[Harp-L] Advice/tips for 1st blues jam?

ian osborn davidianosborn@xxxxx
Sun Oct 30 19:45:47 EDT 2016

agree!! great list of what to do! thanks!

On Sun, Oct 30, 2016 at 2:33 PM, Joseph Leone <3n037 at xxxxx> wrote:

> WOW, this is THE book on jam procedure
> smo-joe
> > On Oct 30, 2016, at 3:09 PM, Tin Lizzie <TrackHarpL at xxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > Ah, jamming in the wild!  Good for you, ian!
> >
> > One thing to know is that, typically, there’s a difference between a
> “jam” and an “open mic”.
> >
> > With an open mic, you’re generally expected to show up as a soloist or
> duo or with your own band.  The bar will let you use their sound equipment,
> but you’re expected to play your own tunes as a self-contained act.
> >
> > At a “blues jam”, at least the kind I like to frequent, you arrive, look
> around for The List, and write down your name and what instrument you play,
> typically while the house band (if there is one) plays the first set.
> During the breaks, the host will compose bands on the fly:  “Okay, for the
> next set, we’ll have Sam on guitar and vocals, Billy on guitar, Mike on
> bass, Taylor on drums, and Lizzie on harp.”  The lingua franca that enables
> everyone to make music with musicians they may never have met before is the
> 12-bar blues progression, and/or a song that all or nearly all know.
> >
> > But try not to feel entitled:  Just because it’s a blues jam doesn’t
> mean you'll get a nice, comfy, 12-bar blues every single time.  Roll with
> what you get, do your best, and be gracious about it.
> >
> > The vocalist is the director for the set.  He or she gets to say what
> the song is, what key it’s in, and (usually) gives the count-off.  If the
> vocalist neglects to tell the harp player what key the song is in, it’s
> okay to ask.  Try to ask before people actually start playing.  It is
> really, really useful to acquire the skill of figuring out what key a song
> is in without being told, because that happens.
> >
> > The etiquette is that everyone defers to the vocalist, and the vocalist,
> often via a nod or eye contact, will give everyone a turn to solo for a
> chorus, or two if the song is fast or the chemistry is good or the stars
> are aligned.  You’re expected to know when the chorus is compete and yield
> the floor back to the vocalist/band when your turn is over.  Watch the
> vocalist.  Never play harp when the vocalist is singing (unless you’re Joe
> Filisko and the vocalist is Eric Noden).
> >
> > Three songs per ad-hoc band per set is typical.
> >
> > People appreciate it if you can be fast about setting yourself up and
> fast to get out of the way, so the less gear you have and the less time you
> need for a sound check, the better.
> >
> > Most people don’t want to hear all harmonica all the time.  (Sorry.)
> You’ll win big points for artistic discretion.  You can not play at all for
> multiple choruses and no-one will mind, except maybe your mother if she
> comes out to hear you play that particular night.  When it’s your turn to
> solo, give it all you’ve got.  When it isn’t, go minimal.
> >
> > Every jam is different.  If I have the luxury, I go and lurk the first
> time, just to get a feel for how the jam works, the better to mesh when I
> do sign up.  Now that I’m such an old pro (arf), I might take my harps and
> lurk for the first  *set*, and then add my name to the list if it feels
> right.
> >
> > Tip the bartender or server generously, even if you only order club
> soda, and if the band has a tip bucket, tip the band, too.
> >
> > Remember to look out at the audience and smile.  Show them a good time.
> :-)
> >
> > Tin Lizzie
> >
> >
> > On Oct 30, 2016, at 2:19 PM, ian osborn wrote:
> >
> >> Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2016 09:14:13 -0700
> >> From: ian osborn <davidianosborn at xxxxx>
> >> To: Harp L <harp-l at xxxxx>
> >> Subject: [Harp-L] Advice/tips for 1st blues jam?
> >> Message-ID:
> >>      <CAG9GgrM42mCeHyzn=U03VfWx=E1Q2enf16nxVRq-sOgmkRHfuQ at xxxxx
> gmail.com>
> >> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >>
> >> Hey guys
> >>
> >> Been on stage before as a guest player for a bunch of songs with my
> friends
> >> who have a band, but I have never done the blues jam experience...
> >> Especially one where I don't know anyone... But the bar is five minutes
> >> away and I need as much practice as possible... So my question is any
> >> advice or tips?? Other than "buy people a beer" or "help set up early
> and
> >> stay late to clean up"
> >> LOL
> >

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