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  1. #1

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    (This is a bit long)

    Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to take part in a weekly jazz improv workshop. It's really just a jam organized by a piano player who owns the music lessons studio where it's held. For $20, he leads a group of 5-6 guys and calls Real Book tunes. He'll direct soloists, call for trading 4's/8's, and so on. He hands out lead sheets and emails everyone with songs to work on during the week.

    Now, I never get to play jazz with a group, so I was nervous but knew that I needed to make myself do it. Normally, I sit in my exceedingly well equipped studio with many fine guitars, great amps, many picks, and music that I can turn up, down, stop, pause, or play at my whim. As those of you who gig regularly can attest to, that's not a "real world" environment!

    Anyway...

    The group consisted of drums, bass, piano, trumpet, and another guitar. I brought my '72 L-5C and used a crappy small Line6 combo at the studio. The other guitar player had an Eastman AR-371 (175 copy) and used the other, slightly bigger and less crappy Line6 combo.

    A few things I was reminded about at this session:

    Even if you have a SFPR, a Clarus, and a JMUL at home, you can play through a Line6 with a 10" (maybe 8"??) speaker if you have to. It will not be fabulous, but your notes will still be the same notes.

    None of the other musicians - except perhaps another guitarist - will care what amp you are playing through, or what compromises it imposes on you. They will still desire for you to play good notes. If the other guitarist also has a crappy amp, he will definitely not let you have an excuse.

    The finely tuned picking dynamics you have honed in your private bubble will fall apart completely when you can't control the volume of the music around you, or of your own equipment, during a song. If you generally pick lightly, you need to turn up. Otherwise, you will have to dig at every note, losing expression and sounding perhaps a bit clumsy in the process.

    The need to pick more forcefully is one of the reasons for heavier strings. I'm glad I had 13's on my L-5C. 12's would not have put up adequate resistance, and would have "flubbed" out, probably sounding bad in the process. Picking lightly and evoking lots of delicate nuances simply does not work in that setting. Heavy strings, stiff pick. Save the sensitive stuff for the private bubble at home.

    Laminate (his) vs. carved (mine) did not matter in terms of feedback - there was none. But it mattered in terms of mix. His guitar seemed louder so it was very audible, but to me the additional sustain and heavy low-mids were a bit mushy (he was a very good player; no complaints there!). I enjoyed the fact that I could turn down my volume and still hear the brighter, acoustic top end of my L-5C in the mix, especially during comping. When I turned up to solo, the slightly harder attack and quicker decay were perfect for what I wanted to hear (even with the crappy amp).

    Reverb and delay have no place in a small room crammed with six musicians. The lush amp setting that you enjoy at home will make you sound like a wall of mud in such an environment.

    iReal b on the iPad is a truly killer app. I have something like 900 tunes on it, and every tune we played was just a touch away. When I had to transpose "Summertime" from Am to Dm, it took less than 10 seconds.

    The experience was great. I did fine, although I was not up to my own standards for myself, nor was it without a few humbling moments. My major lesson was that all of my focus on gear - which has provided me with extremely fine tools at this point, so it was not for naught - has run its course. If I want to be a better musician, to the woodshed I must go. And to the next session of this workshop I will go as well!

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  3. #2

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    This is why I woodshed like crazy, so I don't end up being one of those guys.

  4. #3

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    Well said Roger... It's about the music. Good gear is there to allow us to stop thinking about gear. Easier said than done in most cases, but we all need a reminder every so often.

  5. #4

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    Thanks for the brutally honest assessment. It was very informative and serve to reaffirm a few notions I already had, and also give new insight.

    Have fun.

  6. #5

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    RPguitar,

    It's interesting that someone is able to charge for a jam session. Perhaps it would make sense if he was providing worthwhile instruction.

    You can take control of setting up jams yourself.

    Check out this site:

    SAN DIEGO JAZZ COLLECTIVE (San Diego, CA) - Meetup

    meetup.com is a national (international maybe?) site where anyone can set up a group for people with similar interest. Thorough this group we have a jam or two every week and they're free.

    In addition, outside of that group, there is one or two open mic jazz jam every week in San Diego.

