Starting a weekly jam session, please give me some tips.

Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
9 years ago
170 posts

Have a blast! Sounds like you are already.Grin.gif

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Our band name is.............. narrowed down to 2. HAHAHAHA. You thought I was going to have it, but no our vote was tied. So we'll have a final vote next week with the winner. Our choices are Blackbird Courting and Pickers Local 151. One of those is our name! Grin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gif Such fun tonight. We've started to sing one a'capella (no idea how to spell that) song that's Irish that is so cool. We plan to sing that while our fiddler is retuning between songs. She only has to retune one time, so we'll get it worked in somewhere in our set. Wish I would have done this years ago. SOOOO FUN!

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts
I think Old Joe Clark would be a great name for a band. Either that or Free Beer.


--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

UPDATE - At tonight's practice we are voting on a band name!! We've also picked up another upright bass player and this time, he can practice with us on our regular nights. YIPPIEEEE. I'll update once we pick our cool name!!Grin.gifGrin.gif

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Thanks Dana, it was!

Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
9 years ago
170 posts

Mandy that looks like loads of fun!

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Here's a partial vid of my lead song. You got to see the whole band in this one.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

307_forums.jpg

This is 4 out of 6 of us. There is another banjo player and another guitar standing to the right. The fiddler's husband took the shotGrin.gif

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

We had our very first LIVE PERFORMANCE last night as a groupGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gif

I had a BBQ and invited everyone to bring their families and invited some neighbors over too! After we chowed down on good ole hotdogs and hamburgers and pot luck dinner, we ROCKED the HOUSE! Hahah. It was so much fun that I forgot to even get out my camera and get some pics or recordings. We had kids running all over the house too, so their was stuff going on everywhere. For my daughter (only child) it was awesome to have a bunch of kids her age to run around the house with. Their ages were 4,5,6,7, 11,14,and 17. Hopefully somebody will send me some pics and vids I can share. I did see a bunch of cameras out, so I know it got recorded somewhere. Grin.gif

Fun times, and I'm officially over my first-time jitters of singing in front of a group of people. I've got to learn to project my voice though (so does our other girl, the fiddler). We were both told that our voices were really nice but not loud enough. Anyone with advice for me, I'm all ears.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Yeah Dusty, the time has really flown by for me.

Christine, that will be so much fun ya'll playing together. Grin.gif

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts

Mandy, it's great to see how quickly this who thing has come together. It seems like just yesterday you were worried about how to tell someone he was out of tune.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Planning a big BBQ next Friday night for our group. Everyone will bring their families and after we eat we'll give everybody a show!! This will be my first real live audience beyond just our parents. Can't wait. Good food, good company, and good music.

We are forming a band. I know it's been quick, but we've really come together as a group. Hopefully this week I'll get a video of the whole band together instead of just a few of us. Grin.gifGrin.gif

FUN CITY ! Oh and anyone who is near the Orlando area and wants to pop in and eat and listen to music come on! Just be sure to bring a side dish that will feed 20 people.Grin.gif

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Guess i was typing while you responded, LOL

Yeah the time has flown and it's been such a great time! I really wish everyone would either get to a local jam or start one of their own, because it really is a total BLAST.

Strumelia said:

Wow, the time has flown- seems like just last month you were thinking of starting up a jam, Mandy!

Great that it's turning out to be such fun for you guys. Smile.gif

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Just wanted to add that it's kind of funny now looking back at the first few posts of my thread here. I was all nervous and it's been so great and everything just seems to have fallen into place. One of the guys who showed up that first time and was way out of tune with everyone else never came back (though i invited him several times), we play a wide variety of tunes and only a couple are even what i would call old-timey, everyone is very interested in doing open-mics, and all of us seem to click and are friendly and we give and receive each others help on stuff.

