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Is jamming a lost art???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bass7755, Jul 29, 2001.

  1. Bass7755

    Bass7755 Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    I read in the last issue of Bass Frontiers that the guy that makes "A" basses (sorry can't remember his name..its starts with A). He has played for quite some time. He said that jamming may be a "lost art". I have played for 29 years!!! When I first picked up the bass. I would get together with guys and "jam" for hours on end. Just kind of experimenting to see what we could do. Has things changed that much? Do you young guys jam??? At our band practice we will start out with a 10 minute jam and end up with a 20 minute jam (sometimes).
    Its late and I was just wondering...
  2. My band jams. We dont have established "jam times" It's usually between songs if I or the guitarist start playing, and we'll just take it from there.
  3. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Jamming is how my friends and I write some songs.
    Jamming rules!
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    My latest band has recently been solidified with the 'official' joining of our drummer, a cat that I played with in another band for five years, and absolutely my favorite drummer to play with. He and I have a natural connection that allows us to take a rhythm, like the droning E vamp of 'Suzy Q', and break it into a heavy jam. The two guitar players aren't used to this kind of thing and are having to adjust somewhat, but they're starting to get into it. There were a few times at last night's gig where they had thought that the song was over, but the groove was too powerful to stop. I think that they might have gotten a little ticked, but the crowd was absolutely eating it up! Jamming is here to stay!

  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    Albey Balgochian (sp?) is the name.

    I don't think Jamming is a lost art.

    I went to a party yesterday and we all had instruments (actually, I didn't have my bass, I played a strat through an octaver). We spent like 20 minutes playing the chord structure of "La Bamba", with people throwing in solos and mprovising here and there.

    Then, I came up with a reggae line that went G7-Am and we played that for another twenty minutes. I called it the "Two Chord Reggae", Inspired by the "One-Note-Samba". One of the guys started singing, making up lyrics on the spot and it was great. We played 40 minutes of nothing and everyone enjoyed it.

    Mind you. I'm 30 and I was the youngest person in the group. I don't know if you consider me "young"...
  6. sunnking


    Jul 13, 2001
    its not lost but certianly scarce. for the most of last 20 years the attitude was that if you play too much you suck. i must agree to a point. but that has kept alot of people shy from jamming. i love to be involved in a good jam, but i hate it when its not going well. if players are really paying attention to learning music, their instruments and listen each other than that art or jamming will be revived. you never know what you can do untill youre pushed and you only get really pushed in a good jam. a good jam is like your first ride on a roller coaster, it twists, turns, flips you around and takes you and the audience on a ride.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I like a good ol jam every now and again..one of the bands i was in, was me and 3 other close friends, we would play the required material at rehearsals and every so often just "vent" and do a total improv jam. Unfortunatly everyone else Ive played in a serious band situation with since them doesnt do that. Its strictly business at rehearsals. Like with the country band Im in right now, I'll go off and start a nice groove, just to see if the drummer will join in, and he'll just say hey man, or look at me funny. I usually look and smirk and say, wouldnt kill ya to join in.
  8. Well, I'm getting into the habit of jamming. It's just so fun! :D

    Seriously. With my band, we hardly ever jam unless there's just the guitarist/drummer/aspiring bassist and myself. Otherwise, we can never get a good jam going for some reason.

    BUT, with some other musician friends who, unlike me, know music theory, I've been invited to several jam sessions. Honestly...for me it's quite intimidating because they all know theory and I don't, but a couple days ago one of them said to me on ICQ, "You've got talent." So that was pretty encouraging. :)

    Also, now that it's summer I have more time to just screw around on my bass & stuff...
    Or...well, I make more time for it than I should, what with my EE & all... :p
  9. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Jamming is never lost. That's basically all I do. I haven't been in a band for a while but I get out and jam on the weekends (sometimes for hours and hours.) And then the bosswoman calls on the cell phone and I have to go home. (Boo!)
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    IMO, 'jamming' is a lost art...in Pop music.
    I first started listening to music in the '60s; Santana, Led Zep, Cream, The Doors, Allmans...this was the s*** I was listening to back in 5th grade(no, that wasn't last year, either!). ;)
    These bands(& plenty others...Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Joplin, etc)were expected to let loose in a LIVE environment. I'm kinda of the belief that there was some exchange goin' on back then between Rock and Jazz musicians; both were checking out what the other was doing. Experimentation was the order of the day.
    A lot of those bands put out TWO albums per year, too.
    Nowadaze, IMO, it's "play it like the record", "do it like we did in the video". Release ONE album every so often & milk it...while playin' the Same Ol' S*** day after day, time after time.
    I don't know if it's the band that decided this is "OK" or if it's what the listening public is content with...

