Author Topic: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?  (Read 1296 times)

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Offline JulieSun

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Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« on: May 23, 2013, 01:15:14 pm »
Hi hello!

Ive not posted that much around here yet, but Im reading some stuff others post and
look around for any cool vids and songs that are posted by many of you :)

My friend and I are about to meet up for our first jam session. She is a bassplayer of about 8
years experience and I... well... Im a starting guitarist with about 2 years max exp :P
My focus at the moment is learning my scales and notes on the guitar neck, I began training
myself by transcribing guitar melodies and solos from existing songs that I like.
Although I can't transcribe chords yet. I have so much to learn about how to construct chords.

But to get to the point, is that she's played with others before and I haven't really.
Mostly the people I play with or 'jam' with, are better than me, so I haven't got a clue in fact
as to where to begin when we actually start jamming.

What I'd love to do is get to know several guitar styles, rhythm (because I really really like funky music)
and soloing and finger (bluesy) style. And I want to try to mix them in order to get a unique sound.

But the thing is, I'm looking for some advice on where to start to get to work somewhat
structurized so that we can kind of work towards something. Probably picking out some songs
that we both like and try transcribing them ourselves right? I have learned a couple of things
on theory already, it enlightened me a lot especially since I have a better understanding about
Time Signatures, Keys and Scales at the moment but I'm unsure on how to work with a bassplayer :)

(its alright to play with a fellow guitarist, but this is new to me)
Last time I tried to jam with a friend who is also learning bass guitar, we both ended up kind of, not paying attention to one another.

If anyone has got any useful tips and tricks about this, I'd appreciate it!
(what makes sense to me, is that it can help to teach eachother something about our instruments and know which role they play in which music style, so Im looking up stuff about bass)

Especially if there's any bass guitarists out there, I'd love to hear your ideas!


Offline Endureth

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 01:23:50 pm »
I would just start with 12-bar blues.  That way you can either follow along with the progression playing chords, or even throw in solo licks here and there.  The bassist can worry about holding everything together.  So long as you're both in time, it should sound fine and be pretty fun.

Offline JulieSun

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 01:49:36 pm »
Thanks for your fast rep!

Been thinking about that yeah!

Offline mumbles

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 04:57:48 pm »
Maybe get a drum machine? While listening to each other is important, if the aim is to develop rhythm chops you need a rhythmic centre (drum m/c) or a rhythmic leader (guitar/bass). There are a couple of guys I jam with quite regularly these days and one of the guitarists sets/marks the pace with his left foot.

It's when everybody locks in on the rhythm that the good stuff starts to happen.

Offline JulieSun

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 12:58:43 pm »
Yes thats right, but I suppose im still unsure about what to play and that I haven't got much of a clue how to improvise or anything. Ive got Cubase to work on my pc, which has a built-in clicktrack thats pretty useful and also got a electronic drumkit with a built-in clicktrack. Since i can pump up the volume of these things it might be best to use that for solid rhythmic support. I think it is even more important for the bass to have some reference.

I also asked my mentor for some advice and basically all he said was: just start playing and get used to playing with others.

Suppose that is pretty straightforward, becoming confident in what you do, by developing new skills.
But it makes sense to feel like everything I do is not correct and messing around?

Maybe Im suffering too much of what I fear and that's chaos.

At least us girls are serious about playing and we know enough about the basics.

Offline misterg

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 01:59:33 pm »
...She is a bassplayer of about 8 years experience

...she's played with others before and I haven't really.

...I haven't got a clue in fact as to where to begin when we actually start jamming.

I've done it a few times with another guitar player - much, much better than me:

#1 thing to realise is that 'she' will have been in *exactly* your position in the past, so will understand how you feel.

You can support her by playing some chord progressions for her to work to (either bits of songs, or just ones that sound nice to you). If you can play them at a nice steady rhythm, that will be fine.

If you can work out some different rhythms together (or playing on the off-beat, playing mutted strums, or whatever), suddenly you're jamming.

If you want to work on single note stuff, then the minor pentatonic scale and 12 bar blues is the foundation/bedrock/lowest common denominator to work from - it might sound a bit 'sparse' if there's only a bass and you, though.

You'll probably be very nervous, but try to relax and enjoy it. If you're anything like me, you *will* play wrong things and lose it completely from time to time, but that's what it is about, and (IMHO) is to be expected. The plus side is where things just fit together for a while, and you think "Hey, that sounded really good!"

Enjoy :)

Offline LievenDV

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Re: Do you have advice for my first jam session :) ?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 02:05:35 pm »
the drummachine would be a bit much for a first session but a good idea in a later session

I think doing 12 bars is an excellent suggestion.
You both know the structure so see what you can add in terms of turnarounds and soloing
Find some backingtracks (with only bass if possible) on youtube or something and jam along; a bit of practice could help your improvisation vocabulary and most of all; getting used to play together with that bass without getting lost/confused
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