Learning to jam
December 14, 2011 1:24 PM Subscribe
Keyboard players: A jam session might be in the cards for me soon. What is the best way for me to pick up a bit of basic skill on a synthesizer/piano?
posted by crapmatic to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My background: I've noodled around with keyboards since I was a kid. I'm good in some areas (chords, sheet music basics) and bad with others (improvisation, key theory, etc). If given a complete set of chords (such as D, G, Em7, etc) I'm pretty good at "faking" a song I'm familiar with, but if someone talks strictly in terms of keys or it's a song I'm not familiar with, I'm spinning tires in the mud.
I may get a chance to play a bit in a jam session with a few other people in a few weeks.. it will probably end up being a lot of standard rock, blues, or guitarsy type stuff. They're not musicians and are not in a band, so I'm not anxious about it, but I'd like to be able to get the most out of it if I bring a keyboard, be able to fit in better as accompaniment with everyone else, and get better at it for my own enjoyment.
So if you were in my shoes, where would you focus your efforts and how would you go about it, especially in the context that we're not going to be playing any classical music or anything really structured. Are practicing scales going to be important, and what other stuff can I work on too? Will I get a lot of mileage out of finding random songs I'm interested in and learning them, or does this tend to be a waste of time as far as building my skills?
One thing that's awesome is there's a ton of how-to videos on YouTube and other stuff across the Internet. It's a whole lot different then the days where I had to get everything out of Hal Leonard books. On the downside, it seems all the popular music tablature I used to see on Usenet is gone; if I search for that stuff all I get is spammy hits and lyrics sites.