Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

57
Fiddle Lovers Online


Too soon to be jamming

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Jul 13, 2019 - 5:43:08 PM
57 posts since 5/8/2019

Sorry for all the questions lol I've just been playing almost 3 months. I know 2 and a half songs. Should I wait till I've learned more songs and more time under my belt before I go to a Jam? Thanks!

Jul 13, 2019 - 6:13:10 PM
likes this

DougD

USA

9166 posts since 12/2/2007

Go and listen and meet people. See what tunes are being played, and what versions.
On the other hand I don't know anything about scheduled jams, so you might get better advice from somebody else!

Edited by - DougD on 07/13/2019 18:13:41

Jul 13, 2019 - 6:59:41 PM
likes this

98 posts since 7/27/2018

I would have been TERRIFIED to even think of jamming at 3 months, which is probably the wrong way to think. The fact that you're even considering it, whether or not you go, is a good sign in my opinion. People (most anyway...) don't judge nearly as harshly as I or you expect them to. Before my first jam (a scheduled old-time one) I had been playing about 2 years. I went and just listened for one session. Got the feel of the people and the music they played. I was the only one listening so they asked what I was up to. I explained I was a fiddler thinking about coming and they were all very encouraging. So, I did. And I've been going to it ever since, flubbing and making mistakes all along the way but having fun. If I have one regret, it's being a little too shy socially and a little too loud when I wasn't exactly sure what I was playing lol.

Jul 13, 2019 - 7:46:27 PM
likes this

1589 posts since 10/22/2007

Bring your fiddle and be ready to play if invited.
Don't wait until you get good. You get good because you didn't wait.
Until you go to a jam you don't know the community tunes.
Until you play or attempt to play at a jam, you don't know how well you need to know a tune. IOW, playing with other encouraging folks is what it's all about.

Jul 13, 2019 - 9:26:46 PM
like this

303 posts since 8/10/2017

I learned how to play at the jam.

Go now and learn all the tunes one note at a time. Just find one note and when the tune comes round again, try to get that note again. Then add a second note and a third. You can spend a decade trying to find more notes to add and it'll never be boring. There are always new notes to add to a tune, or notes to take away.

When I was new I was sitting to the side not playing and one of the guys in the jam said to me, "What's the matter? Don't you like this tune?" And I replied, "I don't know how to play it." He said, "So? How can you learn if you don't play?" And so that turns out is how it works.

The best part of learning tunes this way is that you learn how to listen and you learn how to make music go straight from your ears to your fingers without the filter of your eyes or your brain.

I do this at the Irish session too. It seems that depending on the people at the session, this isn't always frowned upon.

Jul 13, 2019 - 9:38:09 PM
like this

2410 posts since 10/6/2008

Will this be an old-time jam? One where the group plays tunes together with no one taking any breaks? One that welcomes beginners?

IF SO, go, and, if invited or if it's obvious that it's okay, sit in the outer circle. It's a good place to be, not only because it's out of the way, but also because it's easier to hear your own fiddle from there.

And then enjoy. And here's how to do that:

1) If you're a beginner, you're a beginner. Everyone is going to know it, so don't give it another thought.

2) Ask if you can record. If the answer is yes, take audio notes on tunes that take your fancy. Probably best to let the group go through a few times before hitting record as the tunes will get stronger as the group pulls together. This will give you something new to work on before going back.

3) Be aware of the key. It's likely to be D, G, A, or maybe C and it's likely to stay there for a while. If you can recognize the guitar chord shapes, watch carefully and see how they're changing.

4) Then try playing along. At a minimum, try to play a D string when the guitar is playing D, and a G string while the guitar is playing G, etc. You can follow the rhythm. If you can hear a few notes in a phrase and figure them out quickly (and quietly), play those notes every time they come around and maybe try adding a few more. Watch the other fiddlers' fingers for clues but use your ear, too. This is work--but it's a wonderful exercise and it can be fun.

5) Get to know people. It seems to me that old-time jamming is partly about the music and partly about making music with friends.

Jul 13, 2019 - 11:24:04 PM
like this

Jimbeaux

Germany

230 posts since 5/24/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Riptide

Sorry for all the questions lol I've just been playing almost 3 months. I know 2 and a half songs. Should I wait till I've learned more songs and more time under my belt before I go to a Jam? Thanks!


Hi again Donnie, 

If I lived in Mount Airy like you, I wouldn't come to the Fiddle Hangout for advice.  You've got to be swimming in competent teachers. Heck, maybe you can even get lessons from Kirk Sutphin! You are living in a fiddlers Nirvana!!

