Friends that can't play

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Friends that can't play

Postby jeffl » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:37 pm

We've had a "closed Jam" going for years now, hosted at a patron's house. The players are a core of 5 guys who've played together for about 10 years. We occasionally gig, so we are somewhat serious about getting tunes down to giggable levels, and it's always "all about the music".
However, we have some friends who occasionally drop by who are good players, and they are welcome. On the other side, we have friends who frequently stop by who are not good players, and they can really "wank" up the tunes. These are good friends of ours. I'm convinced that they don't even know that they're not decent players.
Should we let it slide, or confront them about their lack of general ability?
CAVEAT: our jams are somewhat of a party atmosphere, including drinking & other things, so for my part, it is understandable if perimeter guests do not understand the "serious" side of our music.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby JLHooker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:17 pm

I was involved in almost the same situation.We only jammed once a month and when these "guests" dropped in ,much time was wasted.We ended up just going along with it though.It all came to an end when the guy who played lead and sang passed away.He was too nice to turn anyone away.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:42 pm

Don't confront, organize the ability levels.
First choose your maestro, then onward and downward.
Each level gets their time, by the rules.
Best 'O Lick!
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby JLHooker » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:30 pm

Buffalo_Bill wrote:Don't confront, organize the ability levels.
First choose your maestro, then onward and downward.
Each level gets their time, by the rules.
Best 'O Lick!


This is similar to how our group managed this problem but we still wasted a lot of time by playing styles of music that we weren't interested in.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby jeffl » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:12 pm

I don't know if this is smart, but I think I'm gonna take the direct approach with the person I get along with the best: I'm gonna tell her that when she is screwin' up it really creates a cacophany and I wanna know what the best way to get the messages to her at the time... whether I can wave her off totally without hurtin' her feelings, and how to do it without embarrassing her. The other offender is her husband, so mebbe she'll help me out on that part too.
It's not like we have to keep playin' the tune if she's messin' it up... we can stop & work it over some, or she can just let somebody else handle the part. I dunno...
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:32 am

Be sure there's no loaded weapons, sharp tools or blunt object within reach.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby maxx england » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:02 am

Scary business, treading on toes. Sometimes it has to be done. All I can suggest is that it is done discreetly and a as softly as possible.

ps

Let me know which ward to send the flowers to when they remove your guitar.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby 1four5 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:55 pm

Friends are friends, jams are jams, and band practice is band practice. God grant me the serenity to know the difference.

We had one friend who came to our jams for several years, before we were ever a band. Then we got our first gig, talked about it, practiced for it, but never changed the structure of our jams and, when and where they were, and who came. He was a great friend and horrible guitar player. When he asked when and where he needed to be for our first gig, we had to tell him he wasn’t going on stage with us. It was our fault, we never told him any different. We might as well have shot him in the heart. He disowned us as friends and never showed to another jam. We learned our lesson, and from that point forward, have a definite separation between friendly jams, and band practice, and everyone involved knows the difference, and we all stay friends.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby jeffl » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:25 pm

We made a rule a long time ago that it was "ok" for any subset of the group to line up a gig without including everybody, and that nobody should be offended. That became necessary because there are just some gigs that call for a duo,trio, or any combination short of the "whole".
There's always gonna be issues with music groups, so good communication's the key, eh..?
I do think that you can't let one or two people ruin it for the key players though. We kicked out a drummer and guitar player a few years ago ( possiblly our two best players ) because they were intolerant of the younger guys who were still in steep learning curves, and they were a negative influence. I see clearly now that we made the right decision at the time, even though it took us months to get our music re-shaped.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:39 pm

“because they were intolerant of the younger guys who were still in steep learning curves”

Just asking all the readers:

Is there any tolerance for old guys in “steep learning curves” in your music circles?

Thanks.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby maxx england » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:37 pm

I'm fortunate in just being a happy amateur, and entirely happy to sit back and let people earning money from it get on with the job.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby maxx england » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:38 pm

error
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby jeffl » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:29 pm

young or old, the lesson might be, "If you're having trouble figuring out the tune, keep the volume down." :D
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby jeffl » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:19 pm

We jam every Tuesday, so we'll see how it goes tonight.
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Re: Friends that can't play

Postby s1120 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:19 am

Seems to be a mixup between "jam" and "Pratice" A band pratice should be just that. Work together to better yourselves, learn new songs, and arrangments...just all together polish the proformance. A Jam is... well a jam. It should be all about the fun. Enjoy the mix up, and heck... eaven a newer, not as good as a player might bring some good ideas to the mix. IMHO a jam is a good time, hanging out, playing some music, being a little more loose. Work on supporting the bad guy.... Might also help your skills having to play around and support a worse player.
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