The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Posts 26 to 48 of 48
  1. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    I’ve also had quite positive experiences during my trips to Japan.
    Ive mainly done my music making in Tokyo. There are a lot of players who have studied in the US, Berklee, New School etc, so there is a lot of experience around. Some highlights would be ‘Intro’ in takadanobaba.
    I haven’t been to Tokyo since before corona, but have been to a few jams. Intro rings a bell, I think it’s that small cozy club near Waseda? Several student musicians there, quite good, owner very nice, though it got claustrophobic for me. A sax player friend who studied at New School and lived in Tokyo for a while suggested a few other places, though I forget their names. In fact, there was a jam directory website that listed all the places with open jams. One was run by a guitarist, I think Korean originally, and he had a Les Paul hanging behind the bar. Several other places, too. You’re right about a lot of Japanese musicians studying in the US. The owner of one club I visited has a daughter who lives and plays in NYC. Some kinda interesting NYC street cred going on in Japan. Being a New Yorker endeared me to some musicians that otherwise seemed insular. In the end, I prefer the laid back, open, no house band type of small city places where the jams are self-governing and yet things are always unexpected.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    Have you been to Basik? it’s probably the only place I’ve been where I’ve seen something like this happen. No surprise I guess, a lot of New School students there. it’s seems very well managed and when on occasion you have the player that wants to cover themselves in glory and take 30 choruses on a tune and basically doesn’t listen to anyone else, steps up, they’re usually subbed out after one tune. I always try and pop in when I’m in NYC, though of course the last few years I’ve had zero travel opportunities.
    cheers!
    I guess not

  4. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by orri
    There are open jams on open servers, and I've sometimes had some great time jamming with strangers without seeing them. Sometimes also without verbal communication, since not everyone have a mic connected for talking (or are shy) so people can call a tune by playing a phrase from the melody (there is also a text chat on each server). Occasionally you don't have a common language to communicate much beyond "ciao tutti", "merci beacoup" or "Blues Für Alles, F dur" .
    That’s a great observation, thanks for pointing it out! Perhaps in part born of technical limitations, it can say a lot about the role of non-verbal communication in jazz jam sessions. It’s paying a different kind of attention.

  5. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ
    Latency can be an issue depending on the mix of players and distance.
    We can do a lot to minimize latency in our own systems. If you look at a tabular indicator of active processes running on your computer (e.g. Task Manager in Windows, Activity Monitor in MacOS, System Monitor in Linux), you'll find an incredible amount of background activity that sucks up processing power and memory. You can minimize calls on your CPU and filler in your RAM by shutting down all the processes that are unnecessary for your music.

    Manage your start-up applications - many of the programs you use rarely or at all are configured to start on boot and run continuously. Disable all background apps, including most security services if you're on a secure connection. I use a VPN with its own security on all devices, so I disable background file scanning if I'm on a live web session with audio - otherwise, every bit and byte that passes through your WAN interface will be searched for malware while you're playing. You have to trust that everyone on the session is protecting what they send and receive, but between your ISP and your VPN (I use Norton) you still have a lot of protection. For example, Xfinity's internet security is excellent protection that stops most trouble before it reaches your computer. It does add a bit of latency at your router, but it's a lot less than if you let your own CPU do the job in real time.

    Shut off background refreshing of all applications while playing - they'll catch up as soon as you turn it back on. Use the high performance power management setting to make sure your CPU gets full power at all times and is not being throttled back. Disable all system sounds and visual effects like animation of on-screen activity. Set "processor scheduling" to background services. Use the lowest latency drivers you can get. ASIO is much better for this than the default Windows drivers in most PCs.

    There are similar ways to improve latency if you're using a tablet or phone. Even background retrieval of your email, updating of your news feeds, and keeping your social media feeds current can suck up resources and slow your audio.

    These are only a few examples. A web search will show you many more ways to improve computer performance and reduce latency to the absolute minimum. You'll have to restore a lot of the above for routine use of the computer if you use it for more than music production and play. But it's well worth the effort to fine tune your own setup, since you can often make an annoying situation much more tolerable by doing these things. If you're trying to jam with people on servers in Sydney, San Francisco, and New York at the same time, you need every bit of help you can get. But even if you're all within 100 miles of each other, your own system can make it worse for you and everybody else.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 04-13-2022 at 11:27 AM.

