Blues Jam rooke advice

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Blues Jam rooke advice

Postby jagarner70 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:37 pm

Ok guys take it easy on me. I am trying to get the nerve to sit in at a jam session at one of the local bars. I would like to get started as simply as possible. Any advice? Should I bring anything other than my harps for the 1st time playing? Can I play in front of a mic that is hooked up to the pa or should I bring my mic & amp? I would like to sit back and comp while the band is playing and I could have a solo written down in case I need to play one.
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Postby kingley » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:03 pm

My best advice would be to just take a few harps in various keys.
G, A, Bb, C, D, F should cover it.

I wouldn't take a mic and amp the first time. Play off a vocal mic into the PA, and try to sit in on a song you know.

Choose a song you are comfortable playing and just play one 12 bar solo if asked to.

I would concentrate on listening to everybody else and only put it the odd fill here and there behind the vocals.

Don't play over everybody, to ensure that you are asked back. Then you can always bring an amp and mic as you progress in that jam session.

But above all enjoy it!
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Postby jeffl » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

I strongly agree with Kingley's advice. I've played harp since I was 16 yrs. old (40 YRS. AGO); I've jammed in bars and homes and barns, etc. The rule I use in jams is the same one I use when sittin' in with bands on stage: stay within my abilities. I think the advice about playin' through the vocal mic is good, too. You can play very well through a vocal mic, even if it's eq'd for voice. If you haven't done it before, the biggest thing you have to avoid is cuppin' the mic hard like you would a bullet style harp mic. If you do this, you are likely to experience some feedback squeal, and dat's a bad thing. You can get your hands much closer to a vocal mic than you would imagine, and funnel the sound into the mic...maybe leaving a space of only 3/8s of an inch, which can do a fine job of getting a nice fat tone. If you get feedback, you jus' have to open up your cup a hair and back away a hair to eliminate it. If you have a good time, then when you go back, the guys ( and/or girls ) will treat you more like a bro', and you'll be cookin' with Sterno. You can always sit in your chair out in the club or whatever, and play along unobtrusively to get comfortable and loose. If there's plenty of jammers there, it will only identify you as one of the gang, and won't be considered weird.
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