Predicament

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I've been jamming with a couple local guys around my age for a few weeks. The guitar player had posted on our local FB page looking for a drummer so I shot him a message. My initial reaction when I found what kind of music he was into was to tell him that maybe he might be better off continuing to look for a drummer. His response was to say he's into lots of music and to ask what I'm into. His interests seemed to fall in the "70's punk" area such as Ramones, The Clash. I said I'm into the blues so, Credence, Stevie Ray, Wilson Pickett, etc. He seemed into it and asked if I was still interested. I thought to myself, what the heck. I'm not playing with anyone else at the moment as the band I was involved in before Covid has not yet seemed to reconvene. I found I could lock in with the bass player but I find the guitar player to be harsh, less than fluid, and somewhat unsatisfying to play with. There are a few tunes that we actually sound ok on but others are just horrifying. Yesterday we jammed again for something like the 5th time and I just had a hard time even deciphering what he was doing.

I should explain that last weekend my 17 year old son asked me if I wanted to jam with him and his guitar player friend. They have a band together at his high school but they have had trouble finding a drummer during covid. I've been trying to get my son to jam with me for a long time now to no avail. Until now. They gave me some tunes to learn. Muffin Man (Zappa) into Black Napkins. Since I've Been Loving You, Cissy Strut and Just The Two Of Us. We ended up playing for four hours on Saturday and taking a break in between for some dinner. I found playing with them really satisfying. My son is respectable on the bass and his guitar player friend, also 17, is damn good.

I suppose that Saturday jam session may have influenced my reaction to yesterday's jam somewhat. Apparently next week we will have a keyboard player who will also sing so we'll know where we are in the tune a little easier. I figure I'll give it another shot with a keyboard player and see what happens. Otherwise, I'm beginning to think of how I might extract myself from this situation. It would be a shame since it is always possible the other jam band I was playing in pre-covid could have found another drummer and begun playing again without my knowing it. I haven't heard from them in months.

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.....
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
I've been jamming with a couple local guys around my age for a few weeks. The guitar player had posted on our local FB page looking for a drummer so I shot him a message. My initial reaction when I found what kind of music he was into was to tell him that maybe he might be better off continuing to look for a drummer. His response was to say he's into lots of music and to ask what I'm into. His interests seemed to fall in the "70's punk" area such as Ramones, The Clash. I said I'm into the blues so, Credence, Stevie Ray, Wilson Pickett, etc. He seemed into it and asked if I was still interested. I thought to myself, what the heck. I'm not playing with anyone else at the moment as the band I was involved in before Covid has not yet seemed to reconvene. I found I could lock in with the bass player but I find the guitar player to be harsh, less than fluid, and somewhat unsatisfying to play with. There are a few tunes that we actually sound ok on but others are just horrifying. Yesterday we jammed again for something like the 5th time and I just had a hard time even deciphering what he was doing.

I should explain that last weekend my 17 year old son asked me if I wanted to jam with him and his guitar player friend. They have a band together at his high school but they have had trouble finding a drummer during covid. I've been trying to get my son to jam with me for a long time now to no avail. Until now. They gave me some tunes to learn. Muffin Man (Zappa) into Black Napkins. Since I've Been Loving You, Cissy Strut and Just The Two Of Us. We ended up playing for four hours on Saturday and taking a break in between for some dinner. I found playing with them really satisfying. My son is respectable on the bass and his guitar player friend, also 17, is damn good.

I suppose that Saturday jam session may have influenced my reaction to yesterday's jam somewhat. Apparently next week we will have a keyboard player who will also sing so we'll know where we are in the tune a little easier. I figure I'll give it another shot with a keyboard player and see what happens. Otherwise, I'm beginning to think of how I might extract myself from this situation. It would be a shame since it is always possible the other jam band I was playing in pre-covid could have found another drummer and begun playing again without my knowing it. I haven't heard from them in months.

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.....
If it’s not fun it’s hard to “play” right? I think you’ve answered yourself and deep down want to leave the situation? :unsure:
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Yeah I also think you might want to leave the band with the iffy guitarist. However another band member such as a keyboard player could make a difference. Also I think I'd give one of your pre covid band members a call and ask if they're still going to keep playing or something like that and see what their response is. Maybe even asked if you should start looking for another band
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Yeah I also think you might want to leave the band with the iffy guitarist. However another band member such as a keyboard player could make a difference. Also I think I'd give one of your pre covid band members a call and ask if they're still going to keep playing or something like that and see what their response is. Maybe even asked if you should start looking for another band
I agree on all counts. I just sent an email to the pre-covid band to see what they are up to and if there are plans to start jamming again. I also think it makes sense to see what happens with the addition of a singing keyboard player. Who knows? He might jam with us once, hear the guitar player and decide it's not for him. If that happens it could give me the opening I need to slide out of this situation.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
if memory serves me correctly (at 69 it's iffy) there was a band in the 70s called Spirit and the drummer was one of the members Dad and he was 20 years older than the rest of the guys. They even had an album or two and a couple charted records. So....who knows what your musical life will bring?
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
if memory serves me correctly (at 69 it's iffy) there was a band in the 70s called Spirit and the drummer was one of the members Dad and he was 20 years older than the rest of the guys. They even had an album or two and a couple charted records. So....who knows what your musical life will bring?
So true. Although when he goes off to college, it will likely be away from home so I'll be out of the picture. For me it was just a treat to be able to play with him at all. I mean, early on in his exposure to the bass and music I was turning him on to Stanley Clarke, Anthony Jackson, John Patitucci, and some others. And who turns out to be his greatest inspiration? Jaco. What's not to love? Independent and knows his stuff. It lets me know I've done a few things right.
 
