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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

JAMMING

Chris and I jammed today. Sadly, it doesn't happen that often, and considering the proximity that we enjoy to the tools and environment necessary, I'd say that is is downright sinful.

Jamming is essential.

I know of, and have known, quite a few musicians who don't, can't, or won't just jam out.

A lot of it is insecurity. There's a certain safety in arrangements. Rehearsal makes you sharp at one particular thing, but it can become an excuse to not ride the edge, not to tread unfamiliar ground, not to risk.

Risk is essential, if you seek to gain anything.

The two years I spent in Albany was filled with jamming. I benefited from it greatly. Before Albany I was guy who had a guitar and wrote songs. After, I was guitar player.

I didn't get great, as some do, but I developed essential skills. Skills such as listening to the other players, playing in time with other players, a physical relationship with my guitar, an understanding of how to make the gear sound like you want it to, and more importantly, how to play drunk.

We had great jams, or so we were convinced. Often the tale of the tape would break us of our delusions, but the bottom line was that we enjoyed ourselves at the same time as expressing ourselves in a group setting.

We communicated.

There's freedom in the jam.

There is joy in the jam.

Joy is good shit.

Comments:
Jammin is the key to learning how to listen as you say.
It is also the easiest way to become a better player. Anyone can sit a room alone and play along with records, but playing with other human beings is what makes you a better player.
good music is more than just learning the notes and chords - it's about respecting other players space and letting the music breath.

the only players who should never jam are players who have nothing more to learn.
 
"A lot of it is insecurity..."

Bingo! I am so nervous playing with stranger that I approach heart attack levels of stress.

Every word you wrote is true though. With my buddy Bryan living in my new hoetown maybe I can overcome my phobia.
 
A jam is good as long as it doesn't get to ungodly lengths of Grateful Dead boredom / wankery.

I'm a big fan of creating new songs by jamming them out, but prefer to leave meandering noodles to the jazz heads.

KEEP THE COCK IN ROCK!
 
Grateful Dead boredom / wankery...

That is very funny and very true - nothing worse than a version of "60 minute man" that actually lasts 60 MINUTES!
 
Jamming is a tool, an excersise, not a public performance.

It's the same with improv comedy groups - improv is a tool, an excersise, not a public performance.
 
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