Welcome to the Central London Jam Band Sessions Meetup Group.
If, like us, you find jamming a good recreational and creative activity, and if you gain inspiration from collaborating with other musicians as part of a band, you might well want to read on, see what we offer, and join our fast-growing number.
This is a new and evolving Meetup Group. We are aware of the diversity within our membership and will do our best to structure our activities in response to the range of needs and expectations. We have been trying out different Central London venues, testing the popularity of different times of the day and week, and experimenting with a range of formats for our jam band sessions.
Please note that these jams are not suitable for beginner musicians - you will be playing as part of a band and so you will need to have a good level of competence, be responsive to others' playing and be capable of improvising. Our jam sessions are intended for proficient and experienced musicians of stage performance/semi-pro/pro standard. There are other Meetup Groups that cater for a wider range, including beginner and less experienced musicians who might be keen to play with others.
As we evolve and as the different event hosts choose to personalise their sessions, the format can change from jam to jam. So, before committing to a session, do read its description.
Each participant in the jam band session nominates, in advance, two or three simple-format, easy-to-learn songs to get us going. With six to eight of us present, that means that we could start with a sizeable warm-up repertoire (and some homework to do before we arrive!).
Currently, jam sessions are open to all tastes, so please be prepared to try different genres. We might experiment in the near future by specifying the genre of music for a specific jam.
We’ll also collaborate to create something of our own. At the very least, we can build on a simple riff or format. Even better, you could bring some lyrics/half-formed tunes/phrases/ideas, or guide us as we work from a blank canvas, mix it together and see what we get. If we’re open-minded, with this number of musicians in one room, we ought to come up with something interesting!
If you’re on the attendance list and therefore "going", please make some suggestions for warm-up songs with links to lyrics, music, guitar tabs, performance videos, etc. Please add warm-up songs early on, to give us all a chance to practise them beforehand - it’ll make for a better session. The warm-up song list sheet is embedded in the blurb for each session.
There are limits to numbers and musician types at each session. If full, please join the waiting list, which comes into play if members are swapped or drop out.
To get a musically balanced session, places are limited regarding instrument(s) played.
When you RSVP, please pay attention to what instruments people who have already signed up are playing (check their intro) and the limit per instrument (specified in the session blurb). This will avoid disappointment as, if the limit is exceeded, people on the list will be replaced by others on the waiting list so that we get a good balance of players in the jam. As an example, a singer, 2 guitarists, a keyboard player, a bass player, a sax player and a drummer would provide a great balance.
This is how it works. For example, there might already be two guitarists who have RSVP’d. Then, preference for the remaining places might be given to other instruments or to a vocalist. And so, if, as a third guitarist, you RSVP’d ‘yes’ and put your category over the limit, you could later lose your place.
Swaps from the jam RSVP list will take place to create a balanced line-up and, occasionally, to give a chance to someone who hasn't been in a session or who didn't get to play their first instrument.
Also, it helps to be flexible where necessary during the session (e.g. switching between singing and other instruments) depending on the jam band on the day.
COSTS AND EQUIPMENT
We'll share the total cost of studio hire between us on the day of the session - at one studio that we use £60 covers the studio time (3 or 4 hours). This includes the use of a drum kit (excluding breakables - snare, cymbals and kick pedal), a bass amp, two guitar amps, PA and mics.
In addition, participants are required to pay £1 per session towards Meetup Group costs, also to be paid on the day.
The total cost per person is usually about £12 if all places are filled.
Musicians must bring their own instruments, cables, etc. If yours is not portable, you may be able to arrange to hire one by contacting the studio in advance, and you will be responsible for the hire costs (e.g a keyboard is £10-15, drum 'breakables' are £5).
N.B. Most studios charge the full fee with less than 48 hours’ cancellation.
A COMMITMENT TO TURN UP
By a ‘yes’ RSVP, you are committing to the jam and to your share of its costs. However, if you change to ‘no’, there may be time for someone on the waiting list to take your place and to pick up the cost. Please be considerate and give plenty of notice if dropping out, to give others a reasonable chance to come.
If you don’t show up, this prevents someone else on the waiting list from joining the jam and increases the cost for everyone else.
STAY IN THE LOOP
Once you’ve joined the Meetup Group, do make sure that your preferences are set to receive our announcements of forthcoming jam band sessions. Then, we’ll look forward to receiving your RSVPs and welcoming you to some jam sessions.
Make sure too that your preferences are set to receive updates, and, once you RSVP, check the session comments regularly for further details before the session.
SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If you like the idea of jamming, meeting other musicians, practising your skills, playing around with musical ideas and collaborating to create some original material, then do join us at Central London Jam Band Sessions and recommend us to others who might be interested.
And we’d love to hear any ideas that you might have for the group too.