1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Jamming with folks who can't play...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    By can't play, I mean literally....can't play and doesn't even realize the importance of tuning.

    Old school mate of mine has been bugging me to jam with him for awhile. I've always come up with some excuse not to because he just really cannot play at all and with my busy schedule, I feel like my time is really better spent working on stuff Im weak on rather than play with someone who doesn't have a clue. I don't mind hanging out and doing other stuff with the guy, but I've always avoided playing music with him because it just wasn't fun for me and would end with me getting frustrated.

    The guy is pushing 50, has had guitars for 35 of those years and can't even make it through a 12 bar blues, much less realize what the chords are that make up a 12 bar blues.

    Also, before anyone says "you should teach him stuff", the guy is essentially unteachable..Period...end of story. Tried in the past but it just doesn't work.

    Heck, he doesn't even really understand the importance of tuning. He showed up at my doorstep with his gear the other day, and since I was home from work basically said eff it, go ahead and plug in and tune up.."but I tuned it last week, why do I need to tune it again" :***:

    I handed him my tuner, and after ten minutes of him trying to tune it I ended up having to tune it for him...The guitar is some old westone that has some kind of knobs on the bridge he was using to tune it for some reason.

    Eventually I got the guitar in tune, and we start messing around with stuff...

    To make a long story short, it was interesting. I let him do whatever it is he does on his own with a guitar, and his overall lack of ability and lack of an ear for changes forced me to come up with some creative basslines, and allowed me to use some of my effects in ways I didn't think of before.

    I guess the moral of the story is don't discount any opportunity to make some music (or in this case sonic disturbances)
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Having been on the receiving end of such musical generosity more than once, I firmly concur. :thumbsup:
    BrentD, Frampton and Dug2 like this.
  3. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Consider it helping a guy out and experimental jazzrockpostmodeclecticekectricnoisefusion and stretch out
    mikewalker, FenderB and bholder like this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Just pretend you're in the middle section of the old Hawkwind tune "In Case Of Sonic Attack" and you'll do just fine. :woot::thumbsup:
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'm torn on this one. Give him a homework assignment like three 3 chord tunes (Workingman Blues, Call Me Breeze, etc.)...he should be able to nail a passable rhythm guitar riff with practice. You'll know at the next get-together.

    mbasile, btmpancake and bholder like this.
  6. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002

    Honestly Im long past the point where I'll try to teach him anything...In years/decades past, I've tried, it's just an exercise in frustration for me and not something I'm willing to put energy into.

    If he wants to come over and make noise, fine..as long as he's in tune
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Ya done did your good deed for the day. Your troop master would be proud :)!
    Lvjoebass, dbsfgyd1, Mpike and 3 others like this.
  8. This is why I recoil when people invite me to jam, because I'm that guy.
    The last time for me was during a power outage. The guy at the pawn shop insisted I play bass while he play guitar. What a trainwreck!

    If the bridge looked like this, it's a double-locking vibrato system (with fine tuners), but you'd have also noticed the locking nut:


    add: The double-locking Floyd Rose equipped guitar I had could go for a very long time w/o needing tuning.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Conkal and bholder like this.
  9. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I have infinite patience for kids trying their best to play.

    I have quite a bit of patience for beginner adults.

    I have virtually no patience grown people who have owned instruments longer than they didn't and just want to bang out three chords twice a year. I will do it for charity. I will decline if the guy just needs his ego fed.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Then it's a lost cause. Go do something constructive like re-grouting your bathtub. At least you'll have some sense of satisfaction once you're done.

    foolforthecity likes this.
  11. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Never play with inferior players. Always be the worst in the band.
    Wisebass, c10, lexefx and 7 others like this.
  12. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    You ''tried in the past and it didn't work?'' Tell him he needs to take lessons from a teacher because you really don't have the time. Let him pay somebody.
    Bunk McNulty and DirtDog like this.
  13. Dug2


    Sep 24, 2011
    not to seem mean or anything, but; i kinda hope he stops by again, unannounced even,
    and soon. its good for the guy to play with someone better like yerself, and entertaining
    for us here! good post
  14. howlin


    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    Sounds like you made the best of a bad situation. Good on you. I wouldn’t be able to make that happen.
    FenderB likes this.
  15. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    Kick on a drum machine and loop your part. Set bass down. Grab several beers. Drink until he either sounds good or you sink to his level of competency.
    Supadope, DaDo625, jmon and 7 others like this.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member


  17. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    It's like a 300 pound dude asking if you want to join him for a jog.

    I'll gladly play with most anybody for fun, but if someone is really terrible then they need to be willing to learn and take guidance in the session.
    Mktrat likes this.
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    You're an adult. Be a man and tell him the truth. Your grandma just died, just washed your hair, have a UTI...oh wait, those were excuses chicks used on me. Never mind.
    mikewalker, jmon, dwm74 and 3 others like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nice of you, but I wouldn't waste my time...
    Prog Fan and eriky4003 like this.
  20. A lot of people like the idea of being in a band or playing an instrument, but the idea of practicing isn't quite their cup of tea.

    I wouldn't mind the idea of assisting people or perhaps trying to create a spark. Playing in a band of people who can't play is torture. I was also the "worst" in a band the last time around. It was challenging due to work and kids. Drummer fired my sorry ass and said many kind words about my @#%#$^ pathetic bass playing.
    mikewalker and Killed_by_Death like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.