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Jun 23, 2019 - 9:54:19 AM
64 posts since 5/8/2019

Going to my first jam session in a Lil over an hour! Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! Any advice to get over the nerves?

Jun 23, 2019 - 10:27:03 AM
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1430 posts since 5/13/2008

Be yourself, hang back, play quietly, listen mostly, record it for later. Repeat...

Jun 23, 2019 - 12:44:40 PM
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1 posts since 5/28/2019

+1 on all of the above.

I was very nervous at my first jams, and stayed that way for a while. Then, once I got mostly comfortable, came the inevitable day when I was the only fiddler who showed up. Talk about terrifying. But the other players kept me going, kept me in time, and were incredibly supportive.

If you ever have the opportunity to be in Winston-Salem on Monday evening, we have a regular Old Time jam. You're welcome to join us.

Jun 23, 2019 - 2:14:08 PM
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56 posts since 6/11/2019

Awesome!! Wish I was there, my jam got canceled today cause the Ozarks are slap flooded.

You're probably back by now, but my belated .02 would be to make friends and be honest on your skill level. Nervousness will stop if you're comfortable with the regulars. And, they will be totally supportive of your progress. The know-it-alls and showoffs have a way of getting marginalized.

Jun 23, 2019 - 2:48:20 PM
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315 posts since 11/12/2016

Great advice in the previous posts. I'm new (started in April) to a monthly BG jam and weekly Irish session and they've been very welcoming. If the tunes are over your head, step back and take notes. I'm making a serious effort to learn the tunes they play and to play faster. I think they appreciate that I'm making the effort.

Jun 23, 2019 - 4:16:06 PM
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Riptide

USA

64 posts since 5/8/2019

I only know one song right now but they welcomed me in! I mainly just bowed but I did play bile them cabbage down! I had fun! Be glad when I can join in and play better

Jun 23, 2019 - 4:44:28 PM
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Riptide

USA

64 posts since 5/8/2019

quote:
Originally posted by k_bennett

+1 on all of the above.

I was very nervous at my first jams, and stayed that way for a while. Then, once I got mostly comfortable, came the inevitable day when I was the only fiddler who showed up. Talk about terrifying. But the other players kept me going, kept me in time, and were incredibly supportive.

If you ever have the opportunity to be in Winston-Salem on Monday evening, we have a regular Old Time jam. You're welcome to join us.


Thanks Ken! I sent you a message on Facebook

Jun 23, 2019 - 6:48:39 PM
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10412 posts since 9/23/2009

Glad you had fun, Donnie!

Jun 24, 2019 - 5:32:24 AM
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Beardog

USA

98 posts since 8/12/2012

Playing with others is the main joy of playing bluegrass and old-time music, at least for myself. I can play the piano by myself anytime that I want. The very best times for me occur at festivals when I find an old rhythm guitar player who knows tons of fiddle tunes and wants to play backup, sometimes for hours at a time. Its a lot harder to screw up when you have an 80 some-odd year old, rock-solid rhythm guitarist driving you along, who was already doing this 65 years ago. You immediately sound like a better fiddler than you really are! In my circles, there is almost never another fiddler around, so one gets used to taking a stab at playing the lead very early on! When you are expected to lead, rather than follow, you soon learn what to practice and what not to waste precious practice time doing. Enjoy the journey!

Jun 24, 2019 - 2:43:19 PM
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boxbow

USA

2417 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Riptide

Going to my first jam session in a Lil over an hour! Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! Any advice to get over the nerves?


Note how a cat will carry his tail well clear of any rockers.  Emulate him.  Stand up for yourself. 

Seriously, most jammers will remember all too clearly what you're feeling like.  You'll pick things up quickly enough.  I try not to take myself (or anybody else, for that matter) too seriously at a jam.  Anything else is a short road to temper tantrums and tears.  Who needs that?

Jun 24, 2019 - 6:37:59 PM
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387 posts since 8/10/2017

You already went, but my advice would be the same as the advice I got: Nobody can hear you, nobody cares if you make a mistake, how can you learn if you don't play?, and please start a tune for us so we don't have to start them all!

Jun 30, 2019 - 5:47:14 AM

Riptide

USA

64 posts since 5/8/2019

I'm going back again today! Looking forward to it? Going to record the jam on my phone

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