Here's a reason why I sometimes hate open jams

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by flojob, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Because the house players are good, but when I get up there, they clear off and let drunk eye-patch barfly guy play his original material on guitar. And a drummer who really just wishes his band mates would keep playing their set list.
  2. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    I hate jams where the head of the house band really doesn't care too much about who plays at what time so you end up with some really bad sounding combinations, jams like that don't usually last a real long time though. I was house bass player for a blues jam for a few years some years ago, I miss that though.
    JMacBass65, flojob and Laklandfan like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I was the house bass player for an open mic jam for years. There's an art.... a diplomacy.... to it. You can't be a wall flower. Go to a few. Learn who the good players are. Talk with them while they aren't on stage. Ask them if they know some songs you know. Basically pick your "band" from guys you want to play with.

    Now, that being said, there's also a pecking order. So you'll have to play with some dipsticks too. And you'll have to play with some guys who are cutting their teeth (I actually enjoyed that part). But to play with good players, you have to either bring them with you or meet some and work out a deal.
  4. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Our former drummer came from open jam band. We were not a open jam band. Then at gigs he'd want people to come up and jam with us. I'd be of the position no, but he'd pull a fast one and there would be a person coming up to "jam". On a multi band gig, he had his keyboard player friend come up, he wouldn't leave just kept playing. I do several early AC/DC songs. Nothing screams Live Wire like tinking electric piano.
    SeanVplayer, flojob and bobyoung53 like this.
  5. aaronious


    May 23, 2011
    Denver CO
    SeanVplayer and flojob like this.
  6. aaronious


    May 23, 2011
    Denver CO
    That's how that getcha.:roflmao::roflmao::laugh::laugh::roflmao::roflmao:
    flojob likes this.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    There's one coming up this friday and I'm thinking about going. If I can get someone to go with me I'll prolly go.
    flojob likes this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Talk to the guy running it,buy him a beer. Let him know what you want, but don't nag. Like anything else, there is a pecking order.
    flojob and SeanVplayer like this.
  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you're any good, they won't stick you up there with the wanna-bes for long. Open mics need good players to show up to keep them going. If you demotivate the good players from showing up, it's only a matter of time until the house band gets replaced or the open mic closes down.
  10. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    Provided content for Genzler Amplification
    Sadly, many open jams are karaoke for guitar players.
    2cooltoolz, Pat C., Beamrider and 3 others like this.
  11. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I think you're right. It was strange, because this open jam was more like random folks playing in between house band sets. It was weird. Anyway...
  12. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Haha that's a little true sometimes...i
    lancimouspitt and /\/\3phist0 like this.
  13. In my neck of the woods, there is no difference between a jam, and an open mic. I don’t know if it is borne of necessity due to the medium size of my city, or borne of ignorance on the part of organizers, but it is just a string of solo vocalists and singer/guitarists fronting with the house band. Not the kind I was accustomed to in a large US city.

    I agree with the advice you’ve received so far. No newcommer ever gets to jam with the best right away, no matter how good you are. So bring your own, or work a deal with the big shots. Otherwise it takes time to work your way up through the hierarchy.
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Open mics and jams always seem to have some level of politics, especially the popular ones.
    Do open mics long enough on a regular basis, you'll be ready to run for city council.
    Beamrider and flojob like this.
  15. lancimouspitt


    Dec 10, 2008
    dayton Ohio
    My ex lead guitar players mom owned her own bar once upon a time..... They started open mic night eventually and he asked if they could use my back up bass as the " house" bass.......:laugh:.......
  16. Ironbar

    Ironbar Inactive

    Aug 24, 2013
    Tigard, Oregon
    There's an open mic night every Wednesday in my town, and the guy running it doesn't really seem to care about getting new players up there. It's a half-assed effort at best. All the same people show up to jam, and it's really more a mutual admiration society night. I stopped going because of that.
  17. Whil57


    Aug 7, 2013
    Long Island
    I've been to these, its annoying. The house band insists on playing the first set, ok. But for 40 minutes. Then they call up the solo acoustic guys. If i dont see rotation of players going on, i usually just leave. The better organized jams i've seen either stick to a sign in sheet method, or rotate after three songs. I've even seen the "snob" jam. They say something like "oh, we only let celebrity musicians sit in, so we know you can play". That came from a bunch of nobody's anyway, who after they reluctantly let me play, chased me to the parking lot trying to get me to play more. They also went to extravagant lengths to try and get you to mess up. Like 10 seconds before you start, decide they going to change the key. And i'm not talking on 12 bar stuff either. I just want to play a few songs, not have to think the whole time, kinda takes the fun away.
    Oh yeah, they also stepped on everyone else after half a song, either making it so lead players couldnt hear their solos, or badly stepping on lead vocalists.
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I hate it because people try to turn a rock song into Reggae. It would be okay if they had some Reggae chops but NOOOOO........
    twinjet likes this.
  19. markoc


    Jan 6, 2014
    North San Diego
    Where I am, open mic and jam nights are two very different gigs. Open mics are worthless to me as a bass player, all solo hippie kids to afraid their two chord original is going to be ruined by anyone sitting in cause it's to complicated or bands working out some stage time together.
    I kinda like true jams where musicians that don't play together regularly get up and work stuff out.
    That said, I am a bit of a jam snob and I don't want to play with drunk eyepatch barfly guy either.
  20. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    This has been my experience, also. I was doing this for a while a couple years ago, when I first decided to get back into gigging. I even had an "in", a buddy in the house band. But man, those guys did not want to relinquish the stage. One of the most unwelcoming situations I've encountered. But I did meet some guys and hooked up.
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