Hey guys! I'm new here. I started up an account to get some advice on a very pressing problem I am having this week.
I've not been playing guitar for very long. I believe I started in Late May - early June of this year. So 4-5 months tops. I don't feel like a spectacular guitarist because I'm not. But I started playing because I'd really love to be in a band someday.
I recently moved away from home to a different college. And I've met a lot of musicians and I've had some opportunities to play with them and get a better insight into the sort of thing I'd like to do once i feel competent with the instrument.
Now, there is a girl down the hall from my apartment who keeps asking me to come over and jam with her. She's got a synth and she's mentioned that she'd like to put some music together so we can open for a local band at a party. So I told her I would work out a time that I could come over, (I am very busy with school, my job, and volunteer work at the campus radio station) and that date is tomorrow night.
Now I'm just stressing because I feel very mediocre. I can play quite a few open chords. I'm getting into bar chords, and I can certainly play along one note at a time by ear. But I'm not very fast and I still mute notes sometimes. So should I save myself the trouble and call it off? I know that's not the brave thing to do, but I feel like I'm going to embarrass myself. If I go, what should I expect? I'm fairly sure she's a decent musician and I hope I haven't given her the impression that I am.
I do want to become a better guitarist and I know I need to get out of my comfort zone if I'd ever like to perform in front of people.
So any advice would be appreciated! Do you guys think I'm too fresh to jam at all? Opinions please. Thanks.
Yeah, I think you are probably too fresh. The amount of time that you've been playing isn't very long. You may find theres a knowledge gap when relating to her, and that can be a bit tough. But, I think you should try it anyways. Sometimes events like that bring us back to earth on our skills, and we realize what we don't know, and it makes us driven to know it next time.

I remember once jamming to Light My Fire, live sitting in with a band and trying to play it all in a single key minor pentatonic when they had me improv solo. That did not work out well when the chords changed and I didn't know where those came from, but they made ME sound terrible. It was humbling. Go try it yourself if you like, and you'll see, but it started me wanting to understand music, chord tones and basic analysis so the next time when those "off" chords hit, I wasn't caught with my pants down, so to speak.

But most likely you're quite green and maybe not in jam mode yet, unless the other person tempers it down to your level, which can work, but it also feels like someone's running along side you and you're on training wheels, which is not the best feeling either.


Last edited by Sean0913 at Oct 1, 2014,
Who gives a shit. Unless you gave some unrealistic expectations of yourself to her, go for it. That way, you improve faster and have fun. Worst come to worst, you ask her to break it down for you, have her tell you what chords you're using.

Let's face it, you're gonna suck (unless you're the re-incarnation of a guitar god), you'll sound terrible, you'll play the wrong notes, slow down the jam, have some silence blah blah blah. How do you get better? You do all the above said things. If you wait until you're good enough to start jamming, sorry man, not happening. That way at least you're working your way somewhere and most likely have fun along the way unless the girl's a total bitch.

So good luck
You play chords. She plays melody.

Then switch. She plays chords. You play melody using chord tones.

That is, create a melody using only (or primarily) notes from the chords being played underneath.

Practice it a little on your own beforehand. Should be enough to get you out of trouble, and should be enough to allow the jam to be fun.

And dude. Sounds to me like she just likes you. So don't stress about the music so much.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
Give it a go mate. The first time I played live I didn't think I was any good either, I surprised myself. The biggest learning for me is that not every other musician is a virtuoso, and some musicians might even teach you a thing or two as well.

Remove the seed of self-doubt and think positively.
The thing is, the only way to learn how to jam is to jam.

Go in prepared to listen, to work, and to have fun. Keep expectations low, and just have fun.

One thing: lots of times you get together with someone and jam, and it doesn't really click. It's not about not being good enough, it's just different musical tastes. There are musicians you love playing with and musicians you don't.

But even if you're just doing some basic three- or four- chord stuff, that's cool. Have fun with it. Don't put on airs, just go in and relax and have a good time.
Thanks so much, everyone!
I've decided I'm going to go through with it, anyway. If it comes down to it, we might just switch instruments. I've been playing piano for years so I would definitely do okay there.
But I figure it would be smart to get out there and give it my best effort.

I have to say I am really impressed with this forum and the lack of trolling that I've seen taking place.
Thanks again!
switch instruments such as your boner right?

I think you made the right decision, its all about learning.
Usually musicians are pretty supportive. If you make mistakes, nobody really cares. People usually focus on the good things others do, not on their mistakes (if we are not talking about the internet ). For example, I don't think I'm that great at improvising on trumpet and I played a trumpet solo that didn't feel that special to me (I thought it wasn't that great) but the other guys in the band said it sounded great. People in real life don't usually focus on your mistakes. That's only what happens in the internet.

So go and jam with her. Jamming doesn't have to be coming up with something new. You could just play tunes that you both know. I don't think she will be offended if you make mistakes.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


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Literally dude just cycle through patterns until you find something that fits. Do this until you get bored then repeat. It doesn't have to be complicated at all, just a rhythm on one note if you want
Don't sweat it if this is your first time playing in front of others you're bound to be self conscious of your guitar playing. Truth is no one really cares if you're not that great as long as they can jam with you, and have fun. Likewise you said that you wanted to start a band right? Well you don't have to be amazing at the guitar there's a lot of guys out there that have been playing for years, and they don't go beyond playing power chords.

You don't have to be great to join a band it's not like you're the only one playing there's other people there to hold it down which is the great thing about it. This jam session would be your first step in the right direction for you. Right off the bat you've only been playing for 5 months, and you have people to play with and do projects with already? A lot of people would kill just to be in your shoes man don't mess this opportunity up just because of a little doubt.

We played for two hours and it flew by. Infinitely glad I went. Thanks for all the advice!
Hey man that's, like, ten flavours of awesome!
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
Quote by stephenbrown199

We played for two hours and it flew by. Infinitely glad I went. Thanks for all the advice!

Awesome stuff dude.

I was going to add that jams always go smoother if you arrange what you are going to play before the jam. It may take away from the whole spontanousity of the "jam", but it definitely gives direction to it. At the very least it avoids situations where it's a bunch of guys sitting around saying "what do you want to play?", "I dont know what do you want to play"...
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.