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Going to a jam tonight...


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  • Going to a jam tonight...

    I haven't played out since November.  I'm actually sort of nervous.   Playing out regularly definitely helps deal with the nerves to the point where playing is regular and there are no nerves.  I have been playing with an original band since around December, but it is more of a studio project so no gigs.  I'm hoping to catch on with a cover band and decided it's time to get back out to jams to try and meet new people.  When I was younger I use to go to jams 2-3 times a week and don't remember having any nerves, but I also would drink a bunch.  I'll probably have a beer or two, but nothing like I use to. 

    I think it's pretty funny I am nervous playing for free after playing gigs for around 10 years and actually getting paid (not much though) for it.  I guess the worse that can happen is I give them what they are paying for. 


  • #2

    Yer Blues wrote:

    ... decided it's time to get back out to jams to try and meet new people...

    Good luck - after watching my circle of musician friends slowly but steadily dwindle in size - I made an identical decision several years back.  I visited a few jams, answered whatever "keyboard player wanted" ads I came across and went out on a bunch of auditions.   I'll be honest and say it was a pain in the ass ... being an unknown at open jams meant alot of sitting around to finally get thrown in with a bunch of "unknown" guitar and "wannabee" harmonica players.  The vast majority of the auditions I went out on ended up being with groups that after hearing them - I wasn't interested in pursuing.  

    However, after a few months - the effort started to pan out.  I started getting calls to do some sub work ... and then as a combination of introducing a few of the musicians I had met to my existing circle and being invited to join other circles ... my network has grown into a reasonably vibrant circle of musicians.  If you don't put yourself out there - you'll be like the myriad of guys sitting around the house bitching about not playing. 

    Good luck!

    The SpaceNorman


    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
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    • CliffordN
      CliffordN commented
      Editing a comment

      I figured out a long time ago that playing anywhere was better than playing nowhere, as long as it has a purpose! Get out and meet more folks, and just enjoy the experience....

    • Yer Blues
      Yer Blues commented
      Editing a comment

      It actually went pretty good.  I recognized some musicians from local bands and made sure to introduce myself.... although it's going to be hard to remember everyone's name.  When I walked in I asked one of the guys I recognized if there was a list and he said you just ask to play.  They finished the song they were playing and the guy handed me his guitar and I was up.  Got to play 4-5 songs that were basically jams.  One trainwreck, but the rest of them were pretty good.  After the 2nd one the bassist and drummer from the house band got up to play 2-3 with me. 

      Times like this I wish I could sing good.  There wasn't many guitar players, but the guy from the house band was good (great singer) and all the bassist and drummers were pretty good.  There was one keys guy who was incredible and I think would fit in great musically with our original band.  All in all I had a good time and will definitely go back. 

      I can't figure out how the venue makes any money though.  It is a music store by day and then host bands and jams at night.  You guys think they make enough money off beer and wine sales?  He's got to pay the house band and the bartender.  At the cheapest that's got to be $200 ($50 x 4).   By my math that's atleast 60 $3 beers... I don't think there were enough people there to generate that much cash.  Nice place though and no drunks and everyone was very chilled.


      @spacenorman, that is pretty much it.  I moved here 3 years ago, hooked up with a band off craigslist.  Bandleader was crazy, but I met some guys through that and one of them got his old band back together with me replacing another guy.  That was a fun band with a bunch of great guys and musicians. But, it basically died because it never got to the next level and wasn't worth his time to book gigs and keep up with all of that.  The original band I am playing with is really good.  If we added a singer we could be a great cover band, IMO... but the bandleader doesn't want to do the bar scene.  As I said above, there were 3-4 guys I recognized from local bands that play pretty regularly.  I'd definitely like to get in that group right now.  Suprisingly, there weren't many guitar players there and everyone was very friendly. 

  • #3
    Threads like this always remind me what a terrible musician I am. The ability of folks to just hop into a jam and play together is something I just don't have.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.



    • Yer Blues
      Yer Blues commented
      Editing a comment

      Eh, I don't think I am terrible, but not very good either.  Somewhere in the middle.  Past jams I attended regularly you'd often play common blues-rock songs like Crossroads, All Along the Watchtower, Going Down, Red House, etc, etc.  This one was more like I-IV-V in G minor or let's jam over E to A.  Luckily, there was only one other guitarist there (house band guy... he was awesome), so not a bunch of guys making me look like an amateur.

      Everybody was really friendly too... in the past I have experienced some friction like Spacenorman referenced when you are the new guy at the jam. 

      TIMKEYS commented
      Editing a comment

      SLScott86 wrote:
      Threads like this always remind me what a terrible musician I am. The ability of folks to just hop into a jam and play together is something I just don't have.


      As long as you know the key the song is in ,, there is only so many places its going to go.  chord changes are not really that unique either.   You can get pretty quick at pickin things up if you already have a bunch of covers you have learned.   You hear those changes.   Thow in a little tastfully laying out , to hurdle a spot you dont know ,, and it works.   Bass is the hardest seat in the band.  He has nowhere to hide,    One guys starts it out and the rest jump in ,, and you do nod and stop endings.     I call it pro level grarage rock.