Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Day 45b - Feeling Groovy
This is that special bonus video edition I was telling you about...you were paying attention, weren't you?!
Anyway, if you have ten minutes of your life to spare (which you're never going to get back), I'm still not sure I'd advise you to click on the video above...
As mentioned in an earlier post, last night was our Inaugural Funkfest Jam Session, or IFJS. That's so ridiculous I might actually consider it as a working name, at least...then again, no, no I won't.
So only 2 of the 3 planned attendee's showed up...hmm a two piece rock band...Black Keys...White Stripes...any other shades of two out there? Nope, it never really works for me.
Fortunately, Jool's electronic drum kit brain has a whole load of backing tracks you can play along to. The tracks have no drums, and consist of mainly bass and keyboards. This enabled Jools to play drums and me to play guitar, and it was more or less a whole band...Rock On!!
As we hadn't played together in over ten years, as far as we could remember, and I haven't even picked up my guitar since my birthday, it was going to be interesting to discover how out of shape we were, musically.
So we put this little groove on, which is just 1 chord, never changes, and played along for a while. Playing along to a fixed rhythm and chord pattern is sometimes known as "vamping", and is great for developing your improvisational skills. You can allow the piece time to evolve, try to get into the groove, and see how well your hands work and how much you can remember.
What I found was that whilst my hands work pretty well (thanks to climbing), I can't remember many riffs or phrases.
A helpful analogy is that it's like I had been fluent in French a long time ago, but hadn't spoken it for some years...and on trying to speak again, I find I still have the perfect accent, but I can't remember many words.
So we grooved for ten minutes or so. It took a while to get going, and got a bit repetitive at times, but at other times it was interesting, dynamic and fluid. We have all the wrong gear, and we're short of players...conditions were all wrong - cold, bright, late on a Winter's eve...we're rusty as anything and had no idea where we were going...
But in spite of all that, it was great fun and I think it has some potential...though I can't tell you that a 10 minute groove with little structure and no harmonic variation is particularly entertaining for a listener (you have been warned!)...
We also played a few other grungy, groovy things without the backing tracks, and they were great, but for the lack of bass.
Apart from when I played bass...then we were short of guitars...and short of singers, as I discovered that playing bass and singing at the same time is hard!!
Also, singing when you can't hear yourself because your p.a. is somewhat Heath Robinson, that's not easy, either...
And when you have no idea of either the words or the tune (as when we played thickfreakness, a track I barely know and Jools didn't know at all, after watching only the first minute of it on youtube)...well you just have to make some shit up.
Honestly, that track was so raw and dirty, it was great! :-D
I'm sure there'll be more to come on this little project...
I won't force you to listen to it...