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Jammed...and lived to tell about it!


Groove Mama

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The place where I take lessons has a private adult student jam every Thu night from 9 to 11, and although I've been taking lessons there for almost a year, I have been too chicken-sh|t to attend. But I know the only way I'm going to get better is by playing with other people, so I made a new year's resolution to start attending. I was out of town the first Thu, so last night was my first time.

 

There were 5 boomer guys there: a drummer, a pretty good guitarist and 3 pretty, uh, mediocre guitarists. Joel, my teacher, led the group. He would write a chord progression on a dry erase board, give us suggestions on what to play (bass line, chord types, etc.) and away we'd go. Joel would play guitar also and sing a couple of verses, and then each guy would take a solo. (No bass solo, however.)

 

We played songs in all kinds of different genres: rock, blues, Latin, etc. The only 4 songs I can specifically remember are Born Under a Bad Sign, Kansas City, Hard to Handle and Bye Bye Love.

 

I was pretty nervous before we started, like almost throw-up-and-run-away nervous, but once I realized I played about as well (or poorly) as any of them, I was good to go. I had fun, and I held my own. Bottom line: I didn't shred, but I didn't suck, either...or at least I didn't suck too bad.

 

I was just really impressed with how the thing was run. No egos, varying levels of knowledge and ability, wide range of styles, a good leader to help us along and, all in all, low stress level and a pretty good hang.

 

They also have a public student jam once a month at a local restaurant, and I'll be playing there next month. Couldn't do it this month due to work obligations, but I'm actually looking forward to it!

 

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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Well, good on ya! I thought you had broken that ice some time ago.

 

FWIW, I still get nervous before an open mic event where I'm doing my solo thing. I can set up and play any gig anywhere, but if it's just three tunes in front of a bunch of musicians I get a little weird.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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Well, good on ya! I thought you had broken that ice some time ago.

 

FWIW, I still get nervous before an open mic event where I'm doing my solo thing. I can set up and play any gig anywhere, but if it's just three tunes in front of a bunch of musicians I get a little weird.

Totally understand. The jam was the polar opposite of a piano recital, where you're out there essentially naked for all the world to see and every wrong note sticks out like a sore thumb. No more solo performances for me, but good on you, too!

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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Great job!

 

Next step: get yourself into a band where you can focus on really learning songs well, and playing with others. Being in a band has made me such a better player, it's hard to overestimate (though I had nowhere to go but up).

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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Way to go GMama.

The next problem you will encounter is that if you go too long without a jam session or gig you start to get all twitchy and insane! :D

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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You know, the scene that your teacher has set up is pretty damn cool. In hindsight, it's so obvious to set up a jam for students; but I haven't heard of any others doing it, nor did I think of it. Props, baby.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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It actually sounds like School of Rock for adults. I have to wonder if those schools are offering that sort of curriculum for adult students. There are a couple of Schools of Rock near me, and I'm already having ideas about getting our little girl enrolled there... once she's old enough and big enough to hold a bass, of course!

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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I think she knew what I meant -- unlike you high school freshmen.

Knuckleheads. [facepalm]

 

(Warning: Thread drift ahead.)

 

Hey, speaking of bands, I got the chance to see jlrush's Mojo Roots band again Friday night. That is one great band! Jim's bandmates are all of maybe mid-20's, but their set included songs by Clarence Carter and Bobby Womack, as well as blues standards and originals. Really cool variety, very pleasantly surprising for such young guys.

 

Lead singer has an awesome blues/soul voice, lead guitarist shreds, and Jim is just a WONDERFUL bassist! Really tasty, perfectly supportive bass lines, spot-on timing, and he makes it all look so effortless!

 

Sigh. If I could play like that, I would most definitely "do" a band.

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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You know, the scene that your teacher has set up is pretty damn cool. In hindsight, it's so obvious to set up a jam for students; but I haven't heard of any others doing it, nor did I think of it.

David's Guitar Loft, my lesson studio, also has a student jam on Saturday afternoons for kids 18 and under. Isn't that cool?! All private lessons are an hour long, which I think is ideal, and there is no extra charge for participating in the private or public jams. No commitment necessary; you just show up, and they work it out. They also have exploratory group lessons for those who want to get a taste of an instrument without making a major cash outlay upfront.

 

I love that place. The teachers are great, and they're all about playing with others. Any music store/studio would be really smart to emulate their model.

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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I think she knew what I meant -- unlike you high school freshmen.

 

I'm aware that she did, just a little humor there but my smiley ended up in the wrong place. I can't seem to get them to show up at the end of my post.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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I think she knew what I meant -- unlike you high school freshmen.

I'm aware that she did, just a little humor there but my smiley ended up in the wrong place. I can't seem to get them to show up at the end of my post.

No worries, Wally. I grew up as the only girl, with two older brothers. Believe me: I've heard it all. :blush:

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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Well done, Nancy!

You know, the scene that your teacher has set up is pretty damn cool. In hindsight, it's so obvious to set up a jam for students; but I haven't heard of any others doing it, nor did I think of it. Props, baby.

There are enough open jams/mics around town that I make it a goal to get students to play them. Like you I play guitar and sing, too; we can rehearse as a duo so there are no surprises on stage.

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