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Jam Night - what fun!

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

  1. kingkeld


    Sep 18, 2012
    Last night, "my" drummer and I traveled a few towns over to participate in a local venue's monthly Jam Night.

    What fun it was! I have never been there before.

    Drummer boy and I are both early 40's, and most of the people there were college kids, as expected.

    What DID come as a massive surprise was that they were mostly playing fusion and jazz. Some of them struck me as acting very full of themselves, and really snubbing the fact that we came to play rock music. "Oh, you play rock? Yeah, I guess you can do that too"-kinda attitude. I even got an "Oh-you-play-a-fender"-thing at some point, hinting that this was not a proper thing to play when you want to play "serious" music. LOL.

    Still, we found a (probably 20 year old) guitar-dude who - initially - was a little scared of cranking it up, but after he heard the Fender punching him in the groin a few times, he upped the game. At the end of our little jam set, he was all smiles!

    After our little performance, several of the bass players came up, and (it seemed) wholeheartedly complimented the groove and the punch I delivered. They sounded like they hadn't ever heard anything other than jazz runs.

    It was a refreshing night, though. I truly enjoyed hearing these guys jam - SO MUCH TALENT, just not from the ones who were snubbing us. How's that for irony?

    I don't really consider myself a strong bass player, but I know what I can do and I know how I like playing, and I do what I do best. :)

    Just thought I'd share.
  2. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012
    Nice! "Snubs" usually are compensating for poor playing. After all, if you look like you can play at least people will respect you until you pick up a bass. Or not.
  3. kingkeld


    Sep 18, 2012
    Actually, these kids were pretty damn good, I gotta admit that. It just seemed like I was snubbed for not playing the right style.

    I was clearly a subhuman for not having any interest in jazz and fusion. I might as well have told them that I shop all my clothes at the flea market.

    As we all know, rock'n'roll is a fad and will soon fade out into oblivion. :)

    I did have a great time though, and the cool guys were super cool.
  4. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012

    Yeah, no matter how hard I can't find the best genre of rock. Hell, even my band is switching from rock to rock/blues.
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Rock and Roll will never die as long as I still have my eight tracks of the Stones and Thin Lizzy :). I went to one of those jams last month and it was pretty much what you described I didn't participate because it's acoustic only and my acoustic bass is terrible unplugged there were some characters there one kid even had a hat like Dylan use to wear it was hilarious.
  6. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Meh, that seems to be a standard at jam nights. They should really post the type of jam that it is.

    Nothing like going to a jam night that turns out to be a blues night and you're less than 50 and want to do something other than a 12 bar in A for 10 minutes while two aging white blues guitarists swap wank sessions.
  7. We have several of those jam sessions (jazzy-fusion thing) happening here once in a while. And yes...the snubbers are out in full force. Normally younger guys, tons of Axe Body Pray, and Ambercrombie & Fitch as far as the eye can see. I'm a little older than they are (by 20+yrs) and they do play the fusion stuff well with lightning fast fills and improv tunes with numerous time changes. However, a good portion of them can't count to 4 the same way twice.
  8. First off, musicians and especially regulars at jams can be touchy, overly sensitive people. Something like getting them to play a genre of music that they don't want to play can be enough to rub the touchy musicians the wrong way. Screw 'em. They're not worth your time.

    With that said, my first thought is that the jam was probably known to be jazzy, funky or some other genre that probably uses alot of diminished 2nd chords that go to the 5th before resolving to a minor root. The jammers that show up for them are often in their "day job" band that plays tons of rock and roll. They're not really interested in playing "Boys are Back in Town" or "Red House," because they've played it a billion times before, and probably last night. That's enough to irk them.

    My second thought is that the OP may not be "jamming" enough for the other players. Here's my experience when "rock" players show up at jazz jams... They don't jam. They play rock music because that's all they know, and the other players are forced to play along. That'll bug the sensitive ones for sure.

    I used to help out with a jam a while ago. About 3/4 of the players were super cool, realized that they didn't schlep the gear, they didn't pay a cover, that they were mostly there to get out of the house and hang out a bit, that they shouldn't have ANY expectations, and they may have to play in not-so-ideal situations. They were fine and happy with that.
    Others were pricklier. One thing that I learned is that the easiest way to get all the players, even the prickly players, to likely you is to sound good. No matter what genre you play, if it sounds good, it sounds good!
  9. I am currently hosting a weekly open mic jam night at a neighborhood classic rock cover band dive. This jam night is a bit of a twist because there is no House band. Just myself and a drummer who provide a solid backline to the jammers if needed. This "backline only" setup was done on purpose because of the tendency of house bands to hog the stage for way to many songs and then only jam with a few buddies leaving a lot of disappointed patrons. We are trying to get away from the jam night cliques. There is a competing blues jam at another bar that is notorious for the house band to play 20 songs before bringing up a few buddies to join them. That blues jam sends a lot of unhappy musicians in our direction. This is not a college town .....more blue collar so we don't get many jazz fusion heads.....mostly weekend warrior rockers, acoustic guitar original song writer types and Merle Haggard / Johnny Cash type outlaw country crooners. Sometime we get full band using jam night as a free rehearsal. So far its been a lot of fun and great networking for future projects. We keep the vibe fun and a nurturing musical experience so even relative newbies feel comfortable. Many times I'm the only bass player so I've been getting 4 hours of paid jam time on all sorts of music that I would never have played on my own. Jam night is probably not that attractive is your in a gigging band but if your in between projects then they can be useful networking tool.
  10. Hah! I don't necessarily want to 'out' you publicly, but I think I know who you are. I think the key would be not to note where you host a jam. Let's just keep it a mystery and whatever bands you may have played with in the past. Mark my word, I'll get to your jam this week!
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Busted like a wife who just found a used condom. :)
  12. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ha! I was the house bass player for that very thing for about half a dozen years. How many ways can you play a 145 in A? Oy.
  13. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    There are a few jam sessions here in Wellington. I play at the blues one some Thursdays. It's fun, and not restricted to blues. We've done some jazz tunes, some soul and R&B etc. I do want to go to one of the jazz ones though. They are certainly more intimidating, and the tunes are more difficult, but I think it's a must if you want to be a jazz musician.

    While, I'm sure, there is snobbery from some jazz musicians, they're usually not worth giving the time of day to. Good musicians realise that good music is good music, bad music is bad music. Styles are irrelevant. Although, I would say that the snobbery is not as bad as it is sometimes reported. Sometimes people get confused between snobbery and discernment. Jazz musicians do tend to take performance a little more seriously. This is obviously a generalisation, but I'm sure it's based in truth.

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