  6. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by orri
    I've used jamulus quite a bit (another low latency software for online jams).
    Another one: Soundjack

    Not for the technically challenged if you read their set-up guide!

  7. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzPadd
    I haven’t been to Tokyo since before corona, but have been to a few jams. Intro rings a bell, I think it’s that small cozy club near Waseda? .
    Yeah,Waseda, there is a University in that area. Takodanababa is the nearest train station, part of the yamanote line. Hope to get back there sometime. Would be great to be around that level of talent all the time. Case in point, this 10 year old drummer showed up with his dad at Intro one night. Someone caught part of it on their phone and sent it to me. The kid is killing!
    Cheers.


  8. #32

    User Info Menu

    I occasionally take a paid gig to be in the house band for an open jazz jam. Sometimes great players show up and sadly there are times when players show up who needed a lot more shedding before playing out.

    At times I like it and there are times that I regret taking the gig.

  9. #33
    I’d be very surprised if there isn’t more than one jam venue in Paris. They exist in smaller places in France.

  10. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I occasionally take a paid gig to be in the house band for an open jazz jam. Sometimes great players show up and sadly there are times when players show up who needed a lot more shedding before playing out.

    At times I like it and there are times that I regret taking the gig.
    I co-ran a venue here for 4 years. We convinced the owners to provide a small budget so we could hire a
    pro band for a
    set, with the understanding that some of the members hang around after to play with others sitting in. The idea was that it was to be all inclusive, so beginners could be more fully supported while they were performing. Most people had the good grace to bail out after a tune if they knew that they were completely overwhelmed, although unfortunately some didn’t know when to quit on occasion. It ended up being quite successful, the venue started billing it as a jazz dinner night. Then of course musicians being their own worst enemy started coming down and taking the money and then wouldn’t hang around, and rush off to do a free gig at another session that started an hour after ours. Kinda typical here where people will start fighting over scraps and don’t want to work collaboratively.

  11. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    The idea was that it was to be all inclusive, so beginners could be more fully supported while they were performing.
    Thank you, it’s a wonderful idea, and was just thinking about posting something along those lines. I’ve always enjoyed open jam sessions that value and practice inclusion over competition, and feel blessed indeed that it’s the norm for the places at which I play.

  12. #36

    User Info Menu

    I've done some open jams, 3 types.

    1- in NYC at Smalls there used to be an open jam at 2am every night. I went to that a few times, I wasn't good enough, and the piano player who is a sensational pro made sure to scare the shit out of me so I would never come back. I tried to take it as motivation to keep practicing. It's ok to be not good enough at something, as long as you move a little closer each day to getting better. Now its 15 years later and I play pro gigs all the time, but I'm still not good enough for that jam. You need to know every standard in every key and be able to play Barry Harris comp strategies perfectly when it's not your turn to solo...then blow like a hurricane when it is time for your solo. If you can't do that, it's hostile. This is a jam for pros. Wish I would have found a more reasonable jam when I was in my first 10 years of jazz.

    2- There's a jam near the beach in my area. The players are OK but not great. It's not managed much. They have 4 people comping at once which sounds terrible. A few good soloists play there. The people are nice and it's an OK time. I only went once cause I couldn't take the conflicted comp chords, hurts my ears and my brain. They seem to pre-book the drummer and bass player, then everyone else is whatever walks in.

    3- I run my own jam session and I run it how I wish my early jams would have been run.
    I make it clear that intermediate and advanced players are welcome, I give everyone a list of tunes and keys a week in advance, I do it once a month in my living room and many of the people are regulars. We welcome new people and we even welcome people who don't play that well yet. I don't claim to be that great of a player honestly, and I treat everyone there like an equal.

    I have started managing it more closely lately, and people have been encouraging me to do more. I point out who gets the next solo, I make sure everyone gets one, and I enforce a strict rule that only one chordal player can comp at a time. IMO piano+guitar simultaneous comping is a super advanced thing that should not be attempted unless you have incredible ears and you can learn all the tendencies of the other players very quickly, and you know how to compliment those tendencies.

    Running my own jam has been very rewarding. It's made me a better player and helped me learn how to run my pro band. One thing I struggle a bit with is that I think there's a lot of people hoping to go to the jam and end up getting gigs out of it. I have a feeling it won't happen, hate to see them get disappointed and drop out of the jam after a few months. The pro guys I play with don't go to any jams. Out of like 20 people who came to my jam, like one person got one gig out of it. Jams don't lead to gigs. Or maybe they do if you're super awesome, I don't know.

