Rant about playing other bands' music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Im a sock, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I dont know why, but when I get together with new people to jam or something, they always want to play some song written by some band... and I never want to. I mean, what's wrong with jamming between a few different chords? I think the problem is that most people I play with either don't know chords (or anything about music for that matter), or they'd just rather play "Higher Ground".

    The other problem is that I spent my early days as a bass player not playing along to other bands' albums (that much), but instead I actually practiced the exercises that my music teacher gave me, or I'd just make stuff up on my own and play around with that.

    Something tells me this turned into a rant about the people I get together with to jam. I mean.... man alive, just learn some theory or something.

    I understand that it's beneficial every now and then when you get together with people and play some covers to get a feel for the other players, but I still feel like having a kind of open jam is much more suited for this purpose.

    I dunno... it's just me. :rolleyes: Anyone else feel this way?
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I don't really like playing covers in a "jam session" either unless its something that's very open-ended and leaves lots of room to play with teh chord progression, such as a lot of Blues Traveler or Alman Brothers songs. Typically when I sit down to jam with a few guys, I either try to agree on a 3 or 4 chord progression, or give them something I've wrote, and we can all play around with it. Doing structured covers in a jam session is boring. My band's last rehearsal just turned into an hour long jam session. We spent about a half hour after that practicing 2 or 3 of our songs. I really like it when we can do that occasionally. (translation- when the singer doesn't show up :D)

    (edited for typos)
  3. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    The group of guys I jam with every now and then like to take the melody and progressions from songs and play them all different styles and keys, it is very fun and I learn a lot from it.
  4. When I first started jamming with my friends, we did RATM songs...for like a whole day! Next time we got together, we sat down and started writing our own songs, and I have to say its much more fun despite the work, but the plus side is is that we get to listen to what we can think of, then make it sound good by putting it all together. When I play at home, I play a lot of RATM and Primus, but I still make up my own stuff to use when my friends come over to jam...speaking of that... -calls em up-...

  5. And might I add, it sounds very good despite the crappy recording ;) (no offense man)
  6. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    Thats a different group of guys, but thanks anyway.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    some people just can't jam i've learned. one of the drummers i play with, who is probably the best technically, can't really jam worth a damn. some guys who are actually a lot less trained, can jam like mad. i don't know how much it really has to do with how educated they are musically - i think it's more often a creative, feeling thing.

    i've also learned that some people play and pretty much only play covers. they're not experienced in the crafting of music. it's alien to them. they don't do it, so they simply don't have the skills.

    i used to get annoyed and upset too, but i think i've played with enough different people to just accept it now. i'd ask before hand what they plan on doing, and then be prepared for it. if i'm not in the mood to play a bunch of covers, i won't joing them.

    i love jammin!
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree with Joe. Some cats just can't jam. Also, I think the style of music has a lot to do with jamability also. Certain stuff like Blues, more simple Rock, Jazz, Bluegrass ect. is just easier to "jam" on rather than more "structured" types of music like Metal or Progressive Rock.

    It is true that some cats can play covers very well but can't write their own material, but it works the other way around also. U2 openly admits why they started writing songs is because they weren't good enough musicians to cover other people's stuff. I think that being a "Musician" and being an "Artist" are two different things when it comes to music. To me being a musician is understanding and being able to execute the tangible mechanics with music. An artist is the person who can be creative with it. Like, I consider a classical violinist a great musician, but not much of an artist, where as the White Stripes are artists, but they aren't very much in terms of being musicians.

    But that's not saying you can't be a great musician and a great artist at the same time.

    Anyways, just my take on things.
  9. I gotta tell you, the best lessons I ever got were/are playing in a cover band. Playing covers forces you to play styles and things you probably would never do or thought of on your own. Playing covers (like the record) trains your ear and provides you with many new tools for your musical toolbox. So many times I find myself going, Wow thats cool how that change works... And now I can incorporate that in my writing.
    When you do covers you may have to learn a country shuffle, a Motown groove, a Blues Swing beat, A heavy Metal riff, etc. etc. etc.
    Makes for a well rounded player.
    One of the greatest bands on the planet, the Late Show Band, is really just a cover band. So don't knock playing others music, you may actually learn a thing or three.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Jamming sucks. I mean, what's the point? People won't pay to hear it ... it's just musical masturbation.

    Jammers are just people who can't learn real songs.
  11. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO

    Good one Munji. I love Sarcasm...
  12. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    Musical masturbation is the only true form of self gratification.;)
  13. Apparently you haven't learned how to really masturbate.:bassist:Notice the smiley's hand movements. You think he's playing the bass but he's really choking the chicken under there.
  14. Back to the original thread:

    I hate playing "teen spirit." I'm 19, but still it is such a 'garage band' song. I've been playing for over six years and I still can't get away from that song. No matter what hard bass lines I learn I can't get away from really simple songs that are way overplayed!

    [kent brockman voice on]
    That was my rant, now back to you BassistGod and the rest of the thread with masturbation.
  15. i dont know about the late show band being 'one of the best on the planet'... i cant stand stand them, and i dont let all the hype and their overly expensive flashy instruments sway me on that one.

    towards the topic, i dont mind playing to other bands music as long as thats not all you do
  16. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    My experience is that just "jamming" instead of playing a tune gets old real fast.

    It's really, really, really hard to create a FORM in a jam so you end up just running through one or two chords with no end in sight.

    It's fun to jam in addition to playing some tunes, but in every jamming situation I've been in...whether it was rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass, cajun you name it...the focus was on playing tunes.

    Not sure what your problem is!!! Good songs are good whether you wrote 'em or not, ya know :D
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    i agree. i notice this with a lot of pianists. i've met many who can play anything off of a sheet of music, but if you ask them to just noodle around and jam with themselves, or to play something they've written - it's as though you asked them to perform surgery.

    actors hold even more true to the above. i was involved in theater for a number of years and got out of it due a great deal to the fact that i couldn't deal with the personalities any more. acting attracts artists and ego maniacs - and unfortunately (for obvious reasons) the ego maniacs seem to often get further ahead. huge personality differences between the 2. i find myself a lot more comfortable with the artist type.

    hey - as i'm writing this, i'm realizing things. In addition to the nerve, i play in a cover band, and in my neck of the woods there is this whole cover band scene. everybody sort of knows everybody, plays with everybody, competes with everybody.... anyhow, even though i'm a part of that whole scene now, i just don't fit in. i don't like it and for the most part i don't really like the people. it seems they fit into that ego-maniac catagory as the above mentioned actors. i think i'm gonna start a thread about this.

    hey - no disrespect to cover band guys and girls. i'm one of em. just think there's some differences.
  19. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I think that could be a very good thread. I've been on both sides of the covers/originals fence and it's interesting to think about the different motivations and goals on either side.