I think one big factor in all this was that I placed the ad saying it was a folk/bluegrass/old-time jam. And I also told each person coming to bring at least 2 songs that they would like to play. So we've got a bunch of different influences that came in from that and no one had ever really even been to any bluegrass or old-time jams. So there were no ground rules, which suits me tremendously. The only OT jamming experiences I'd had previously were less than fun for me and I was not welcomed, and at one I was even ridiculed. Nothing against OT jams, but this just suits me better I guess.

Oh yeah forgot to add this - we have 3 guitars, one also plays mando, 2 banjo's, and a fiddle! Our upright bass had to drop out because his work schedule sucks, but we are a well rounded little group I think.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 years ago
1,980 posts

Wow, the time has flown- seems like just last month you were thinking of starting up a jam, Mandy!

Great that it's turning out to be such fun for you guys.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Thanks Beth and Dana! We are having fun. Our little group has grown to 6 consistently now, but it seems every time i get out the camera most have already left. We are having a great time, wish I would have done it years ago.

We are coming up with a band name now (because all 6 of us want to start doing open mics), and going to have a huge Bar-B-Q in a few weeks so that friends and family can see what we've been up to the last few months. Fun stuffGrin.gifGrin.gifGrin.gif

BethH
BethH
@beth-hansen
9 years ago
41 posts

That was great! You really all sounded good, and it looks like a lot of fun! I have friends who are much better players than I, and they've started inviting me to their jams. Twice a year I have a music party which is more of a folk circle with some jamming. Non musicians come as well to listen and generally have great conversations in the other rooms of the house. I started the parties when I first got my Autoharp so I would learn to play in front of people from the beginning. It's a really great time and always a surprise because new people are coming all the time. This is my favorite way to enjoy music, as goth a picker (musician) and a grinner (listener).

Looks like you're on the way to lots of really great times! Now I have to go see if I can learn Wagon Wheel...

Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
9 years ago
170 posts

That sounded great, kids and all! Looked like so much fun. Wish I could have been there.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

After our session a few of us left hanging out recorded this. You can definitely hear the kids playing in the background. Mistakes and all, I think it turned out pretty good.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Our jam sessions are going great! We've now got 2 banjo's, 3 (4 if I pick mine up) guitars, a bass, mando, and a fiddle will show up within the next few weeks. Having a blast and anyone who is considering starting their own jam session should really just take the plunge and do it.

I just put up an ad in Craigs asking for people to show interest, then once they told me a bit about themselves in that first post, I gave them the address. There were of course a bunch of people who said they would come but never did, but in the almost 2 months now that I've been doing it, I've had one guy come every single time, and at the minimum I've had 2 other players besides myself and my husband. So it's always a good time.

There are 4 of us who have been together enough now that we are talking about doing an open mic in the next few months. So we've got a list of all our tunes we play (around 15 or so) that we work on each time we meet. We are honing the singing parts and arrangements. It's a fun time.Grin.gif

The best part about it is there are no set rules. We play whatever songs we want ( I just told each person to bring a few they wanted to play in the Folk/Old-time/Bluegrass genre). We've got contemporary Irish tunes, 4 or 5 OT tunes, a couple of gospel standards, some old country, and a couple new songs in the works. We've got a songwriter in the group who has written a couple that we also play.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

75 songs, HOLY COW! No way. That's really great that the parks and rec would do that. Wonderful idea. Grin.gif

Tom McDonald
Tom McDonald
@tom-mcdonald
9 years ago
26 posts

This looks like fun. My town just started an acoustic jam through the parks and rec dept. That might be another avenue for finding players. I've missed the first couple of sessions due to work, but I'll make the next one. The organizer emailed chords and lyrics to a 75 song playlist, with quite a bit of variety.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Here's an after vid from last weeks session (others had already left). Michael stayed and played this with us (Jon and I) so I grabbed the camera. Just learning this song so I know I screwed up on the instrumental, but man it's fun!!

Mary Z. Cox
Mary Z. Cox
@mary-z-cox
9 years ago
60 posts

Here's a fun jam session :) And you can even hear the dulcimers :)

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

HAHAHAHA, that is great! You are right. Then I'd never have to say anything.

