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Acoustic Jam session?

Jordan Patrick

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I've never really had a succesful jam session with another on an acoustic unless we've planned to play certain tunes ahead of time.

What I'm specifically trying to figure out, is how I'd be able to step up to a open mic jam and be able to find a place amongst a bassist, drummer, and possibly an electric guitarist.

I'm sure I could just step up, and ask what key its in and listen for the core notes, but hell, what is an acoustic guitarist to do on such an occasion? Should there even be one up there???

Ideally, most bands who have an acoustic is either the singer or pure rhythm. Am I right so far?

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I've opted to play acoustic at open-stages for years now, rather than electric, simply because I find acoustic sessions invite more open ears than electric. Frankly, I go into electric jams with a cringe already in place. It just invites too much wanking, and not enough people-paying-attention-to-each-other.

As for success, I don't think that can ever be quite predicted. Open-stages are all different; I'd say, first off, find one you feel happy, and not pressured, playing at. So far, my favourite (despite, for obvious reasons, my own in Manotick which burned down a few weeks back), has been Irene's; it's a relatively older crowd, but I think for that very reason, more open and supportive, because they have a deep sense of what matters in a performance besides top-40 recognition value. More to the point, the house band at Irene's is really on the ball, and can follow you pretty much wherever you want to go. And if it doesn't quite work as you'd want it to, no worries - you've still been doing it, and, ideally, been having fun.

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Great advice guys; I've played a few places with supportive crowds too. My first was Rasputin's, which I will totally vouche for. I did a short gig at Irene's before too, and learned my lesson against wearing bright shirts (although the heckler was rather drunk).

Nonetheless, I've been meaning to go back again, but now for different reasons. I would like to see who could come up and play a few things along to some of my originals.

I've been very skeptical of how hard it might be to get something together with a rhythm section, and always figured that an electric guitar was what's needed to get that ball rollin'.

Like you said Paisley, i'll just have to go and find out.

Thanks guys.

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