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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Timing......uuuhhh!

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thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 16th, 2019 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

I enjoy playing with a lot of musicians at jams etc.
That said it drives me nuts when I am at jams when people give me the nod to play a solo in the song they’re singing and their rhythm playing is dragging tempo erratically all over the place. Or the changes don’t come naturally to them and it’s hard to follow when they’re going to change chords.
It’s mainly for fun so no big deal! Smile and play on.

The bad part is when these folks want to gig out and they ask you to do that with them. I’ve just gotten to the point that I try to turn them down . I just don’t feel comfortable with that. I don’t want to offend them so what’s the best way to let them off without being blunt about it?
I’m flattered they want me to play but at the same time I’m not comfortable with them...
What say you mighty FDP ers?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 16th, 2019 08:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm by no means a mighty FDPer, but this has happened to me.

I thank them for the *huge* compliment, but I politely decline. If I wanted to be gigging, I'd be doing it. Right now, jams and open mics are my musical fun.

ninworks
Contributing Member
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Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Feb 16th, 2019 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Perhaps nobody ever told them and they don't know. Someone needs to tell them. I learned a long time ago that inexperienced players in a band with good players doesn't work out. They will be frustrated that they can't keep up and you will be frustrated that you're having to try to fit into that.

Be as diplomatic as you can with your refusal. Tell them it just wouldn't work out. If they are going to get their feelings hurt because you turned them down there's nothing you can do about that and it's on them.

I had a couple of similar situations when I was a novice player and yes, it hurt my feelings a little but, it made me realize I needed to grow up and practice more.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 16th, 2019 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think I'd want to know someone a bit better before I gently informed them they need to practice more.

They *are* gaining experience by playing in front of people, and playing with better musicians does rub off quite a bit on the less-experienced player. One hour of playing to an audience, especially with other musicians, is a far better learning experience than 10 hours of practice alone at home.

Most guitar players start out learning simple stuff, and they work on their technique to the point that perhaps 99% of their attention is inwardly focused; they concentrate on what they're doing.

When they get together with other players, it's very difficult to break that focus and listen to everything else that's going on. Listening is one of the most-overlooked skills when starting out. Paying attention to what other players are doing only comes with experience.

However, once it starts to happen, that's when a player begins to realize what they need to do to better fit in as part of a musical team. It's how I learned, and it's what I see/hear when I play with less-experienced people.

All the above notwithstanding--if a person asks me what they can do to improve, that's when I'll diplomatically let them know they're stinking up the place worse than I am :o)

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 11:23 AM, Feb 16th, 2019)

tahitijack
Contributing Member
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San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
Feb 16th, 2019 09:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think there is a point where you become "good enough to play with others". At that point you are confident in what you are playing and listen to others, adjusting to what they are doing. You watch their cues, eyes, head nod tips.

(This message was last edited by tahitijack at 06:19 PM, Feb 16th, 2019)

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 16th, 2019 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

All good points!

The strange thing I find about some of this is a lot of folks do indeed practice. But I think they just "fit" chord changes and lyrics into a song because they do practice it and somehow force an odd syllable
or passing chord until it works for them.
In short it may be pretty far off the song structure but they've done it so repetitively that they've trained themselves into it.

When asked about how to improve I usually tell them to really not play but listen to the song they're working on several times and to practice with a drum machine or a metronome. They may play it too fast or slow but it keeps them on an even tempo.

The other thing I've noticed is when they're using a tablet for lyrics and chords it makes them think they're right on it when in actuality the chord change is written down (by someone else) online above the wrong word or phrase and they just can't get away from that.

It's just for fun anyway but I'm just looking for ways to make it more enjoyable for all.




Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 16th, 2019 08:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

"In actuality the chord change is written down (by someone else) online above the wrong word or phrase and they just can't get away from that."

SPOT on.

A very common issue. People copy/paste charts from the Web and in most cases the chord changes do not line up with the lyrics as played on the original recording.

Using a proportional font like Courier New can help, but the best thing to do is listen to the recording to confirm chord change locations.

It's also not uncommon for some of the chords to be incorrect.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Feb 17th, 2019 12:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I used to think I was a good rhythm player. Then I found out differently, and worked on it. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know.


ninworks
Contributing Member
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Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Feb 17th, 2019 04:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I think I'd want to know someone a bit better before I gently informed them they need to practice more."

I didn't say that. I said, "Be as diplomatic as you can with your refusal. Tell them it just wouldn't work out." The comment I made was that in my situations it made ME want to practice more.

"Sometimes you don't know what you don't know."

My point exactly.

Don't get me started on TAB or charts taken from the internet. It's better than it used to be but, lots of them are still lacking in accuracy big time. It makes me feel bad for those who depend on them for learning songs.

(This message was last edited by ninworks at 06:51 AM, Feb 17th, 2019)

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 17th, 2019 08:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t feel bad for people using tabs or chord charts at all.When I started playing I spent a buttload of time lifting and moving record player tone arms one 16th of a gnats butt over and over to learn lyrics and chords.
The tech nowadays like auto tune a slow downer software etc. is great.

I’ve got one guy I play with regularly that uses a tablet for every song. He figures if he has the song on the tablet he knows the song. Hilarity ensues! I’ll admit they’re great tools but “owning” the song will never be replaced.

A lot of tabs and chord charts you download from the net are written by a person that has tried to learn the song and are sharing. While they mean well you’re inhaling some of their mistakes too.

