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Bob H.
user 13909402
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 4
Jam Etiquette

WHAT IS A JAM AND WHAT IS JAM ETIQUETTE?
At a jam, like-minded musicians gather together to play. Jam Etiquette is a way to interact
within a jam session so that everyone can enjoy themselves.

FIND A JAM THAT SUITS YOU
Be sensitive to whether the level of playing and style of music is suitable for you. Etiquette can change slightly depending on the style of music. For example, in bluegrass jams players generally play behind the vocalist and wait for a solo break whereas in some old-timey and celtic jams, it is common for several players to play the melody in unison. So, be aware of the type of jam you are at. If in doubt, watch a while before playing.

FOLLOW THE LEADER
At facilitated jams the facilitator will ensure that everyone gets a chance to lead a tune and that everyone who wants to gets a chance to solo. At open or non-facilitated jams, this job is shared and you have to work around the circle in an order to ensure everyone gets a chance to play a song.

SO YOU’RE READY TO PLAY?
Think of good music as being like a conversation. You need to listen first and figure out how to contribute positively and constructively.

Some simple rules:
• Tune your instrument.
• Play only at a volume where you can hear the vocalist(s) and the soloist(s).
• Focus on contributing to the song and the experience rather than on playing fast or loud.
• Depending on the jam, it is usually ok to fill in between phrases as long as it is done tastefully. Try not to “noodle” or practice within the jam circle or between songs.

LEADING A SONG
When it’s your turn to lead a song, announce the song name, the key (or capo position), and any unusual aspects of the song (rhythmic or key changes etc). Try to pick a song that fits into the jam and is not so obscure or so difficult that you end up playing by yourself. Pick a rhythm and stick to it. Be sure to call solos and include everyone who is jamming. When you lead a song, you also end it.

Have Fun! Be kind, considerate, and encouraging to your fellow musicians.

Adapted from the following sources:
http://www.victoriabl...­ (Victoria Bluegrass Association)
http://www.s-w-b-a.co...­
http://www.geocities....­
A former member
Post #: 49
Great information Bob, thanks for posting it. I will link to it in both About Us pages as a requirement.
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Calgary, AB

Founded Jan 18, 2011

Organizers:

Bob Hager, Alan Horabin, craig Steels, Frank Mosca, Gary Freeman, JF, Ken H
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