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Thread: What are 10 songs absolutely every guitar player should know to jam?

  1. #1
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    What are 10 songs absolutely every guitar player should know to jam?

    So you see some people jamming kinda like at Experience PRS where there is a sign in sheet and people grab a guitar and go. What are the first 10 songs that everybody on stage probably already knows. I know this may vary from style to style but I am interested the standards. When I was in high school it was always stuff like Iron Man, Paranoid, Rock n Roll by Led Zeppelin. Let's hear what they are I want to make sure I know them.

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    La Grange ZZ Top
    Going Down Jeff Beck

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    Member dmorton67's Avatar
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    sweet home chicago
    25 or 6 to 4
    Sometimes in life you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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  4. #4
    You're kidding, right?

    There are no rules at a jam!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

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    I was severely impressed Herr Squid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    You're kidding, right?

    There are no rules at a jam!
    Yeah, but there are those of us who are terrible at the jamming thing! I can do a ham-fisted 12-bar blooz thang, but 1.) I 'm not very good at it, and 2.) I get bored with it real fast. Then I fall back to the songs that I love, which are almost all progressive-ish things that I couldn't expect a rhythm section to know (could I...?).

    That's what keeps me off stage at those things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    You're kidding, right?

    There are no rules at a jam!
    It's more etiquette than rules but unless you are in the some kind free form Jazz fusion, then playing in tune, playing in key, playing in time and playing to the limit of the assigned number of bars so as to hog the jam for 20 minutes of noodling boring the hell out of the other musicians then no, there is no rules at a jam.

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    Good question! I guess it depends on the age and musical preferences of the folks you're jamming with. If you're playing with old f**ts like me, you can't go wrong with the ol' 12-bar, either a shuffle like Sweet Home Chicago or something like Johnny B. Goode. A basic repeating vamp like Evil Ways or Sweet Home Alabama can be fun, and the open-ended structure means that solos can be as long or short as you like. (I'm assuming we're talking about a more rock or blues-oriented jam--jazz players have their own set of standards, in more ways than one.) Something like Miles Davis' So What or All Blues can be cool for a jazz jam--if you've got some knowledgeable jazz players, something with a bunch of changes like All The Things You Are will separate the sheep from the goats, as it were, but anyone who's not familiar with the tune will get lost in a hurry. For country players, maybe Act Naturally or Working Man Blues (notice the blues commonality here?)

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    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    You're kidding, right?

    There are no rules at a jam!
    I guess maybe I should rephrase this. I have jammed blues with people and sat in on just jams making things up as I go. What I am asking is what are the ten songs? I mean if you are dropped right now into a stadium with a bass player, drummer and vocalist and you had 10 minutes to come up with 10 songs you all know or could wing, what are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    You're kidding, right?

    There are no rules at a jam!
    +1 although a comfortable ease with the basics of the standard blues (12 and 8 bar) rock (I-IV-V) that most songs rely on will get you into the fray and as far as the progressive stuff goes....just let the kid out

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    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Here's a list of rock and blues standards that cover the gamut and sorta fit your rephrased question. The last one is the one song I want to play when I get dropped into an ARENA with a bass player and drummer and want to feel like a rock star. I love playing this song!

    Sweet Home Chicago
    Crossroads
    Hey Joe
    Satisfaction
    Badge
    Fortunate Son
    All Along The Watchtower
    Johnny B. Goode
    Whole Lotta Love

    Zingy Stardust!!!!!

  11. #11
    Auth. PRS Dealer TGSCAN's Avatar
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    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE

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    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    All in my BRAIN!

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    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGSCAN View Post
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    PURPLE HAZE
    +100

  14. #14
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfine View Post
    you can't go wrong with the ol' 12-bar, either a shuffle like Sweet Home Chicago or something like Johnny B. Goode.
    Shuffles at the bottom of my list when it comes to playing 12-bar tunes at a jam. The 12-bar songs that are easiest to pull off with group of people of varying talent levels that have never played together before tend to fall into the 12/8 slow minor blues realm.

    Red House
    The Thrill is Gone
    As the Years Go Passing By
    I Can't Quit You Babe
    Blue Jean Blues
    Bluest Blues

    The songs listed above are almost guaranteed to put your drummer into a coma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post

    The songs listed above are almost guaranteed to put your drummer into a coma.
    I thought all drummers were inherently comatose

  16. #16
    I should clarify: having jammed with other musicians at gigs, as a sub in friends' bands, and at get togethers since 1965, I can only say that if you're depending on ten songs but can't learn quickly and improvise, you're kind of kidding yourself.

    I'm not fond of noodling endlessly, either. But then, I don't do that.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-23-2013 at 06:26 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  17. #17
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    Thanks to all that listed songs, that's exactly what I was looking for. This was just a thread that I thought up that was good for discussion. I figured Hendrix and zeppelin would be high on the list due to there popularity. I'm not taking the bait schefman, go write another F 150 commercial.

  18. #18
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    This strikes me as a great question. I can't help much because the people I have jammed with tend to prefer playing something they are working on an experimenting with what it can develop into.

    If I was picking songs I'd probably go to BB King, Buddy Guy, Zeppelin, SRV, Hendrix for interesting songs with a fairly regular structure. Clearly a heavy blues bias here. A couple off the top of my head that I think fit that are:
    purple haze
    cross town traffic
    texas flood
    if the house is rockin'
    mary had a little lamb (a la SRV - I love the feel of that song)
    I remember having fun with Black Dog years ago - but haven't heard it in years, so maybe it is too simple to be a good choice

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