Also by taking lessons you'll be supporting the local music scene and get to meet other musicians. 

Maybe you can contact the local JAM program for advice, too?

With where you live, you really have access to things that many of us can only dream of!

Edited by - Jimbeaux on 07/13/2019 23:24:46

Jul 14, 2019 - 5:04:11 AM
likes this

2122 posts since 10/1/2008

Go with your instrument and a recording device or app. Play what you can and learn as you go. THat's what we all do / did. R/

Jul 14, 2019 - 5:55 AM
likes this

DougD

USA

9166 posts since 12/2/2007

Jimbeaux - You would think it would be Nirvana, but it may not be. Awhile back I did a search for "Mt. Airy jam session" and the only one that came up was in a theater, which appeared to be the type where people take turns performing onstage - more of an "open mic." That's pretty common around here. There might be some jamming in a basement or backstage area though. I do know some good musicians in that area, but they may not be weekly "jammers." Maybe Donnie can enlighten us.

Jul 14, 2019 - 6:32:41 AM

Riptide

USA

57 posts since 5/8/2019

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Jimbeaux - You would think it would be Nirvana, but it may not be. Awhile back I did a search for "Mt. Airy jam session" and the only one that came up was in a theater, which appeared to be the type where people take turns performing onstage - more of an "open mic." That's pretty common around here. There might be some jamming in a basement or backstage area though. I do know some good musicians in that area, but they may not be weekly "jammers." Maybe Donnie can enlighten us.


Yes the one at the Earle is pretty much players just taking turns singing and playing. There is a jam on lambsburg Va that is the traditional Jam session. There is also an Old time jam at the blue ridge music center on the parkway. I've been to it a couple times. I just feel like I'm not really contributing to the jam much since I only know a couple of songs

Jul 14, 2019 - 6:44:49 AM
like this

DougD

USA

9166 posts since 12/2/2007

That's what I thought. I'll just repeat my earlier advice - go and listen and meet people. If its allowed and you have the tools, record tunes that interest you and practice at home or take them to your teacher. You seem to have good instincts and you'll know when its time to join in. It will come in time - its slow at first.

Jul 14, 2019 - 6:50:15 AM
likes this

10316 posts since 9/23/2009

You could start showing up, and if you like it, try doing chops on your fiddle as they play...try getting notes to chop that sound good with what they're playing. Maybe gradually you could expand into playing more stuff...I'd think, realistically, at 3 months in there's not a lot you could keep up with...still, you might get them to play something kinda slow and easy once in a while, chop during the faster stuff, and if you're enjoying it, you'll be gradually learing to do more.

Jul 14, 2019 - 8:20:52 AM
like this
Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2141 posts since 2/2/2008

For about an hours travel time, there's a weekly Wednesday jam behind, or in, the Grayson County Courthouse in Independence, VA.

https://historic1908courthouse.org/events/old-time-mountain-music-jam/

Jul 14, 2019 - 9:08:24 AM
like this

303 posts since 8/10/2017

If I lived somewhere that did not have a jam I would start one. Really, I would. I'm not a "community organizer" by any means, but having an old time jam in my community is a must, if you ask me. I'd put it up on meet-up, I'd make a website, if I did social media (which I don't), I'd do whatever you do that makes people find it there, I'd put fliers up at music shops and coffeehouses. Whatever it took.

Jul 14, 2019 - 3:07:42 PM
likes this

906 posts since 6/26/2007

I know I'm a freak, but I started playing at 43. I had been going to a weekly Bluegrass style jam for two and a half years to listen and do some recording, so we all knew each other. I learned my first tune from sheet music at home (my ear wasn't good enough to learn by ear yet) on a Saturday and I tried to play it in the next jam. It didn't work well, but nobody seemed to care. It quickly got better. That was over 33 years ago. I still don't think I play very well, but some people seem to think I do.

Just go and get started.

Jul 15, 2019 - 5:52:46 PM
likes this

10 posts since 10/8/2010

How about learning the double stops for the 1, 4, 5 chords in A, D, and G. that will give you enough to back up without stepping on the melody and help train your ear

Jul 16, 2019 - 8:56:54 AM

Riptide

USA

57 posts since 5/8/2019

quote:
Originally posted by volare71

How about learning the double stops for the 1, 4, 5 chords in A, D, and G. that will give you enough to back up without stepping on the melody and help train your ear


Where can I look that up to learn how to do it?