  7. #6

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    I have no problem with the modest charge. There's some coaching (not really instruction) and he provides the location, the communication, and the organizing of members. He also acts as leader so a bunch of strangers don't sit around awkwardly wondering who will be the leader.

    I have tried numerous times to meet jazz musicians in Northern New Jersey using Harmony Central and Craigslist. This area is full of blues, metal, and classic rock - but jazz is extremely hard to come by. And when you find them, they are either hardcore (intimidating) or very mediocre beginners. This session is specifically for "intermediate" players, so there are no egos, but also no really bad players. Also, on your own you might easily find drums but there's never a bass player... or your ad gets a response from 3 guitar players... or there's a sax guy who lives in Brooklyn and has no car. And so on.

    Just like a set of Thomastik strings, the $20 goes a long way.

  8. #7

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    So, how did the other guitar player's face look when you pulled the Blonde '72 Gibson L-5C out of its case?

  9. #8

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    We have several of those sorts of sessions around where I live but they are all in front of crowd. Although I play out regularly doing swing era standards, I'm still terrified to join in such a format. I have a fear that someone is going to call "Giant Steps", and when I'm called to solo, I'm just going to hang my head in shame and pack up as people throw things at me. One day though....

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar
    This session is specifically for "intermediate" players, so there are no egos, but also no really bad players.
    Define "intermediate".

  11. #10

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    I was going to ask about tone capacitors, but maybe this is not the thread for it.

    Great rundown on the session Roger.

    I have never played in a repeat venue long enough (like once a week for months or years) to see if the micro tone distinctions we make at home would ever start to come out in such a complex setting if repeated often enough.

    >>> When I turned up to solo, the slightly harder attack and quicker decay were perfect for what I wanted to hear (even with the crappy amp).

    In the late 20's and early 30's my grandfather (still a kid really) played the tenor banjo much as we play guitars today. Lots of chord comping and more solo work than we normally associate with guitars (never mind the banjo) in that era.

    He had an archtop as well, but the banjo made the money in a larger hall band setting.

    Volume and attack were instrumental.

    Thanks again for the post.

    Chris

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale
    Define "intermediate".
    That is so hard to define as we really don't have a scale.

    Reg, one of our resident pros who is a really strong player imo, defines himself as an intermediate jazz guitarist. (Although, I wonder if he said that to make a point.)

    Whereas, I wouldn't be surprised if there are others on this site that don't play nearly as well that consider themselves advanced jazz guitarists.

    Classifications don't carry to much meaning. But certainly someone who says they are an intermediate player, certainly they are not as good as George Benson. Other than that, you've just got to hear them play.

    I wonder if the better someone gets at playing jazz, the more conservative they get in how they rate their skill.

  13. #12

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    Great post Roger.

    Since I started going to a weekly jam session, my ideas on gear and stuff 'I need' have changed drastically.
    Allthough the jam I attend is very informal and loose, it is held before an audience ( to say there are people in the bar, but not really a 'listening' audience) it is visited by pretty fine musicians (horns, drums, piano, violin, etc)
    The owner of the bar is a great piano player who invites the other players.

    I bring my The loar LH 600 with a floater most of the time, or my old tele and I have a roland cube I plug into. Depending on the other instruments that are played, the number of people in the bar, the mood of the evening, I don't know but the same gear seems to sounds different every time.
    I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter what guitar or amp I am playing, there are just too many parameters to have control over how I sound..
    Now I just concentrate on getting better at playing, the one thing I do have control over.
    This said, i am changing my pickup (benedetto S6) to a K Armstrong single coil
    hoping to have a better tone next fridaynight

    G

  14. #13

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    Good post, Roger.

    I've been playing my '77 L-5CN / Deluxe Reverb in a combo with drums, stand up bass, piano, alto sax, & trumpet. Sometimes I have kind of wished for a laminate guitar, but you know what? You're right, probably no one would notice but me.

    I suppose this is why I haven't been posting as much. I'm out of things to say, but I have a lot of tunes I need to practice.

