Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Central Texas Jams

Does anyone know of some friendly jams in the central texas area? Lookin’ to start applying some of the knowledge I’ve gained thus far…can play with intermediate and some advanced, but don’t know a ton of material…thanks

If you haven’t already seen it, here is a website that seems almost custom made for your request:
Looking on the “jams” page, it looks like there are quite a few good options.

Up more my way (I’m near Fort Worth), there are also the Pearl jam (first Saturday)
Glen Rose jam (third Saturday)

If you get up this way, give me a head’s up.

thanks!..what’s the format of the jams you are familiar with in fort worth? is there a variety of skill level?

The only formal jams I have been to have been in Glen Rose. It’s a big campground and the circles pop up all over. Most (maybe 60%) prefer to stand so you can kind of work in or out of the circle. There are different skill set circles, but there aren’t signs or anything. If you walk up and they are playing Gold Rush at 260 BPM with the mando, guitar and upright playing synchronized harmonic parts, it’s probably not a beginner circle. You just kind of listen to see what they are doing. Typically there will be slower and faster groups… some that focus on gospel, others on fiddle tunes. I will say this. I have been a group where everyone (except myself) was a killer player, and we had some near absolute beginners come join in, and they were fine. As long as you pay attention to the volume levels and don’t hurt the overall sound, my guess is no one cares how great (or limited) your abilities may be. I had just picked up the mando, and they got the idea after a while when I kept passing on breaks. I had a hard time getting a nod once I switched to guitar, but all ended well.

My understanding is that at some places it is a bit more formalized, with “slow jam” circles and “expert” circles and such. I haven’t personally run into that.

BTW, what part of CenTex are you in?

Figured I’d throw another bit out there. One thing that happens at Glen Rose is that there is a stage. Groups will sometimes form during the day and in the evening they’ll play on the stage… kind of a concert. Often the “groups” are groups that regularly play together, but sometimes, it’s some people that just met. It’s kind of neat.

i’m in the round rock area…just north of Austin…how often does the glen rose thing happen? sounds pretty fantastic…i’m fairly new to pickin’ at jams so don’t really know what to expect…only have picked a round a bit at festivals like Kerrville folk fest and old settler’s music fest

Glen Rose is monthly (third Saturday). Pearl is every month on the first Saturday. Pearl should be a bit closer to you.

Looking at the CTBA “Jams” page, there is a ton of stuff for you around Austin.

Here’s some jam etiquette. I knew I had seen it somewhere. It’s pretty common sense stuff. I also saw a humorous (but instructive) version done with a 10 commandments theme… didn’t find that one again.

great link…i’m gonna have to pay close attention to keeping my “noodling” to a minimum…could be my adhd or the fact that I used to be a drummer but I have a hard time sitttin’ still! i’ll be sure and let you know if I ever make it up to glen rose…sounds like it would be worth the trip…looks like there are definitely plenty of things closer my way…

That Glen Rose jam looks awesome. I want to go!

Larry, let me know if you ever feel like heading this way. We aren’t too far away. You could stay here, or a more cool option is you could use our camper van… the jam is held at a campground. I bet there’s nothing like sitting there having a jam going in the open air while you have a pot of jambalaya cooking.
I haven’t been since starting to do the music at our church, and to be honest, it’s kind of hot in the summer here. But the weather is getting good again… if anyone feels like going, let me know. I’d double check on this month, as they had the BG festival during the first weekend. If the jam is still on it would be on 10/19/2013. I added the year in case someone looks at this thread a year or two from now.

I’ve got no plans to be in Texas anytime soon, but I do have a brother living there, so you never know. If I make it out your way I will surely give you a holler.