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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

Damn, that's some self-control. I'd absolutely went nuts in a situation like that. I'm personally going to give up on the band thing for a while. The 'rockbands with own material' usually boil down to re-arranged covers with different lyrics and the 'alternative' bands are worse. I'm all for new styles of music but you've got to draw a line somewhere...


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(@maliciant)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 259
 

Kingpatzer, your story is awesome. Someone should make that into a movie, and call it... back bone tap. (I could very easily be THAT guy except I know when I hear good guitar playing... so I generally know when to shut my mouth... even if I can't tell by ear if a chord is major or minor)


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I've never played in a band, as such, but......

Couple of years go, after the holiday from hell, the Mrs wound up in hospital with a broken femur. One night, after visiting her, I decided to call in a pub on the way home, couple of beers and bed. Well - there were about 6-7 guys in there, all my age (pushing 50) or older, with acoustic guitars. I got talking to one of the guys, mnaged to get my hands on a guitar, and played a couple of songs. That was it - i was hooked. Every tuesday after tht, down to the pub. "Bring a song and a smile for the banjo" as the old CCR song goes - start playing a song, and everyone'll join in.

Everything was OK for a few weeks - turn up, lay a song, no pressure. Someone might suggest a song for the week after - we'd try and learn it. Mistakes - yep, there were lots, but it was fun. Then the guy who'd started this whole thing going - who I hadn't seen yet - turned up. After that the whole thing went downhill faster than a Ferrari with no brakes - he insisted on picking the songs, he'd finish one song then start another straight away before anyone got a chance to say, "right - shall we have a go at...."

The worst part of it was, he'd insist on playing songs he'd learned from sheet music. Nothing wrong with that is there? Well, yes, if you've never heard the song, and haven't a clue as to how it's sung! This guy had a loud voice - unfortuntely, it's also a very monotone voice, no expression, no feeling. He had a regular pub gig as well on the Wednesday night with a band - so he insisted on rehearsing his set during what was supposed to be an informal jam. If you didn't know the song, tough.....

Some songs - for instance, Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" - he could do fairly well. When I had the temerity to mention, one week, "You know, there are intros, solos, and outros to these songs, can't we try and get them something like?" his answer was along the lines of "We've always done it this way....."

It got to the stage where me and a friend would just think, ah **** it.....let him play what he wants, we'll drown him out....we tried to reason with him, but the attitude was, "Well I started this jam....and I'm in charge, and I'll pick the music.
You can't argue with someone like that - I even tried taking my laptop in, and playing some songs I had on it, just to show what could be done...."No, we'll do it like this...." was the usual answer.

I stopped going last June - I was supposed to be playing at the local Newton Music Festival, but I couldn't bear it anymore - I hated the way he butchered the songs we played. Funny thing is, there was supposed to be 5 or 6 of us doing an acoustic set - he was the only one who turned up! Give him his due, he played the set we'd been working on.....but none of the lads from the pub turned up to play, or even encourage him.

As for the pub jam, it's died the proverbial death....Tuesday night was quiet night, but we used to get a few people in listening - any request, we'd have a go - and we'd have fun screwing up. But hey, that's rock'n'roll! One of the lads hs been in touch with me this week - apparently, an old friend of his has taken over a local pub. He (the new landlord) plays guitar and it seems he's keen to get a jam session going.....so I may have to get the gig bag out again......

Let's hope so! I miss those jams.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@dogsbody)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 726
 

I fully sympathsize with you Vic.

Yes! as you said there is nothing wrong with doing a song to the letter. But unless its's the original artist it will have no soul. That's what appeals to me about jamming with others and doing open mics. you can improvise and have happy accidents with the chord sequences and vocals.

Personally if I was lucky enough to be in a band I'd be happy just playing rythum and the odd backing vocals. You know, the "powerplant/generator or bedrock" that all the lead guys and vocalists feed off. But I'd hate to be told I couldn't improvise with a few chords that aren't as it was written. I mean sometimes a Cadd9 just does it for you rather than a straight open C or an Em7 instead of Em. It adds that wow factor and gives just the right atmosphere that fits the lead vocal style.

At the three open mics I've done so far with my limited guitar knowledge, I know have sat at home practicing songs straight from the tab books and thought God I sound so boring. So I changed a few chords on the night and strummed differently, tried a different setting on my amp, messed with my vocal style. It brings the song back to life sometimes and makes it almost your own.

I don't think I could ever join a band where one person dominated everything. I know some people are natural leaders but we have all got something to offer and we all need to feel worthy and feed off each other's ideas.

For example! getting back to my Hero's The Beatles. They worked brilliantly together but for good reasons John and Paul dominated. George being the strong silent type did as he was told but how he blossomed when the group went "tits up" so to speak. Imagine what even more incredible music would have come from The Beatles at their peak if he had been given the room to express his musical talent earlier instead of just being given solo's and riffs.

I hope your jam sessions get off to a rip rouring start again Vic.

