Re: Blues Jams - The Good ,Bad, and Ugly..

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Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on July 21, 2001 at 15:42:31:

In Reply to: Re: Blues Jams - The Good ,Bad, and Ugly.. posted by Brian on July 16, 2001 at 13:12:44:

: : Like Nick I play a lot of Jams and Open Mics.In my area, N.Ohio and can see it all. A well run Jam can be a lot of fun and educational. After awhile you become friends and know other players skill levels. Many bands have formed from people jammin together. There are lists on the net of Jam dos and donts. One of the thinks thats always amazing to see is the guy with the $2000 guitar thats out of tune and cant afford a $12 tuner. Ive also encountered guitar and bass players who tune to a flat thinking they sound more like Stevie or Jimmi. I carried an Ab harp just for this occasion,you knew the next song would be Pride and Joy or Red House. If youre planning on sitting in at a Blues Jam know the changes and have an idea of what you want to, and can play. If your a singer, thats a big plus. Dont be a stage hog, dont blow harp over other musicians solos or singing, unless your doing rhythm and know what your doing. One of the best jams Ive ever been to was run by a harp player. His rig was always the loudest. Jams should not be a competition and should be fun for all who play. Know your comfort zone. If you play guitar, have a tuner and have it in tune before you take the stage. Remember nothing turns a crowd off like feedback. Where never is heard a discouraging word, never say negative shit, no matter how bad a musician or guitar player is. You can really kill someones dreams. Dont take it all too seriously, its a jam and train wrecks happen. Keep the drinking to a minimum at least until after you play. I would really like to hear about jams in other areas and parts of the world, and your experience. Keepin the Blues Alive.....Bluz
: I also play harp at open mics, and sit in with bands in saratoga springs n.y. most players are pretty good here. there's a few harp players. i play blues harp, most others play 1st position around here in the style of dylan, neil young, etc. i have a blast. i have also found that i have learned more by playing with bands than by listening to my collection of at least 60 harmonica cd's. harp on! p.s. GREAT SITE!!!!!!

Great advice!
I've sat in with others. It's great fun being allowed to play...but an honor to be invited to play.
As for drinking, no matter how good you are, when you are under the influence, it's real easy to make silly and often inexcuseable mistakes. I've been sober for years and that has made me a better player. In a strange way, it's nice to know that it's the others making the mistakes...
and not me!
The advice on how to deal with the novice musicians and the not-so-good players was right-on! Be nice to them. They could be the ones who put in the rave revues about your palying...and get you lined up with some nice gigs.
The best jam nights that I've played at were at the Wharf Tavern in St.Georges Bermuda.
Graet Site! Wishing you success in your endeavors.

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