First Jam


#1

well , I went to my first jam last night …it wasnt a "bluegrass jam circle " like i thought it would be . It turned out to be more of and “open mike” type situation . I ended up playing rhythm on stage for about 2 hours with and occasional lead break …all in all, a fun time and good experience. I did meet some other banjo pickers and guitar pickers though …Im planning on making it my Tues. night ritual for awhile …while looking for some bluegrass pickers to pick . just thought I’d pass on the experience …


#2

congrats Ron!! it’ll become easier and easier. why not look out for a suitable venue and start you own “bluegrass” jam.
well done mate.

Ron


#3

— Begin quote from “ronfold”

I ended up playing rhythm on stage for about 2 hours

— End quote

First jam and they stick you on a stage…haha… no pressure there. :stuck_out_tongue:

Even though my jam is hosted by the Suwannee Valley Bluegrass Association it isn’t a pure bluegrass jam, either. All kinds of other music gets pulled in. I don’t think a week goes by without some Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, or Bob Wills being played. I kind of like it that way, though, because it gives me the leeway to bring in newgrass or something else non-traditional I like.


#4

Good deal Ron! I’m glad you had fun.
I had an impromptu BG jam of two people last night. We couldn’t make a jam circle (or even a triangle), just a line. Non-BG crept into that as well (some John Denver).


#5

Open mic can be fun if there are enough musicians there. I used to do a lot of them when I was a drummer. Haven’t done one as a mandolin player yet, have to give it a try, sounds like you had fun, ronfold.

Mreisz, a jam line, huh? That’s what I’ll have to call my jams with 3 people, but it’s still fun! We play a variety of music besides bluegrass, including country, rock, and even some blues


#6

yeah , it was a lot of fun …i got there a little late and walked in sat down in the back with my guitar and a bottle of water …and sat there for like 5 mins …until a nice older gentleman came up and introduced himself …asked my name and said the guy on stage in the blue hat playing bass is the one who wons the place and he will be calling you on stage in a few …i said to myself …"uh oh " lol …so i went up and played with one gentleman and when he was done i started to leave the stage and the other guitarist …michelle said “you done playin already?” i said "no not really " lol …so i stayed and played the rest of the night …they said i should definitely come back…im sure it will be better and more fun as i actually learn the songs lol …i just got some Wegen 1.2 picks …awesome …i cant believe how good they feel …

thanks all…


#7

Sounds like fun Ron, glad you found a place to play! I don’t know about the stage thing though, I think I’d be a little nervous. :slight_smile:


#8

Not my first jam, but drove about two hours to pick tonight figuring I could find a few relative beginners to pick Banjo with. This was the third or fourth time I’ve played 5-string with other people.

Instead of a beginner group I ran into the guitar & Mandolin players from a couple bands I’ve been in with, and one of the first fiddle players I learned from. Knowing I am way below the level they are use to playing at I felt a bit outclassed (ok, WAY outclassed) instrumentally. Picked & sang for a couple hours and I just barely was getting the steering wheel out of my right hand when we are asked to play on stage :unamused:

I got burnt pretty bad on a couple fiddle tunes, but kicked off and played decent leads to the majority of our hours worth of entertainment. We played several songs I happen to have practiced, or at least gone over a couple times which helped a lot toward me saving face. Had a great time singing with John & Darrell again, we sang together for several years in a band and it’s been probably 5 years since we’ve gotten together.

I struggled with which Banjo to bring for about two hours before I left and ended up taking my Hatfield, which is great outdoors, but I ended up overplaying it quite a bit on stage. I think I’d have rather had my Yates for the room we jammed in as well as the Stage. It has a slightly lower tone and absolutely rocks on a mic.

Still can’t believe they talked me into playing on stage…but when your the only one playing that instrument…your the best! :laughing:


#9

“but when your the only one playing that instrument…your the best!”… In the land of the blind, the one-eyed dude is king :slight_smile:

It sounds like you had a great time. I am sure you did well. I bet it was great experience. Congrats!


#10

Thanks Mike!
I knew I needed to get out around others to play. It really brought home some issues I need to work on while practicing and inspired me to try to play to recordings more often to get my back-up playing more organized.

I have learned a bunch of high back-up licks but found myself staying below the 5th fret the majority of the time last night. The two biggest things that occurred to me is I just need more hours on the instrument yet. I have the beginnings of a lot of material but haven’t worked enough on full band-type versions of stuff. I spent the biggest part of my first year on Banjo learning licks, leads, & left and right hand patterns.

My biggest downfalls are still speed and playing clean when I am winging it. I’m fairly confident that another couple thousand hours on the Banjo will increase my comfort zone a bunch. I’m actually surprised at (and happy with) the amount I’ve learned in the last year, just have to keep reminding myself to enjoy working towards improving and above all, enjoy what I can do already (this is a tough one for me sometimes).


#11

hey fellas’ check this out ,a friend of mine sent me a picture he took of a license plate that read [one nation under god with liberty and bluegrass for all]with a picture of a banjo on it.well i wanted to see if it could be made into a bumper sticker.so i stopped in this little shop that does just such things and the guy asked me, so you like bg and i told him i play banjo. well lo and behold he and some friends of his have a little bluegrass gospel band that was looking for a banjo player and would i like to come sit in on one of their practice sessions. well i did and i had a blast! it was my fist bg jam,but it definately won’t be my last.they meet every thursday night and they said i was welcome any time.plus they asked me if i wanted to join up and possibly travel and do some shows.pretty sweet,huh?


#12

How cool is that?!?! That is awesome.


#13

That’s great Mark! Congrats!


#14

I’m still trying to get a proper bluegrass jam together here in my part of South Africa. So far the only one I had was with a guy touring here with Magna Carta. Most of the musicians in my town are more into rock music and acoustic pop songs. As far as I know (since I’ve been in my local music scene for the last 10 years), I’m the only bluegrass picker in town and definitely the only bluegrass banjo player here. It’s so so sad :frowning: Hopefully one day. It gets lonely playing by myself


#15

south africa? wow i thought i was the only banjo player here in my part of north carolina,i can only imagine how tough it would be to find a bluegrass jam session going on down there!if i was smart enough,i’d get in on one of the online jams some of the guys here at b.b.'s have got going on.


#16

— Begin quote from “mark”

south africa? wow i thought i was the only banjo player here in my part of north carolina,i can only imagine how tough it would be to find a bluegrass jam session going on down there!if i was smart enough,i’d get in on one of the online jams some of the guys here at b.b.'s have got going on.

— End quote

I’d love to get in on something like that! Hopefully newbies are allowed to run with the bigger guns! :slight_smile:


#17

Hugo, everyone is welcome to jump in. Some of the stuff is kind of up-tempo and I was thinking of doing something kind of moderate tempo. I might even do something for Christmas music. Just keep an eye out for “netgrass collaboration” or some variation like that.


#18

— Begin quote from “mreisz”

Hugo, everyone is welcome to jump in. Some of the stuff is kind of up-tempo and I was thinking of doing something kind of moderate tempo. I might even do something for Christmas music. Just keep an eye out for “netgrass collaboration” or some variation like that.

— End quote

Ah that’s brilliant man! I’m definitely in for the next one then.


#19

Hugo, that’s great! We started the whole thing just so all that wanted to could participate. Another player is always welcome.

I’d say we learn a fair amount from each other, just going through the process of trying to record something together.


#20

I can’t wait for the next one you guys do. It will be a great experience!