Jam went AWESOME tonight. Had a second banjo show up. We played a bunch of tunes, sang, and had a great time. Gonna make it a regular Thursday night thing. Grin.gif

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 years ago
1,836 posts

Mandy -- you need the tee shirt that reads Tune It, Or Die!

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

thanks! The mando player (that was out of tune) called off for this week so I don't have to worry about that this time. I asked another player about it via email and he noticed it also (so at least there is another person to help me deal with it next time). LOL

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts

Good luck, Mandy. Keep us posted about how it goes and how you deal with the out-of-tune mandolin.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Tonight is our second meeting! I'll have 2 new showing up, can't wait.

Dana R. McCall
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
9 years ago
170 posts

This is very good advice! Wait before you invite. Jam with them a while first.

Strumelia said:

I have a bit of advice if you want it- start just by having a weekly or monthly jam. Get to know the people who come and see what they do. I'm imagining you'd be welcoming most folks with acoustic instruments, right? Well, unless you are actually wanting to form a band that contains everyone who comes to the jam (and maybe you DO want that), I suggest you hold off talking about forming a band to the general jam group... You may find that you don't blend well musically (or personally) with everyone who comes to the jam, and it's far easier, with less bruised egos, to invite a few people later on privately in terms of forming a band rather than to tell the whole jam group from the start that you are wanting to form a band. I guess a lot also depends on how big or small you want your band to be. Smile.gif

Good luck and have fun!

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Dusty - I'm guessing here but I think the banjo player coming to the next jam will probably already know it and be fast at it, LOL. He's been playing clawhammer for a long time and it's a pretty standard tune I'm guessing. I just learned whatever I wanted and never really tried to learn the standards or anything. I'll see how it goes next time. For now I think what I'll do is just try and get the chords down so I can do a little backup version of it while others play the melody notes. I'm really wanting to learn how to back (since all I pretty much do ever is play the melody on stuff). I really need to work on transitioning into playing a backup part and a lead part. Call it OT or not, I don't really care what it's called but it's how I would like to play.

We sort of did that in our session. I'd just play a quieter version of the melody while someone took a lead, but I'd like to switch from the melody back and forth to backing. I'm only able to really accomplish this on one song so far on my banjo. Red-haired boy, which I worked on for a solid month. The longest I've ever worked on any song really. Maybe I'll get RHB in the rotation! Haha.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts

Mandy, I play "Blackberry Blossom" with a few friends. One is a relative newbie on the banjo and can't play it as fast as the fiddle, mandolin, or me on the guitar (not that I'm a speed demon or anything). But we came up with a way to play the tune. We begin singing the words that Michelle Shocked wrote for the tune, which requires a slower pace. The banjo player takes her turn at that speed, and then when she's done we speed it up for the other instruments. You guys might consider a change in tempo like that as a way to let everyone get their chance.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Jennifer - It went great!! We talked a bit, played some tunes, and created a list of things to work on for next time. I was happy with it. Thank you for asking.

Everyone - funny, i sure never thought tuning would be a problem. kind of a no brainer to me and i tune often because nothing is good about that cringe my ears feel when a string or two are off. yeah i guess i'll have to use one of the good suggestions here for next time. maybe once everyone is there i'll just say - let's take a few minutes and get all our instruments in tune before we start. Hopefully that will get the message across to him, and it wouldn't hurt for everyone just to double check.

I'm excited to say that I now have another banjo player who wants to come! So that will be 5 for next time if everyone can make it.

I played my dulcimer for a few tunes tooGrin.gif .

I have a LOT of work to do though also. I realized I like to play slow basically. Haha. Slow is easier I guess for me anyway. I had a heck of a time keeping up on blackberry blossum. I am familiar with the tune but have never learned it. We wrote down the chord changes so me and one other guy who didn't know it could both read it. Geesh I could not even come close to keeping up with that. Maybe I shoulda said - can we do this a little slower. Haha. Anyway it was a great time and I can't wait for next time.

