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Learning to Jam

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. I've been taking lessons for about 6 months now and got a good number of songs down (15 that I can play all the way through) and about another 15-20 that I can play most of but just needs more practice on my end. One of the things I'm stupid about is just jamming with friends. I guess the first thing to know is just what key they're in so I know what notes to play and then just getting a rhythm down?...I guess I think about it to much, but is there some sort of structure I can put down for it?
  2. PaulNYC


    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    don't think about key. figure out the chords of the song. work on just playing the chordal tones first.
  3. Couple of "rules of thumb" for Pop, Rock and Country and you can jamm with anyone.
    1. Yes you need to know the key. Most of the time the person calling the song will say something like; "Next one is Kiss ole Sue let's do it in G, 1 and 2 and 3 ....."
    2. From that you can assume a I IV V (G C D7) chord progression as those chords have every note in the tonic scale, thus those three chords will harmonize that key.
    3. OK fine, but, which chord when? If Pop, Rock or Country -- Assume the verse will start and end with the I chord. The IV chord will come in near the end of the first line of the verse and the V will come into play near the middle of the 2nd line of the verse. The 2nd line will end with the I chord and the next two lines repeat the same progression used in the first two lines..... Most of the time.... If you get lost revert to a I V I vamp. Or, revert to the tonic pentatonic scale. After awhile your ear will pick up the chord changes.
    4. Or, watch the rhythm guitar's fretting hand and change chords when he does.
    5. Or, get fake chord sheet music on the songs you think will be called and play chord tones from that.
    6. If completely lost revert to Root nothing till you find your place.
    Have fun.

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