Chris

The guitar is all right John but you'll never make a living out of it! (John Lennon's Aunt Mimi)


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(@dneck)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 632
 

But unless its's the original artist it will have no soul

EXACTLY! You should not try to reproduce the original song when you cover, you should make it your own

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile


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(@dogsbody)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 726
 

Vic wrote:
Let's hope so! I miss those jams.....

Hey Vic,

Bet you wish you were in on this jam session!!!! (see links)

Three big ego's here but they worked it out and what great music resulted. Wish I'd been there too.

Chris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMdwZ-3N9PI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCB0T5w5iyA

The guitar is all right John but you'll never make a living out of it! (John Lennon's Aunt Mimi)


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(@stevebishop)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 12
 

Thanks Dogsbody,

I love rehearsal videos -

Chuck not knowing his lyrics.

Keith Richards getting a guitar lesson -
the look on his face!

Great stuff.

My Contribution To The Guitar World:
http://www.visualmodalguitarblueprint.com


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(@dogsbody)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 726
 

Yeah Steve,

I think that this is the best version of "Oh Carol" I've ever heard. Just goes to prove that jam sessions sometimes produce pure gold moments.

Or to quote Chuck's comment on the first clip I posted "Ex - Tra - Ordinary" or for us British "Extraordinary"

Chris

The guitar is all right John but you'll never make a living out of it! (John Lennon's Aunt Mimi)


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(@threegtrz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 106
 

After 'retiring' from the biz while my boys grew up, I searched for years trying to find a group of like-minded middle aged musicians. My ad was finally answered and I jumped in with both feet.

Trouble was......

1. The drummer kept losing the rhythm.
2. Said drummer couldn't bother to learn the words to the songs he sang so he made them up.
3. The guys kept wanting to get drunk during practice (I totally LOVE beer, but it doesn't make me play better).
4. Stopping to tune down a half-step to emulate the recordings.
5. Booking a major gig a couple weeks hence before we even had one set of songs learned.

I bailed when I found myself telling people to stay away from the gig. I'm in a good situation now with some really great musicians. But it was murder getting there.


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(@blutic1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 280
Topic starter  

Ah the memories.


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Well I don't have any real horror stories yet but it's been a horror story trying to get a band together for over a year now. It started as a Friday night jam with a few friends but everytime we'd get together no one knew the same songs and just jamming to some 12 bar blues gets old real quick. So we decided to get a bit more serious pick some songs and work on those and slowly built a repetoire of songs. Unfortunately this didn't work well, the drummer could only show up every other week and the rest of the guys didn't like that, we also had a keyboard player who sounded like he was playing church music during every song and that wasn't working. So we find a new lead guitarist/singer who really played well and wanted to get serious about playing so he brought in a new drummer ( I had to tell the other drummer my friend we didn't need him anymore) and we started out as four man band. One of the other guitar players who used to play with us really really wanted to be in the band but since we already had two guitar players and didn't want a third we let him in as the keyboard player which he was actually trained as.

This went on for several weeks and we got about 8 songs done fairly quickly, we are a cover band. Then when we started trying to decide what to play next we started running into problems. No one could agree on what music to play next and this went on for about a month. I would send email after email and all I get was, we'll talk about it at practice, then it never happened.

So about a week ago things started taking a turn for the worse, I get a call from the bass player saying the keyboard player quit becuase the two of them fought over some girl at a bar. In the meantime I had suggested to everyone that the democratic process wasn't working and someone needs to take control and pick the music. At first the guitar player said he couldn't play in a band that wasn't democratic but I tried to tell him we've been trying for months and not getting anywhere. So he sends an email out saying that he'd be OK with having one person in charge if some conditions were met. This wasn't going to be a problem since I wanted him to be the person in charge.

Finally after months of this nonsense I finally thought we had it all worked out when last Friday he sends an email that he can't be in the band anymore, he's getting into Christian rock/positive music only and could not see himself playing in a bar...Now this is what we have all talked about as a goal since day one!

So now about a year into this we are without a guitar player and possibly the drummer will leave with him since they are friends..

This has been the most frustrating thing I think I have ever done in my life.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

yup, there's a reason bands have band 'leaders' - I learned that the hard way, too, joined a band my mate started (he was the singer), but he couldn't lead at all. not great, since he wrote the songs....I was way too green to take charge, which I should have done seeing as I had the most 'professional' experience (I use the term very loosely here).

you could try rotating the 'leader' with regards to new material (e.g. the singer picks the next tune to learn, once that's been learned, the keyboard player picks the next one, and so on). but for e.g. getting bookings, its best to have one person take on the role 'officially' with others contributing, or divvy up the tasks so each member has some organisational responsibility.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@blutic1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 280
Topic starter  

Funny - I've witnessed the same thing many times. The best players either die, get married, or go Christian.


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(@the-dali)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

Great thread. These stories have me laughing here at work.

Sounds to me like if you want a band, you need to do the power trio. One less ego to get in the way.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


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(@blutic1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 280
Topic starter  

It's not always bad. The group I'm in now is great. Noone complains or argues about song selection. Now if they would only learn their parts.....


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