We are: "Musicians who want to jam with acoustic instruments, for fun."
The main jam for this group occurs in Sunland, CA
I'm Nora, the leader of this group and whose home the jams are held, and who pays for this Meetup. I look forward to meeting you and helping to facilitate a positive experience for you with respect for the group's whole equanimity.
This is a diverse group, open to all types of music and all types of people, so openness and tolerance for diversity is important. We're all different; so is our music. Generally, however, music-wise, "Rock" is the mainstay. Old or new songs; it's all welcome. Folk is great, Original songs are great. If you want to play something a bit different, such as Jazz or Flamenco, there might not be nearly as many who can play with you, but you are welcome to play that when its your turn if you want to. People-wise, everyone who plays an instrument or sings is welcome, regardless of background.
About Guests: I will have some Meetups that will allow for folks to bring a guest. Sometimes, not, as there might be more musicians who want to get in on a specific day, or that I wish to enable new members to have an opportunity to get in.
When do we Meet? Most all other local jams run on the same system, such as the third Sunday of the month, etc. Mine are somewhat random. Generally, I will have one jam per month, w/ approximately 12 persons, usually meeting on the fourth Sunday of a month; sometimes on a Friday night. However, I have them when it works for my schedule, which might make it hard to follow, but since jams shouldn't be "jammed" with folks, there is a bright side to this. If another jam in the same region is holding their jam, I do not see this as a conflict as there are hundreds of people in each Meetup group. Having two options on the same day opens up the opportunity for those who would want to jam but who might not have been able to get in to a jam. It's inclusive. Please understand this.
How do we Do it? Usual protocol is simple. We sit in a ring and each present one song, and proceed from one to the next with the option of passing. Each person who initiates the song may request various things that are important to them, if they're so inclined. They might ask, for instance, to have the group sing only on the chorus. Or they might want everyone to sing alongside them all the way through... Or they might only want a certain person to do lead... or call out leads to a number of folks. These specs aren't "mean" or "non-inclusive"... they're peoples' choices. These specific call outs might be important for people who've played all their lives and want a certain sound- and know how to effect that. Bringing in songs that everyone knows is also good, and having everyone sing and play as they wish, is also a traditional jam 'thing'. It's just that if there is a way that is important to you, please speak up when it's your turn and we'll do our best to honor what you want.
Singers-Only: If you do not play an instrument and only sing, please enable the group to accommodate your tune by either bringing music with you for others to play along, or find that music on your device and share that w/ a main player, to get it going. Just know your song; the key you can sing it in, and a little preparation will go a long way. Thanks!
The experience/ musicianship in this group varies greatly. There are members who have played all their lives. There are those who are relatively new, but in order to be able for all to play together as per a "jam", a general intermediate level of musicianship/ familiarity with playing with other musicians is helpful. However, come and give it a try- there usually are folks who can carry the group with their ability, and the less experienced player can learn by playing along.
We do not charge any fee for this group but ask at least two dollars' donation at Meetups to help defray costs of running the group. It takes more than the Meetup fee to keep this going... it takes cleaner, person-power to scrub floors, dust, wash, get cups and plates and things to eat or drink. It's like having a party each month in my home- which I love- but it does cost me to run the group on various levels. So I ask a two dollar donation, which is not mandatory. Just a nice help to take the edge of costs down. Thank you!
It is gracious that we bring something to share at our meetings, such as something to drink or eat. The jams can last for a few hours, so we take a break somewhat mid-way through to socialize and "refuel" or re-tune. A break can last from 15- 20 minutes, usually. I usually ask if folks might be able to bring something to share to eat or drink. Again, this is not mandatory. Just kinda nice if you can do so.
Share the music! It is helpful if members can bring xeroxed copies of songs for others- maybe about 4-6, so that people can share looking at the music. The level of musicianship usually is that there are enough who can pick up playing on songs they don't know- if they're not jazzy or too complicated. This is what jams are usually about- but for the purpose of sharing lyrics and including more of those who don't have such a musical level, it is certainly helpful to bring sheet music.
This has been a great group of music making folks of whom I have been most proud to lead and participate in for over a decade. It is wonderful for those who want a forum that is very low key, low pressure, to work up their courage to play other places in front of people, or to just have a place to practice and feel the joy of playing with others. It is certainly joyful!
Any questions beyond what I have covered here, please do send me a line. Otherwise, join up, and hope to see you at our next jam!