Tom Capasso Posted March 6, 2003 Share Posted March 6, 2003 I've been traveling for work lately. Had a great time jamming with Tedster in KC. We did some blues and rock and mostly stuff I knew and just jammed. I'm thinking I can try to find a jam when I'm away. This week and next I'm in Pittsburgh. I find a club running a jam last night, and head over. Great looking place - tall ceiling, thick curtains, well decorated, serves food. Great stage, and a dance floor, then the tables. 20 people there, and I sit at a table as close as I can, and sort of opposite the bassist. The band is a bunch of older guys (though the drummer was younger). Drums, bass (Ken Smith 5 bolt-on, linwood body, SVT Pro4, 18"GK cab), piano (looked like a baby grand, or maybe bigger), and trombone (he's the club owner). They have a female singer (who works there) come up sometimes as well. Anyway, I sit down, and a very pleasant waitress tells me that she doesn't know how the jam works, but she'll speak to the owner. By the time she brings me my ginger ale, I tell her not to bother the owner about me. They're doing jazz and standards, and sound damn good. I don't have the musical vocabulary for that. And I can't see the bassist giving me his Smith (I'm not traveling with a bass). At the break, I go up to talk to Herb the bassist. Nice guy, and we chat for a while. He tells me I should step up and play (I wouldn't have asked). I say maybe. A family comes up - parents (about my age) and their 17 year old son who plays guitar. We talk, and he's going to bring his stuff next week and we'll try some Stevie Ray Vaughn. Sounds promising... The band starts up, and I hear Herb tell the boss that there is a bass player who will play tonight. Uh oh. They do some numbers with some people that are friends (a male vocalist and a sax player). An older woman gets up and does a good job with a Gershwin tune. The owner passes by me at one point and asks me if I'll play. Like a jerk I say "sure, maybe a blues tune". Do I have any idea about the protocol or language these guys speak? not a clue.... So they call me up. I ask the male singer (who is sitting at the bar) if he knows Stormy Monday, and he says "no". So I ask the band to pick a blues song, because I think they'll say some song I've heard of. They ask "blues? what key?". What key ?!?!? what song? So after staring at me dumbly and waiting for me to call something, they say "we'll do blues in C". And it starts. Like a 12 bar, but a bit more than a I-IV-V. I start playing, and the sax and trombone find a theme, and we go around for a while, with the trombone, sax, and piano taking turns. Thankfully they didn't look at me for a solo. I did OK walking around on it, but I felt like I was out of place. Thanks to a strong drummer and my "rock band" training, I wasn't out of time. Herb said I sounded good, but ... So next time I'll have a song ready to call, and not seem like such a dork. And if that kid comes back, we'll take a shot at Pride and Joy and Texas Flood.... Because I already know that I'm going back next week. And if I didn't make a complete ass of myself, they'll let me play. If not, I'll enjoy watching Herb again. Any suggestions welcome. Any of you get kicked at a jam, either from playing with better players or from not knowing how the game works (or both - like me)? Tom www.stoneflyrocks.com Acoustic Color Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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