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Having a "Jazz Background" Has Become The Excuse For Incompetence

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jtroska, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. I've experienced this several times. The weak link in the band will claim the reason he can't remember the 4 chords or keep time or whatever is because he is schooled in jazz and is used to doing things differently.

    It's a brilliant defense because the rest of the band is supposed to think jazz is higher on the musical food chain than whatever rock, pop, metal (etc) the band is doing. So the weak link gets to rank supreme because he is all about jazz and... well, it's not him screwing up, it's you not understanding his higher art.

    In the previous band, it was the guitar player. He couldn't get through a 3 Doors Down or Green Day song. But that was really because he was a brilliant jazz player who just couldn't think down to rock level. :rolleyes:

    This time, it's the drummer. Can't count to 4 and end his fills on the 1. When I count it out on my fingers to demonstrate what we need, he gets all philosophical and ponders if there really is a definitive "1" in music.

    I may be a rock and roller. But I'm a schooled rock and roller. You can't just play any old garbage and claim it's jazz. That B.S. doesn't fly with me. :scowl:
  2. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Sounds like a crock...try to check him out in a jazz context and see what happens.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Anyone who uses that excuse is full of ****.
  4. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    Yeah, in both cases sounds like the are full of it and themselves.
    A good jazz player is used to memorize changes constantly and definitely knows where the 1 is.
    These guys sound like they are posers because with what you are describing they wouldn't be able to last a rehearsal.
  5. LOL that's comedy gold right there
  6. "Posers" is the perfect word. Would pay to see that guitarist stand in for an actual jazz gig--wearing his pretentious beret. The drummer is actually a nice guy. Just wish he'd learn to play as well as he talks.
  7. ReiPsaeg


    Dec 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I think they have the skill to play appropriately, but they can't get past their egos to actually put in the effort to play within the given context.

    Or they just suck at jazz so they think they can torment so-called "lesser" forms of music with their pseudo-jazz wanking.
  8. ^This^

    Jazz doesn't mean different. There is plenty of jazz that's in 4, and there is plenty of time-keeping done with purcussion and stringed instruments.

    Poser would be a good word :)
  9. There is some truth to that. I know I tend to underestimate the simple stuff and then screw it up more than the complex stuff. And if I thought these guys were real jazz players, I could totally relate to that. But more often than not, I think it's...

  10. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    That* was my favorite line too.

    * From the OP: When I count it out on my fingers to demonstrate what we need, he gets all philosophical and ponders if there really is a definitive "1" in music.
  11. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011

    TELL HIM!!!!
  12. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Next time you're on a break, ask this guitarist to show you how to play through "the Cycle" and to show you "Rhythm changes." Or ask him how you would keep time with a song in 5/4 time signature. Elementary stuff for a jazzer. If he blows smoke, I think you've got your answer.
  13. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    There is, I think it was a classic rock song by either Metallica or U2.
  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Well, a jazz musician may not know the songs b/c he/she never played them or listened to them. But, there's no reason why they couldn't learn them. As for drummers, most of the good "jazz" drummers I know and went to school with, could play a jazz gig, then a rock gig, then country, etc. It didn't matter to them.

    A few years ago, a band I was in was auditioning drummers. One came in and he didn't seem to know how to play at all. He would barely hit the drums or cymbals. He said it was b/c he was really a "metal" player. Well, most "metal" players I'm aware of didn't have a problem bashing the drums with force.
  15. wish I would have known this excuse when I completely blanked on a passage in the studio.
  16. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I really wish I'd known about it on my prom date.

  17. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I usually bring up my jazz background and offer to show them in a time they're used to. They then bring up the "I'm rusty and out of practice" quip.
  18. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Q: Hey man, are you going to tune that guitar?

    A: It's always tuned, in Open Jazz.
  19. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    No more jazz musicians in my rock bands.
  20. brownie_bass

    brownie_bass [this space for sale, cheap]

    Oct 3, 2013
    New York, NY
    You haven't heard about this before? It's absolutely true. I suck at rock because of my jazz training, I suck at jazz because of my classical training, and I suck at classical because of my rock training.

    Fortunately I am excellent at inserting negative space into all genres.

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