  15. #14

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    Well, labels aside ("intermediate"), you needed to be able to read Real Book charts to comp. With piano and 2 guitars, if you couldn't comp, someone else was there to handle it. Of course we tried to stay out of each other's way to avoid mud. As a soloist, you needed to be able to improvise in at least a coherent and inoffensive manner over the changes. However, it was a non-judgmental environment, so I'm sure you'd get some encouraging "it sounded pretty good" type comments even if you sucked. I can usually see through such comments. So I did not want to suck.

    Some of the tunes we played were:

    Ceora
    Summertime
    Unit Seven
    One Note Samba
    Stolen Moments
    Blue Bossa
    Little Sunflower

    The trumpet player was most impressed by my L-5. The other guitarist was either trying not to appear impressed, or he was genuinely not fixated on such things. (There are such people!) Anyway, I knew that how I played it would matter the most by far. We all resent the guy with the fancy toys who can't use them.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamlapati
    I suppose this is why I haven't been posting as much. I'm out of things to say, but I have a lot of tunes I need to practice.
    I hear that! So true, Kamlapati.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geert
    I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter what guitar or amp I am playing, there are just too many parameters to have control over how I sound..
    Within reason, Geert, you are right! Of course I felt great playing a stellar guitar. But that was my personal enjoyment and it was very much intangible; also it was not musically substantive. I could have played any guitar that was comfortable for me. Luckily, 17" carved archtops are comfortable for me.

  17. #16

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    theres nothing quite like playing with others to keep you on your toes

    tempo, even a slow one, is relentless when it comes to conjuring up all the stuff on the fly, changes, solos, substitutions, (no less vocals and what were the lyrics to that verse???)

    comes so much faster than at home alone LOL

    good for you -keep it up

  18. #17

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    [QUOTE I could have played any guitar that was comfortable for me. [/QUOTE]

    yes, I guess comfort is everything. That why I want a thinline one day, and another tele with a CC pickup, and... oops

    G

  19. #18

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    Good post. I haven't played in anything but ensemble settings for many years, but this is a great summary of the advantages. That "magic" tone doesn't do much when you can't hear it! Right now my playing partner is playing my 335 through my Deluxe Reverb reissue, and it sounds so much better than when I use the same gear! There's a deep lesson in there.

  20. #19

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    It's something that doesn't really come up during the gear conversations where one faction says "Man, you NEED a guitar like <this> to play jazz" and the other says "Dude, it doesn't really matter! It's all up to YOU, man."

    End of the day, it's context that makes the difference. Whether you're practicing or grooving alone in private, or playing solo in front of an audience, or playing in an ensemble, the environment has a major effect on lots of things including the importance of gear. I'm sure that some of you are thinking, "That's right, vintage Gibson acoustic archtop YouTube guy, about time you noticed that." And to those people I thank you for your polite restraint. And also for your continued polite restraint.

  21. #20

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    iRealb is really a fantastic app. I use it for practice all the time.

  22. #21

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    Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

    I suspect that given the appropriate amplification, they would have noticed your guitar tone and it would effect your playing since you could hear it. Still, maybe I won't worry about splitting the coils on the incoming pickup replacement after all..

    Side note: Was the iPad screen big enough to read the charts or was it a real eye test?
    Last edited by Spook410; 10-09-2012 at 02:25 PM.

  23. #22

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    I had the iPad on a music stand a couple of feet in front of me. It was perfect in that configuration. It is "just the thing" for that kind of situation. The screen stays lit when iRealb is running, and during about an hour forty five, I think the battery dropped 10% or something. It was a non-issue.

    Actually I did get a couple comments on the guitar tone after all. The main thing I need to work on is my picking attack and being relaxed - just like I am at home. I felt rushed and a bit heavy handed due to the less than ideal volume around me. I think it would be better to play it MY way and see if the band around me responds by cooling down. It's really their responsibility to support the current soloist, after all.

  24. #23

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    This:
    .

    Cherokee!
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 10-09-2012 at 02:44 PM.