I'm a jammer now baby!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 years ago
1,980 posts

I'll add a bit to Dusty's good advice- I usually just say that 'we all seem to be out of tune with each other', and I suggest we all tune to the same tuner to get us all 'in synch together'. That way nobody gets offended at all. Oy! the things we do! lol




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts

That's great that you got things started, Mandy. Good job and congratulations!

Some folks are great musicians but less than discerning when it comes to tuning. When you start to play, you might simply stop and suggest that "someone" seems out of tune. Then pull out an electric tuner and ask everyone to double check. That way you are not pointing the finger directly at him but getting the point across that being in tune is important.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
9 years ago
421 posts

How about, "Wow, let me check my tuning. Anyone else need to borrow a tuner?"

phil
@phil
9 years ago
131 posts

I sure there are better ways of telling a person But I can be pretty blunt at times. I am kind about it. He may be good with the Guitar but sounds like he still has a lot to learn on the mando.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Yippie! Just had my first jam at my house. It was fun. Had 2 show up playing mando and guitar. One couldn't make it but says he will next time with a dobro and harmonica.

We messed around and did a few tunes each where everyone followed (not me very well, but eh I'm a work in progress HAHA). We sang and it was pretty cool except I'm pretty timid and quiet I guess with singing. I'm still trying to gain confidence singing.

We did a few OT tunes, some newer folk/contemporary not sure what to call it. I lead Wagon wheel and Swept away. They liked those! One guy did a version of Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly that I MUST LEARN (it was good).

I made a list of 2 songs from each of us to work on for next time so hopefully we'll be a little more ready ( i say we, but of course mean me!!!! ) Grin.gif

I think we all had fun and can make the next meeting, so I'm psyched about it. Question though-

What if one person is really out of tune? I mean like pretty bad. I'm no great player or anything but this mando was seriously out of tune and the guy is like a pro guitar player, so I wasn't sure how to approach the subject. He plays blues guitar like nobody's business but dang that mando was BAD out of tune. Not sure how to handle this because here I am a basic newb at jamming and didn't know what to say. The other guy even said something (can't remember exactly what) but the dude messed with it for a minute and it didn't sound any better. I can't even believe I'm dishing on a guy who is really friggin good (even on mando his runs were amazing) but the dang thing was out of tune!!!! GGRRRR.

Anyway, I'm excited about next time and have a list of songs to work on! WOOTGrin.gif

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,457 posts

Mandy, you've gotten some great advice so far. Let me underline a few of them.

First, I would forget for the moment about a band. Don't even mention it. Just wait and see and if you find some musicians with whom you click, then you can get together with them. I know of one or two bluegrass bands in the San Francisco area that started asthe core group of a monthly jam and then split off to do their own thing.

You are correct that in bluegrass jams the center of the jam is people taking turns soloing. A premium is also put on speed. You really have to have your chops down to improvise in a bluegrass jam.

But in Old Timey jams no one solos per se. People play the song over and over again. One standard assumption is that to join a bluegrass jam you have to learn the songs beforehand, but you can actually learn them at an Old Timey jam, where the songs are generally played at a relaxed speed, formal solos are frowned upon, and everyone plays either backup or just plays the melody.

At most jams there is either a single leader who chooses the songs and sets the tempo, or people go around in more or less of a circle playing that role. Strumelia is probably right that it is often a fiddle player, but that is not always the case. I know Peter Tommerup leads an Old Timey jam as well as an Irish jam and--if I am not mistaken--a French music jam. He does so playing hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer. I've even been to a jam where a singer was the leader. He just new tons of lyrics (like 2/3of Rise Up Singing) and strummed chords on the guitar. He would begin and the rest of us accompanied him. Occasinally he would leave a verse open for a musical interlude and one or two brave souls would attempt a solo, but the stress was clearly on accompanying the vocalist.

Since you don't know what dynamic the jam will take, I would suggest you start to developa repertoir of standard tunes in the standard keys. Then you can get things started by suggesting a tune or two which you know well and which others probably know as well.Maybe you'll get lucky and some other folks will show up with their own repertoir, or maybe someone will show up who's an obvious jam leader and can point you all toward musical paradise.

