Simple challenge. Record yourself playing a new and original phrase at 120 bpm or close enough. Anything can start us off. Drum, voice, instruments. Either video or audio will do. Video is probably easier because you can record it on your phone and post it on Facebook.
I will clip out 4 bars of it and begin to loop them in my software.
Once we have a key or rhythm set I will post a backing track and we can start adding to that.
First Theresa Laid down a beautiful djembe groove. I slipped it in my audio editor and evened out the tempo a little and added some drum and percussion to hold it together. Next i added a little piano vamp over it to give it a tonal centre.
Allan took it away and added a popping bass line.
What comes next?
Vincent Touret just sent in parts for Trombone and Trumpet. We now have a starting point for the melody. Other horn players could add to those. (Unfortunately can’t upload them tonight as I am away from home and my phone won’t do it. ) 1st April hopefully. I could email them to you if you are keen.
A guitar groove or some vocal wizadry or a blistering brass line?
Anyone anywhere in the world can join. Any instrument, singers, rappers beat poets,….
I have started it all up by writing the tune “Cooped up”.
There is a simple repeating 2 bar groove wich is G7 followed by a C7 with flat9 flat 6 added in. If you are a jazzer and wondering what scale to play – any scale with a G in it will probably do the trick – new and fantastic scales welcome and encouraged.
You can download music and mp3 examples and a backing track on the main page.
Learn the tune or a harmony part or the guitar, drum or bass groove. Or write a new vocal line and add words. Anything goes.
Record yourself playing it. With or without the backing track and upload it to the Facebook Page.
All and any instruments welcome. No limits.
All sorts of opportunities may then present themselves. Maybe a global tour in 2021 linking up all the contributors. Who knows?
For the moment it stops me getting bored and gives some creative connection with the rest of the world.
Vincent came and jammed one month, we liked him so much he has now had two guest spots. He has fully embraced the spirit of the jam session. Trying out new material himself but also bringing along a bunch of his students who then start to get the feel for it.
This year a number of musicians have guested at our jam session.
They are part of the house band and get to play anything from 8 to 10 tunes from their own repertoire.
Are you ready for this? Would you like to be considered?
Currently we are operating a no drums policy. So the house band generally consists of Piano, Double Bass and you, the guest.
The Bay horse is a smallish pub in Totnes and we are tucked in the corner. Horns don’t need to be miked up, guitarists need to bring their own kit. We have a decent mike and Vocal pa.
Can you hold an intimate audience for an hour with just bass and piano backing? There are no rehearsals. The guest has to be experienced at working with a house band. We ask for a set list in advance and expect you to provide chord charts for bass and piano unless the tune is a well known standard. In this case tell us the key and your starting note and we can bring it up on iReal pro. We expect you to be able to count us in.
Normal jazz etiquette is followed. Play the tune with the band, take a solo, piano takes a solo and often the bass player will take a solo too. Play the tune again and out. Experienced musicians will know how to call 4’s before bringing back the head. On Slow ballads we may take shorter solos and just bring the tune back on the middle 8 .
Special note for singers: nice to have some scat choruses but maybe not on every tune.
Intros and endings: We make these up on the spot. We will probably give you blank stares if you say “can you give us the Cannonball Adderley intro from his 1956 recording………”
Better to just say ” give me the last 8″ or “vamp on the first two chords” this we understand.
If you have read to the end and pretty much understood what I was talking about, and have 8 to ten tunes you are confident leading and they generally fit into the “jazz standard” category, then you may be ready to guest with us.