Recently I posted on my Facebook page about some new ideas I’m developing for a series of “one-shot” workshops that would address a single topic in one hour. I got a lot of good feedback about the concept, and the frontrunner idea was a coached jam session. I love this idea, and want to share with you how I see it taking shape!
The goals are to get some training and experience in playing with other musicians. Many of my students practice diligently and progress well, but don’t have much, if any, opportunity to get together with other players and work up songs. Any player who has had a chance to do that will tell you that if you can find some other people on a similar skill level and with compatible tastes in music, you’ll want to get together to play with them as often as you possibly can.
It’ll work like this: meetings will last an hour (probably a little longer). The group size will be only four people, plus me. Everyone will get individual coaching from me. There will be several sets of three songs listed here on my site. We’ll focus on classics: Beatles, Stones, Neil Young, and on and on. I’ll choose a set that each jammer will need to prepare thoroughly before we play, one set per session. You can sign up for whatever sessions look interesting to you. The song sets will be chosen well before the sessions and I’ll make available clear, basic charts for each song, to help you get ready.
I don’t mean that you’ll need to prepare each song in a note-for-note, just-like-the-record sense. Instead, anyone who can play the right chord at the right time with an appropriate sense of the song’s groove which be all set, and welcome in the jam group.
We’re going strictly acoustic, at least at first, so we can keep volume under control. All you need to bring is your guitar and your chord charts, plus any other song materials you need. I have some good basic jam rules we’ll follow. Once we’ve touched on those, we’ll count it off and play.
Each session will cost $20 a head. Most of the time we will meet on Sunday afternoons. The first session will be held at the West Chester Music studio on the last Sunday of June. Details to follow!