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Going to my first jam tomorrow!
I plan to attend a bluegrass slow jam for beginners.
Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 (6 votes) 
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KindaScratchy
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September 20, 2014 - 9:57 am
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Hey everyone. I'm soooo excited! The other day I learned about a bluegrass slow jam for beginners sponsored by the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance (RIBA). It will be held on Sunday afternoon in Foster, RI, which is about 45 minutes from my house.

Can't pass this up, so I'm goin'! I have so wanted to find an jam to attend, but all the others that I've heard about have been either too far away or at a time I couldn't attend, or both.

My only concern is that I don't know much bluegrass music. But, that presents and opportunity, too, to learn new music and improve my ear learning skills.

I'm planning to bring both my fiddle and my mandolin to get experience on both. Plus, I find it easier to pick up new tunes by ear on the mando. And, I will bring a notebook to jot down the tunes that we do so I can work on some of them with my teacher before the next jam (they'll be held on the third Sunday of every month; this is the first).

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow night.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Uzi
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September 20, 2014 - 10:44 am
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Sounds fun. Can't wait to hear how it went. I hope there is a good turn out.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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MrYikes
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September 20, 2014 - 10:59 am
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I'm excited for you.  I hope there is a good turnout.

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Tucson1
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September 20, 2014 - 1:42 pm
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Wow ,  way cool ....know you'll be having fun ...take pictures ?

We have a monthly jam here at Drexel Heights Town Hall  ...all skill levels welcome ..

violin-1267Have fun    Be happy

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coolpinkone
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September 20, 2014 - 1:50 pm
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Diane.. I am so excited for you. I love that you share your journey.  I am so inspired. 

Please keep us posted.  Very cool that your Mando is coming along.

:)

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Ferret
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September 20, 2014 - 4:29 pm
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Great stuff Diane. I should be fun. Am looking forward to hearing how it all went

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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rockinglr33
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September 20, 2014 - 9:49 pm
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oh wow! that sounds like such a fun time!!! i'm eager to hear how it turned out!!! 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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VickieD
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September 20, 2014 - 10:30 pm
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Awesome! @kindascratchy! Have a great time at your jam. Sounds like it will be a super fun time. Let us know how it goes. semiquaver-1214

@Tucson1 - is there a web site for the Drexel Heights jam session in Tucson - sounds like fun - even just to come and listen (at least for the first time). semiquaver-1214

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
~~Albert Einstein

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Tucson1
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September 20, 2014 - 11:31 pm
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Howdy Vickie ,

Welp , i got the name of the building wrong ...it's called the  South West Community Center ..at 5950 S. Cardinal Ave ...and they Jam every Tuesday night , not just once a month ...according to Wilbur ...just got done talkin' to him on the phone ...they jam from 7 pm to 9 pm ...ya can get there early to socialize if ya want ..

It's the Southern Arizona Old Time Fiddlers Association ...Wilburs' phone number is (520) 743-7086 if ya want to give him a call and verify ..just in case I'm confused again

If ya take Ajo rd. west a few miles to Cardinal ave.and turn right on Cardinal ave it's only about a half mile on the left side . Might want to G.map it fer distance ..

I forgot to ask Wilbur about a web site , sorry ...but i did look it up and just found some old posts about past events .

Ya can play other instruments like guitar and mandolin too ...violin-1267Have fun    Be happy

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KindaScratchy
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September 21, 2014 - 7:44 pm
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Well, I not only survived, but I had a wonderful time. It was so much fun!

The jam was held at a quaint old restaurant out in the country. Like any typical jam, everyone sat in a circle. There were 15-20 people in attendance. The majority were guitar players, but there were several banjo players, four mandolin players (including me) and two fiddle players (including me), and a bass player.

That doesn't include the moderator who played all of those instruments (except bass), and very well. He was entertaining and talked a lot about jamming and playing bluegrass, so it was almost like a class.

I played mandolin (chords/rhythm) on all the songs/tunes except one because I didn't know the music. It was pretty easy to figure out the chord progressions by watching a guitar player. It was sooo cool to be able to play along with a group, and on tunes that I had never heard before.

Toward the end, the moderator went around the circle, asking each person to call a tune. I called the Tennessee Waltz and played it on the fiddle. I was VERY nervous and definitely didn't play my best on it. Everyone was very supportive, though, and complimented me at the end. I know they were being kind. I am determined to do better next time.

I found out that RIBA also hosts a regular jam on the first Sunday of every month in the same location, and that attendees at those jams usually break out into smaller groups based on skill level. So, I will try to attend some of those jams, too.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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RosinedUp
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September 21, 2014 - 9:42 pm
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Sounds like a great experience.  It's nice you were able to find a BG jam for beginners.

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Tucson1
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September 21, 2014 - 10:08 pm
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Sounds like a good time was had by all ....sooo much fun   sure yer lookin' forward to more ....playing by ourselves and performing in front of / with others is a whole 'nother ball game ...violin-1267Have fun     Be happy

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VickieD
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September 21, 2014 - 11:43 pm
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@KindaScratchy ~~ sounds like you had a super fun time ~~ what a great experience. You'll be calling lots of tunes soon ~~ I'm sure your Tennessee Waltz was beautiful ~~ keep it up ~~ we want to hear about your futures sessions.thumbs-up

@Tucson1 ~~ thanks for the Old Time Fiddler's information and for getting the info from your friend Wilbur. I am going to get out there soon.semiquaver-1214

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
~~Albert Einstein

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Schaick
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September 22, 2014 - 9:31 am
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@KindaScratchy AWESOME!!!!  Yes the jams are a bit like lessons - for free!!  I had never heard of a slow jam, slow Sessions but never slow jam, very cool!!  That is probably what I have needed!!  Some of our people are wicked fast!!

