Home »Forum»Open mic at the blue Iguana »What tunes at a live jam ?

what tunes at a live jam ?

posted on #1
Member
Posts: 50
Joined: 05.08.15
So at some point in my life in the not too distant future, I hope to get out and jam live with some people again. The last time I did that Mr. Fantasy would have been current which makes me very old. Chances are I won't be jamming with teenagers either. I was wondering what songs would be useful to know for a live jam setting. For those who have not heard me play on this site I play guitar, and am very blues based, and can't shred, or read music, so please no Satriani etc etc. I realise this is a very open ended question but look forward to some suggestions.
thanks all
Jeff
posted on #2
Supporter
Posts: 296
Joined: 25.11.13
If you are a primarily blues player and can find other blues players, then it's hard to see what the problem would be.

I'd prefer to be involved in jams that are 100% original, and fortunately have friends that think likewise, so we don't play "tunes" or "standards" (similar to what happens here on wikiloops but "in the moment" ). I do go out and occasionally join in a jam where there are pop tunes being played. The fun thing for me is that I haven't listened to pop music for 30 years, so it's all new to me and jam the same as with anything new.

It's understandable that you want to fit and sound OK, so may want to practice or listen to some things that you think would be likely to be played....I can't help you with that (maybe others can?).

Here's a really good exercise: start playing along with anything you hear on the radio. Don't necessarily make it just pop, do rock, jazz, classical ethnic, blues...almost anything. This exercise has several key ingredients:
1. To become a good listener and not only hear what's happening, but anticipate what's coming (so you could play along). If you feel that you are fumbling around don't get frustrated. Put down the guitar and use your voice. This part of the exercise is about your hearing, understanding and anticipating...you don't necessarily need you to play.
2. Once you can hear what you want to play it's a matter of playing it. This can open a huge can of worms for many players who are used to just playing finger memory riffs. The challenge is to become one with your instrument so that it becomes your voice. In other words, you play what you would sing. That's the real you and not just a bunch of BS licks. You may want to actually sing what you are trying to play and just use one note at a time. Got to be truthful about this...can take many years to become one with your instrument. Won't happen any sooner than when you start trying.

If you've got an ear and some talent this can put you on the road to becoming a proficient improviser very quickly.
Edited by Wade on 08-04-2016 04:57
posted on #3
Member
Posts: 50
Joined: 05.08.15
thanks for the reply Wade, but I think you missed the point. I may not be a great player, but I am not a novice, and in the past have mostly jammed based on nothing more than pick a key(and sometimes not even that)
As well,blues tunes are easy enough for me to play through, as I have a pretty good grounding, and musical vocabulary in that genre.
I don't know anybody in the small town we have moved to who plays at all, and would like to fit in to anything(within reason) I stumble upon. Just looking for a starting point as it seems to me every jam I have heard about or have seen online is based on someone else's songs. :)

cheers
Jeff
posted on #4
Supporter
Posts: 213
Joined: 07.03.14
Mustang Sally is a popular jam for all instruments.
posted on #5
Supporter
Posts: 296
Joined: 25.11.13
[quote]goldtop68 wrote:
thanks for the reply Wade, but I think you missed the point. I may not be a great player, but I am not a novice, and in the past have mostly jammed based on nothing more than pick a key(and sometimes not even that)


Very sorry if this seemed an insult, was not intended that way. Probably well over 90% of people I've jammed with just play finger memory stuff within the appropriate chord. Very few can play a novel melodic line and sing it at the same time. It's not a matter of vocabulary...in fact it's the opposite. There's only a few dozen people on this site (that I know of) who are one with their instrument (can play whatever they hear in their heads or fitting with what someone else is playing no matter what the genera).

If you're talking jamming what could be better than developing the chops to play anything that comes your way?
posted on #6
Supporter
Posts: 296
Joined: 25.11.13
Maybe I've misunderstood what you are after? Are you talking about finding people in your small town and getting them to play along with tunes you're doing/leading? Otherwise it's total second guessing what people you've never met listen to and like.

When I go to a jam I'm never the leader, although I might be the most experienced player there (bound to be the oldest HA!). If possible I'd encourage the weakest player to start something (song or whatever) then give them support with harmonies and try to get some bounce in the rhythm or groove happening. Most of the time they will hear and follow while still "leading". This makes for a very good jam as it's not a "cutting contest" and everybody feels good about what they play.

Still probably useless information that you weren't looking for, but may work for someone else (these posts are not just about us)...
Edited by Wade on 08-04-2016 06:13
posted on #7
Supporter
Posts: 37
Joined: 16.07.15
This is a great question. One that I can relate to.
I think the most obvious option (easy answer for me) would be to seek out a blues band to jam with if possible.
Just so you can become acclimated to the live environment again.
If that’s not an option then it’s hard for me to imagine any band that could not jam out on Red House or maybe Stormy Monday if you have the opportunity to sit in.

