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Old 11-05-2017, 04:12 PM   #1
BUB922
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Default Singing/Playing in a Large Group of Guitars

I joined a group of musicians who get together each week and play at a retirement home. There are between 15 and 25 musicians mostly guitar players who sit on the stage or on the floor to sides of the stage and its crowded. Many just play rhythm, but a lot play lead. Each musician has his own chair, microphone, music stand and personal amplifier. They try to sit in a row so nobody is playing behind another musician so their amps aren't blowing out a person in front of them. Each person gets a chance to sing by themselves. They say the title and key and everybody accompanies that singer.At least that was the plan when we started. But, this isn't a band that plays together - they just get there find a place to sit and play. The problem is many have amps that are way too much for the location, and the drummer and bass sit behind us. We always have more than we started with, so we have people sitting behind us and playing their loud amp "through" us in front. Also, when you sing, its so loud and several guys are trying to play riffs and lead at the same time. I cant hear my guitar or my singing very well - but it is fun specially for those watching. How do I deal with this?
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:05 PM   #2
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You have too much of a good thing. The players should recognize that and decide who plays on what tunes. In order to get the ball rolling, you're going to have to be the sacrificial lamb. Pick out a tune that you either don't like or don't play well and say you'll sit this one out and tell them why. That might just get the ball rolling and some of the others will sit out the ones they don't play well or don't like. You'll end up featuring the best and brightest on each song. Well, either that or you'll kill one another.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:35 PM   #3
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Just way too many. How about splitting the group up and some playing every other week? I know a regular jam that works like that with some rotating guitarists a and keyboard players while bass and drums are same guys every time.

Or rotate players on and off the stage during the session. Say 5 at a time which would still be too many. lol

Or split into 2 groups and find another retirement home to play at.

I attend a monthly picking party that is similar and there are often 15 people jamming but it is all acoustic and we sit in a circle. There are fiddle players, banjos, mandolins, a bass and lots of guitars. Whoever calls and leads the song kind of nods at different players to distribute leads. Different situation though as we are all facing each other and there are no amps allowed. There is an audience who are hanging around and singing along.

Last edited by crank; 11-05-2017 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Too many people. I'd talk to the best players and try to form a 3 to 5 person band.
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:43 PM   #5
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Far too many players. Without some sort of order it’s got to be a cluster...
That, however, is just my opinion, YMMV.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:13 PM   #6
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as it has been said To Many Cooks. if it bothers you to be in that group at times Just sit some sessions out see how that feels to you,or rent a marshall dobble and bring that in see how they like it
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:40 PM   #7
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I know a guy in upstate NY that hosts a "brownbag jam" every year. Upward of 60 musicians on stage at once. Mostly guitars and enough accompaniment to hear an actual song. But these guys and ladies have been doing this for a long time and know their place to shine and place to support.
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