Essence Of Jamming

Here you will find 6 tips that should help you jamming like a pro!

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So you're an aspiring guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyborader whatever. You and a few of your aspiring musician buddies decide to make a band. You start learning about notes and chords and amp settings and writing lyrics and everything seperately, but when you're together, it sounds like garbage, and you don't know how to fix it! You're desperate, feeling low and want to get better or else you're rock star dreams are over. Your lying in bed and contemplating the answer to everyones biggest most feared question "How The @#$% Do I Get My Band To Sound Good?!!? ". The answer is quite simple: Learn how to Jam, stupid!

Thus to my point, this is a breif article on how to Jam like a pro written entriely on my own opinion and experiences. So if you don't like it, dedicate your hate mail to imafuckingloserandneedsomethingbettertodoinmysparetime@fuckoff.com, and someone (not me though) just might care: p.

Lyrics And Vocals

Forget about it, you don't need lyrics yet. Jamming is about musicianship and about feeding off each others music. Lyrics sort of corrupt it. They dominate a song on you focus too much on what the vocalist is saying and not what you're doing. Jamming should be an instrumental thing only.

Sound Levels

One Word: Equalize. When you jam, you want to feeling useful and not weak or dominate. If your guitarist is an egomaniac, turn him down a bit so he can hear what everyone else is doing. If your bass is shy, turn it up so you can feel the groove. If your drummer's an idiot just meeing around, tell him to get his act together and keep in time. Simply put, never overpower or undermine everyone else, and stay together.

Stlye

This is where it gets technical. It's crucial and I can't stree this enough that you make sure you're all riding the same wave. If your guitar is shredding but your bass and drums are doing some jazz rythym, it ain't gonna work. Make sure that you're all doing a rock stlye or a metal style or a punk stlye or a jazz stlye. Don't habe your band off in there own worlds playing to there own sounds.

Andrew Brian Chris Daniel Edward Frank And George

Well not really, but it's an age old method to make sure your in the same key. When you start jamming, call out the name that starts with letters A-G and that will signal the key to play in. If you feel the need to change key in the middle of the song, shout out another name. So you could start in "D": aniel, but maybe your bass wants to change to "A"ndrew for a bit. Although this technique is not for everyone, it can sure help a lot to keep the sound together. After all, there nothing worse the having your guitar in "B"rian and your bass in "C"hris if you know what I mean.

Solo

Soloing in a jam session is not so much about showing off as it is about raising confidence. So when you jam, nod or signal from time to time to go in to a little guitar solo or bassline or drum roll then flow back into a good jam session again. There's nothing worse then being on stage afraid of your abilities then screwing up in front of crowd, and soloing in a jam is a good way to help NOT have that happen.

Feedback

When you finish a jam, give some honest feedback to your band about how they were and they can sharpen up there skills for the next time. Sometimes the truth can hurt, but it has to be said if you want to improve. Giving and recieving honest feedback to one another is a god way to learn and improve for the next time.

That's it for my lesson. Some may find it useful, others may think it's a waste of the internet, either way here it is, and if you enjoyedit, it was my pleasure writing it. If you didn't, well then why the hell did you read this far along anyway if you're still with me? And by the way, I'm well aware the second paragraph contradicts my "feedback" section of the article, so don't point that out.

Peace Out.