Good luck. I hope it works out and you both geta regular jam going and also find some kindred musical spirits with whom you might start a band.

P.S. Strumelia's warning about many bluegrass tunes being under copyright is important to remember. But it will only be an issue if you record yourselves and post that recording somewhere, or if the jam is held in a commercial venue like a pub. It you are just friends getting together to play, you can play whatever you want. But if there is an audience, then owner of the venue will be responsible for copyright issues. Usually pub and restaurant owners who often have live music pay regular annual dues to ASCAP to cover themselves.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

Ok this is great. Gives me a better idea of what each really is. It seems there is a huge variety in all this stuff that I really didn't know about. I'm more of the "hey let's get together with a bunch of acoustic instruments and play" sort of thing. I like both the old and the new. I'm not worried about playing any copyrighted songs at all though (it's my front porch).

I wasn't sure how to word the craigs listing really, so I titled it Folk/Bluegrass/Old-time acoustic jam. So it looks like I did that pretty good I'm thinking since I kind of tried to hit everything.

I don't know if I'd be down for a fiddler ruling the whole show though, LOL. I would want it to sort of go around and everyone pick something they would like to play. I guess more of a folk circle thing like you said.

I'm going to keep running the ad and try and get more people as time goes on too. The response has been pretty small so far. LOL.

thanks, anyone with any more tips about how I should do this please let me know.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 years ago
1,980 posts

Can someone tell me how regular old-time (not necessarily just dulcimer groups) jams are done? It's my understanding that an old-time jam would basically be everyone playing the notes together with no breaks or leads. Is this correct? The ones I've been to (only a handful) weren't really OT per se, more bluegrass I guess. Everyone would play together to begin with and then each person would take a lead or break until it went around the room.

Mandy, I've played almost exclusively in old-time sessions for over 14 years, my husband is a wonderful old-time fiddler. But I've also dabbled in bluegrass, folk, and Irish sessions now and then (not that I'm good at playing in those styles though, I'm not...lol). There are many kinds of jam sessions: general folk music, bluegrass, old-time, Irish trad, Cajun, etc etc. I'd have to label most dulcimer groups as 'folk genre' since they play such a wide variety of both trad and modern material.

Many musicians who just play for fun (and particularly those who would most likely be interested in open jams) play tunes and songs that overlap more than one of these genres. For instance, bluegrass players play a lot of old-time songs but they play them in modern bluegrass styles...and many folk singer types will sing bluegrass songs, or vice versa. What I'm trying to say is that maybe you are limiting the response you get if you label your jam specifically as an 'old-time' session. An old-time session would not normally be playing modern folk songs or playing/singing songs in bluegrass style.

In a typical old-time session , it's most often the fiddler who leads and decides the tunes based on their repertoire, and the other instruments find and fill in their complimentary roles around that...not necessarily all playing melody. The fiddler usually leads the tunes. Nobody takes breaks or solos, and it's considered impolite to drown out the fiddler. Sometimes people sing out verses to familiar tunes, but it does tend to be mostly instrumental and fiddle-tune based. Sometimes there is singing of old-time songs, as in Carter family repertoire, but not done in bluegrass style.

In a folk 'song circle' , people take turns playing/singing their own song of choice and they can either welcome others to play along as a jam, or in some instances it's a true 'song circle' in that the person does their song alone while others listen, and then it's the next person's turn. In a regular folk 'jam' you can go around with folks picking their own songs and starting them but everyone customarily playing along. Singer-songwriters who play guitar tend to gravitate towards folk jams, since 'folk music' includes both traditional and modern material of all kinds.

