Thread: chordshout
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Old 12-25-2005, 09:57 PM   #12
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 13
Default chordshout

I'm a fairly new addict to Ninjam, but I want to help others understand how to jam with Ninjam.

I just now posted a lengthy reply about the possiblity of calling chords. Now I have some ideas on how to get around the problem of not being able to play in real time.

Like I was saying Ninjam is cool, because it forces you to be creative in other ways than just knowing the chord changes, or how the tune goes. I also think it is developing a new kind of player, or new form of music. Let me call it Ninjazz :-)
You become a Ninjazz player by learning how Ninjam works, and learning how to be creative in the Ninjam environment.

So far I've mainly played with Alternative, and Metal type players. This is amazing, because normally I would never play with those style of players, but I could feel at home playing with them, because all I had to do was get into the groove that they were playing. I didn't have to worry that I didn't have the same CD collection as they do, and that I wouldn't get the chord changes down. I also didn't have to worrry about excessive volume levels! I happen to like some of metal, and some alternative, but I'm mainly a prog. rock/r&b/fusion type player. I just happen to listen to that kind of music, it has nothing to do with my ability as a player, although I hope it comes through.
After ahile of playing a heavily distorted patch on my keyboard, I switched to a cleaner, but still electronic rhodes piano patch, and tried to play in a jazz style. I had myself conviced that it was working pretty good. I wish I had recorded it!

I've only jammed a couple of times. When I was playing I was wondering about how to break the monotony of playing the same chord over and over. I found that everything can't be perfect. Eventually things have to get crazy for awhile until the rest of the players hear the change that you made.

Here are some of the things I tried. Keep in mind that it's not a perfect transition, but if you have players with a good ear, and some experience with Ninjam, it will work more smoothly.
I've learned much of this from hearing other players, if you understand how Ninjam works, you can become a pretty good Ninjam player.

We were playing to a C chord. I wanted to change to another key, or change the chords. So I started playing C with a root of G, then playing notes that would fit a G chord. After awhile I could hear the guitarist following my "hint" that I wanted this to go in that direction. Before long we all were playing to a G chord. Once eveyone gets that, we can then play around, and transition back to a C eventually. If you are playig a solo, you can play a solo that would work with either chord, so that if the chord changed to a C from G suddenly, your playing sounds right. But you can't expect everyone to play right on top of your chord, because other people are still hearing what you were just playing when they just recorded. See my other post.

What else can we do to keep it fresh?
Change the rhythm. Just because we have to keep the chords simple doesn't mean the beat can't change, or the way you play the chord cant change.

Play a chord pattern that fits one bar. This is really a cool thing to do. I'm not that good at it, but I've heard samples of that kind of playing. You can keep changing these chord patterns as long as whatever you played in previous bars would go with what you are playing now.

Alternate between rhythm, and lead. Don't just play lead the whole time, play rhythm, and let someone else play lead.
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