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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.