Having said that, I’ve been out of the loop for several years and like you, I’m old.:)
So I could be totally wrong.
Good luck Jeff.
posted on #8
Member
Posts: 247
Joined: 19.08.13
You need a little but secure repertoire to play live. People want to hear some vocals, too. In most situation you only need three songs or 10 minutes to show up.
I used "All along the watch tower", key of Am; "Honky tonk woman" in G; "Suzie-Q" in Em.
Of course there are thousands of great songs if you know the right singer, e.g. "Venus", "The Letter", "The Healer" etc.
But be careful: even a known guitarist can't win against a wrong bassist.
In all cases you really need to work on a repertoire on a weekly base before you step on a stage. :)

Avoid stages that have a risk to give you bad experiences.
Edited by Neronick on 08-04-2016 09:20
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #9
Supporter
Posts: 341
Joined: 27.02.15
DannyK is exactly right there! Mustang Sally is a perennial jam favourite! It's definitely worth learning as many 'stock' songs as you can but it's more about thinking on your feet. Playing by ear is the most important here and knowing your keys (someone usually shouts out what key it's in).

In my years of going to various jam nights, along with Mustang Sally, often-played 'blues' songs I've encountered are:

Hard To Handle (Black Crowes version)
Stuck In The Middle
Superstition (not so much at a blues jam!)
Honky Tonk Woman
Folsom Prison Blues
Crossroads

You should find at many jams the songs are relatively simple from a structural perspective following standard 12 or 16-bar structures. Just like the easy-to-jam loops on here are usually the most-popular because they're the most-accessible, you'll find most jam nights keep it easy so everyone stands a chance!
Edited by mpointon on 08-04-2016 09:35
posted on #10
Member
Posts: 50
Joined: 05.08.15
Wade wrote."Very sorry if this seemed an insult, was not intended that way"
Not to worry, none taken I understand what you are saying.
I think Neronick hit the nail on the head though with "a secure repertoire"
I see it as a starting point as I have no interest(or patience) in doing note for note covers.
some interesting, and also some obvious choices here
thanks all

jeff
posted on #11
Supporter
Posts: 343
Joined: 25.03.12
I think there are two ways, not necessary mutually exclusive, to approach being a jamming musician. On is building a repertoire of songs commonly played at jams. The ones suggested here surely work fine.
The other route is to practice different skills mostly recognizing and classifying different chord progressions and rhythms, but even other ear and listening exercises.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #12
Supporter
Posts: 501
Joined: 27.09.14
I would recommend "Black Magic Woman" :D
posted on #13
Supporter
Posts: 89
Joined: 14.12.14
Superstition, mustang Sally, papa was a Rolling stone, Just the two of us, Knockin' on heaven's door, Hey Joe, another brick in the wall, long train running, I shot the Sheriff...
Edited by Tofzegrit on 09-04-2016 00:12
posted on #14
Member
Posts: 50
Joined: 05.08.15
thanks everybody for the responses certainly some tunes I expected (although I would have thought If someone suggested mustang sally at a jam the other players would beat the crap out of him lol)some tunes I was surprised to see, and even some philosophical musings.
I have never had enough interest to copy somebody note for note, but thought a general outline on some tunes would be useful just in case.

cheers
jeff
posted on #15
Supporter
Posts: 213
Joined: 07.03.14
A fight over Mustang Sally?! LOL There's always tons of room to improv on blues/r&b tunes no matter which one. That's what makes them fun!
Edited by DannyK on 09-04-2016 05:00
posted on #16
Supporter
Posts: 343
Joined: 25.03.12
What makes a song a song then since lyrics sometimes can be absent at jams? I would say:

Chord progression (learn the Nashville number system to facilitate transposing)
Rhythm
Structure
Hooks and characteristic riffs/licks
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #17
Supporter
Posts: 213
Joined: 07.03.14
nilton wrote: Chord progression (learn the Nashville number system to facilitate transposing)

I couldn't agree more. Nothing more easier than saying "play a i-iv-v in Bb."
posted on #18
Member
Posts: 247
Joined: 19.08.13
Some years ago I used to create exactly written leadsheets as hand-outs; e.g. "Terrible night (upload #13568). I thought it could be a good idea to perform new songs, too. Because I never listen to the "originals" it can be even difficult to perform "Stormy monday" if you never play it.
At most sessions you'll meet groups not single musicians. A fantastic song to perform (with leadsheet) is Dylan's "Wheels on fire".
Good memories, sad memories. Now I am too old to invest time in "cover"-song... :)
Edited by Neronick on 09-04-2016 12:07
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #19
Supporter
Posts: 10
Joined: 31.10.15
I digress slightly, but with your great blues playing I would look for like minded players and play what I know and enjoy. I move quite regularly and only playing the last four years, so thanks to wikiloops I now start to think about playing live with others. May be obvious, but I found two great sources are the local music school (they did not only teach kids, but old guys like me!), who know their local scenes and musicians pretty well and are often happy to set something up and the musicians section of Craigslist is normally pretty busy if you have it in your area. In short I would look for others who like blues, plus it is timeless so your repertoire will fit. If all else fails persuade one of the local bars to set up a jam night!

In our local music store they have a list of songs they do not want to hear in the practice rooms remember Stairway to Heaven was on the list, so may be best avoided :)

Bob
posted on #20
Supporter
Posts: 501
Joined: 27.09.14
Oh NOOOOOO!
[youtube]RD1KqbDdmuE[/youtube]
Edited by TeeGee on 10-04-2016 16:23
wikiloops online jamsessions are brought to you with friendly support by:
rmhacc from Hungary

"Because there is very nice music made and to use for someone like me who wants to learn to play harmonica, and perhaps later with another can give to them to play and its own color here, and that a Belgian who inhabited in Hungary! like é."

wikiloops.com uses Cookies to provide you the best possible browsing experience.
Read more in our data privacy policy.