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Etiquette for slow-jams

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Marion 06 Jul 99 - 01:23 PM
The Shambles 06 Jul 99 - 01:32 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 99 - 01:42 PM
Chet W. 06 Jul 99 - 07:24 PM
gargoyle 06 Jul 99 - 11:36 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 Jul 99 - 04:27 AM
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Subject: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: Marion
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 01:23 PM

Hi all! The discussion of up-to-speed jam sessions was very interesting, but I won't be at one for some time, and I was wondering if there are etiquette standards for light-years-from-elite jam sessions.

I just started going to a Celtic slow-jam and the leader told me that it was for learners of all levels and that you could always ask to slow something down. Fair enough, but everyone seemed much better than me, and I didn't think it would be right to ask for everything to be slowed down to a third of what they were playing. Also, I was the only fiddle there and couldn't really play unobtrusively, and I was worried that my messing around was just annoying people.

I read that in normal sessions it's a big faux pas to "noodle" along with a tune you don't know at all, trying to find the melody or chords by trial and error; does this rule hold true in slow-jams?

If anyone here frequents a slow-jam or can give me some etiquette tips I'd be glad to hear from you.

Marion, the busker with poor business sense

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Subject: RE: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 01:32 PM

If it is considered bad-form to "noodle" along, no one has ever told most of the people I play with.

Just do it quitely and if it upsets anyone, you can stop. By then you will probably know how to play it better and the next time you will be able to play it better still.

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Subject: RE: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 01:42 PM

"Noodling along' is the best way to learn, Marion! If you slow the music down too much, it's almost like an airplane stalling in mid-air. The whole thing can crash and burn. Playing along with people helps you keep going, and you'll find you get closer and closer to playing the price right, every time you do it. When I practice by myself, I find a tendency to stop and correct mistakes - "noodling along" helps me learn much faster.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: Chet W.
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 07:24 PM

Marion, I remember being a noodler myself (not that I don't still occasionally do it). One thing I recall about learning tunes this way is that you try to figure out which are the most important notes, maybe the ones that are accented, or seem to give the feeling to the tune. Then, once you got that, you can fill in the rest. As far as being unobtrusive, which probably is a good idea sometimes, for the fiddle you can buy a mute, a little rubber thing that you push down over the top of the bridge, strings and all. Should be easy to find in a music store that caters to string players. A cheaper and almost as good alternative is to stick a spring-type clothespin or maybe two on the bridge from the sides. Good luck and don't stop.


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Subject: RE: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: gargoyle
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:36 PM

hit every other note
or every fourth note as a soft harmonic background.

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Subject: RE: Etiquette for slow-jams
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:27 AM

Marion, do you know any harmonic theory? Most songs played in sessions--even fast sessions--have simple harmonic structures, many only two or three chords. If you know when the changes occur and what the notes are in the chords, emphasize them: they'll be the main melody notes. Other notes in the scale of the key can be used as off the beat transitional notes.

The mute is a good idea, and so is practice, particularly with music. You could tape songs in the sessions and try playing along with them at home.


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