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open jam

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Tomorrow night Im going to an open jam. There is a studio in Manhatten that does open jams. I've never been to one and Im a little nervous. What should I expect? Any advice? By the way,this will be my first time ever playing with real people.
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Hehe, real people. But, there is a first time for everything, and hopefully you wont have trouble playing along with other people. What do you usually play along with: music, drum machine, metronome?
  3. I was curious about the same thing aswell. As much as i do play with a bunch of guys sometimes, whats an open jam like. I usually play along with my thoughts. Which soemtimes can be scary. :rolleyes:
  4. tappel


    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    You wouldn't be going to The Studio on 30th, would you?

  5. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I go to open jams often, This is what I think you should do.
    1) Don't take your bass the first outing, see what is going on first and if you can handle it come back and give it a try.

    2) open jam means you will be playing with other people that may have an agenda unlike yours and may just need a bass player to support THEM and you may get thrown under the bus!
    Not everyone at the jam is a good musician, learn who's who.
    If you do play don't go in there and shot your load, someone in there will probably be better than you and will make YOU the poster boy for bass 101 school!

    3) Be real humble, play for the song until you get to know everybody, That way if you are the weakest link they will admire your guts and determination for trying!

    4) just have fun!

    BTW where is this jam located? I would like to see what's going on :hyper:
  6. RiddimKing


    Dec 29, 2004
    My experience with open jams is that they can be okay, or they can suck really bad. The okay ones are when everyone communicates, so you know in advance whether there's going to be say a 12 bar blues in A or an extended jam on Evil Ways. The worst ones are when some guitarist decides with some keyboard player friend of his that they're going to launch into some Beatles or Stones tune, and not bother to ask the drummer or bassist if they know the song, and aren't going to offer the changes in advance. This is based on the arrogant philosophy that there are some "standards" that everyone should know ("standards" = songs I'm comfortable with, tough luck if you don't know them). I used to get really upset and self-conscious when this sort of ambush happened...now I just either unplug and set my bass down, or I turn my volume knob to "0" and pretend I'm playing through the song (lots of head-bobbing and knowing confident looks at the guitarist). YMMV
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    That's what's known as "being thrown under the BUS"
  8. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Jazzin'. All 3. and Tappel, Yes! on 30th street.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    +1 on that.

    As said before, jams can be very amazing experiences or total trainwrecks, depending on the level of musicianship on stage. I've been in more crap jams than good jams, so I've been rather soured on the experience. I would only get up to "jam" with a few musos that I know. I was recently involved in a jam last January in which a bunch of musicians played a bunch of stuff that really didn't mix together (so much that I had trouble finding a spot in the music where I could just sit in the pocket). I felt that the whole experience made me look bad, so now I'm hesitant to get on stage in an improvisonal situation unless I know the others guys know what they're doing up there. Improvising takes skill, and it takes even more skill with people you have little playing experience with. I find that many musicians don't have good improvisational skills. Maybe it has to do with them not really being good musicians in the first place. Or maybe they are just use to learning cover songs off of records verbatim and really can't hang in an improvisational situation. Or maybe they are set on playing their own thing and don't really listen to what else is going on on stage.

    If musicians want to jam, maybe I should first ask, "So do you have an extensive background in playing either Jamband music or Jazz. If not, then see ya!". :D

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