#1
I usually play bass with my friends since I can't find a band, but it's always the same thing. Each player trying to do their own thing. I understand that's what jamming is, but I would like to try to get something that sounds remotely enjoyable. I jam with my friend who plays lots of metal. He lays down some nice riffs, but when I go to put the bassline to them, he says I shouldn't just be playing the same thing he is. I ask him to tell me what he wants me to play, but he doesn't know. I don't mind playing the same thing, but I wouldn't mind expanding it. I try to find the key he is playing in, but that never works out and he knows nothing about that stuff. Also, he is always changing and says check this out*plays for 1 minute* now what do you think of this?*plays different riff*. I just wanna know how to deal with this.
#4
it would certainly help if you both had some knowledge of music theory but for now have him play the same thing for more than a minute and just experiment playing different htings over him.
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#5
I know basic bass theory. He doesn't know any guitar theory. I go to come up with a bassline, but he changes riffs and doesn't allow me to come up with anything in the 1 minute of playing.
#6
Well it helps to be 'in tune' with other players i gues. At least it helped us. Right now when we jam it just happens spontaniously (unles we jam on a song, like hey joe or something), while im usualy messing around and when i get a nice riff going and the drummer decides to kick in, the other guitarist and the basist just kinda pick up behind us, and the magic begins to happen

EDIT: oh yeah, you have to know some theory so you can play in key. Thats why i usualy start the jam, since i am the only one who actualy knows any theory in my band.
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#7
Usually jamming for me will go:

1. I make up a chord progression on the spot, everyone joins in on it with their own thing, everyone alternates solos, you can play around with the timing and feel of it too. End the song once you've had enough. Make up next chord progression etc. For this to be sucessful at first, just make up a simple progression that everyone can follow easily. Even two chord progressions can work (eg. Am, G) or common four chord progressions (eg. G Em C D). To know what to play, you do need to know a bit of theory, to play solos in the same key.

Riffs can also be made up over the chord progression given, again this is helped through knowledge of keys and scales. If you get a good feel for playing riffs over chord progressions with the relative knowledge, you can then with practice identify what would sound good on your bass underneath a riff.

2. The alternative is to pick a song and jam it out. That's just playing it over and over again with everyone alternating solos. So it skips you having to make up a chord progression, and others are already familiar with it. That said, knowledge of scales and keys is required to get a good solo/riff sound over/underneath it.

Of note, jamming is a process where you will be playing the same thing over and over again for a period of time. If your guitarist wants you to make up riffs underneath his, he'll just have to play it over and over again. You two can listen to the results and go "yeah that sounded good there" or "maybe a little differently".

Of note, if it sounds boring playing the same thing over and over again, too bad. That what a song is Wait till you're in a band and playing the same song for the 200th time.
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#8
Try getting a chord progression first, then record it and play it on an endless loop. Then you can both work on finding bass lines and riffs that sound good to you (independent of one another). Then pick the ones you like the most and play them over and over again (you can record them and play them in a loop also - just like you did for the chord progression so you or he doesn't want to actually play it over and over). Then fill in the missing bass line or guitar melody/riff.

If you really want to just improvise you'll have to at least know what key to improvise in.
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#9
Good Shout AlanHB on jamming out songs. Doing this will give you both time to learn how the other guys play and thats always good way to start out. Jamming will get easier over time, the more you become used to the other musicains you regularly jam with, the more you learn their individual style and you can bouce of it and compliment it.
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#10
I suck at jamming.

The recording a riff and laying the layers over it is a good idea though! Kudos
#11
It seems like this guys restless, and him not even knowing what key hes in doesnt help... Try coming up with a interesting bass line, then tell him to play over it.
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#12
Yeah, that is what I'm going to do. It seems like he wants to show me all he's got and impress me or something. Granted he's good, but needs to calm down.
#13
The last resort with people like that is to play cover songs, and he'll get used to playing with you so jamming will work out much better.
#14
Don't expect a jam to sound good with someone who doesn't know any theory. Take a simple progression like A G D and just jam on that over and over. Have the guitar player start out with chords to just get the feel, then you can chug underneath him. After a few bars he can rip a solo while still following the A G D format, basically he'll solo in A while you follow the progression still, you don't need to just play A G D, but accent the changes as they come while stringing together melodic bass lines. If he has no concept of what a key is then theres really no point in jamming, because then its not even really jamming, its just you telling him what to play or him telling you what to play.
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#16
Quote by trey-col89
Don't expect a jam to sound good with someone who doesn't know any theory. Take a simple progression like A G D and just jam on that over and over. Have the guitar player start out with chords to just get the feel, then you can chug underneath him. After a few bars he can rip a solo while still following the A G D format, basically he'll solo in A while you follow the progression still, you don't need to just play A G D, but accent the changes as they come while stringing together melodic bass lines. If he has no concept of what a key is then theres really no point in jamming, because then its not even really jamming, its just you telling him what to play or him telling you what to play.


That's a cool idea, but wouldn't you be soloing in Dmaj? (Assuming they're all major chords)
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#17
It depends on how you play it and where you put the accents. I was basically just using the Grateful Dead's Franklin's Tower as a template cause its a simple jam which they play for a while, and its in A. Basically the bass will be accenting the changes (A G D), the rhythm guitar will be playing the chords (usually with inversions and syncopated rhythms), and the lead will just noodle around in A major and VWALA! Instant jam, provided the drummer can keep a simple 4/4 beat and STAY IN THE POCKET. By stay in the pocket, I mean that they don't try to hit a fill going into the next bar but mess it up and come in a half a beat to late or just mess everyone up completely.

The progression goes [A A A G][D D D G] and just repeat that, so it is technically in A. It the progression had went like [A A G G] [D D D D] then soloing in D would probably sound a little better, but the way the song is played its actually in A.
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Last edited by trey-col89 at Jan 11, 2009,