72 comments sorted by best / new / date

    metalneck
    I like it. Hopefully this article with give people more confidence in their atempts at playing with friends.
    sloweffect
    ^Yeah u sound 16
    no..i think buckethead sound like a 10 year old...(like my little sister)
    monkee
    i am guitarrist or trying to be one if you want to make a band e mail me @ headd_mk@hotmail.com!
    tinblimp9340
    that is a very interestiung point, i have a lot of jam sessions with my friends and try to hold them often, but i haven't jammed with my friends considering im getting my music room soon. Props for the article though,
    blinkguitarist5
    i think its a good idea to have written this article... i'll tell my band we need to do this...mostly we just cover songs and write a couple of our own but jamming will make us better. thanks man
    psychodelia
    A jamming band with a vocalist who could freestyle over it would be interesting, unfortunately I don't know anyone talented enough to do that. I think I'll stick to jamming.
    Metalmilitaiama
    i think this is very usefull me and my cousins used to suck but now we calmed down from this and got allitle bit better
    Diegob_86
    Jaming is also great when one is high but not too high. Roll up a small joint and smoke it with your band that will get you going strong hahahaha
    buckethead101
    I decided to steal YOUR music, I will also write long songs with solos after 3rd chorus. Gee, I hope I don't get caught....
    Whooaoaoaoaaaa!!!.. Try thinking your own style brotha How old are you anyway? I'm only 16 brother.....
    O_o
    buckethead101, Steal or die!!!..he he he he he he he
    so you're saying if we don't steal, we'll die.
    Strat_Monkey
    A jamming band with a vocalist who could freestyle over it would be interesting, unfortunately I don't know anyone talented enough to do that. I think I'll stick to jamming.
    See: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
    diego224
    well, hmmm to say the truth...im starting a band, well, lets see, my drummer never had a drums, so he has ZERO experience, my vocalsit is too shy to talk, the basist is a freakin pot head, and well, i need a guitar..so wish us luck ..by the way, i need to know if a fender telecaster is a descent guitar, for a beginner, thanxs
    enalonde
    Recording our jams and listening to them really helped us jam better. It was hard to listen to my drumming in the beginning because I was so bad and it was pretty embarrassing, especially hearing them 3 years later. Humble beginnings and paying your dues come with the territory. Also making sure I could see the bass players hand movements helped us stay tight.
    Bulletbass man
    My band mixes types of music a lot and sometimes it turns out great and others it sucks and we start over we kicked our old vocalist out cause he screwed around too much and now are new one doesn't everything works out better but thanks for the idea of making the guitar softer now when i (bassist) screw up i notice it
    korinaflyingv
    Now i no how 2 jam! YAY!!! Personally i think shred with jazz would sound pretty kl (in a stange sorta way)
    Hippiegrin
    Hey, I'm looking for Great White's Big Goodbye tabs. Anyone out there have them by chance? If anyone knows for sure where I can get them...or if you have them, email me and let me know. hippiegrin@yahoo.com Thanks.. ~Dan~
    Darkpagan
    Good article but I took off a point for the various spelling mistakes. Honestly don't they have schools where you live?
    AvengedWings
    Good read. When I was in a band I had most of those issues you mentioned, you almost nailed it. The thing that bothered me the most though was that the rest of my band didn't seem to concerned that we had sound issues. Like my other guitarist had the louder amp most of the time and ALWAYS over powered me. You could never hear those little lead guitar licks I was playing. My drummer played way too damm loud and my bassist blasted his amp too. We all had a barage of noise and just sounded terrible. If I ever join/form another band I'll make sure they understand those topics mentioned.
    JustinYap
    Cool!!! I just started a band, and I'm definitely gonna print this out and show this to them!!!
    Vinura
    we got some pretty immature 16 year olds but damn good article...my drummer lives next door...and itl be good coz we r thinking of making a thrash metal band...but we need a bassist and rythm guitarist...preffrebly one who can sing too...so...anyone here living in New Zealand, in Auckland...around Avondale...wanna be in my thrash band?....i got a really cool name for it to...one name that hasnt been thought of by anyone...named after an old anime that i use to watch wen i was bout 7....wahahaha...we gonna rock this rap state with THRASH METAL.
    godofthunder
    The names idea actually makes a lot of sense if your jam starts to flow, if you yell out B, C, D, E or G they all sounds similar... my band has jammed once and we dont have a vocalist yet, but most of what was in the article was somewhat obvious... no real expert tips there but good basics.
    ibanez89
    Well that's something everyone can enjoy Beside the names for the key Chris for C :lol: and stuff it's kinda nice.
    buckethead101
    buckethead, i think u need to find a new bassist, every1 in ur band should be at about the same skill level....
    I pick him coz he's got a bass guitar in our campus.....
    geekynerd
    good stuff, but mixing styles sometimes might work, and also, when i jam, sometimes my vocalist just adlibs lyrics. and you don't have to focus on what they say, but vocals have a certain tone and it really helps if these jams hope to become songs one day to discover what type of sound should be on there, a hard one or whatever, or how fast to pace the words, so don't hesitate to put vocals in, if you're up for it, but if it doesn't work and it winds up being corrupted... damn. stop. just sing whatever comes to mind and see if it works. you'll wind up with gibberish like "they stream through my hair faster than bullets on easter." (that's an actual one)
    Slobberjaws
    so buckethead whats the problem? if hes just a beginner and needs to practice some of thats just gonna take time...when my bass player was just startin out he got superchops 4 bass with beaver felton and it helped his technique a ton, plus its pretty fun to watch even if you dont play bass
    Komon
    I have found, if you are into it, the best way to have your whole band on the same level, toke. A little bud goes a long way in music.
    Lymbe
    Good article, and more importantly, original. u needn't have add those personal comments about those who might not like it. screw them if they didn't. Buckethead101: Don't steal my idea of music you music stealers out there..... I decided to steal YOUR music, I will also write long songs with solos after 3rd chorus. Gee, I hope I don't get caught....
    buckethead101
    actually he likes the concepts or feelings of my songs but really it's too long and my songs need feelings man.....so there are too many riffs that invokes anger, disappointment, chaos, destruction or maybe sadness....
    Don't steal my idea of music you music stealers out there.....
    Steal or die!!!..he he he he he he he
    Bong Water
    u gotta b jokin... hes a beginner and youre teachin him... he doesnt like the length of your songs, and from what you say he doesnt like your songs... sounds to me like you shouldnt be liking his bass playing. i try to give people a chance, but if youre takin it seriously, this guy is barely a member of your band.
    buckethead101
    I hope this will help coz I got an underground band.....Any tips to teach our bassist coz he is a beginner... Continuation to this is he can't stand the duration of my band's songs coz it's too long....We have a 30-second (or above) intros, unusual structures of verses, pre-choruses, four or five choruses in each songs, wacky interludes, guitar solos, guitar solos again after the third chorus, codas and outro riffs, sludgy riffs(that's the description of my riffs coz I'm a guitarist), blast beats, manic-depressive lyrics( some times it's political, maybe emotional, moody, maybe some lyrics of a typical death metal band writes into)
    Our average duration of the songs in my band mayboe about 5:30 or above....
    buckethead101
    I hope this will help coz I got an underground band.....Any tips to teach our bassist coz he is a beginner...
    Continuation to this is he can't stand the duration of my band's songs coz it's too long....We have a 30-second (or above) intros, unusual structures of verses, pre-choruses, four or five choruses in each songs, wacky interludes, guitar solos, guitar solos again after the third chorus, codas and outro riffs, sludgy riffs(that's the description of my riffs coz I'm a guitarist), blast beats, manic-depressive lyrics( some times it's political, maybe emotional, moody, maybe some lyrics of a typical death metal band wirtes into)