Re: Why not just call them "Guitar Jams"

> Regarding getting no respect at jams fturina@xxxxxxx writes: <snip>

> I'm not just writing to whine. I won't go back there, but  I love
> and I'm not going to quit.  My question is how do more experienced
> deal with the situation?  How can I "cut my chops" on the Harp?  And
> anyone know of a harp-friendly jam in Denver?

T Albanese offers:
I don't know about Denver but I've been to some pretty brutal ones in
Chicago. It can be tough, but at any jam you want to be able to have
some control over what's happening on stage. One way to do that: Be a
singer and band leader as well as harp player. When you sign the jam
sheet don't just write "harmonica" next to your name, write VOCALS and
harmonica. It gets noticed. Be prepared to get up on stage and call
out the tune. "OK guys, shuffle in E from the top. Ready? One, two,
three....." It's much easier to take control of a jam (and command
some respect) when you're singing and calling the shots, even if it's
only for one song. Easier said than done? Yes. The solution is
practice. Get some jam trax, find a tune you can handle, practice the
hell out of it at home and be ready to perform it when you hit the
jam. It doesn't hurt to get to know the person hosting the jam either.
Buy them a beer (only a small bribe). Let him/her know that you have a
tune you want to do and that you're going to front the band.

Another thing you can do is to partner up with a guitarist, work out
some tunes in advance with him/her, and call those tunes at the jam.
You'll already have musical rapport when you hit the jam together and
that should translate into some level of cooperation from the other
players. (BTW, If you don't sing make sure your guitarist does).

And oh yeah, I mention this only as a generalization and realize that
it may not apply to you in particular, but even though it's only a jam
it doesn't hurt to dress up a little. Got black slacks instead of blue
jeans? Wear them. Ditch the t-shirt and wear that cool shirt with the
collar that's been sitting in your closet. Remember you're fronting
the band. Make your mama proud.


Man, I have hardly seen better advice for a newbie at a Jam!
I get my head cut most every time I go to a jam...and then I go back
to the woodshed, and when I come back out, I'm a little better.
Playing music with outher musicians is MORE than just hitting the
That was really a great response, T.
- -Scorcher

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