Fifth Saturday Jam at The Strum Shop!
What is a jam session? It is an opportunity to relax and have fun making music and playing together! It is a “conversation” between musicians in a language most people don’t really know, yet understand on a variety of levels. It is an exercise in sharing, give and take and cooperativeness.
Beginners are welcome! Everyone, regardless of musical ability, is encouraged to come!
Never been to a jam? Here are some general guidelines:
• Remember to tune up once you arrive.
• The circle moves clockwise: We’ll be arranged in a circle and we’ll go around the circle clockwise so each person has a chance to choose and lead a song. If you’re shy, it’s ok, you can pass to the next person for this round. (Shyness passes quickly after a round or two!) :)
• Choose songs you’d like to lead!
o 1.) Simple three-chord songs are great for jams and provide opportunities for folks to play without paper.
o 2.) We’ll be using the Santa Cruz and Daily Ukulele Songbooks as our standards so you can choose songs from these books, or
o 3.) If you have a song you’d like to share that has more than three or four chords, please bring enough copies to share with the group.
• Follow the leader: The leader of the song chooses the song, the key, controls the tempo and tone of the song they’ve chosen. On your turn to pick, state the song and the key and any other pertinent information. Find out if anyone wants to take a break (soloing). The solos will move clockwise unless a better musical arrangement is agreed upon. Again, it’s up to the leader of the song. Keep an eye on the leader for visual cues.
• Instrumental breaks: When Someone Is Playing A Solo You Play Backup: Chords and rhythm help support a solo, if you can’t play the chords don’t play, only one person at a time should be playing the solo. (sometimes everyone will play the melody together but this will be indicated at the beginning of the song). Remember to play as a unit, backup should be in the back don’t try to overpower the soloist. If the solo can’t be heard the backup must play softer. Help the solo along don’t bury it.
• Listen, Listen, Listen: To yourself and the other members in the jam. This will help you keep in time and sound tasteful. Make sure you can clearly hear the solo or vocal. If you can’t you’re probably playing too strongly. Breathe together, remember to play as one cohesive unit and listen for the overall tone. When you achieve this, the energy will take over and lead you to greater musical heights.
• Forgive yourself and others for imperfect music while recognizing and enjoying the brilliant moments. Remember to be kind, considerate, and encouraging to your fellow musicians. Don’t take the music so seriously that it loses its joy and spontaneity.
• What is a “fiddler’s foot” and why is it in my ukulele jam? Come to the jam and find out!