What we're about
Acoustic jam! Mostly classic rock! Some blues and old-time, too! We post our upcoming songs at https://www.tinyurl.com/carrolljamssongs
If you've never been to a jam, here's what happens: a bunch of musicians show up and play. You'll see that some of the musicians already know one another and that others are new to the group. That doesn't matter much because in a jam everybody is considered a friend. We follow a kind of "jam etiquette" to make sure that everything runs smooth as silk. (See "Jam Etiquette" below.) Our jam isn't a practice session and we're not looking to perform anywhere.
Our goal is to have fun playing and singing together.
Every month, I'll pick out some songs and make them available. Click on "Discussions " and then on "Message Board." You will see a link to the current Dropbox folder. (You'll have to do this on a PC as it doesn't seem to be available on the mobile app.) Please print out the songs for the month. Practice them at home so that you'll be familiar with them before you arrive. If you're not familiar with a song, look it up on Youtube. Please note: all provided lyrics and chords are for educational use only.
In addition, we play from provided songbooks. You'll have an opportunity to pick out a song from the songbook. Bring a music stand if you have one. If you want to lead a song that's not in the book or in our Meetup files, bring at least 10 copies of the song with lyrics and chords. A lot of our musicians do not read music.
If you'd like, you can perform a song for the group. It's up to you-- just let Laurie know when you get to the jam that you'd like to perform one. And then remind her because she forgets stuff.
We welcome acoustic guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, banjos, fiddles, violas, cellos and stand-up basses, recorders, concert flutes, penny whistles, harmonicas, accordions or concertinas, woodwinds (clarinets, saxophones, melodicas), hammered dulcimers (lap dulcimers if you can accompany a guitar). If you play electric keyboard, please bring your own. Drummers who can play delicately with brushes are invited to bring a small drum. Handheld percussion instruments such as rasps, shakers, and bones are welcome, too.
Singers are much needed! We will provide a mic on a stand if you would like to use it.
We are beginner-friendly although participants will be expected to be familiar with the basics of their instruments (for example, string players should be able to easily manage the following chords: A, Am, A7, Bb, Bm, Bm7, C, C7, D, Dm, D7, E, Em, E7, F, G, Gm, and G7 or should be able to pick out the melody by ear).
Friends and family can come "just to observe," but we bet that they'll get in on the singing before the jam ends! Well-behaved children over the age of six are welcome if they sit with their parents.
Please bring some money with you if you want to order something yummy to eat. We eat from 1:00 to 2:00. Bring your own beer or wine (BYOB).
No pets. No drugs. No vaping or smoking in the circle. No intoxication. No weapons. Just plain fun.
Please note: We are not an improvisational music group (except for solos). Thanks for understanding!
-Listen while you play. Good listeners make better players.
-Buy an electronic clip-on tuner. Tune up before you come inside the circle.
-Your volume should match the group's volume.
-Likewise, your tempo should match the group's tempo. No need to rush things!
-I'll ask folk before we start the jam if they'd like to solo. It's OK to pass.
-If the song leader calls you out to solo, give the song leader a "heads up" when you're done soloing.
-When someone is soloing, it's mighty polite to drop your volume a little so that you can hear the solo. Also, it's understood that when someone is soloing, all the other players lend support by playing a simpler line.
-The jam's organizer will pick out and lead the first song. After that, we'll go around the circle to pick songs. (Note: If you've picked a song, but you don't want to lead it, that's OK. The jam organizer will lead it.)
-We like it when everybody sings along!
-To keep up the energy, we respectfully ask that players don't "noodle around" between songs. If the jam organizer hears a lot of noodling going on, she'll call "Sticks up!" (she's an old drum teacher and some habits are hard to break) and then everybody throws their hands in the air.
-The circle is for playing. If you're conversing while others are playing, kindly find a cozy place outside of the circle and out of earshot where you can continue your conversation.
-Although we are beginner friendly, the purpose of the jam is to play... not to practice. If you are still a beginning beginner, make sure that you can easily shift between the chords listed above. If you need help learning these, you might consider taking some lessons (even self-taught Internet lessons) before you wade into playing in the jam. Practice the upcoming songs at home (that's why we provide them in our files). If you're learning how to play the uke, might I suggest http://www.doctoruke.com and http://www.ukuleletricks.com/11-must-know-ukulele-chords-for-beginners/
-If we're meeting at Blue Bistro, plan to arrive at 1:00 so that you can buy some lunch (and support our wonderful sponsors) if you so choose. We'll get started on the jam around 2:00.
Questions? Contact Laurie Precht, organizer, at email@example.com