Jam Day

This is a day of non-stop playing/singing session covering lots of great songs. We’ll be organised by a pro tutor (guitar and vocals). The overall aim is for us to get that ‘pro sound’ instead of the inexorable creep towards the ‘hobbyists’ din!’

Any playing level is fine – you’ll pick up lots of hints and tips but the day is about having fun and making good music. Bring along your favourite songs as well and we’ll try to squeeze them in.

Other instruments welcome (bass, harmonica, banjo, woodwind, etc.). Especially singers!

What we’ll be covering

Jamming with a group can be a wonderfully exhilarating and uplifting experience – if done properly !

It can also be a daunting experience if it isn’t organised or managed correctly:

  • everyone playing the same part and always being in catch-up mode
  • limited opportunities for solo breaks
  • no lyrics to sing along to and constantly lost with the chords
  • getting faster as excitement kicks in with overall the volume go up and up and up
  • completely missing the intro, inconsistent turnarounds and a messy, dwindling outro
  • disparate rhythms being played throughout
  • too many diverse and uncontrolled instruments
  • learning nothing new
  • etc.

Under the guidance of our pro tutor (guitar and vocals) we’ll go through a whole bunch of classic songs spanning many genres and styles. But, unlike standard jams, before we start a song we’ll review: the chords, basic rhythm, intro, outro and any turnarounds. The song charts (lyrics and chords) will be put on a screen to help everyone.

The songs will span easy to challenging and, as with a normal jam, everyone will be expected to join in where they can, at they level they’re at. The tutor might be able to walk around and offer ad hoc advice on playing and singing techniques

Having a pro tutor is the difference by conducting/controlling activities i.e. counting in, assigning parts, bringing people in at the right time, managing the volume, concentrating on quality of the sound, making the overall thing ‘nice’.

The tutor will only resort to the flip chart for clarification purposes – it’s not meant to be a formal teaching session!

Acoustic, electric and bass and other instruments are all welcome – we have had harmonica, trombone, ukelele, mandolin, baritone guitar, etc. Singers are especially welcome!

Songs covered in previous Jams have included: Pretty Woman, Lola, Black or White, Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, Help, Gravity, Moonlight Shadow,Moon River, Addicted to love, Beat it, Alright now, even Twinkle twinkle little star for an impromptu visit by a 3 year-old, and many more.

The course is suitable for most players and is based on iconic (and some unusual) songs that will add to your repertoire and provide you with extra tools and confidence to improve your playing. If you can play open chords and some basic barre chords then you’re good to go.

We’ll also encourage players to have a go at leading a song. Singers and other instruments are very welcome. Our tutor will be able to offer advice on vocals and guitar (a bit on bass) but all other instruments will be expected to just fit as nomnated by the tutor.

In summary

This is a structured jam, controlled by a pro offering advice on guitar playing and singing, with the overall objective of getting a group to play a bunch of songs to a much higher standard than usual; with everyone playing together and having a cracking, fun time!


Who’s this session suitable for?

High beginner to intermediate players. Acoustic or electric are fine. Even players who are relatively new to the guitar will get some great ideas and approaches from the sessions. We’ll all have a good time.

All players/singers should be know and be able to play the basics e.g. open chords and ideally basic barre chords (but a capo may help!). Some knowledge of the classic I, IV, V might help but you’ll have the charts in any case.

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