#1
Is it a normal thing to expect that when you get together to jam, all the kinks of the individual parts are worked out; each member is perfectly prepared on an individual basis?

Then when you come together, there should be very few issues with the song, as in the first run through should be near perfect since everybody knows there parts? Ive always thought jamming should just be refining little issues not working out big problems like form of the song or individual parts...

I ask because one member of my current group is not doing this. I always have the form and such memorized before I go to play, in otherwords im prepared, and he messes up here and there and I dont see why its normal to have to deal with that kind of frustration

One jam i needed to explain an element of his part to him even though its not my instrument for 45 minutes before he got it. That seems a bit ridiculous.

Its been 2 months since the project started, and we only have 4 songs done, all of which i had ready the day we jammed them. It seems like thats progressing way to slowly.

What do you guys think what is the expectation of jamming, am i reasonable to expect all the individual parts learned perfectly?


TO clarify: this refers to covers not original material
Quote by The Spoon
Unless you're sure she likes you, telling her you like her has a 110% chance of failing.

But hey, at least you have a 10% chance of absolutely guaranteeing failure.
Last edited by British_Steal at Aug 9, 2011,
#2
I know what you mean man, but you have to deal with it a bit. maybe the guy feels uncomfortable or something? It would be a big deal if you had a show coming up.
Jamming is about both small refinement, and large. Very often a free-style jam is a good way to build chemistry, and to understand how the other players play their instruments.
I have been in a similar situation, on both sides of the table.
#3
I'm guessing you're talking about standard approaches to songwriting?

There's two standard ways:

1. Somebody comes in with a riff, everyone plays along with it, expands it, talks about it. Finally it gets fleshed out into a song. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers are known for this approach, which is why it didn't really work out with Dave Navarro who suscribed to the second method below.

2. Somebody comes in with a complete song. These days you can actually record and write out chord sheets for the song too, and people can learn it before meeting up. Anyways, the band gets it together at the first practice, and inbetween practices they can flesh out their own parts and try them out at the next practice.


It simply sounds like either you're in number 1 method and the other guy isn't writing them down or practicing between practices, or number 2 and the guy isn't writing them down or practicing between practices.

You can imagine that if he is only playing the songs when you guys together, that's only 2 hours a week, not that much in the grand scheme of things.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#4
actually to clarify im talking about covers not original material.

Original material obviously needs leeway for errors and such.
Quote by The Spoon
Unless you're sure she likes you, telling her you like her has a 110% chance of failing.

But hey, at least you have a 10% chance of absolutely guaranteeing failure.
#5
Quote by British_Steal
actually to clarify im talking about covers not original material.

Original material obviously needs leeway for errors and such.


In that case that's all on him. Especially since you can have a reference, as in, the actual F'n song lol.

I'm in a Rage tribute and just in our first practice we had 3 songs we agreed to learn prior and knocked them out kinks and all in a little over an hour.

Ask him he's learning with the actual song or not, that could always help.

he should really be able to come to practice and you guys be able to play the song all the way through, with little issue.
Last edited by scguitarking927 at Aug 8, 2011,
#6
Quote by British_Steal
actually to clarify im talking about covers not original material.

Original material obviously needs leeway for errors and such.


In that case he has no excuse. Youtube is available to jam with at all times of day. And if you have 4 covers after 2 months, you'll NEVER get work as a cover band. At this rate it will take you 2 years to get enough songs to gig at pubs :P

As a professional guitarist, if I am hired by an established band I'm expected to learn 40 songs within a month. If he can't do a quarter of that, perhaps he's not enjoying it, or he's just not cut out to be part of a band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
If someone invites me over to jam I'm just going to bring my instrument and jam, thats what jamming means, improvisation. However if I have band practice or am called in to practice with another band I expect to be given a song list and i should be expected to know my parts before I arrive. Practice is not the time for learning the songs its a time for perfecting the songs as a group.
#9
Expectations are going to be whatever you make them.

You can't get mad at someone for not knowing a song unless you said, at some point, "Let's everybody agree that we're going to at least get the basics of each song down before our next practice."

Bear in mind that figuring out a part is not always easy for some people. You shouldn't expect somebody to necessarily be able to figure it out on their own (especially if their overall skill level is such that he needs 45 minutes of explanation to "get it"). You have to figure out a way to work within his abilities if you want to keep playing with him.

But it does all start with a conversation with the band about what your expectations are of each other before you all get into a room together. Don't assume. You guys may have different goals, or different amounts of free time to practice on your own.
#10
Whenever I jam new songs with my band it's always pretty much bang on straight away. It's not tight, but everything's on the ball.

Generally it's a case of suggesting a song, then going away, individually learning it (we'll all have practiced using the original song as a basis) then we'll come back next practice and all have our individual parts down as we should. Which puts together a rough version of what needs to be tightened to become a part of our setlist.

Though sometimes we get lucky and one or two of us can have not learned a song but still pick it up (which happened last practice with one song).

I think it will be a case of the guy who's failing on you not doing a good enough job to learn the songs.
You're being very reasonable to expect him to know his parts. I mean, it's not so bad if it's a case of "Oh I learnt all of it, but didn't quite nail the solo, I'll just improvise on that bit for now" or something like that, because it doesn't ruin the flow of the jam or anything. But if he genuinely doesn't know his parts, or can't do something in place of the parts, that's a bit lame!

Generally as you're doing covers, you're going to want to nail as many songs as possible, with covers bands it's always good to have a massive amount of songs, so you can change the setlist according to the venue/crowd or be able to play weddings/corporate events while allowing the client to have some say over the set.
If you have someone who can't do this you're gonna need to have him rectify it, or you need to replace him. I got lucky with my band, as we can reel off songs with no problem (though I have to say, part of this is from the three musicians (not saying the vocalist isn't a musician, but I mean that we play instruments!) of the band have been jamming together for well over a year, so we're fairly in tune with each other musically).

...so to sum all of this up in a much shorter way, he needs to know his shit! If he doesn't you should get onto him about it.
#11
Don't feel bad. I've had the same experience. It became a running joke at band practice "ok, who didn't do their homework? The weakest link is gonna get a kick in the balls."

It's frustrating. With internet material available, there are few excuses for having tracks that any instrument can jam with. With tabs and Guitar Pro/Power Tab files on this site, there are few excuses for access to learning materials.

Confront the band about learning the agreed upon material. It will only get worse if you don't. This issue and more caused my most recent band to splinter apart.

Another tip is to make sure that all members play through material MULTIPLE times when practicing. Playing it until they get through it ONCE without screwing it up is not enough. They need to be able to play proficiently enough so that they can hold a conversation or watch TV while playing.

Be sure to have a discussion with the band to find out if all members are using the same practice resources (GP, backing tracks, tabs, etc.). Then you can make a determination if it's lack of effort, lack of talent, or poor technique.