Rhythms can be tricky as heck. I grew up around a lot of old classic rock stuff as well as a big dose of bluegrass and when disco popped out I wasn’t in any condition to help.
Some comes naturally to me some I struggle with and some I try to avoid. Even some simple stuff takes a long time to dial in for me.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 17th, 2019 03:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I didn't say that."

ninworks, I wasn't implying you had. Sorry if it appeared that way.

I meant that I don't critique others I don't know very well. Not all players are mature enough to recognize constructive criticism and understand that it's given with the best intentions.

Ryder
Contributing Member
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Northwest Missouri

Butterscotch Blues
Feb 17th, 2019 04:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

When I first started playing out I played with a number of different bands. Sometimes I would get instructions as we played. It helped me a lot and never hurt my feelings. I was happy enough they were letting me play. And they always gave me a chance to solo once or twice.
I would go to one jam every week. The band leader came over one night and said, I see you every week. Do you play?Yeah, I kinda do. He said, bring your guitar next week. I did just that, and every week for the next year. If not many players showed up I would get to play all night. I learned a lot!
Also played in several FDP jams. At one, it was my turn, I got up on the stage and the host guitarist happened to be up. He asked what I wanted to play. I said, anything, just be gentle with me...kiddingly. He then asked me, do you want us to play down to you or do you want to play up to us.
I said, up to you! I had a great time!
One thing I didn’t like about jams was when it worked out, the one who was leading the song said, we’re going to play one of my originals...
No one up there knew the song except him. Not fun, for me anyway.

(This message was last edited by Ryder at 06:08 PM, Feb 17th, 2019)

walshb
Contributing Member
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Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Feb 17th, 2019 05:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

"One thing I didn’t like about jams was when it worked out, the one who was leading the song said, we’re going to play one of my originals..."

I've seen this waaaay too many times. Some people just don't seem to comprehend the "jam" concept. To do an original that has a lot of complex chord changes, or a lot of starts and stops, or anything else that isn't obvious to the average player, makes YOU look bad, not those trying to perform along with your original.

I could go up there and start playing "Green Grass and High Tides" because I know the song all the way through. What are the odds that all the other players up there are going to be able to follow along?! Approximately 0 percent.

Ryder
Contributing Member
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Northwest Missouri

Butterscotch Blues
Feb 17th, 2019 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

“'I’ve seen this waaaay too many times. Some people just don't seem to comprehend the "jam" concept.”

So true. This guy, I think, only told us what key and then started the song. He sang too which only made it worse because he didn’t have a good voice.

I’d be in that 0%.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
*******

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 17th, 2019 07:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

Originals can be ok but if they try to add or do anything out of a rather standard format they just totally lose everyone else. Then it turns out with the original guy just playing it all by his lonesome.

Usually I'll just tell every one the chords and let them know if there's anything weird to look out for.

One guy told me once to play whatever but if it's the same jam people week to week just stay with the same bulletproof songs every time and others would catch on. It was good advice.

Ryder
Contributing Member
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Northwest Missouri

Butterscotch Blues
Feb 17th, 2019 09:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

As far as telling everyone the chords he said something like, it’s in the key of E just follow me.
It’s funny you said that because the others were lost too so it did end up he was playing by himself. It made the rest of us feel pretty dumb.
I made sure I didn’t get up there with him again.

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Feb 18th, 2019 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ll politely decline.

I’m certainly not a great bassist, I think of myself as a good bassist. My greatest strength is my timing, in that single aspect I am a great bass player. I don’t sing either, but I often notice that the lyrics and the chords don’t line up in the sheet music. I’ve never been bothered by it. If I did sing the lyrics would be in the correct place.

I don’t use sheet music when I preform. Even at rehersal out of 70 maybe 80 tunes I’m only pulling out the music for two of the newer songs and I’ll have them down in another rehersal or two.

If the guitar player is good, and experienced, I’ll sit in. usually the pros know where a heads up needs to be affected and are adept at stage communication. Like mentioned above most will select a tune that is more intuitive than complex for an unrehearsed Performnce, if they want to do something a bit more complicated, sometimes based on my ability, they will ask if I know a tune, if I don’’t I offer up a few I do in the same category or style, we can usually quickly come up with something.

ninworks
Contributing Member
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Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Feb 18th, 2019 02:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

"ninworks, I wasn't implying you had. Sorry if it appeared that way."

We're good my friend. No worries.

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Feb 18th, 2019 05:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just my opinion, but some of the people that get up on stage at open mics should really just remain in the audience, I try to go by the 75% rule, if I think there's that high a chance of there being NO total Train wreaks I'm game to play or at least try, if not I'll retire off stage or stand off to the side and wait it out until I know what is going to be played next.

gmanNJ
Contributing Member
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Joisey

Feb 23rd, 2019 12:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I prefer the FDP jams. The ones I help orchestrate start with everyone suggesting tunes, then we all vote on them and that leads to the top 50 or so. These are the ones we do. I create a web page of YouTube links and charts and we pick slots 5 at a time so no one hogs the good parts. Then everyone gets a month to practice.

So we eliminate the songs with weird stops or breaks, no originals and no bands. You end up playing with a rotating bunch of players and all egos put to the curb.

Al lot of the bad things described go away with this method but it wont work for open jams. I stay away from open jams for that reason

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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Timing......uuuhhh!




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