The only way to start doing this crap is to get out there

LarryJ

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
312
Reaction score
148
Location
Huntsville, AL
I agree these are great for playing with new folks and networking as well. Just be aware there are two types, depending on the "house" band.

Some house bands use this as a time to show off and to jam with their buddies. I went to one which started at ten, was third on the sign up sheet, and didn't get on stage until 1:30, for one song.

I work with a house band whose pholisophy is that our job is to provide an opportunity for anyone to play, regardless of skill level. So I might play only a few songs, letting guest drummers play most of the night. I did one blues jam with a recording pro who took a half hour with a classical bass player, taught him a simple 3 chord bass line, then did 3 songs with him.

The moral is, if you wind up at a Type 1 session, don't get discouraged, but look for another.
 

RyanLovesDrums

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
522
Reaction score
457
I agree these are great for playing with new folks and networking as well. Just be aware there are two types, depending on the "house" band.

Some house bands use this as a time to show off and to jam with their buddies. I went to one which started at ten, was third on the sign up sheet, and didn't get on stage until 1:30, for one song.

I work with a house band whose pholisophy is that our job is to provide an opportunity for anyone to play, regardless of skill level. So I might play only a few songs, letting guest drummers play most of the night. I did one blues jam with a recording pro who took a half hour with a classical bass player, taught him a simple 3 chord bass line, then did 3 songs with him.

The moral is, if you wind up at a Type 1 session, don't get discouraged, but look for another.
I agree with what you said how sometimes the house band just uses this as a way to show off. This guitarist I went to college with kept advertising his weekly jazz jam on social media. I finally went and left 15 minutes after. It just seemed like a clicky chops fest.
 

RIDDIM

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,852
Reaction score
1,614
Location
MD
I agree these are great for playing with new folks and networking as well. Just be aware there are two types, depending on the "house" band.

Some house bands use this as a time to show off and to jam with their buddies. I went to one which started at ten, was third on the sign up sheet, and didn't get on stage until 1:30, for one song.

I work with a house band whose pholisophy is that our job is to provide an opportunity for anyone to play, regardless of skill level. So I might play only a few songs, letting guest drummers play most of the night. I did one blues jam with a recording pro who took a half hour with a classical bass player, taught him a simple 3 chord bass line, then did 3 songs with him.

The moral is, if you wind up at a Type 1 session, don't get discouraged, but look for another.

-If you're going to do a successful jam session, you have to make it possible for the attendees to play. Otherwise, you'll have no crowd and no gig.

Those that I've done have the house band play a set, call folks up for sit-ins, and maybe have the house band close it out. An important thing to understand when you're in the house band is that it's mostly NOT a gig where you get to play all night long.

In the interest of making sure all get a chance to play, and of not burning out rhythm section players, it's good to have a signup list and to limit choruses to maybe 2 or 3 per person - fewer if there are 20 or 30 horn players lined up. This way more tunes are played, and more folks get a chance to play, as 5 minute tunes will be less likely to last 20 minutes. Try to call folks up in order of appearance, if possible; this may change if you get a bunch of heavy hitters in, because you don't want to kill the energy - but in general, sign up order works.
 


Top