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#8819 by Jim_L
Tue May 22, 2007 7:39 pm
I'll give this an AMEN!
I started an after school guitar/bass jam session thing at my son's high school last year. I wrote out a long list of things I've been through and thought of to discuss with these young'uns: (remarks cont'd below list...)

This will be a free-form class to discuss such topics as (but not limited to):
Guitars & Bass - The basics (care, intonation, tuning, etc..)
Scales.
Pickups.
Cables.
Practice (at home & in a band).
Playing out (parties & paying gigs).
Equipment.
Effects pedals.
Playing lead & rhythm.
Bass lines.
Learning songs.
Teaching songs
Getting that 'sound' from your guitar.
Getting that 'sound' from your amp.
Using (and building) satellite speaker cabs.
Speaker & Cab theory.
Musical styles.
Playing fast & slow.
Promoting the band (advertising, etc...)
Band stage (and practice) setup.
Pa systems (and building your own speaker cabs).
Where should the bass player go?
Putting the drummer in the air.
Songwriting & recording.
Lighting.


These topics and more (and any other related topics we can think of) will be discussed.
I'd eventually like to get all participating musicians to bring their equipment to jam with & discuss their good and bad points/opinions about the equipment and how to improve/modify/tweak their setup for optimal sound & playability.
Whether you are interested in learning to play or already know how, all are welcome.
Come by, hang out, swap stories, learn and teach something. Having fun is mandatory!
Not a Guitarist or Bassist? Play a different instrument? If any of these topics interest you, show up!

Guitar & Bass
Tuning (Standard, Open, Slide and how to...)
Intonation (Electric, Acoustic - bridge adjustment)
String types (wound/smooth)
Pickups (Humbuckers & Single coils - clean & distortion grounding the guitar)
Cables
Getting rid of ground hum
General care
What to keep in the case (polish cloth, strings, picks, tuner, wrench, business cards)
Types of scales
Improvising lead & rhythm (Jamming)
Playing clean & dirty
Getting that 'sound'
Playing fast & slow
Playing with others - the balance factor.
Body types and sound factors
Singing & playing at the same time
Chords (Practice patterns - playing with a pick & fingers)
Bass (Playing with a pick & fingers)
Picks (What do you use?)
Mistakes (what not to do)
Playing vs. movement
Lead tricks (tapping, whammy's, feedback, etc...)
Strumming techniques (palming, muting, strokes, etc...)
Know your fretboard

Amps & Speaker Cabnets
Safety first (how not to pick up that amp...)
Cables (guitar & speaker)
Grounding out the noise
Wattage (is just being loud enough?)
Types of amps (heads & combos & casters, oh my!)
Types of cabnets (What size is right for you?)
Open vs closed back amps/cabs
Speaker theory (wiring, size, magnets, qty, voice coils, using the right speaker in the amp, etc...)
Amp placement on stage and at practice (Too far or too near?)
Miking the amp
Getting that 'sound'
Playing with channels (lead & rhythm balancing - who's got my footswitch?)
Effects (built in & floor/rack - chaining effects and proper ordering)
Instrument sound placement (mixing the band members, where to put the guitar/bass players)
Satellite speaker cabnets (where to put them and building your own)
Mono vs stereo (can you really tell the difference?)
Getting rid of ground noise/hum

Effects
Pedals
Multi-effect units
Building a pedal board
Making a case for pedals
Cables (The short & long of it)
Ground loops
Power supplies vs batteries (the noise factor)
Rack units (building a case, cables, power supplies. grounding, etc...)
How effects affect your sound
Start w/clean, Add effects, Lose your tone, Get it back

The BAND
How to play quietly
Instrument placement (again)
Amp placement on stage and at practice (again)
Cranking up the drummer (that 'other' band member, building a riser, monitoring, etc...)
Who owns the PA rules (an old argument)
Practice space & soundproofing
Miking the band (is this really necessary?)
Singing lead & harmonies (adding your own spice to the mix)
What's in a name (coming up with a name & a logo)
The band leader & booking (it's not always the guy with the PA)
The Bass player really needs to go here... and maybe there too...
What the drummer hears - or not...
Two or more guitarists in the band (who plays what and when, swapping parts, lead harmonies)
Other instruments in the band (the benefits)
Lightshow (building simple spots & trees on a dollar or two...)
Vocal mics
Playing vs movement (again)
Stage presence (what the audience wants to see & not... how to play out... balancing stage & PA sound)
Stage advertising (the 'look', backdrop, riser coverings)
Utility case (All those cables & things need a home - what's inside)
CD's & presentation
Roadies
The WOW factor (leave them wanting more)

The PA System
Soundchecks
PA systems (what's not enough & what to do)
The soundman
Wattage
Speakers & Monitors
Miking the band
Cables
Snakes
Mics
Stands
Building speaker cabnets and monitors (front loaded vs folded horns, how much monitor do you need?)
What the audience wants to hear... and not...