So you're not yet part of "the band" and still trying out if it fits. And you've said in the beginning that you might have different musical interests, so it's not like you're commited 100% and that they are counting on you, right? I'd say, give it one more session with the keyboard player. If it still doesn't work, proceed to play with your son which sounds like it's your thing. Who knows, maybe the keyboard player doesn't want to join the band as well and you can ask him if he wants to jam with you and your son.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
So you're not yet part of "the band" and still trying out if it fits. And you've said in the beginning that you might have different musical interests, so it's not like you're commited 100% and that they are counting on you, right? I'd say, give it one more session with the keyboard player. If it still doesn't work, proceed to play with your son which sounds like it's your thing. Who knows, maybe the keyboard player doesn't want to join the band as well and you can ask him if he wants to jam with you and your son.
Clearly lots of options. I do think I'm part of "the band" at this point since we've been playing at my house from day one. I guess I'm the one who's not really looking at it as a "band" just yet given my concerns over the ability of the guitarist. Yesterday he said that he spoke with the bartender at one place he thinks we might want to play when we're ready and he said she indicated they are fine with it so long as we don't think we will embarass ourselves. My quick response was to say I think we aren't really there yet and we might not want to put the cart before the horse. So, at least I've made it known where my feelings are in terms of "the band's" readiness. Playing with my son was fun but I'm not looking at that with any kind of permanence. After all, we've only jammed once. I'm waiting on them to tell me when they want to play again. It's up to them, not me. I'm going to see how it goes with the keyboard player/singer. It might pull things together a bit.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Otherwise, I'm beginning to think of how I might extract myself from this situation.
There's only one reputable way to extract yourself from any musical arrangement. Explain with candor and professionalism that you've decided to move on. It doesn't need to be personal. You just want to pursue an alternate opportunity. Always depart on good terms. The world of music is smaller than we sometimes acknowledge.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
There's only one reputable way to extract yourself from any musical arrangement. Explain with candor and professionalism that you've decided to move on. It doesn't need to be personal. You just want to pursue an alternate opportunity. Always depart on good terms. The world of music is smaller than we sometimes acknowledge.
Wise words. It is never smart to burn bridges. Especially when those bridges are in your home town. I would never want to make the guy feel bad. And I just heard back from the other "band" that I was jamming with pre-covid and he said we are in a holding pattern given the state of things here. I totally agree with him. After all, I'm 58 and the youngest one in that band. Which means we are among those who are most at risk. At this point the options are all mine and all options are still open. No better place to be.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I play music with my son the bass player. He is a better bass player than I am a drummer.. Peace and goodwill.
I'd say my son is showing the capability of being a far better bass player than I am a drummer. He just needs to practice more and play with other people more. Which is why I'm so happy to be playing with him. He needs live interaction so he can learn how to improvise and play both set tunes as well as just jam and make stuff up. Both are critical to his continued improvement.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
High school kids are usually good musicians. Until they quit or get an attitude as they get older.

Music is a conversation.
It should go like this.

Hey guys, I had a great time playing with you these past few weeks, My thoughts, however, are leaning towards a different style and feel. I've been really into zydeco music lately and that's where I would like to keep my focus. Again, I had a great time with you, and I think you're great guys. Let's keep in touch.

Then go play some real music that you connect with.
 
That totally makes sense that a bluesy pocket player would not gel with a 70's punk guitarist (behind the beat/on top of the beat). Sometimes that can be interesting, but if you're not feeling it, I get it.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
I've been jamming with a couple local guys around my age for a few weeks. The guitar player had posted on our local FB page looking for a drummer so I shot him a message. My initial reaction when I found what kind of music he was into was to tell him that maybe he might be better off continuing to look for a drummer. His response was to say he's into lots of music and to ask what I'm into. His interests seemed to fall in the "70's punk" area such as Ramones, The Clash. I said I'm into the blues so, Credence, Stevie Ray, Wilson Pickett, etc. He seemed into it and asked if I was still interested. I thought to myself, what the heck. I'm not playing with anyone else at the moment as the band I was involved in before Covid has not yet seemed to reconvene. I found I could lock in with the bass player but I find the guitar player to be harsh, less than fluid, and somewhat unsatisfying to play with. There are a few tunes that we actually sound ok on but others are just horrifying. Yesterday we jammed again for something like the 5th time and I just had a hard time even deciphering what he was doing.

I should explain that last weekend my 17 year old son asked me if I wanted to jam with him and his guitar player friend. They have a band together at his high school but they have had trouble finding a drummer during covid. I've been trying to get my son to jam with me for a long time now to no avail. Until now. They gave me some tunes to learn. Muffin Man (Zappa) into Black Napkins. Since I've Been Loving You, Cissy Strut and Just The Two Of Us. We ended up playing for four hours on Saturday and taking a break in between for some dinner. I found playing with them really satisfying. My son is respectable on the bass and his guitar player friend, also 17, is damn good.

I suppose that Saturday jam session may have influenced my reaction to yesterday's jam somewhat. Apparently next week we will have a keyboard player who will also sing so we'll know where we are in the tune a little easier. I figure I'll give it another shot with a keyboard player and see what happens. Otherwise, I'm beginning to think of how I might extract myself from this situation. It would be a shame since it is always possible the other jam band I was playing in pre-covid could have found another drummer and begun playing again without my knowing it. I haven't heard from them in months.

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.....
Nice set list!
 
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