  13. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzIsGood
    Running my own jam has been very rewarding. It's made me a better player and helped me learn how to run my pro band. One thing I struggle a bit with is that I think there's a lot of people hoping to go to the jam and end up getting gigs out of it. I have a feeling it won't happen, hate to see them get disappointed and drop out of the jam after a few months. The pro guys I play with don't go to any jams. Out of like 20 people who came to my jam, like one person got one gig out of it. Jams don't lead to gigs. Or maybe they do if you're super awesome, I don't know.
    This is comparable to my experience as a "semi-pro" early music player back when I was still living in the Netherlands. There is (or used to be) a rich "scene" of small projects (affectionately called snabbels or schnabbels, basically "snacks") in which advanced amateurs, conservatory students and beginning professionals mingled. For the former this was an opportunity to do interesting and rewarding things and for the future/beginning pros a great way to build experience, maybe get some pay and get known. There used to be 2 weekly concerts in churchs in my nearby town which were almost like open jams in that there was very little rehearsal beforehand, one of them led by the father of Peter Kooy (which is how I can say I played with him ).

  14. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzIsGood
    I've done some open jams, 3 types.

    1- in NYC at Smalls there used to be an open jam at 2am every night. I went to that a few times, I wasn't good enough, and the piano player who is a sensational pro made sure to scare the shit out of me so I would never come back. I tried to take it as motivation to keep practicing. It's ok to be not good enough at something, as long as you move a little closer each day to getting better. Now its 15 years later and I play pro gigs all the time, but I'm still not good enough for that jam. You need to know every standard in every key and be able to play Barry Harris comp strategies perfectly when it's not your turn to solo...then blow like a hurricane when it is time for your solo. If you can't do that, it's hostile. This is a jam for pros. Wish I would have found a more reasonable jam when I was in my first 10 years of jazz.
    I feel a bit ambivalent about that smalls jam. As a visitor to NY I’m glad I did it, ( like I was glad to go to Barry Harris workshop, as he’s no longer with us.) It was ok. There was a long line of people waiting so it felt like a production line. It’s not really guitar friendly. It feels like everyone seems to be looking at you waiting for you to get ready and the amp sounds like ass. So it was not the most relaxed experience I’ve ever had. Knowing your likely to only get to play one tune encourages everyone to take 30 choruses which gets a little tiring. Ben Eunson told me he stopped going to that jam because he found it really annoying that people didn’t want to wait for him to plug in his pedalboard, so he would make them wait until he was setup and ready. That’s guaranteed to create some tension right ? Glad you found a situation more to your liking though!

  15. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    I feel a bit ambivalent about that smalls jam. As a visitor to NY I’m glad I did it, ( like I was glad to go to Barry Harris workshop, as he’s no longer with us.) It was ok. There was a long line of people waiting so it felt like a production line. It’s not really guitar friendly. It feels like everyone seems to be looking at you waiting for you to get ready and the amp sounds like ass. So it was not the most relaxed experience I’ve ever had. Knowing your likely to only get to play one tune encourages everyone to take 30 choruses which gets a little tiring. Ben Eunson told me he stopped going to that jam because he found it really annoying that people didn’t want to wait for him to plug in his pedalboard, so he would make them wait until he was setup and ready. That’s guaranteed to create some tension right ? Glad you found a situation more to your liking though!
    I've never gone to the Smalls jam. Too late at night, too much of a schlep, too little actual playing time, everyone I know who has gone there talks about the endless line of horn players taking ten choruses on every tune. I lucked into a much better jam situation in my neighborhood that has managed to keep going for several years, so that's enough for me. Every once in a while I venture farther afield, with mixed results. I went to Cleopatra's Needle a few times, which was not bad, but most of the others have involved a very poor schlep+wait : fun ratio.

  16. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    schlep+wait : fun ratio.
    What a succinct and evocative equation! Thank you. It made me realize that I’m into open jam sessions mainly for the fun of it. 40mn drive each way for a tune or 2 is little to no fun for me, esp. if there’s stress to boot, no matter who’s there.

