  12. You are bassicly saying that you do not want to be part of hte creative process and that you want to receive a pre-figured out structure and rythm.

    Creating a song, figuring out what sounds good there or there is the hard part in creating a song, adding a bassline to something that already exists, especially when you have all the chords is very very easy. The way I read it, you like other people to do the hard work and you just want the desert.
  13. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I'm no expert, but I would think it depends on whether you can be creative while playing with the others. If you clash with other players, your way might be best for you, but during that creative process on your own, you'll find that the music from them may also change. That's where jamming comes in, but to have ideas along a certain line before the jam helps.
    I was doing this the other night, trying different beats I prepared, while the guitarist and drummer brought in their own licks. They loved it, and I ran the whole session with my beats. It was more freestyle than being creative, but it was a fun night all the same, not playing any popular tunes.
  14. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    I am cool either way. However, there is something creative that often happens during the course of playing rough tunes that isn't gonna happen if I just get a recording and am instructed to work out my part.

    I like having an idea ahead of time of what we are going to be doing, but am flexible enough to go along for the ride, which ever way the process takes us.
  15. Jammin is a lot of fun imo, or at least it can be. I was in a band years ago and when we played live shows we jamprovised the whole gig. if we were using jammin for song writing we would just record the whole jam, listen to it afterwards and pick parts we liked and arranged them until we had a sructured song.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I love jamming, yet it's not my preferred way to work out bass parts. I like working them out on my own to a recording, or alone with the guitarist. Since that's not always what the people I work with want to do I needed to bend a bit. What helped was my purchasing a tiny little Yamaha digital recorder. It helps me to not forget the stuff I come up with, which can easily happen within 30 seconds of my playing it. :) I try lately to go with the flow of whatever I'm doing with whoever I'm doing it with. Helps me grow.
  17. Ganky


    Nov 29, 2008
    Cambridge, England
    I LOVE Jamming, I could jam all day long. For you to jam, you need to have pure love the people your jamming with COMPLETELY otherwise there is no musical telepathy. Love for the people you are playing with is also important to having pure hatred, another aspect really important to jamming, you cant truly hate someone unless you love them as well.

    Some days you can play the most liquid, greasiest, dirtiest funk stuff thats ever been played on this planet, and other days you jam sessions are just like a soggy marshmallow in a puddle.

    Just play every note as if it were your last, and REALLY care.
  18. Alduroth


    Mar 3, 2009
    I love jamming, but mostly just with a drummer. With a guitar player or another bass player. I gotta follow him cuz I'm not that much experienced.
    With drums the guy just goes a different beat and I adjust my playing to it.

    Mostly with my first band we make up stuff at home, then send it in Guitar Pro to everyone, and everyone makes their own stuff. Really great, learnt to read music sheets this way. It's great to do stuff without pressure of people waiting for you to do something.
    My second band I jammed with the guitar player for the first time and went like "What you feel like doing bit of this or that or this or maybe this or that could work too" Never sticking with one riff so I cant think of anything to play with it, or I just keep playing the root.

    Anyone got some tips on improvising with another stringed instrument player?
  19. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I like jamming.

    One thing about jamming out to figure out a new song to figuring out a line at home is that with jamming you're bouncing your ideas off everyone in the band as opposed to just yourself. (Both have their pluses though that have already been mentioned).
  20. gonzilla


    Jan 26, 2009
    I don't necessarily think that being given a chord sheet and a recording means that you have no freedom as a bassist. You have full freedom to work within the song structure. You also have the ability to record both a root version and something more intricate, and come back later and see what works best for the song.

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