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There are two things

Posted by caricc on Thursday, August 7, 2008

I hate at jam sessions. One: Politics. I am here to play music not be given a lecture on politics or someone’s manifesto as to why I should vote for someone. Two: Those who want to be the center of attention all of the time. These are two of the big items that are a no-no at a jam session. At least for me.
 
Let me pick on those who want to talk politics. I don’t like being ambushed as to who your candidate is and whom my is. None of your business. I am here to play and learn music. Not have the above discussion. I quickly find another group or move to a different spot. If all else fails and the bozo still doesn’t get the hint. I will/would have left these places. They are not interested in playing, then I am not interested in listening to them. I have been asked to by the host(s) why I was packing up when things are just starting to warm up. I have told them flat out these to items. That so-n-so is either following me around or is way too loud about it. So as not to cause a problem I will go home. Since these political junkies are usually a relative of the host.
 
Second: Those who are too self centered that even thought they are a guest and this is not their place they must always be the center of attention and as soon as they are not they want to leave.  My answer: Bye-bye. These are those who will usually sing (off key and way too loud), grabs a set of spoons, or sticks and thinks they can play etc. Playing too loud when they should be in the background, not allowing anyone else to get a note or chord or even a mini solo. (Everyone knows the type).
 
If when I start having jams at my place, then these are the two big no-no’s. Leave your politics at your home not mine. And learn to share or don’t come over. You have to play nice. Otherwise I will ask you to depart, in a not too tactful but very direct way.
 
Just have FUN.
 
This is just my opinion.


7 comments on “There are two things”

twayneking Says:
Thursday, August 7, 2008 @1:25:39 PM

A lot of times jams deteriorate into anarchy, which despite it's political popularity in certain quarters is not terribly conducive to good music (which would explain grunge rock, I suppose).

The best way to do a good jam is to have a host who is directive, who specifies some simple rules for the session and doesn't mind putting a hand on someone's shoulder and asking them to tone it down a little.

That's the hosts job.  If they don't, it becomes "Clash of the Titanic Egos" in a big hurry.

ELWOOD Says:
Thursday, August 7, 2008 @1:33:32 PM

YUP lust play nice........Elwood

FretlessinTexas Says:
Thursday, August 7, 2008 @5:48:29 PM

I agree. We're here to play music. Small talk is fine, but once it gets political, well, that is just no fun. Earlier this year, I attended Breakin' Up Winter, an old-time music event sponsored by the Nashville Old-Time Stringband Association.

A banjo player was there, a fellow from San Francisco, who wanted us to all know that he was an honest-to-God Marxist. Leave it to say, I was not impressed.

Understand about the occasional annointed one. Best to ignore or avoid whenever possible.

Thankfully, most musicians that I run across are pretty thoughtful and respectful.

kcjc69 Says:
Thursday, August 7, 2008 @6:15:16 PM

Never gone to a jam at someones house. But we did have a new player at the senior center start in with politics on her first night. We politely ignored her, changed the subject back to music and after two weeks she must have got the hint as she never came back.

 

PaulKirby Says:
Saturday, August 9, 2008 @2:17:14 AM

Yeah, the perfect jam... I think it's impossible because jams are made of human beings and humans are imperfect. At the festival in Risør this year there was a jamming workshop, and in the banjo workshop we got a really clear lecture on musical etiquette from our excellent teacher, Petr Brandejs from the Czech Republic. He said that when he, a master-player, goes to a jam he plays probably about 10% and listens the other 90%  We were together in a jam later on that day, and boy did he play classy. It was really clear that he puts the music first. Excellent experience.  Another thing was that I was pretty nervous to be sitting in a jam with my teacher there, and while he is a real virtuoso, he never did anything to make me or the other student there look like we were students. Classy guy.

5strings3picks1banjo Says:
Saturday, August 9, 2008 @10:02:09 PM

Good point, I hope you get to enjoy yourself from now on. Best of luck.

foxfireguitar Says:
Sunday, August 10, 2008 @7:31:21 PM

The good players just like us poor ones come to play. Yes everyone knows we like to hear really good music but the jams are about sharing not hogging the mic and the stage. I am also with you on the captive audience concept and soap boxes interfering with the whole intent of the jam. Not just polotics but religion as well. The gospel is one thing gospel music is another. Because some may think they are doing their part for the lord in making sure that people hear about him doesn't mean that they will take to the gospel. I will not though that usually because those songs have been around for so long they have every riff or embelishment possible. So if the words weren't there as a sermon for the unchurched it would be really great music. And if a weatherman shows up....just kidding people will visit among themselves so we are bound to hear something other than music. I guess the point is we don't need to hear it from the stage or mic just because everybody has no choice but to hear it.

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