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what does it mean to jam in a key?? please help!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bongo499, Jan 30, 2005.


  1. bongo499

    bongo499

    Jan 10, 2005
    syosset
    i was wondering when people jam they always choose a key to play in.. Lets say for instance they all decide to play in the key of E. What does this mean for the bass. I know the notes on the neck but what does this limit you to play and can you go away from the key during solos ext.. please respond to this post i will really appreciate this. Thank you :bassist: :bawl:
     
  2. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    The further you advance into the neverending pit of "the jam" the more you can telepathically communicate with your fellow musicians. You will start a jam and you will get into a "groove". Your fellow musician friends will experience the same thing. The bass and drums are usually the basis of the groove. Now jamming is just like talking, so you send messages to your fellow musicians that you will be changing key, or going into a song or standard. For example, I was jamming with some cats the other day, and we were in Bb and I felt the chicken coming on, so I started playing the bassline, after two measures it goes silent and I'm playing the bassline, then it picks up again and we're suddenly in the chicken. Next thing you know, we're jamming on the super mario theme song. Then inspector gadget! We ended it on Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Good stuff that jamming is.
     
  3. :D

    I'm guessin at this but I think he means that everything is in sync or your experiencing a moment where you are in the groove and everything feels just right
     
  4. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    You need a little more information than just "E" - minor? major? blues?

    However, once you've determined that, and assuming that you're jamming on one chord, then you pretty much want to stick to that, unless everybody sort of morphs into something else. One of the coolest things about jamming is that you can basically do anything you want! However, to quote Peter Parker's Uncle Ben, "With great power comes great responsibility." Jamming also requires LISTENING. If you've set up a groove and someone starts soloing and you (as the bassist) start playing something else or start playing in a different key, then that's not really respectful of the person soloing.

    One of the coolest things to do is to play something really simple, and just play it over and over underneath someone's solo. If you (and everyone else) are listening to the soloist, then you can all build together and actually take it somewhere.

    However, that's only one way to jam. There's an infinite number of possibilities. It can be good to talk about it afterwards with your bandmates too, though you don't want to overanalyze.

    Sorry, kind of jumbled! Have fun!!! :bassist:
     
  5. bongo499

    bongo499

    Jan 10, 2005
    syosset
    thanx for all thr responses i really appreciate it.
     
  6. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    no problem. hey, you should fill out more of your profile! what kind of music do you like, what kind of bass ya got, etc. I understand if you want privacy, but it can help people respond better too...
     
  7. Kevjmyers

    Kevjmyers

    Dec 10, 2004
    Boulder. CO
    Exactly!

    Just strive to someday obtain the necessary skills so you're not truly having to focus so much attention to the whats the hows or the whys of your playing. This is the most enjoyable part of music...to kick back, play complex grooves and 'get off' on listening to the other talented musicians. It is all about listening to others and the respect that goes with that. They can't help but listen to you and what you're doing, you're the bass and the backbone of the band. The least you can do is reciprocate that attention.