  25. #24

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    I had a very humbling experience once. I typically don't play out, but one day a jazz saxophone friend invited me to sit in with a local full-brass-section jazz group, as they were missing their guitarist. I even knew in advance what songs would be played. But what I didn't expect was to be handed full multi-page mulit-section band charts at the event! Where was the single page "Real Book" sheet I was expecting (talk about living in a bubble-Yikes!).
    The good news was that the brass section was so loud (and good) that the success of the whole affair hardly hinged on my rhythm playing (which I muted at times under the circumstances). I lost my place at times!!!
    I could only think of the Mike Tyson quote afterward: "Everybody's got a plan until they get hit".

  26. #25

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    So: you guys with IPads on musicstands.. are you not TERRIFIED it will fall? how do you keep it in place??

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBooka
    So: you guys with IPads on musicstands.. are you not TERRIFIED it will fall? how do you keep it in place??
    You can get an attachment that connects it to a stand for like $40, but it's a rip off. Not even sure if it works with ipad 2.

    I've been lucky and had the music stand tilted *just right*.

  28. #27

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    Between the safety of the $500 iPad and the $7k L-5, I didn't even think about the iPad to be honest!

    On a tightly adjusted stand, it's no problem at all unless the room is full of elephants.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strickland
    We have several of those sorts of sessions around where I live but they are all in front of crowd. Although I play out regularly doing swing era standards, I'm still terrified to join in such a format. I have a fear that someone is going to call "Giant Steps", and when I'm called to solo, I'm just going to hang my head in shame and pack up as people throw things at me. One day though....

    My experience is limited .... but if you call Giant Steps I expect you will see even some of the best players bow out on that one ...

    That is one of the tunes that takes a few years of dedication to develop some competency on ... at best a few months for the extremely talented



  30. #29

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    Well put sir. At the music college where I study every guitarist ends up playing through all kinds of amp - be it a decant polytone, or a crappy keyboard/bass amp, and as you say they are still the same notes.

    As I like to think about good gear can make a good guitarist sound better but it cant make a bad guitarist sound good.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale
    Define "intermediate".
    Only one level to ever be: Learner.

    Not sure about the "pay to play," but sounds like a good relaxed jam session with folks who can actually play.

  32. #31

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    Great post! Wish I could have been there.

    Next time, try sight transposing Summertime. No guts, no glory!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996
    Great post! Wish I could have been there.

    Next time, try sight transposing Summertime. No guts, no glory!
    Ha!! "No guts not glory" . . . I remember our trumpet player, Vinnie Fano, asking a friend, John Sabin . . . MONSTER sax player to join us for a gig . . just to sit in and have fun. At the time we were doing a bunch of Tower of Power stuff. We never had an alto player in our band . . so Brian (who wrote all of the charts for the horns) had charts for 2 tenor saxes. John shows up with his alto. Sight transposes the chart without missing a single note. We bought his drinks for the rest of the night.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    My experience is limited .... but if you call Giant Steps I expect you will see even some of the best players bow out on that one ...

    That is one of the tunes that takes a few years of dedication to develop some competency on ... at best a few months for the extremely talented


    It depends on how fast you want to play it. At pat metheny speed is not a very hard music to me... ever looked into 26-2 or Countdown?

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar

    Reverb and delay have no place in a small room crammed with six musicians. The lush amp setting that you enjoy at home will make you sound like a wall of mud in such an environment.

    iReal b on the iPad is a truly killer app. I have something like 900 tunes on it, and every tune we played was just a touch away. When I had to transpose "Summertime" from Am to Dm, it took less than 10 seconds.

    !
    Nice post Roger. As someone who started worrying about gear 2 years ago it pays off if you care about sound and if you don't forget to practice. Gear does not save you but it does help imo... But one most always focus on music. I am lucky to play every day with different people so i imagine how good it was for you to finally have the chance.

    Now about those two sentences. I have had different experiences with reverb and delay... I have used them in those situations you mentioned without any problem. Delay and reverb are like eq, each room and band is different.

