#1
So. My band and I love extended jams on songs. It usually turns into one of those 15 minute+ ordeals, and to me as a musician it's fun and, in my opinion, my band is pretty good at it.

But playing a gig, do people really want to hear us mess around for a long time? I'd assume not, but my experience with gigs so far is just solo classical guitar, nothing like what I'm playing now.

Basically my question is this:
I'm making a setlist, should I make room for more than one extended jam song?
#2
what genre do you play? if it's jazz, then yes... play a ton. If it's punk, none. if it's rock, do one. if it's metal, just nickname it a breakdown.

they sound good if they aren't just jamming, but rather instrumental pieces. for example the song "Guys i need a helicopter" by Look Mexico. They play it during their set, and it's a song.. but it's all instrumental and has a distinct melody and changes which probably are different everytime but same feel. So consider planning out the "jam" so it's more professional. Also, if it's your first gig, i'd say not to do it because you don't want to have to improvise much because you'll be nervous and it won't sound too good. then 2nd gig give it a try once and see how the audience reacts and decide whether to ever do it again
My Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Epiphone AJ
Ibanez Strat Copy

Amps:
Orange Tiny Terror Head
Old beaten up Peavey cab
Marshall MG30DFX
#3
I'd say it entirely depends upon your genre and audience. If the majority of your set is 3 minute, pop-punk songs, would the audience, as fans of this sort of music, really be interested in a 15 minute version of, say, McFly's '5 colours in her hair'? I doubt it.

If, however, you were playing blues, then perhaps 15 minute versions of, say, 'Voodoo Child' would be more acceptable.

So yes, firstly, consider your 'demographic'.

Next, you may have fun playing the whole 15 minute jam on a chord progression, but the audience may not hear anything other than repeats of the same stuff. Just think, 15 minutes and 12 notes.....you're gonna eventually start repeating yourself.

As someone who has had to bear witness, unfortunately, to many extended jams, we normally take the '*** break' (in the U.K, we can't smoke indoors) and go outside until it's over. I don't even smoke.

On the other hand, consider Oasis. When they were starting out, they didn't have enough material to fill their entire set time and so they'd jam out the end of I Am The Walrus until their time was up. There are videos of them doing this on YouTube. They only add about 3 minutes onto the end of the song and it sounds good.

Finally, I'll mention solos. Sure, guitar solos can easily go on for ever and ever. But the rest of the band will wanna solo too at some point. Well, imagine you are a 'power trio', right? 15 minute jam = (diplomatically) 5 minutes of solo each, yes? 5 minute guitar solo? Yeah, that could be fine, so long as it doesn't repeat itself. Then we hit a snag. Would you honestly wanna listen to a 5 minute bass solo? How about a 5 minute drum solo? Sure, solos from these two can be awesome, but after a while, it gets a bit boring. Even guitar solos do to be honest.

So yes, consider all of this before you go ahead and do it.

My opinion? Avoid it wherever possible.

db

darthedit (sorry, always wanted to do that) :

If you are insistent upon doing an extended jam, make it an actual song in which you inject solos and extend it. That is far better than just 3 chords decided on the night with a solo on top. Spend some time perfecting it and working out what you can do at what times and stuff. Do this in practice enough and then you can play up the idea that it's a 'jam' on-stage.

BAscially, make a structured song for jamming, which you work out what sounds good and when. Check out the Cure's Lullaby extended mix. That's not random, that's well thought out. Or even some of the GnR jams on the end of songs on the Live Era CD's, they were well planned before they went on stage but sound just as good (or in my opinion, better) than if they had have been made up on the spot.
Last edited by darthbuttchin at Aug 2, 2009,
#4
Thanks for the help guys.

Oh and;
We play Mars Volta and one or two Rush covers at the moment. The audience is going to be teenagers, it's a school talent show deal. I don't really think they're going to like the material we have already, most kids I know don't even know who Geddy Lee is.
#5
Quote by Skunk Force 9
Thanks for the help guys.

Oh and;
We play Mars Volta and one or two Rush covers at the moment. The audience is going to be teenagers, it's a school talent show deal. I don't really think they're going to like the material we have already, most kids I know don't even know who Geddy Lee is.


That sorta music = perfect for extended jams.

BUT

check your demographic - teenagers - they aren't gonna be interested really, well tha majority won't be.

Also, consider thae fact it's talent show. I'll bet 7 blueberry muffins that you aren't purely being marked on your technical ability and musicality. The way in which you engage the crowd will feature a fair amount i'm sure, as will the acessibility of the talent. If you can get the entire hall of teenagers interested in your music, your gonna be marked higher than if you engage 1 kid in the back row. Even if that kid begins to worship you, your not gonna beat the 6 year old who dances to 'Somewhere over the rainbow'. Think about how people can relate to you. This is why certain music becomes more popular than others. These days, kids can relate to the whole Emo thing, because it pretty much voices their teenage angst and adds a (generally) catchy tune to it in the process.
They can relate to that alot better than something proggy about a dragon named jeff who lives on the moon or whatever.

