Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Go To Jams Now!

  1. #1
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    67

    Default Go To Jams Now!

    I am new to Mando, but been hiding in my house for 30 years playing the guitar. Never played in front of, or with others. Ever.

    ... Until age 51 (Now). I learned C, D, G, on the mando and went looking to jam with other humans ASAP!

    Let me tell you. It is way better than sex, people!. Well... Mostly. Lol!

    Do not do what I did! Get over your fears now. Get out of your own way now! Get out there and jam right now! Do not wait 30ish years to do so!

    No regrets... Yeah, right!
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Froglips For This Useful Post:


  3. #2

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    I'm in the same boat, (though four months in so I'm a little further) frustrated by the jams which have gone on hiatus for the summer.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  4. #3
    Registered User RandyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    I am a huge advocate of jams too. Not only talking to people who are passionate about music but you learn new songs that where not on your radar. You tend to find people who play the same instrument who can give you pointers. But by and far you advance your playing much fast playing with people than with a metronome at home.

    I have been very lucky because there are several jams in my area and every one is a good one and at all different levels. Even the ones with the advanced players have been great. When I started taking breaks I would get brain freeze, loose my timing or the key and be just a general mess. I would apologize but across the board everyone told me not to worry about it, we have all been there. Just keep trying and you will get there. I am still not "there" but I am getting better.

  5. #4
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    In Austin Texas, we seem to have quite a few jams every month. The best place to keep updated is at the website for Austin Friends of Traditional Music ... aftm.us
    There is at least one jam every Sunday and Tuesday. There are Old-time, Cajun, Irish, Bluegrass (of course). For Bluegrass, check the Central Texas Bluegrass Association website... centraltexasbluegrasrs.org. There are even Scandinavian Folk Music and Dance event. If you live in the area or are just visiting, check out our great music scene
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  6. The following members say thank you to Capt. E for this post:


  7. #5
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,968
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    Get over your fears now. Get out of your own way now! Get out there and jam right now! Do not wait 30ish years to do so!!
    Don't wait until your fears are gotten over. I really believe that the day you attend your first jam you will not be the day you no longer fear it. It will be the day you are tired of letting the fear inhibit you.

    Regularly playing with others will add gasoline to the fires of your desires, and will set you on a life long trajectory in music. Not to mention how much better one gets just playing regularly.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  8. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  9. #6
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    2,927

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    This is also the single best piece of advice I can offer. Start playing with others right away. I played violin in orchestra daily from 5th through 12th grades. I was pretty much a play-alone guitar player for about 30 years. When I started mandolin a decade ago I started attending local song circles. In a few years I was better on mando than guitar despite the vastly different time spent on each. I will add that now after playing mando, fiddle and guitar regularly with others for over 10 years all three (and my singing, BTW) have improved quite a bit. Music is and should be a social activity.

  10. The following members say thank you to Mandobart for this post:


  11. #7
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Posts
    3,099

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    If your jams only require that you just follow chords as others play melody or sing, all that is necessary is to memorize ONE 3-string chord shape (movable) and 2 one-four- five chord patterns on the fingerboard to play most songs in ANY key.
    Of course you need to be able to find the starting root note/chord for each song/tune.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  12. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    I am new to Mando, but been hiding in my house for 30 years playing the guitar. Never played in front of, or with others. Ever.

    ... Until age 51 (Now). I learned C, D, G, on the mando and went looking to jam with other humans ASAP!

    Let me tell you. It is way better than sex, people!. Well... Mostly. Lol!

    Do not do what I did! Get over your fears now. Get out of your own way now! Get out there and jam right now! Do not wait 30ish years to do so!

    No regrets... Yeah, right!
    I did one of the Pete Wernick Jam classes earlier this year and found it to be a really safe way to get started. Despite being only 4 months in to playing mando I was able to hang in there and have fun

  13. The following members say thank you to DaveGinNJ for this post:


  14. #9
    Jerry Cobbs jerrycobbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    I grew up in Gospel music in the 1970's. Back then there were dozens of little local groups who went around every weekend to churches. If a kid of one of the group members showed an interest in playing, they'd teach them a few chords and put them on stage every weekend. It didn't take long to lose the stage fright and learn to improvise. Some of the best training I ever got, and stuff they don't teach in college. Jams can do about the same thing for other styles of music. Just swallow the lump in your throat, play the chords you know, and keep going/learning. There's no better training anywhere.

    My wife, who did not have the same background I did, has dusted off her guitar and taken up the fiddle. We wrote a few original pieces, learned a few covers, and started going to jams, open mics, and even playing a few gigs. It has been the joy of my life to watch her go through the same learning process I did as a youngster and blossom as a musician. She went from sheer terror to wanting to take an instrument everywhere we go! (I may have created a monster...)
    -- Johnson MA-100 Mando
    -- Eastman MDO-305 OM
    -- 3 Seagull Merlin dulcimers (2GDG, 1DAD)
    -- 1952 Harmony Roy Smeck guitar
    -- Ortega Lizzie Ubass
    -- Leigh Campbell electric violin
    -- Pfretzschner violin
    -- Glaesel viola
    -- Ibanez acoustic/electric guitar
    -- Misc: a cello, 2 cigarbox guitars, charango, djembe, slide dulcimer.

