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Sometimes the best song choice is none at all!


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  • Sometimes the best song choice is none at all!

    Last night we did a gig where we were scheduled to do 30 minutes of soft "cocktail" music during the cocktail portion of a corporate event.   About 30 minutes before we're supposed to start to play the event planner tells us all the guest will be arriving 20 minutes early and asks if we can play for 50 minutes.

    Not wanting to get in some big argument about "signed contracts" and the like, we agreed to do it but nobody was much in the mood for it.  So rather than pulling out a bunch of extra songs, I decide "let's just jam for the extra 20 minutes".  A few months back we had tossed around the idea of working up "The Great Gig In The Sky" but we never did more than just fool around with it a few times in rehearsal.   I asked if anybody remembered the changes and nobody really did, so I decided to call out "let's just vamp on the Bm7 - E9 for as long as it feels good to play it."

    So for 20 minutes we play nothing but the same 2 chords, the guitarist and I take turns soloing, the girls take turns doing some "Great Gig" style scat-singing, and we not only had some pretty good fun, but the song got the biggest round of applause of the entire set.  

    Anybody else have similar stories about having success playing something they improvised lately?


  • #2

    We have a jam session with our chem teacher once a month. It's him and me on guitars, a kid on bass, my friend singing, and maybe ten people just watching. We play a bunch of songs while everyone one just chills. The bassist is kind of a rookie (i think he's a freshman), but he knows his scales well. At one point him and the teacher (on a martin acoustic) start doing some 12-bar blues, just repeating the same progression. I just threw a little solo in their and everyone started to actually watch and listen more than just chill out. It was pretty fun.


    • #3

      Nearly every gig we play has some of that.

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      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment
        We cold cock things all the time in shows, its one of the things that our band is known for. We do requests , we take dares. When you back a guy thats been a solo act for years that knows a bazillian songs ,, you are going to end up playing stuff live that the band has never played.

    • #4

      Am I the only one who finds it funny that guido's band improvised (jammed) for 20 minutes over the Santana changes and had fun while getting the biggest applause of the night? 




      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        Yer Blues wrote:

        Am I the only one who finds it funny that guido's band improvised (jammed) for 20 minutes over the Santana changes and had fun while getting the biggest applause of the night? 


        It was funny, but not the biggest applause of the night.  Just the biggest applause of the cocktail set.  They liked it better than the Norah Jones and Sinatra tunes that filled the rest of the set.

        The biggest applause of the night was probably after we let some girl come up and sing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" after her husband slipped us $200.

        And the changes were Floyd, not Santana, dude.  So much more groovy, and like, out there, man!

    • #5

      Jazz Odyssey! 


      I love to do a free-form jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd. .png" alt=":smileywink:" title="Smiley Wink" />

      Don Boomer


      • #6

        One of my gigs is a cover thing that does a show about once every 6 weeks at a place, and it's all instrumental, groove and fusion stuff with lots of improvising and it packs the place. She wants us to play there more cuz it's a great night, but we do the regular cover thing every where else and use this gig to cut loose. Plus if we played there more, it wouldn't be "special".


        So, when we do regular gigs, and the mojo hits, look out. But it has to be crowd appropriate. No crowd killing allowed. 




        "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work" - Gustave Flaubert


        • Lee Knight
          Lee Knight commented
          Editing a comment


          Our bass player wrote this!!!!






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