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Horribly wrong jam etiquette (a wee rant)

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Paulabass, Nov 26, 2018.


  1. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    I REALLY try to make my jam night (afternoon) special. Most jams are a 'Throw the band in the corner, and see what happens'. At mine they get the big stage, a light show, 12,000 watt SOTA p.a. and FOH person (me). My partner makes sure everybody gets to play, and builds jam bands based on musicians strengths, and styles. Each musician coming up gets a quickie sound check for FOH levels and monitors. I'm juggling 20 inputs and 9 monitor mixes. I'm REALLY working hard to give each and every one the 'rock star' experience.
    We provide a kickin' house band for those that need it, and who get a 30 minute feature set.
    Then jam deplorables start showing up. *** is wrong with these people?
    Sound check was done, and I was eating my breakfast when the first showed up, thru the kitchen cause the doors weren't open yet. He asked if whole bands could play. I said talk to Jerry, he'll get you on the list. He said he needed to talk to me (eye roll on my part) He hands me an F'in stage plot. His six piece band need six vocals, a headset for the drummer, three wirelesses, and in ears. They want to bring their own keyboards. I tried to explain 'jam' to him. When I said if he couldn't get by with what was onstage, and VERY quickly at that, we couldn't accomodate him. He says- Well, we could soundcheck right now! He left in a huff, and called me an ******* on the way out.

    Two guitarists were on stage and badly out of tune. After the first song I jumped on stage and told them if they could not play in tune they would have to leave the stage. One of them responded by saying 'It's just a jam', and pouring his beer on the stage.

    A bass player plugged into my SVT, and turned it up to ten. I stopped him, and he replied 'That's my sound'. I read him the riot act, and he proceed to still drown out the whole band. I pulled them after two songs because they were deafening, and they left all pissed off.

    Harmonica players- Feel they can jump on stage anytime they feel like it, grab ANY mic, including one on the front of a guitar cabinet, and then stay all day... 'I'll just lay back'.

    I'm doing FOH, I'm the on call bass player, AND it was my turn for my band to be the featured band. I've got a lot on my plate, and a few complete jerks want to crap on my granola.
    RANT OVER.
    We had 28 jammers in 6 hours come thru that were great, respected time limits, and played in tune.
     
  2. LOL!

    I've had the misfortune to experience every single scenario you listed... it seems to be a universal plague.
     
    Dgl44, DJ Bebop, DrayMiles and 2 others like this.
  3. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The more complex you make an open jam, the more complex the rules need to be.

    You could probably save yourself a lot of arguments by printing off some ground rules. Hand them to whomever the ci facr person is. Tell them to show the rules to the rest of the band. Then say "If y ou u still want to play UNDER THESE TERMS see that guy/gal about getting on the list. If not, we understand."

    Include things like maximum of monitor mixes, maximum time allowed to get your band set up/torn down, maximum time on stage. Also, include rules for individuals, such as "You do NOT get to stay on stage and jam with everyone all afternoon."

    Your last rule should be.....

    "We reserve the right to turn you away if you cop an attitude with production staff."

    Do that, and you should be able to avoid some of those issues.

    Sorry. People suck. Musicians suck even worse than people. ;)
     
    Mr_Moo, RSBBass, City and 39 others like this.
  4. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Yes to that, NO to "People suck. Musicians suck even worse than people. ;)" Lotsa great folks out there.
     
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    "No Jam For You"
     
  6. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    "The Jam Deplorables" would make a great band name... :D
     
    DaDo625, RSBBass, GregC and 37 others like this.
  7. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    Yeah it blows me away what happens onstage at these jams.
    Is it too much to be in tune? Is it too much to ask for the drummer to keep a simple beat?
    And none of the performers consider their audience; it’s just self absorbed ego driven crap most of the time.
     
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    These open jam scenarios often attract bottom feeders who are amateur level players with egos that rival Axl Rose.
    Their three tunes are their own personal Woodstock.
    Sometimes unbearable but always laughable

    Edit... I must add that many of the attendees, while not great players, are nice people and i will gladly back them up.
    The negative attention ones really get the worm, though
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Wow. Taking notes here - been wanting to start hosting small open jams, so this is quite, ummm, instructional. And a little scary.
     
  10. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ Agreed. Even the audience like a good trainwreck. We have a band of 12-13 year olds that come out a lot, they are really good, and play classic rock. Yesterday one of their dads wanted to sit in with them. He was suffering from some sort of mid life crisis/breakdown, and made every rockstar move in the book, and looked like a total moron (and was out of tune).
     
    Mr_Moo, Mktrat, DirtyDuke and 14 others like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Wow, must've been quite the cringe-worthy experience for the kid... ...emotionally scarred for life! :eek::woot:
     
    Mr_Moo, Bobro, djaxup and 8 others like this.
  12. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    it would - even better if it was the house band for a jam night!
     
    Mr_Moo, RSBBass, Plutonium244 and 5 others like this.
  13. capnjim

    capnjim

    Mar 13, 2008
    At least you didn't have the nightmare sax player who wants to play on every song.
    What's an FOH person?
     
    Pbassmanca, DJ Bebop and PennyroyalWe like this.
  14. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    A little jam in a bar or club is pretty easy to control. Leave a couple of vocal mics on, and sign 'em up.
    Mine is full production- everything is mic'ed, multiple monitor mixes, and it gets pretty hairy at times.
     
    Bobro, Pbassmanca and bholder like this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    FOH person = Front Of House = sound person / PA guy.
     
    Pbassmanca and DJ Bebop like this.
  16. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Front of House. He or she mixes the band. It's the genderless term for sound man, sound guy, sound dude, the person who got here first, and leaves last, but catches all the flack in between. On a big stage there's the FOH, the backline person (stage manager) who makes sure all the right stuff is on stage, and the monitor mixer. They're all tough demanding jobs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Mr_Moo, RSBBass, DirtyDuke and 8 others like this.
  17. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, I can imagine. Well if I ever get my building out back finished, I might actually have the space for a setup like that. But starting small, sticking to just acoustics or "acoustic friendly" volume levels to start with. But still, probably ought to expect the same sort of drama at some point. ;)
     
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  18. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom

    Nov 30, 2005
    Colorado
    I used to go to an open mic that had a drunken sax player that was a regular. He would bring his own wireless mic and randomly start playing along whenever he felt like it. And the drunker he got, the more he felt like it. And the host was usually out smoking weed so he wouldn't notice. The sax player would just start playing a solo right in the middle of someone else's solo and somehow he was always louder than everyone else. He used to take his sax in the mensroom and play while he peed. :help:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  19. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    @Paulabass maybe we can all chip in and get you a cattle prod...
    :D
     
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Probably liked the acoustics in there lol
     

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