    About the last one - yes, it's killer. I see guys using them everyday. It kills their ears (learning changes fast) and their brains (transposing fast)... of course it can save your ass on situations like those. But come on summertime is easy to transpose... sorry but I am really against real books

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    Ha!! "No guts not glory" . . . I remember our trumpet player, Vinnie Fano, asking a friend, John Sabin . . . MONSTER sax player to join us for a gig . . just to sit in and have fun. At the time we were doing a bunch of Tower of Power stuff. We never had an alto player in our band . . so Brian (who wrote all of the charts for the horns) had charts for 2 tenor saxes. John shows up with his alto. Sight transposes the chart without missing a single note. We bought his drinks for the rest of the night.
    Guitar players are spoiled. When I played saxophone, going back and forth between alto and tenor during the night, nothing was ever written in my key and seemed like I lived in the keys of F# and C#.
    Last edited by Spook410; 10-09-2012 at 10:21 PM.

  37. #36

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    I just finished an 8 week workshop and my experience was much the same. There was me, piano, bass, drums, accordian and two saxes.

  38. #37

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    yeah very nice post ...... and great that you getting out and jamming , it's worth it's weight in gold........

    interesting point you made about gear ... and shifting your focus away from it ...and that you realised it's what you play that matters not so much what guitar or amp

    the most important lesson i learned many years ago at music school was learning to play with what was on hand..... and still sound like yourself and not be distracted by the gear to a point you forget to concentrate on what you play ....

    and yes another great lesson learnt ....as you discovered the sound you get in your "home" music room /rehearsal space .... is never what you get at venues when the size of the venue / the acoustics /the gear on hand /how large an audience is in the room / all affects the tone ..........

    and a great lesson is that that fat warm lush tone you get in your rehearsal/front room when you play by yourself ........seldom works in an ensemble ...where you need to have a sharper tone with a hint of bite to cut thru the mix at a reasonable volume ...as no one wants a player who needs to turn up too loud so their instrument can be heard and then have that swamp the mix with bass/lower mids...so a sharper tone is more clear and audible and stays out of the way of other tones.......

    ..and also that archtops can feed back on loud stages and get affected by all the other noise on the stage ... thats why when i do loud gigs i rather take a solid body electric jazz guitar ...and not the archtop...which i love and looks the part but i know with a solid body and a loud stage i have zero feedback/booming issues ... so learning to pick your tools for specific jobs is needed .......

    seems you had a fun experience .......enjoy and let us know what happens next time....
    Last edited by Keira Witherkay; 10-10-2012 at 02:30 AM.

  39. #38

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    Some helpful and thoughtful posts here - thank you all. Keira, yours is appreciated.

    I just want to point out that I'm not a total newbie to playing with people. I have done it a decent amount over my 35 years of playing guitar and bass. But it has all been something other than real traditional jazz with people competent at that style. Lots of rock, funk, free improv "jam band" or avant garde stuff. And also some very nice duo acoustic work with a singer/guitarist friend over 20 years.

    Again, no straight ahead jazz and especially not with a proper archtop - not in all those years. It's like coming out of the closet.

  40. #39

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    The biggest single difference for me in playing jazz....as opposed to learning in a teaching environment....was to join up with a workshop, the Southend Jazz Co-Operative in Essex, UK.

    Southend Jazz Co-op

    It's an environement where anyone who wants to play can come along and have a go; there are pro musicians as well as complete amateurs in the ranks; and there are visiting guest "names" from the London gig circuit that come along from time to time and give us the benefit of their knowledge/experience. The cost to members (for hire of hall, costs for reproduction of teaching materials, fees for guest tutors, etc.) is a few pounds a week; and you get to meet with like-minded individuals, all in the same kind of position of trying to get to grips with this language that we call jazz. It's a great environment for learning and building confidence.

    One good thing is that there's very little (visible) judgement of your efforts - everyone's aware of how it works and they've been in the same boat, so no-one laughs at your efforts. And anyone who tries to get flash and start cutting heads is treated with the contempt that they deserve. 'It's a learning environment, dummy, not somewhere to show off, right?' We have good players, but nobody belittles the newbies.

    When I arrived, I was a refugee from a blues-rock band with all of the cliches impled by that - a few years later, I play in a jazzy quartet, have been in a big band, and work with two duos, all of which came from joining up. Every town should have one. If your locale hasn't, maybe you might start one up, yeah?



