Tag Archives: jam session

Jam Session

There’s a pretty active set of musicians at work, and last night, ten of them rented a studio space downtown at Utopia Studios for a jam session. As a newb to the whole thing, I was invited along. “Bring your guitar,” I was told. And I did.

The room was big enough — 34 x 18, part of an old converted warehouse — and was really rustic. Frankly, had I not been so interested in playing (and learning to play!), I would’ve loved photographing this building and the warehouses and alleys near it. It was a really cool spot.

We started just past 6.30, and when I left at 9.30, folks were still in full steam mode. The studio stays open until 2am, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our little group was pushing that time. We had a bassist, dobro, drums, bongos, and nine six-string guitars (including me). Needless to say, that many guitars made for some interesting music on some tracks!

So did I play on every song? Nope. In fact, I probably only played fully through three or four tunes, while I plinked along with the chords I knew on many others. But, man, did I ever enjoy being part of the music for once. As someone for whom music has been such a big part of my life for so very long, wrapping myself in the tapestry of live music, and weaving my own little corner of the sound was such an amazing experience.

It wasn’t without a few lessons learned though:

  • My cheesy little music stand I bought Thursday wasn’t really up to the weight of the music I had on it last night. I’ve gotta get something more substantial.
  • I need to have ready access to picks on the stand.
  • I need a water bottle holder on the stand. Reaching to the floor for my drink proved to be a precarious situation for my guitar.
  • My stand needs to also have a light. The side of the room I was on was pretty dang dark, and made it tough to see my music.
  • When printing my tabs for the night, I need to use a bolder, larger font. That’ll help with the dark, and frankly, makes it easier for me to focus on what I’m playing instead of trying to figure out what’s on the page.
  • I’ve gotta remember to take my guitar stand next time! I didn’t have anyplace to put my guitar during the night.
  • I’ve gotta find some way of keeping my picks out of the body of my guitar. I’ve dropped three in there over the last few days, and I accomplished that feat again last night.
  • I need to work on my chord transitions desperately! I couldn’t keep up on many songs because I kept having to think about what chord shape I needed next. That’s just practice, but definitely something of note!

In the end, I had a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed a few hours of playing last night, and absolutely wanna do it again!

(BTW, click for a Flickr set of last night’s fun!)