    Bands like Phish, DMB, Widespread Panic, Aquarium Recue Unit, etc have breathed a little "fresh air" back into the scene.
  11. I was going to say the exact same thing as JimK, but he beat me to it.;) In this case, trends in popular music can be used to demonstrate this. Back in the sixties and seventies, popular music was filled with jamming. Turn on your local classic rock station and you'll hear lots of jamming. (Eagles, Skynard, Clapton and so much more.) James Brown and soul music in general had lots of jammy elements to the music.

    Even up till the late eighties, bands jammed when they played live. My first concert I went to was Guns 'n Roses, and they took their songs out a little more, and Slash improvised most of his solos.

    Now we're in the 21st century. Do any of the popular groups even know what jamming means, let alone how to jam? I love listening to live jazz/funk albums because you get to hear the musicians really let loose. Their playing is usually a lot more energetic and spontaneous live than on their studio albums.

    If you were to watch a modern day pop/rock band, chances are they play their songs pretty much verbatim as their studio album, except that the quality is much worse. If only they had a Live Protools.:D
  12. B-Note Cowboy

    B-Note Cowboy Guest

    Jun 13, 2001
    Tulsa, OK
    We jam so much that I am about to the point that I am better at jamming than working something up and having it nice and polished. It is easier for me to come up with basslines that work for the song I'm jamming to than remember how I played it last week!!

    Oh well, It is about repetitions I suppose. I love to jam for hours on end. Especially blues.
  13. I have a quick question. I just got into a few bands and we haven't actually "jamed" since we have only had a few practices and are still getting to know eachothers styles and such, but I dont know any music theroy. Will this hinder any type of improv? I dont have a problem learning new songs or anything like that (for instance yesterday I was asked to be in a band that had been going for a while with multiple gigs under their belts and had a gig that night so I had to learn 9 songs in 3 hours! I did it and the thing got cancelled! Back to the topic), and sometimes I'll even just start playing things that sound good to me while practicing, but how can I jam without any music theory backround? Please help me!
  14. O and sorry for the ramble:D.
  15. Of course my band jams!! We work on our own riffs seperate from each other at home, and when we jam we fool around with them and put them together. As for the pros, nowadays jamming is a lost art. Hendrix and zeppelin knew how to jam in a live situation. Metallica and AC/DC still know how to jam, though.
  16. JWBass


    Jul 20, 2001
    Levittown, PA
    Jamming rules! Jam bands have the attitude truest to the art. Stay on course, but enjoy the scenery on the way. Phish, moe, Dave Matthews Band, the Grateful Dead (the kings of jam), all of these bands create music, keeping it "fresh" with no repetition. If you really want to see a jammin' band, check out Phil Lesh and Friends. The line up of Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco, John Molo, and Phil Lesh is killer.
  17. No. Me and my jam band called "90_feet" jam together. wish we got back together :(. then we could record a session!
  18. Well, you can do what I do and just experiment with it.
    Sure, a lot of the time it'll sound bad, but you're essentially teaching yourself to jam...only you'll never quite be as good as you could be if you knew music theory.

    So...yeah, I can come up with some random stuff on the spot that sounds pretty good IMO, but for that one riff/line/piece I get that sounds good, I've probably experimented with at least 20 others that I found sounded quite awful.

    My only problem now is that school work's getting intense now that I don't have much time to practice or learn theory. :(
  19. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I jammed once with The_Bass and a drummer (which is actually a guitarist..)for a half an hour without stopping..Now if I could actually PLAY the guitar..:)
  20. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Is it only me, or do some "jam" bands sound more like "noodle" bands? It seems like some people's idea of jamming is 20-minute guitar solos. I've seen (and unfortunately been in) some bands that would lose the audience with endless noodling that didn't really say much. An inspired, creative jam is cool, but sometimes it seems to be musicians masturbating. I think you need to realize when to blaze, and when to reign it in.

    For example, I've never really liked the Dead. I like some of their songs, but I know some folks that have 100 hours of improv, and most of it sounds very much alike in tempo and feel, and sounds uninspired to me. I don't fault their musicianship or vision; I admire those, but a lot of it sounds like the musical equivalent of oatmeal to me.

    Jamming, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean good music.

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