    And no, just 'cos it's called a "Co-Operative", doesn't mean that we're communists, 'kay?

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango
    The biggest single difference for me in playing jazz....as opposed to learning in a teaching environment....was to join up with a workshop, the Southend Jazz Co-Operative in Essex, UK.

    Southend Jazz Co-op

    It's an environement where anyone who wants to play can come along and have a go; there are pro musicians as well as complete amateurs in the ranks; and there are visiting guest "names" from the London gig circuit that come along from time to time and give us the benefit of their knowledge/experience. The cost to members (for hire of hall, costs for reproduction of teaching materials, fees for guest tutors, etc.) is a few pounds a week; and you get to meet with like-minded individuals, all in the same kind of position of trying to get to grips with this language that we call jazz. It's a great environment for learning and building confidence.

    One good thing is that there's very little (visible) judgement of your efforts - everyone's aware of how it works and they've been in the same boat, so no-one laughs at your efforts. And anyone who tries to get flash and start cutting heads is treated with the contempt that they deserve. 'It's a learning environment, dummy, not somewhere to show off, right?' We have good players, but nobody belittles the newbies.

    When I arrived, I was a refugee from a blues-rock band with all of the cliches impled by that - a few years later, I play in a jazzy quartet, have been in a big band, and work with two duos, all of which came from joining up. Every town should have one. If your locale hasn't, maybe you might start one up, yeah?



    And no, just 'cos it's called a "Co-Operative", doesn't mean that we're communists, 'kay?
    That is very similar to the San Diego Jazz Collective especially the bit about being a friendly learning environment.

    With our group anyone can host and set up the parameters such as,

    "open to 7 musicians, no more than one person for each rhythm section instrument, leave one spot open for the drummer and bass player."

    That is basically the criteria I use when I host (there is a problem that if you don't spell it out like that, you just might get four guitarists). Every time I've hosted I've been able to fill out the rhythm section and I have a waiting list in case someone cancels. It's really nice that you don't have much "admin time", no emails to send, no scrambling to fill positions if someone cancels, etc. If someone calls a tune that is not in our "top 40" book or the real book, they post the pdf of the chart in the files section. It's all very easy on the host.

    I've also hosted where the criteria was "5 musicians, guitarists only, we'll play solos and duets".

    We also set up jams at restaurants/bars and we have one coming up at the Musicians Union Hall. Those are open to a large number of folks, like 20 or 30. I play in the house band of a recurring one at a restaurant, that's not easy for me as I don't know what will be called, sometimes play tunes I've never heard, but it's a good learning experience.

    Anybody can set up one of these groups on meetup.com, it's free to do. I encourage you to set one up in your community if there isn't something like this already.

    SAN DIEGO JAZZ COLLECTIVE (San Diego, CA) - Meetup

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    That is very similar to the San Diego Jazz Collective especially the bit about being a friendly learning environment.

    With our group anyone can host and set up the parameters such as,

    "open to 7 musicians, no more than one person for each rhythm section instrument, leave one spot open for the drummer and bass player."

    That is basically the criteria I use when I host (there is a problem that if you don't spell it out like that, you just might get four guitarists). Every time I've hosted I've been able to fill out the rhythm section and I have a waiting list in case someone cancels. It's really nice that you don't have much "admin time", no emails to send, no scrambling to fill positions if someone cancels, etc. If someone calls a tune that is not in our "top 40" book or the real book, they post the pdf of the chart in the files section. It's all very easy on the host.

    I've also hosted where the criteria was "5 musicians, guitarists only, we'll play solos and duets".

    We also set up jams at restaurants/bars and we have one coming up at the Musicians Union Hall. Those are open to a large number of folks, like 20 or 30. I play in the house band of a recurring one at a restaurant, that's not easy for me as I don't know what will be called, sometimes play tunes I've never heard, but it's a good learning experience.

    Anybody can set up one of these groups on meetup.com, it's free to do. I encourage you to set one up in your community if there isn't something like this already.

