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New player looking for advice

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by nboyer941, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    Hey all. I've been playing for about 6-7 months. I have just started playing with my two friends. (guitar player and drummer.)

    The guitar player is good but he has the same problem as me. He is not good at playing with other people because he plays by himself a lot.

    We are having trouble playing together. We play some of his originals, and we tried some songs like My Hero by the Foo Fighters and things like that but it just never seems to work out. Also, he doesn't really like playing "songs." He simply likes to jam and just feel it out.

    I guess what I'm asking for is maybe a list of simple, fun songs that all three of us can learn and play together with. or some tips for me being able to jam with him would also help.

    Any other help/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. gaunten


    May 27, 2008
    sweden skåne
    Just get dead set on learning a number of songs (I really don't know which songs to give you as examples, because that is a matter of taste, but since you've tried FF, why don't you try some other Foo fighters songs, or nirvana, soundgarden etc.)
    and practice practice practice, and most of all, while it is fun to jam around, never let it get out of hand, as might easily happen in the beginning, do something like this:
    when you get to the rehearsal space, jam out for a while, 5-10 minutes or so, just to get you warmed up, then just play the songs your "supposed" to. (then again, this is a question of how serious you want to be) anyways, if you mess up badly, just go back, and start the song over. only way you're gonna nail it. then if you've tried a song 10 times and just can't get it right, maybe you should take a break, jam a bit, or just chill out, before you kill each other in frustration.:spit: also, one important thing when playing yourself at home, instead of playing along to a song, or just playing it, try playing it to a metronome,(without the actual song in the background) this works wonders, trust me...:p
  3. Try picking some easier songs and play a lot of 12 bar blues. Record the jams and listen. It may take a few practices to be able to jam together.
  4. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Bleech! In my experience, this means "can't carry a tune in a bucket". Can't hack Foo Fighters? :scowl:

    I recommend finding some guys that push you to be better.
  5. about 20 years ago when I thought I was a bass player(I know better now but I will be again soonish) I had a group of guys that got together once a week and "jammed" after a coupple weeks we realized we needed to have some focus well all of us but the "noodle" guitar player so we decided on a song... some old clash song I think and we all went home and learned our parts the next week we had a song.. we sucked it sounded like ..... well it didnt sound good but we had a start. and we started just doing that every week we chose a new song. went home and learned it. our "practice sessions" became much more productive we had a few songs to really work with and than time to just jam and experiment.

    why I bring up this story is because the guitarist that just wanted to jam never learned his parts he just jamed but we had two guitarists and the jam guy had a really good feel so it worked. this doesnt work in your 3some but some balance should be able to be found.

    sorry for rambling on I should be playing not drinking and typing.
  6. Martin Bormann

    Martin Bormann

    Sep 20, 2007
    You both should play with a metronome and subdivide. That should help with some of your timing problems.
  7. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007

    playing to a metronome at home at different speeds is a great trick to learn as the drummer will sometimes play a little faster or a little slower than the cd
  8. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    sorry, what does subdivide mean?
  9. NS2A


    Apr 3, 2008

    If you can't do that, well....:meh:
  10. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    When it comes to learning new songs ya just gotta practice and all put in the time. Also try to pick stuff that everyone likes and can play.

    For jamming here is some stuff that helped me:

    Pick a key before you start. A minor, G major, ext. (if the guitarist doesn't understand this then your gonna have trouble)

    For your first few jams stick to ONE chord if your in A minor every first beat play an A and stick to the key for the rest of the bar, it'll start to feel like home and eventually you can just hit that A and improvise off it. When your comfy with that next time add a second chord A - D - A - D... or A - A - B - B - A -A and so forth.

    Follow the drummer...if you are playing within the chord progression and locked in with the drummer then the guitar can kinda float on top of you. In other words listen to the drummer for the groove not the guitarist.

    Don't stress over it... its a jam the more relaxed you are the better you will do, do be afraid to try new stuff and play a few bad notes or off beat fills.

    Thats all I got
  11. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Subdivide means listening to the pulse ('click') and then dividing that into a shorter interval in you head ('click' "And" 'click' "And").

    Humans have a tendency to speed up tempos especially when they are slow, so if you have an "imaginary" tempo that is twice as fast it makes it easier to keep time.
  12. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    As onlyclave said just counting/feeling the quarter note like most start off doing it is enough time between beat to get off time, especially as tempos slow down. So to help keep the beat even instead of just counting/feeling quarter notes, double or even quadruple what you are thinking. So instead of thinking quarter notes 1, 2, 3, 4 you think in eighth notes. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Some will even think in 16th notes 1 e and a, 2 e and a, 3 e and a, 4 e and a.

    Practice saying the beat names like above to CD's of different tempos and styles. Do it till you can relax and start feeling the beat and subdivisions. Then switch to do just a syllable lie da da for each beat or subdivision. That will simplify it and help internalize it. Once you really got it down and groovin' then just feel the beat and sub division in your gut move your body to the beat and sub divisions.

    Once you can feel the beat and sub division in your gut then when you hear a metronome click or a drummer back beat you will be hears grooves. A metronome won't sound stiff to you it will be something to groove to.
  13. E2daGGurl


    May 26, 2008
    We started with some Everly Brothers and Creedence songs where a guitar (and often, bass) can carry the rhythm and the melody at the same time, and where the rhythm is, well, pretty obvious. There was a point early on in practice (same situation, drummer, guitar and bass) where the only thing that helped was insisting on playing things like 500 Miles and Lemon Tree - really really simple. Two of us had never played with anyone else before, and therefore were more used to listening to themselves rather than the ensemble.

    Once one or two songs clicked, and we figured out how to count down so we all started together (!) and what intros and outros etc. were going to sound like - things really smoothed out.

    We also practiced two different 12 bar blues patterns right away (the guitarist is really good at melody and rhythm and blues-playing, the drummer had to learn to stick with the tempo and the rhythm). I found my job, often, to be metronome/quarter note player until things started to gel. Indeed, at one point, we had to employ an actual metronome because of disagreements over tempo (both the guitarist and the drummer have a tendency to want to speed up as the song progresses, don't know why). I mean, it's fine to speed up - if that's what the song is supposed to do, but not, if it's not supposed to.
  14. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    It's not the songs that are hanging you up. It's disipline. Your guitarist has to understand songs are built on structure and not just playing whatever enters his head. There will be room to stretch out but structure comes first.
  15. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    where can i go to get some 12 bar blues info?
  16. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    anywhere? You Tube, ActiveBass.com, StudyBass.com or 75% of bass books.
  17. First, you have to be sure there is chemistry btwn all of you. Playing chemistry. Second, make the guitar play a rhythm line of E chords. Then pull the sickest progressions you can do, out of E. Go wild and put the guitar player in his place. then, if you feel like it, you can let him have a 8 bar solo. but no more than 8!!!!:D

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