    Tonight went to an open jam session I hadn’t been to in about a month. No other musicians there when I arrived so the club owner, a guitarist himself, asked me to take first stage and I did a spontaneous solo set for a small but appreciative audience. Soon after another guitarist showed up and we did a duo set. He and the owner have a gypsy jazz trio and so they did 3 tunes, including Spain that floored me. An old friend walked in drunk and we played a warbly set together, then we mixed and matched with the other guitarists for another hour, wrapping it up with Freddie Freeloader. A very favorable schlep+wait : fun ratio!

    And other nights differ, sometimes it’s horns only, or perhaps a lone pianist, or two bassists, several vocalists, or drums, a teacher with students, a group of humble pros on their night off, it’s always unpredictable but usually with a generally enjoyable schlep+wait : fun ratio, so back I go!

  17. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ
    Lately I'm seeing more people using real books, which used to be taboo.
    I see pros using charts in video after video these days. I think the days when a pro was expected to be able to play 500 tunes off the top of their head in any key- without being told in advance- are past us.

  18. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I see pros using charts in video after video these days. I think the days when a pro was expected to be able to play 500 tunes off the top of their head in any key- without being told in advance- are past us.
    I'm not a top pro, but I have had occasion to gig with some top pros. There were always charts on those occasions. That was true, on one recent gig, for a standards gig with Real Book charts. Even the bassist, a long time pro had a book and opened it to every song, even though I'm confident he didn't really need it. More often, the charts are not RB stuff, but rather arrangements, even of standards.

    On the other hand, an open jam I've gone to a couple of times didn't use charts or even have music stands -- except for the organist (kicking bass) with Irealpro on his phone.

  19. #43

    User Info Menu

    In Japan, where I go to open jams, most players, including some pros, use iReal Pro for chord charts and transposing. Regarding books, there’s a two volume Jazz Standard Bible that many use for lead sheets. They have some expected overlap with the Real Books, but they seem to be sourced differently. I use both JSBs regularly and also have several volumes of RBs.

  20. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I see pros using charts in video after video these days. I think the days when a pro was expected to be able to play 500 tunes off the top of their head in any key- without being told in advance- are past us.
    I came up in the era where that was required and it took a lot of ear training work on my end to get there. Glad I did. I am a much better player than the cats that need to see chart to play All Blues.

  21. #45

    User Info Menu

    What I remember, from several experiences in the pre-RB era, is that the piano player often had a book of some kind. The bassist looked over his shoulder. The drummer played a basic swing beat. The horn player knew the tune. The guitar player couldn't see the book and was expected to know the changes. Bear in mind, I was gigging with young guys, not seasoned pros.

    I also remember that the wedding musicians of my New York City youth could play any tune in any key at any moment, without a flicker worth of change in the bored expression on their faces. Those guys made it look easy.

  22. #46

    User Info Menu

    I love jam sessions, the first times they used to say : "You're bad, you suck, don't come back !"
    Then, step by step they stopped saying it.
    I don't care now, I am 45, I've got nothing to prove. I play the way I can, I play without books or apps (the new thing they've got in their phones).

  23. #47

    User Info Menu

    Even back in the day jams were often a waste of time, unless it was pro players of a high level with deeper repertoire.

    One of the things that really changed,was it being mostly pros to hobbyists and weekend warriors. And that’s fine if it’s about just freinds and having a beer with buddy’s,etc.
    But imagine a scenario at your day job where people just casually sit in on your job and aren’t very good at it. And I know playing music isn’t brain science, but there in lies the crux of how the music and actual pro musicians are looked at by the public.

    So no I rarely jam with others unless it’s a known professional outfit. And may sound snobby, but it’s the culmination of being a pro guitarist for over 45 years.

  24. #48

    User Info Menu

    Jams serve two purposes for me:
    1.) introduce a new pro musician who just moved into the area to make connections for gigs
    2.) Fill the room with friends of the "musician" for greater door/alcohol revenues for
    the club
    In Chicago, you were invited to "sit in" at the best jams or you didn't get a chance to play unless there were not enough players in the room(rare). Usually, the "leftovers" were horrible, ego-inflated players who had no business on the stage. The last jam I was asked to play was with the J.L. Quartet in Chicago because the vocalist didn't like their flutist and they were doing many Bossa/Samba tunes. It was a good connection for me but shortly after, I took my 10-piece Jazz/Rock horn band on the road.
    Marinero