Okay, so in the interest of furthering my playing, there was an article in the local paper last fall about a local Bluegrass jam that meets on the first and third Thursday of every month from May through November. Now I would only be available from the end of June through the first of September because of church choir practice every Thursday during the school year, but it sounded interesting. They listed in the article some of the songs the jam group played, so I plan to learn those on both guitar and mandolin, but I have some other questions: How should I dress? I am guessing casual, but??? And I'm guessing I should kind of hang at the back and just try to fit in until I "know the ropes," so to speak. Any other suggestions from those who have done this? I have never really played Bluegrass, so this should be interesting..... I'm hoping it is relaxed and fun, rather than people trying to "one-up" and impress others.
Can't really help with the questions. But this sounds like really good fun, so get on down there, have a great time, meet some nice new people that have the same interests as you, learn some new stuff, then come and tell us all just how much you enjoy it, and remember if you enjoy it, you will learn new stuff very quickly. 😀
I did a similar thing with a semi-local Meetup group a few years ago. That average age was probably 15-20 years older than me. While I had heard some of the songs, there were many that predated me. I only went every few months until I stopped going. The leader stepped down and it wasn't the same afterward. But it was fun while it lasted!
ladyssolo, It sounds like it should be fun to be a part of that jam session. I think that is the key. It should be fun. Not to worry about whether or not you are of the same caliber as the others. I see these things as times to have fun and maybe learn some stuff from better guitar players than I am.
I had an experience several years ago that I will remember all my life. My wife and I made a trip to North Carolina from Texas to visit a good friend and former Pastoral Intern of mine, who by then had been ordained and was serving a congregation in North Carolina. He was responsible for getting me into guitar playing at the almost obsessive hobby level that I enjoy today. He was and remains far better than I, but he likes to teach me and watch me progress. We play together and have a great time.
One night he took me out to a friend's trailer house (I don't know what the politically correct term is these days). It was way out in the country, truly in a "holler." It was a nice, welcoming, comfortable home. In that little home, there were about 7 guys and one woman with guitars. All in the living room with 4 or five spouses/s.o's watching. There were several Martins (I got to briefly strum an old D-45 - sweet) and a few Gibsons, Yamahas, old Harmony's, etc. One lady played the piano. We had a jam session using some very old hymn books (with shape notes, no less). Some of the songs I knew. Many I heard for the first time that night. We jammed for hours. I was on the outside and was trying to keep up. Trying to make chord changes by ear - no tabs of course. I had the greatest time. And learned a lot of stuff from those guys. The best part of it was that after I left, I knew I could at least hang with the big boys and the good players. Gave me confidence to go on and progress in my playing. If you have half the time I had on that one occasion, you will be richly blessed by having participated.
ladyssolo, I've been part of music circles now and again, and every circle seems to have its own set of rules -- which you should pick up quickly just by watching and paying attention. Go for it -- and hopefully it'll be a supportive, energetic, and fun atmosphere!
Current acoustic guitars: --Eastman E10D, 2018 (solid Adi spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides) --Eastman E8D, 2019 (solid Sitka spruce top, solid Rosewood back and sides) --Guild GAD F212 12-string, 2011 (solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany b&s) --Guild OM-140ce, 2018 (solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides
ladyssolo , expect the worst, hope for the best. lol. But seriously, you've got the right attitude and plan for it.
I would just add that along with knowing the songs they're going to play, make sure you're up on knowing the "1, 4, 5s" etc of each key. When jamming, people tend to ad-lib. You'll either have to know the "rhythm" of the progressions they're playing (which will be easy to figure out of you know your 1, 4, 5s etc) or you can ask them to call the numbers out or at least call out what progression they're gong to play around with.
Personally, I don't do well at jams unless I know a lot about the songs they're going to be playing and if they ad-lib, I only do well in a few keys cuz I don't have them all memorized/learned yet. lol.
But, having said that, all jams are different. Some are very easy, some are very difficult cuz they're for the more advanced. So even if you're first taste does not go well, do not let that sour you on jams cuz again, they're all very different and dependent on who's leading them.
Good luck and I hope you have tons of fun!!
===================================== One Alvarez in the hand is worth two Taylors and a Martin in the guitar store!
I've never been to a BG jam an I've only been playing for about a year, but I've been going to the acoustic jams here. I have met the nicest, most encouraging players. Every single one of them can play circles around me and they were all so happy to see me come back. We sit in a circle and I just follow along, when I get lost, I stop for a few seconds.
I just started going to a singing coach because I want to be able to lead some songs. This has been a completely excellent experience for me. I say go for it. It will be the best thing you can do for your playing.
Post by seagullplayer on Feb 22, 2018 5:51:24 GMT -5
You'll meet some of the nicest folks and some of the most talented players in bluegrass.
I'm sure they will be thrilled to have ya.
I have been around a couple of these, but never played much. There was one at our local Wal-mart several years ago. It went on for a few months. It was fun to watch and everyone was very supportive of one another.
There is a big one every Thursday night at a restaurant not too far from us. It is not just blue grass music but all acoustic. I have never gone to it but know lots of locals that do. It is not uncommon for them to have 50 or 60 players show up. And three times that watching. The venue now has a stage built outside for nice weather and even hosts local groups to play on weekends.
Several years ago there was a small pizza place that some friends of ours had. There where a few of us that would meet on Friday nights and play a little together. It was never anything formal, but great fun. They offered to buy our supper, but we never let them. The place was starting to take off, then they had a fire and shut down.
You won't play with strangers but once, cause they won't be strangers after that.
Epiphone Masterbilt AJ45-ME Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500ME NS Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Seagull M6 Spruce Gibson J40 (1972 era) Yamaha 365S (1980 ish) Taylor 110, 2004 Martin DC-160GTE
I can guarantee you will not make a fool of your self, you will wear all the right clothing, You may feel a little unsure for the first two minutes, and at the end of the session you will be really glad that you went, you will have made a few new friends, and can't wait for the next play date. Have a little play with the new book and music, but know one their will expect you to be a first class player, and would be very surprised if you weren't better than more than a few. So look forward to the day and enjoy. 😀
I'm working hard on learning bluegrass and old-time hymns that the article mentions (plus some others) along with still working on where my fingers are without actually looking at them. All this work will likely improve my playing on its own, before I get to the jam LOL!!