Songwriting
Where to start (music or lyrics?)
Hearing parts
Hearing instruments you can't play
Bouncing ideas & collaboration
Starting with a title
Starting with a riff
Frosting the cake
Blending styles
Copywriting
Song structure
Breakdown a song
Old & new hits - a comparison
What makes a good song
How to write out a song
Sheet music & tabs & chord blocks

Recording
The basics
4, 8, 16, 32 track decks
Computers
Cables
Noise & sound
Tweak the room
Where to record?
Miking vs direct
Singing
Effects (before or after)
Bouncing
Digital vs analog
Mixing (that old balancing act)
Mastering
Monitors (speakers or headphones)
Making CD's

MISC
What kind of tone are you after?
Favorite band sound
Favorite guitar/bass sound
Come up with a lick
Come up with a chord progression
Come up with a bass line
Write a song & sing it
Adding other players - defining parts to play
Coming up with multiple lead harmonies
Adding it all together
Performance

Well, I discovered that the few (and then only one to my dismay) that showed up the first few times were only interested in jamming and didn't care about how to actually play. The last one to stick around had possibilities but couldn't play a 3 chord blues prog to save his life, and he's got a band too.

The school has yearly 'battles' where you can go and hear drop D tunings, screaming and all around noise but the biggest point of that evening is when another school band plays AC/DC's 'Big Balls'...
It's great to see these bands with insufficient equipment (30 watt 1-12" bass amp in a 350 seat auditorium anyone?).

I just think to myself "I would have never let my school days rock band out of the cellar playing that bad."
Us old guys in the hall just look at each other and shake our heads in wonderment (sadness really...).

The really sad part is the applause the bands get by the other kids!
-Jim

#9143 by Dasky
Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:05 pm
I can feel your pain. I live in one of the largest cities in the country and cant find people my own age to play with.
With wife , kids , job etc. i cant commit the time to being a rock star.
Seems us old farts could muster up enoght brain power to solve this problem. Maybe we need a site like this one called, something like, over the hill music .com.

#9146 by C.Cat
Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:28 pm
I'd actually rather play with "old farts" than people my own age

#9151 by Irminsul
Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:32 am
I guess being 47 officially makes me an old fart. But, I prefer to play with the youngins for a few reasons.

* * *

Very few musicians my own age have enough stamina for the type and frequency of shows that I want to do.

* * *

Musicians my own age tend to be "set in their ways" when it comes to music in general, and how it should be played. They'd rather stop playing with you than explore something new and challenging.

* * *

They tend to be tied down with life commitments (strict job, marriage, kids etc) which isn't by itself a bad thing.....but they avoid thinking creatively when it comes to pursuing their art while maintaining these responsibilities. There are thousands of working artists who regularly tour while having families.

* * *

Playing with those who are just opening the wondrous door of musical possibilities in their lives keeps me vital in continuing to open mine, because I resonate with the energy they exude. I guess this is a corollary to the second reason I mentioned.


Before I get flamed for this, let me emphasize that I have run into a few "oldsters" who possess the young-ish traits I posted above. But sadly, damn few.
#9158 by chefchil
Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:00 pm
Hello people-I'm 47 living here in NW Houston. I played bass years ago then let it all go. Now, I'm ready to go for it again.
Funny thing. I flew up to the Borgata Casino March before last to see the reunited Pogues perform (which I NEVER thought I would have the chance to see again). These guys are either pushing 50 or are already there. Screaming Shane Magowan rocked the crowd, let me tell you! The crowd in front was mostly young and rowdy and in their 20's. (Yeah, one of the little b_stards ripped a gapping hole in the back of my brand new Pogues t-shirt hahaha! :lol:
Anyhow, my point is those "kids" somehow new who the Pogues were, and came to see them. And they went crazy for it. If you're music is bad ass, people will love you. That's what I think...
I'm looking for folks in Houston area who want play some Roots Rock (Steve Earle etc.), some OLD-type Country (J. Cash, the Derailers, etc) some Blue Grass (Earl Brothers etc) some hopped up-Celtic (Pogues etc) and have a WHOLE lot of fun doing it! Contact me here: chefchil at yahoo.com
Cool thing is the Celtic instruments could work with the Blue Grass...
#9162 by Irminsul
Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:29 pm
chefchil wrote:Cool thing is the Celtic instruments could work with the Blue Grass...


Hehehee...where do you think most Blue Grass comes from? ;)

Greetings, by the way

#9164 by Vocals & Bass
Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:01 am
I have been leaning toward the younger generation of music. Alternative/Modern rock. Since the Seattle era around 1993. Last 14yrs or so. Adding some Modern/Outlaw country at the present time. Always looking for new Cassic Rock material, Southern Rock. It can simply make your head spin, When theres so much good music to choose from out there. And different styles. I could use a good, If even only good rythm Keyboard player to add versatality to choice of cover songs with band. Alot of organs, etc. missed with the classic rock like the stones, who, doors, etc. Let alone, The piano etc. with alot of countery music. But then.........I cound use a good country violen, steel guitar, banjo, harmonica player, etc. ALSO.........I am intiiced by the never ending ability to always be learning something new every day when it comes to music as a vocals/bass. Good for you Irminsul! You could always, And you are welcome to come to ohio and play the boards for us anytime! :P
#9167 by chefchil
Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:05 pm
Irminsul wrote:
chefchil wrote:Cool thing is the Celtic instruments could work with the Blue Grass...