  15. The following members say thank you to jerrycobbs for this post:


  16. #10

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    The only jam going on right now in my area is a traditional Irish gathering once a week. I knew nothing about this music aside from hearing it and liking it. After a few days of research I find that it is unlike anything I'm familiar with, eschewing chords, relying on modes. I attended last week and talked to the folks, who were open to a neophyte joining. I gathered from that session that the music is predominantly in D and G. I told them I'd start with an acoustic bass guitar as I get familiar with the music and learn tunes on the mandolin.

    I'm totally outside my comfort zone as this music is difficult to analyze and demands long and intense listening with trial and error accompaniment. So it is probably just what I need.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  17. #11

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Yep. Jams are a great training ground. I learn something new (odd chord shapes, licks, or spurred to learn a new song) every time regardless of the genre of jam. They're also the best way to practice and learn to focus on your own playing and singing and not get distracted by others and the surroundings. When I first started singing at jams, I used to get thrown when others played the wrong chords, when I couldn't hear mysef clearly, when the waitress asked if I wanted another beer while I was at the mic, etc. Now I'm amazed what I can play and power through.

    Do it. No one cares if you screw up.

  18. #12
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,419
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Oops - I guess I am WAAAAAY behind the curve. I have been playing the mandolin (on-and-off) since 1998 - and I have still yet to attend a jam.

    Maybe after a little more practice . . . .

  19. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Ms
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    I wish I could find one person in my area just sorta headed in the same direction. There is a Monday night gathering of about 15-20 folks a few miles from where I live. What I see/hear in their videos were to me just too many instruments, 6-7 acoustic guitars, 4-5 mandolins, several fiddles and a couple banjos, no offense but 15 instruments is a train-wreck jam in any genre with no small ensembles of 2-5 folks. So consider yourself lucky if you have access to quality musicians to learn from and hone your own playing skills. I'm 68 been playing since I was 10. So I just continue to sit on the couch/porch by myself and practice.

  20. #14
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    336

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    I wish I could find one person in my area just sorta headed in the same direction. There is a Monday night gathering of about 15-20 folks a few miles from where I live. What I see/hear in their videos were to me just too many instruments, 6-7 acoustic guitars, 4-5 mandolins, several fiddles and a couple banjos, no offense but 15 instruments is a train-wreck jam in any genre with no small ensembles of 2-5 folks. So consider yourself lucky if you have access to quality musicians to learn from and hone your own playing skills. I'm 68 been playing since I was 10. So I just continue to sit on the couch/porch by myself and practice.
    While I agree that the massive jam is not a fun jam - only sitting on your couch practicing alone all the time isn't good either IMO. Growing as a musician is difficult to do if you never play with anyone else. Also I have found the jams usually have a few players that sneak off to play the more complex stuff and tunes that are otherwise jambusters. Those small groups are usually just a few folks that step outside or to a corner of the room.

    When I first moved to San Diego, I went to the jams and sat in on the big groups. It wasn't necessarily fun on day one - I had to work a little to get with a few key players in the group. Once in with them, they'd ask me to sneak off and jam outside. Then I'd see them at festivals and get to jam there.

    If you are a few miles from a jam - I would recommend going at least a few times. You may need to suffer through the wall of bluegrass a couple of times - but be friendly, shake hands, and get names / numbers. You'll have some jam buddies in no time.

  21. #15
    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Mobile Bay
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Actually, I've been wondering if there's any hope for a beginner getting a jam started. Anyone heard of such a thing?

    It's got to be tough for some of the oldsters to put up with newbies.
    Kentucky KM-380

  22. #16

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Van Zandt View Post
    Actually, I've been wondering if there's any hope for a beginner getting a jam started. Anyone heard of such a thing?
    Sure, slower jams are a favorite for all beginners. You can generate a list of tunes that everybody can work on and support each other. People move out of them at differing rates, but there are always new players looking for a comfortable place to play and learn.
    Play it like you mean it.

  23. #17
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    336

    Default Re: Go To Jams Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Van Zandt View Post
    Actually, I've been wondering if there's any hope for a beginner getting a jam started. Anyone heard of such a thing?

    It's got to be tough for some of the oldsters to put up with newbies.
    Most bluegrass festivals have some sort of Slow Jam event led by an instructor which can be helpful. Some places have a regular slow jam meetup as well. I'm not sure where exactly you are - but try searching your town / area and "Bluegrass Slow Jam" or if you have a local folk music store, ask them where the jams are

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •