Blues Jam How-To

Blues Jams are a WONDERFUL way to meet other musicians, see who you “click” with when thinking of forming a band, maybe get picked up by a band. OR just a place to go have fun, try out some new material, hang out with friends. But here’s a few things you need to know

BUY SOMETHING!!! Wait, let me say that again. BUY SOMETHING!!! If you don’t spend money at a jam, pretty soon the jam goes away. Buy a drink, or buy your friend a drink, or buy some food- buy something! ***It doesn’t help if you buy nothing but tip the bartender*** The main point is that if the VENUE does not make enough money to support the jam, then the jam goes away

-Bring your own gear: Guitar, sticks, etc. PA, drums, amps usually provided

-Use the house band’s equipment respectfully: Don’t smash the drumheads, don’t knock over the mic stand, don’t walk off with the tuner, etc

-Don’t walk in near the end & expect to play

-Support the other musicians: Come early & stay later than you play

-Tune up before you get up

-Be open to playing with anyone / everyone, learn and teach

-Be ready to step down after a few songs unless asked to stay longer

-Sign up to play: Look for a clipboard near the bandstand

-Don’t step on other people’s toes when they are soloing

-Check your ego at the door: This is about the ensemble sounding good, not just you

-Learn a few of the standard blues tunes. Know what I-IV-V means and how to play it

-Don’t play if you are drunk: You might think you sound great, but chances are you don’t

-Use your manners: Wait until you are called up by the host, don’t just jump in, wait your turn

-If you are leading the song, know your chords & the words

-If you are leading, stick with simple I-IV-V progressions unless you know the others can handle more complicated stuff

-Don’t forget to have fun!!!!!! That’s why we are here………