Hehehee...where do you think most Blue Grass comes from? ;)

Greetings, by the way


Yeah, I was already hip to that...thanks for the greeting. Nice to be here!

#9378 by Kelly marshall
Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:09 pm
Hey all...I'm 39 turning 40 in November. I am amazed that its so hard to find people to jam with. Most people are interested in talking to you, until they find out you have little experience singing with a band,so I just sing alot of music solo.I have alot of music trax and I just play them thru my PA system and sing away. I have set in on a few songs with some seasoned musicians, because they seem to appreciate anyone who loves music as much as they do.I love to sing alot of country,and I love the older stuff. I always have told my parents I was born in the wrong era.I love to sing and would love to find some older musicians my age and up that just have a love and appreciation for the oldies,but goodies.(50's,60's,70's).I love to sing current country,but I have more of a voice to sing songs like Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee,Anne Murray..etc...Alot people tell me I have a voice alot like Anne Murray's. What a complement!
So, if there's anyone out there close to the Alexandria, Indiana area and you want to get together with a female vocalist, contact me thru email. www.flaxenblonde04@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to jam or just talk music!Thank you for having this forum!
love you all,
Kelly

#9636 by HoyHoy
Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:16 am
I started playing in 1964 and played professionally until 1985 when I hung up the guitar and went into business. Now that I'm retired I thought that playing in a band would be fun again. The first band I tried out played so loud that I feared for what was left of my hearing. I sat in with a local band and they were way too loud for the room. I'm still on a quest but it doesn't look good here in Ohio.

#9648 by Irminsul
Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:59 pm
HoyHoy wrote:I started playing in 1964 and played professionally until 1985 when I hung up the guitar and went into business. Now that I'm retired I thought that playing in a band would be fun again. The first band I tried out played so loud that I feared for what was left of my hearing. I sat in with a local band and they were way too loud for the room. I'm still on a quest but it doesn't look good here in Ohio.


That's actually one of the problems with playing with the younger set (if that's the case with the ones you jammed with)...they think their hearing will take any sort of assault and never be permanently damaged. Big mistake. I suffered a significant loss in my right ear at age 18, after playing in punk bands in the late 70s. Luckily not enough to stop my musical career, but enough to make me wish I had taken precautions like ear protection during rehearsals and gigs.

Rock musicians of any age need to take this issue seriously. Loud noise is an occupational hazard to just about any working musician. We need to protect our hearing above all else. It's the source sense of our trade! Yes, Beethoven was totally, profoundly deaf when he composed the 9th Symphony (Ode To Joy) but seriously....how many of us could do that?

Let's just hang on to our hearing. There are lots of barely noticeable ear plugs or filters on the market today so we really have no excuse.

I'll step off this soapbox and stop hijacking the thread now.....

#9651 by RhythmMan
Sat Jun 23, 2007 10:49 pm
Irminsul, you said, "I'll step off this soapbox and stop hijacking the thread now....."
- but, regardless: what you said about hearing damage was well spoken, and should be regarded as very, very important.
Once gone - it dosn't come back . . .

#9664 by Vocals & Bass
Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:23 pm
Thats good advise for any musician Irminsul.
Irminsul wrote:
HoyHoy wrote:I started playing in 1964 and played professionally until 1985 when I hung up the guitar and went into business. Now that I'm retired I thought that playing in a band would be fun again. The first band I tried out played so loud that I feared for what was left of my hearing. I sat in with a local band and they were way too loud for the room. I'm still on a quest but it doesn't look good here in Ohio.


That's actually one of the problems with playing with the younger set (if that's the case with the ones you jammed with)...they think their hearing will take any sort of assault and never be permanently damaged. Big mistake. I suffered a significant loss in my right ear at age 18, after playing in punk bands in the late 70s. Luckily not enough to stop my musical career, but enough to make me wish I had taken precautions like ear protection during rehearsals and gigs.

Rock musicians of any age need to take this issue seriously. Loud noise is an occupational hazard to just about any working musician. We need to protect our hearing above all else. It's the source sense of our trade! Yes, Beethoven was totally, profoundly deaf when he composed the 9th Symphony (Ode To Joy) but seriously....how many of us could do that?

Let's just hang on to our hearing. There are lots of barely noticeable ear plugs or filters on the market today so we really have no excuse.

I'll step off this soapbox and stop hijacking the thread now.....

#9667 by C.Cat
Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:48 pm
Very good advice - I'm one of the younger set and every time my ears ring I worry that they won't go back to normal. I'd hate to be unable to hear music.

#9916 by Carl Tyree
Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:46 am
:oops: I'm here in Missouri or better known as Misery. Finding compatant players is the problem, Guitar players are easily found(so called) the real hard find is a bass player............been playing for 33 years now and the good stuff, no one plays Nugent, Foghat, Motley, or any of that stuff anymore.........love to hook up with someone who does.

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