In a bluegrass jam , there is a huge repertoire of bluegrass (post 1935) material along with its customary etiquette such as breaks and leads. Some bluegrass songs are relatively modern (just be aware that those songs are likely copyrighted). There is a lot of singing, and not so many all-instrumental tunes like one sees in old-time sessions. Other bluegrass songs have been adapted from old-time repertoire, tunes and ballads, but are played in bluegrass style. But bluegrass and old-time are most definitely not the same even though they share many of the same tunes and ballads...they don't play or sound the same, and it's considered clueless or even inconsiderate to play in bluegrass style when joining in on an old-time session. The rhythm, timing, harmonies, chords, even sometimes the keys are distinct between the two.

All this is not to say you can't have a super fun jam by mixing up folk, bluegrass, old-time, gospel, blues, whatever- all together! You certainly can!- throw it all in a pot and see what cooks up. But my point is that calling it 'an old-time jam' or a 'bluegrass jam' or a 'folk jam' implies a certain and well defined genre and repertoire, and that will definitely limit the people who respond to your ads. My suggestion, if you don't want to focus that specifically on one music genre at first, is to simply call it an acoustic music jam. That will bring all kinds of players and you'll get a varied pool of people and styles. You can always draw people from that pool into a more focused session later on. Hope this helps!




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

I asked for the advice, so yes I want it. That was sort of my plan as far as just starting a regular jam session first. I just also mentioned the possibility of forming a band in case someone was already in a band or knew of a band. There really seems to be no old-time scene here other than bands who come around from elsewhere and even those seem really rare. Unless I'm looking in the wrong places that is. The people coming didn't seem to receive what I said as anything requiring them to be in a band or anything like that and that was not my aim.

I've been looking around online and search craigs regularly in the musicians section, and it's just normally all either open mic announcements seeking bands to play, current bands looking for specific instruments or vocalists (all electric stuff), or agencies selling recording time-slots in Orlando. The people who have responded to me say that there's not much going on here in the old-time stuff.

Can someone tell me how regular old-time (not necessarily just dulcimer groups) jams are done? It's my understanding that an old-time jam would basically be everyone playing the notes together with no breaks or leads. Is this correct? The ones I've been to (only a handful) weren't really OT per se, more bluegrass I guess. Everyone would play together to begin with and then each person would take a lead or break until it went around the room.

I've been trying to work on my backing skills on banjo and dulcimer (banjo backing seems harder to me for some reason). Anyway, any tips on how to run these sessions would be appreciated. I've also told them that if any of them have suggestions or ideas to feel free to speak up and we'll go from there.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 years ago
1,836 posts

Third for Lisa's advice. Start with an all acoustic instrument jam, and over time see how many others you really connect with an how they might meld in terms of forming a band.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 years ago
1,980 posts

I have a bit of advice if you want it- start just by having a weekly or monthly jam. Get to know the people who come and see what they do. I'm imagining you'd be welcoming most folks with acoustic instruments, right? Well, unless you are actually wanting to form a band that contains everyone who comes to the jam (and maybe you DO want that), I suggest you hold off talking about forming a band to the general jam group... You may find that you don't blend well musically (or personally) with everyone who comes to the jam, and it's far easier, with less bruised egos, to invite a few people later on privately in terms of forming a band rather than to tell the whole jam group from the start that you are wanting to form a band. I guess a lot also depends on how big or small you want your band to be.

Good luck and have fun!




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Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
9 years ago
140 posts

I've never really jammed much or played in front of groups of people. I've played at parks a couple times but never more than two or three people at a time would walk by where I was. I made a goal this year to get involved in something, so I decided that it's time I found a good jam and started thinking about getting involved in a string band also. There are none that I can find close to me without a long drive.

So I placed an ad in craigslist asking for people who were interested in jamming and possibly forming a band together. I've (so far) got 3 people scheduled to come over this Sunday evening to play!!!! I'm thrilled and a little nervous at the same time. Looks like I'll be the only one with a banjo or a dulcimer. We'll have guitars, mandolin's, and harmonicas too. I can't wait! I'm actually hoping some of us will mesh well together and want to go further with it and form a band to play at small local things.

Anyone with tips or ideas for small sessions like this I'd appreciate the advice.


updated by @mandy: 03/18/21 03:32:55PM