For a majority of musicians, jamming in a group is a fun thing to do in your free time, as well as a great way to learn more and become a better musician. It is also a way to meet more musicians and to possibly get inspiration for your own music. As a beginner, getting thrown into a jam session with other musicians can be very intimidating. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be! Here is a beginner’s guide to jamming with a group.
LISTEN, WATCH AND ASK QUESTIONS:
If you find yourself in a jam session with other musicians and aren’t sure exactly what to do, take some time to figure it out. This can be done by just listening to what the other musicians are playing, or even watching their hands to see what scales and chords they are playing. Nobody is going to criticize you for taking a second to understand what is going on. Asking questions is also one of the best ways to learn more from the people you are playing with. This can be as simple as asking what key you are going to be playing in.
ACCEPT MAKING MISTAKES:
When playing in a jam session with other musicians or in any setting for that matter, it is absolutely okay to make mistakes. Making mistakes is all a part of learning and will only make you a better musician. In a jam session, it is okay to branch out of your comfort zone and try new things. It is only natural to mess up or make a mistake. Just laugh it off, learn from it and move on.
SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF:
While jamming with friends or other musicians should be an enjoyable activity, it is also a setting in which you will be able to grow as a musician. Try setting some goals for yourself the next time you play with others, whether that means trying new skills or even taking the lead part for a bit.
Last but not least, it is important to respect others while jamming in a group. Basically, this means not playing over people or criticizing others for making mistakes. After all, jamming should be a beneficial experience for all those involved.