Jul 16, 2019 - 1:06:29 PM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2384 posts since 2/3/2011

Get one of those handy chord books for mandolin. Any two adjacent notes shown in a chord shape are a double stop on fiddle. Find some that are handy. Work on some that sound cool but are harder to hit reliably. It'll keep you busy.

Jul 16, 2019 - 1:30:39 PM

Viper

USA

208 posts since 1/6/2011

There's chord book for fiddle too: amazon.com/Fiddling-Chord-Book...56222428X

Jul 19, 2019 - 9:46:38 AM
likes this

4096 posts since 6/23/2007

I think someone who already plays fiddle, can learn new tunes at a jam. But learning basic playing techniques comes from repetitive effective practice. It takes a certain degree of familiarity with bowing and the fingerboard before playing at a jam. In addition, a person has to memorize a melody before attempting to play a tune. A novice should spend time listening and practicing. A novice can go to jams to learn jamming etiquette, hear tunes, and make friends. But a novice can't walk out of music store with a fiddle and start playing at a jam. I can't imagine anyone without a decent amount of fiddle/violin playing experience trying to fiddle their way through a tune they have just heard for the first time.

The individual who made the original post (i.e. "Riptide") once emailed me saying he was a complete novice. No bowing or noting experience.

Jul 20, 2019 - 10:06 AM

Riptide

USA

57 posts since 5/8/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Dick Hauser

I think someone who already plays fiddle, can learn new tunes at a jam. But learning basic playing techniques comes from repetitive effective practice. It takes a certain degree of familiarity with bowing and the fingerboard before playing at a jam. In addition, a person has to memorize a melody before attempting to play a tune. A novice should spend time listening and practicing. A novice can go to jams to learn jamming etiquette, hear tunes, and make friends. But a novice can't walk out of music store with a fiddle and start playing at a jam. I can't imagine anyone without a decent amount of fiddle/violin playing experience trying to fiddle their way through a tune they have just heard for the first time.

The individual who made the original post (i.e. "Riptide") once emailed me saying he was a complete novice. No bowing or noting experience.


So I guess I won't go to any jams till I have what..a couple years of playing under my belt?

Jul 20, 2019 - 11:45:46 AM
likes this

315 posts since 11/12/2016

I would suggest you go, but temper your expectations. Listen, observe, take notes, and take your fiddle. Sit in the back, keep your mute on, and try to match some notes. It may be a couple of years or three before you have the skills and repertoire to really join in, but you'll have a good understanding of the jam dynamics. I go to a weekly Irish session and a monthly BG jam (both very different) and really suck trying to play with others, but they see I'm trying to better my skills and learn the tunes they play, and after initially attending a number of times to listen and watch, I have a pretty good idea of how not to step on toes (e.g. moving further back if a better player shows up). I've been playing just over 3 yrs.
When you feel you may be ready to take a break, start with a simple tune. I would suggest Boil the Cabbage. Worked for me.

Edited by - tpquinn on 07/20/2019 11:46:55

Jul 20, 2019 - 2:14:51 PM
likes this

DougD

USA

9166 posts since 12/2/2007

Donnie, that's just about what Dick Hauser said. Read his post again. "A novice can go to jams to learn jamming etiquette, hear tunes, and make friends. But a novice can't walk out of music store with a fiddle and start playing at a jam."
Just kerp going. Your own good sense and the jam dynamics will tell you when you should join in.

Edited by - DougD on 07/20/2019 14:15:19

Jul 20, 2019 - 2:51:14 PM
likes this

DougD

USA

9166 posts since 12/2/2007

In short, Dick didn't say "don't go" he just said "don't expect to join in right away."

Jul 20, 2019 - 4:02:06 PM
like this

303 posts since 8/10/2017

Totally new? Go anyway. If you can't even play it at all, that's okay. Start getting the tunes into your ear bones now so they can come out your finger bones later.

Jul 20, 2019 - 5:28:19 PM
like this

7363 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Riptide

Sorry for all the questions lol I've just been playing almost 3 months. I know 2 and a half songs. Should I wait till I've learned more songs and more time under my belt before I go to a Jam? Thanks!


Our Mailman wanted to learn to fiddle.. I said I'd teach him.. After he could play only ONE tune, I invited him to a jam session at my house.. When it was his turn to pick a tune, well, he only knew ONE.. so we all played that tune.. He was IN A JAM.. and you couldn't have stopped the smile on his face..That is how it works.. little by little.. Immerse yourself. OT musicians are usually Very forgiving...

Page: 1  2   Last Page (2) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.40625