So yes, demographic.

db
#6
Sod the demographic, not jamming on a mars volta or rush song is like chopping ron jeremy's twanger off. It's a talent show, so whoever plays sweet child o' mine or american idiot is going to win anyway, so just have fun.
A dwarf might hear you. What then?

My Music
#7
Quote by timi_hendrix
Sod the demographic, not jamming on a mars volta or rush song is like chopping ron jeremy's twanger off. It's a talent show, so whoever plays sweet child o' mine or american idiot is going to win anyway, so just have fun.
Yeah that advice'll get you really far in the music business
.
#8
Quote by timi_hendrix
Sod the demographic, not jamming on a mars volta or rush song is like chopping ron jeremy's twanger off. It's a talent show, so whoever plays sweet child o' mine or american idiot is going to win anyway, so just have fun.


True.

Well, we'll swallow our pride and do the best version of american idiot ever I suppose...
#9
Quote by Nietsche
Yeah that advice'll get you really far in the music business


I'm sure all the record label scouts that attend his school's talent show will agree with you, I'm so sorry. I had no idea every single gig you ever play no matter where, who attends or what you do during it could potentially land you a record deal. I'm so fucking thick, I might just hang up my guitar and call it a day.

He never asked how to "get really far in the music business". He asked a question about a school talent show, and I really don't think that it's worth trying to pander to an audience full of school kids who most likely don't have a clue about music anyway.

The attitude in this forum is a load of toss. If all bands followed the pub rock dinosaur advice given out around here then we'd never get any new, revolutionary music in the world. Plenty of bands have managed to become famous by playing music that goes against what "the masses" want to hear. If shit like Sunno))()() or whatever they're called can amass a fanbase and make enough money to release records I don't think there's any need for everyone to try and play the most commercially appealing music possible.

This rant is available to download as a PDF for the low price of £4.50. Email me.
A dwarf might hear you. What then?

My Music
#10
TS: If you think the audience will enjoy it, do it. But I think it would be better to tack on a jam to an existing song. Coheed and Cambria (my favorite band, which is why this is the example) has a few songs called 'The Final Cut' and 'Everything Evil' where they do that. Many times at live shows, they'll take the solo section or a breakdown section and extend it for solos. Lots of these jams go on for 10+ minutes in a lot of their sets, and every one I've been to has been really receptive to it. As long as you keep some variety in it, I'd say go for it.
#11
Quote by timeconsumer09
TS: If you think the audience will enjoy it, do it. But I think it would be better to tack on a jam to an existing song. Coheed and Cambria (my favorite band, which is why this is the example) has a few songs called 'The Final Cut' and 'Everything Evil' where they do that. Many times at live shows, they'll take the solo section or a breakdown section and extend it for solos. Lots of these jams go on for 10+ minutes in a lot of their sets, and every one I've been to has been really receptive to it. As long as you keep some variety in it, I'd say go for it.


Final Cut is actually one of the songs we jam on constantly.

It's seriously just a school talent show, and the only reason I'm doing it is to give my band a chance to play in front of an audience of more than 10 people. I'm not gonna be too hurt if Johnny EveryTeen doesn't like "Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt."

Thanks guys. Wish us luck and such.
#12
Quote by timi_hendrix
Plenty of bands have managed to become famous by playing music that goes against what "the masses" want to hear. If shit like Sunno))()() or whatever they're called can amass a fanbase and make enough money to release records I don't think there's any need for everyone to try and play the most commercially appealing music possible.


If bands went against the masses, it would be impossible to amass a fanbase. For a band to be successful they must play for the audience, all successful bands did not build a fanbase by boring them with extended pointless jams.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#15
Cool beans man, knowing theory helps a lot in jamming. If you all know where you are in the jam and where you can go it will be a much smoother ride. If you do keep doing shows with extended jams I would say look into the local festival scene around you. The mid west has a pretty decent sized one(I'm from MN, we have lots of festivals there great fun to play). I would also recommend you and your band make up body signs or movements for when to change to another part of the jam. Dont forget to just let it flow man once you get it you keep it.
www.myspace.com/thestalkingbutlers

Holy Knight of the Crusading Order of the Stratocaster.

Gear:
MIA Fender Stratocaster
MIA Fender Telecaster
MI? Fender TC-90

Fender Hot Rod Deville
Blackstar HT5, HT40

various pedals