So... the moderator lead/called all the tunes until he went around the circle inviting others to lead/call a tune?  

Did they/you pass the tune off to another to lead and then take it back and finish the tune?  This for me is hard - I almost always mess up big time the second time I have to play a tune and my mind goes blank.  How blank?  I can't even hum the tune.  If you asked my name I wouldn't be able to tell you

Last Tues's jam I was able to lead every time it came around to me.  Before that I had to pass a bunch of times.   I was able to finish a couple of the tunes, it was messy but I finished them!!

I believe playing the fiddle has taken first position away from my love of gardening!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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MrYikes
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September 22, 2014 - 10:37 am
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Where is this, Schaick?

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Schaick
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September 22, 2014 - 11:08 am
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@MrYikes Indianapolis, Arthurs Music in Fountain Square every Tuesday from 5-8

Check out this site

http://www.simplybluegrass.com.....ams?page=2

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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coolpinkone
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September 22, 2014 - 3:10 pm
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Awesome!  Diane.

Sounds like you had a great time.  I am so happy for you.  All of you who are playing Mando these days have me inspired. (Not to play.. but to watch...)  So beautiful.

Go Go Tennessee Waltz.  (on my list to learn)

I have rarely heard of anyone coming back from a jam session uninspired.  My friend who is a classically trained violinist, also was part of a fiddling group growing up, just went to our local jam and she had a blast. Of course she was  a "big deal" .. she was invited to join in a band already. 

Anyway.. she had a great time.. and  thought people were so down to earth and kind. It is good to know... I keep hearing these kinds of good things about jams.  Restores my faith in meeting up to play with Violinists/fiddlers. :)

She has been to jams where they all had sheet, and jams were they play by ear. She said the ones where everyone had sheet in advance were kind of fun because there was more playing time since everyone was "ready."   She can play by ear and join in just about anything, but she always seems to play by sheet.  

I am wondering if that is because after playing 22 years, that you can not possible have all songs over 2 decades in your head?? 

Anyway.. again.. thanks for sharing and I am super stoked about your good time.  I regret not signing up for the orchestra event coming up.. but at this time my nerves can't take it.. DARN.

jimi-hendrixviolin_girljimi-hendrixviolin_girlToni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 25, 2014 - 6:11 pm
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Sounds like a great experience. Glad that you did it. Maybe a video on one of the future jam sessions so we can share in your experience. :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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HotHands
Indiana
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September 25, 2014 - 7:05 pm
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@Schaick fountain square? i know where that is, i had no clue about every tues though. i think i might try to pop by sometime soon

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KindaScratchy
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September 25, 2014 - 9:27 pm
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Schaick said
@KindaScratchy AWESOME!!!!  Yes the jams are a bit like lessons - for free!!  I had never heard of a slow jam, slow Sessions but never slow jam, very cool!!  That is probably what I have needed!!  Some of our people are wicked fast!!

So... the moderator lead/called all the tunes until he went around the circle inviting others to lead/call a tune?  

Did they/you pass the tune off to another to lead and then take it back and finish the tune?  This for me is hard - I almost always mess up big time the second time I have to play a tune and my mind goes blank.  How blank?  I can't even hum the tune.  If you asked my name I wouldn't be able to tell you

Last Tues's jam I was able to lead every time it came around to me.  Before that I had to pass a bunch of times.   I was able to finish a couple of the tunes, it was messy but I finished them!!

I believe playing the fiddle has taken first position away from my love of gardening!

Hi Patty. Just realized that I hadn't answered your questions. There was more talking and less playing than I had expected, which is why I said it was more like a class. But that was fine; I hung on every word.

After the moderator (that's what they called him), did his talking, he had us play some songs (someone did vocals, so they were songs, not tunes) that he suggested. Then he went around the circle and asked folks to call a song/tune. Some people passed, and maybe I should have, too, but I called the only bluegrassy song I knew that I thought I could play reasonably well, which was the Tennessee Waltz. I decided to play it on fiddle, not mando, because A. I knew that if I picked it on mando, no one would be able to hear it, B. I brought my fiddle so I figured I should play it at least once, and C. I didn't want to sing it.

This being my first jam, I found it a little disconcerting to be the only one playing melody at first, with guitars and mandos backing me up. I didn't know whether I should be setting the tempo or following their lead. Then, the leader passed it off to a mando player, then to the other fiddler, then finally back to me.

I know what you're saying about a blank mind. I've played the Tennessee Waltz many, many times at home alone and have been working on it with my teacher, so I thought I was comfortable playing it. Nonetheless, you would have thought it was my first time the way I played it on Sunday.

It was a great experience, nonetheless, and I plan to do it again...that's the only way I'll ever get comfortable playing in front of other people.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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