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First time playing with other people in 20+ years

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Cerb, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    So yesterday I got to play with the people that I'm supposed to go to the blues jam with next week, it was the first time playing with other people since my high school years and I had a ton of fun but it was mentally exhausting, a lot of the songs I had never heard before. The rhythm playing went fine much to my surprise, I was given a lot of space to experiment and find my place which was nice and I found myself playing triads far up the neck a lot of the time.

    Except for one solo, most of them didn't go too well so I know what I need to work on. One week until the jam, there will be plenty of people on stage so I'll just lay back and find my space until it's time for a solo :eek:

    I was invited back to play with them again so it can't have been a complete disaster.
     
  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Great to hear you're getting involved. :thumb::thumb::thumb: Sounds as if you've found a starting point that works for you. Being able to support the singer and the song is far more important than any solo you play.

    Albert Collins is a guy who knew how to keep it simple. Listen to how long he leaves between notes at times. To quote the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie: "The rests are the hardest notes to play." :D

     
  3. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    My advice - learn how to sing. Then you can pick the songs you jam. ;)
     
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  4. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Glad to hear you are jamming.
    Have a great time at the blues jam.
    Don't worry about being a "solo" machine.
    Good rhythm is everything.
     
  5. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And...protect your hearing. The last couple of jams ( not the one with @Nate D ) with a guy playing a 50 watt 4×12 in a 10x14 room has left me with a nasty 10 kHz ringing in my ears. So...wear plugs. :)
     
  6. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Great stuff!!! Enjoy.
     
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  7. Omar

    Omar ✪✪ Miserable Old Curmudgeon ✪✪ Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Great news H :) last time I jammed, i improvised over Glory Box. I played like I was alone in my studio. Zero shizz given :D I look forward to watching videos ;) good luck my friend!
     
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  8. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    I went out two weekends back for the first time in over 20 years. Felt weird, but good, so I can relate.
    Sounds like you had a good time. Glad it went well.
     
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  9. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks, I will.

    Half way through the rehearsal this sunday the singer, who also played guitar, removed his ear plugs because we weren't very loud. Afterwards he told me that he wasn't used to being the loudest person in the room (their regular guitarist was absent). I had my amp at appriximately the same volume I do in the mancave and still found myself rolling back the guitar.

    The jam on tuesday will be louder though.
     
  10. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    The soloing is still not going to well. I felt really good about it yesterday, not so much today after jamming with the bassist.

    Maybe I should learn some cliche blues licks? Any advice?
     
  11. montemerrick

    montemerrick you can't stay the fool Strat-Talk Supporter

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    well, i have no advice for jamming blues with anyone, i never done it... the groups i've played in have always been purely improv with no predetermined structure - that leaves me with a percussionist and a bass player (who sometimes is a trombone player) if the bass is going after it melodically, i follow or weave around, if the bass player is just playing a steady thump, like a kick drum with a pitch - i wander wherever i desire within the key, - but basically the drum and the bass are who i focus on, they're my connection to reality - if there's a horn blowing hard and loud, i lay out... or find the in between spaces to remind people that beneath the storm its still the same lovely garden. like the birds in the grass in the opening battle scene of Malick's The Thin Red Line. if this is of any use to you, well hot damn, that would be a first for me!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  12. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    Get your major and minor pentatonics sorted in as many positions as you can. It’s all I know and I can bluff my way through most things.

    One trick is that no matter how you get there, try to end on a root note, and if you hit a note outside the scale bend it until it goes in...
     
  13. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    Your insights are always helpful, thanks :)
     
  14. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks. Tge pentatonics are sorted, I think my problem is with phrasing and sounding bluesy... And over-playing and being self conscious, which is probably why I felt better about it yesterday when it was just me and the looper.

    I figured that learning some blues licks would help with phrasing.
     
  15. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    Maybe. It’s definitely ‘less is more’. You have to be brave enough to leave space and play fewer notes. There is a huge temptation to fill gaps with extra notes (I do it all the time) but the best blues players do it through timing and phrasing rather than licks.

    I learn new stuff every day even when it’s just the same notes...
     
  16. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I started playing again after 35 years. About four years ago I started jamming with some guys. I still remember when I heard the drums kick again after all those years, how neat this was. And still is. And I'm a major hack.

    Enjoy!
     
  17. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Please take this seriously, folks. I thought I'd be OK with one ear protector in the ear facing the drummer at the Sunday blues jam. They're all seasoned players, and they keep the volume under control. But no, my tinnitus is back almost as bad as it was when I took a break more than six months ago.

    The real bummer is that Sunday gig resulted in an offer to join a very nice blues/soul outfit. I'd love to, but now I'm not even sure I can do the monthly blues jam.

    I'm going to consult a professional audiologist to find out what custom moulds can do for me. The problem I've had with off-the-shelf protectors so far is when I put both in, I can't really hear what's happening on stage! Out in the audience they're good enough, but it's hard to interact with musicians you can't hear. :(
     
  18. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Whatever you do in life, your first attempt in unlikely to be your best. But until you make the first step, then the second... you'll never get to step one hundred or one thousand. @Cerb, you're the brave guy who's making those steps. :thumb::thumb::thumb:

    After 50 years of making mistakes on stage – and still making them – here are a few ideas:

    1. Of course, practice is a vital thing, and the more you practice, the better. That applies to all the chords and turnarounds you'll encounter, not just solos. Also, listen to music from different decades, and jam along to get feel for the subtle changes in groove. Practice to grooves or a metronome.

    2. If you know what songs the band is likely to play, download them and learn them!

    3. Try to relax and listen. Tell yourself that the song would probably be fine if you played absolutely nothing. So only play the parts you think make the song even better. Interact with the other players in terms of the rhythms they are putting down, or if the song is going into a quiet section etc.

    4. Avoid using gear you've never used before! If you do, use that amp in the most basic way possible. I saw a really experienced guitarist kick in a pedal he hadn't set up, and his solo was a load of compressed mush that was way quieter than his rhythm work. (The pedal was an OCD. I've heard good things about it, but it did this guy no favors at all.)

    But mostly, just have fun! :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  19. montemerrick

    montemerrick you can't stay the fool Strat-Talk Supporter

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    why we can't turn it down a touch is beyond me. i walk out of loud shows. i don't stare into the sun either. i wear ear protection when we play, because i like to sit (yes i sit) right next to the drums - (great place to hide, inside the beat and all)

    Simon, i hope your tinnitus improves, i was looking forward to hearing some your soul outfit outings... that's a tough break... i'm metaphorically lighting a candle for you.
     
  20. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I have seen advertisements for a specific type of earplugs, designed for stage musicians.

    I believe they filter out certain frequencies and let others through with less attenuation.

    If I can find them, I'll post a link, maybe they can help?
     
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