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Jamming/gigging

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sippy, Nov 5, 2005.


  1. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    I've run into a problem. I started to play bass for my sanity. I've been doing it for a while and I have kept the majority of my sanity. I've been invited to join this reggae/jam band. Well I've never played with a band really. It's mostly jamming at their houses but maybe some gigging. My question is, how do you guys walk up into a jamming session, not knowing what they're gonna be playing, and then play your way through? I can play by myself fine. I can do cool improv grooves for 4 hours straight, but as you all know it's completely different with a band.
    It's ironic I started playing bass and swore i'll never join a band. I just love the jamband and reggae sound. hehehe
     
  2. chance planet

    chance planet

    Sep 24, 2005
    Easy - just listen well, play simple lines, and don't try anything to fancy. The other players will appreciate some simple fundamental bass, and you'll gain confidence as you play with them and the jams become familiar.
     
  3. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    cool :) Kinda play a root-octave-fifth pattern?
     
  4. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Hello, you may get some more specififc things, but I'll take first crack...
    Like Nike said, just do it! Sounds like it will be jamming, if I were you, I wouldn't even think about gigging. Not that it won't come up, but if this is your first jam with these guys (or first jam ever), you have enough work just getting yourself there. Worrying about gigging will come later when (and if) you all click musically, get along, etc.
    Hopefully you know some basics, and know you're way around your instrument, and if that's the case regarding how do people do it, you just have to get in there and mix it up. If it goes well, cool. If it goes awful, cool. Whatever...Think how you'll feel after you go there and jam. Think about how you'll feel if you don't go, see what I'm driving at?
    Did I get your question, or were you looking for something more specific, like, "How do you guys do it on your instrument?" The actual nuts and bolts so to speak, or you just trying to get up your nerve a bit?
    Being uncomfortable is a great way to learn something imo...
     
  5. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    SPC: Yea I'm comfortably with my instrument. This is just my first time playing with other people. I've been playing along for a while now though. What i'm kinda looking for is, you walk into a house and the guys are all there, and they start playing a song. Since I just play alone for myself I've never had to groove with other people. I can play songs, and I can improv. My question is before a Jam do you guys kinda talk about what you're gonna play first? Or does the guitarist and or drummer just go at it and I'm supposed to follow from the start? Because to tell you the truth I don't see how thats possible. LOL I can jam if I knew the chords to the tunes i'll be playing. I just can't walk in and start playing without knowing what the hell is going on lol.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In front of a crowd, you'll often be forced into playing songs with no discussion other than "It's in F." In an informal jam, it's a lot more common to talk about stuff first. Just do more listening than talking and you'll be alright. Watch what everyone's doing, and have fun and play with confidence. If you screw up, screw up big.
     
  7. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    JimmyM Would make the best pep talk guy "If you screw up, Screw up big" lol thats advice to live by!
    That is exactly what I was looking for :) Thanks guys! BTW... exactly what do you do when you're given "It's in F" and have no idea *** they are playing??
     
  8. Just watch the guitarists hands. Learn to recognise a couple of chords.

    If they say "It's in F" just play an F untill you work out what's going on.
     
  9. Sippy

    Sippy

    Aug 1, 2005
    Stuart,Florida
    Yea Not an F note right? You're talking about like an arpeggio or scale based bassline right?
     
  10. Depends how competant your band is. I've had "It's in F" before, they just forgot to tell me that they meant F Minor. Just for the first bar or to pluck a long F and see what's going on. Feel the tempo and the mood and watch the guitarist to see the riff.

    Then again, I suck so if I were you I wouldn't take my advice. Me being me. Because even though I'm also you, it doesn't automatically make you me. So for all intensive purposes I'm you and me and you don't exist. You being you not me. Got it?
     
  11. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Great points JimmyM, and if you don't mind, I'll be quoting you for my quote! If you screw up, screw up big!
     
  12. Yeh, that's a good one. Jimmy knows everything. If Jimmy was running for Prime Minister I'd vote for him.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Can I run for Australian prime minister being an American citizen? If so, I accept the nomination.
     
  14. I don't think so...being an American citizen living in Australia, myself, I can't vote...but if I could, I'd vote for you, Jimmy...

    Prime Minister Jimmy's first campaign promise..."Wholesale prices for all American-made basses and amplifiers for all Australians"
     
  15. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    ....aaaanyway I do some jamming with our guitarist when we do a bit of practicing. Its great fun! It helps to know how to play guitar so you can recognise chords and the like. But its not essential or anything. Sometimes a jam starts with me playing a line. Usually it starts with the guitar and I follow along. Some times it starts with drums and then one of us jumps in and the other follows. It usually depends.

    In my case theres not really any discussion about key chords or anything you just jump in.

    If your really stuck you can start feeling your way around the song. Hit route notes first and then maybe add one or two more into a riff leading you to find what key your in through experimentation. Some notes will work some wont and then once you get the key and the progression your away really. Some times you dont even really need the progression just an idea of the roots. For example you might start with a simple repititive groove. The guitartist could start playing all sorts of crazy stuff over the simple groove you dont necessarily have to know what he's doing just keep the groove up and let him do what he's doing.

    Because theres limitless things you can do in a jam theres no real way you can learn from here on how to jam the best way is to jump in a the deep end and start jammin. Dont worry too much about it and let it happen