    SAN DIEGO JAZZ COLLECTIVE (San Diego, CA) - Meetup
    Yeah, that's the way to go. However, since we have a non-exclusive policy, we tend to get 8 or 9 tenors, 4 or 5 altos, a few trumpets, no 'bones, multiple guitars, some or no keyboards, plus bass and drums. The only way to deal with 4 guitars is to take turns comping behind the front line. And on some tunes, everyone gets to blow, which can make these songs go on forever - but how else do people learn if not by doing?

    Oh and we play a few gigs a year - which gives us a bit more focus and purpose.

    Interestingly enough, there's half-a-dozen bands on the local circuit whose members are partly/largely drawn from the Co-Op's ranks. So it's also a good networking environment, or a good place to find a gig.

  43. #42

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    You know.. technology will soon allow real time jamming with others online. This is already available to some with high speed connections.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    You know.. technology will soon allow real time jamming with others online. This is already available to some with high speed connections.

    I've done it but the person I set it up with bailed on the project so I tabled that project. I was amazed that it worked.

    eJAMMING AUDiiO &ndash; The Collaborative Network for Musicians Creating Together Online in Real Time

    I thought it was a great idea and would take off. But when I looked in the lobby there was maybe 1 or 2 jams going on in the whole world and they were 'private' jams. It's hard to understand why it wouldn't be more popular.

  45. #44

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    The experience I got playing in a workshop was invaluable. The instructor was excellent. The only down side for me was the big focus on Charlie Parker material. i decided to get into his improvizations more but I'm always reminded of a scene from the movie "Bird". Bird tells his wife he sold some songs and his wife say's he got ripped-off. He say's, "You didn't hear the songs".
    Last edited by Stevebol; 10-10-2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: spelling

  46. #45

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    I can see a great deal of benefit from playing in a safe, friendly and non-competitive environment. You can learn a lot, and I think it's a very cool thing.

    On the other hand, I've also learned a lot by being sneered at by the local bad-asses, by trying to keep my dignity in their cutting contests, and by coping with tempos that force you to pick your eighth notes judiciously. You end up making sure you're a lot more ready for serious business the next time you show your face.

    It's not always fun, but it can be a real growth experience. Sometimes getting your butt kicked is what makes you grow.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996
    I can see a great deal of benefit from playing in a safe, friendly and non-competitive environment. You can learn a lot, and I think it's a very cool thing.

    On the other hand, I've also learned a lot by being sneered at by the local bad-asses, by trying to keep my dignity in their cutting contests, and by coping with tempos that force you to pick your eighth notes judiciously. You end up making sure you're a lot more ready for serious business the next time you show your face.

    It's not always fun, but it can be a real growth experience. Sometimes getting your butt kicked is what makes you grow.
    Haha. Good post. A close friend of mine, and a playing partner for 30+ years, once told me that, early in his experience of playing out, another player turned to him and said, "Your playing really screws up what I'm trying to do." It motivated him to become a killer player on every instrument -- guitar, bass, mandolin, drums, keys -- he tried his hand at.

    My own epiphany came early in my playing life: I was at the graduate school at UT Austin, and a group of us, including Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground, were getting together regularly. One evening Sterling turned to me and said, "I don't think you are listening enough to what you are playing." Quiet words, and they cut to the quick. Thanks, Sterling.

  48. #47

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    Of the many things you can't always control in a "live" situation, the other players can be the bigger challenge. Some are great and polite, others just clueless, some obnoxious, irregardless of their talent. Just like any other encounter we humans face in daily encounters.

    The other players are dealing with their own set of challenges, to be fair.

    Thanks for this thread. After many live gigs in many many years, I find some of your challenges still existing in my world. But I will say this briefly: finding the "right" gear will enable you more, and once you hear the music in your head starting to come forth on the stage, you will play better and be encouraged greatly.

    IMO: maybe the best $20 spent!

    Booked next week yet? ;-)

  49. #48

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    Excellent post. A lot of great info.

  50. #49

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    Great thread on the difference between playing on stage and the safety of your den...your account of what you were experiencing made my day as I had a similar experience recently given that I am just beginning my journey of actual performance versus practicing on your own...