It’s one thing to play confidently in front of your cat, it’s another thing entirely to play equally well in a fast paced pickin’ circle, or in the coffee scented sweaty lights of an open mic.
Things that you were sure you knew like the back of your hand will evaporate like spit on a griddle, and you find yourself playing as if you were wearing mittens. Ugh!
It’s time to learn how to jam!
And as hard as we try, we’re not going to be able to provide all the training you need to be a true jammer, to get to that place where you can show up to any bluegrass festival or pickin party and dive in with a grin. Sure, we can get you real close, with our awesome videos and coaching and constant encouragement, but although we can lead you to water, we can’t make you drink 🙂
The first thing you want to be doing is playing along with stuff!! That’s right, this is why we named out music approach “Jam Along”, because we have found that this is the best way to learn.
But wait, before you get too nervous, here’s the good news: unlike swimming, with music we can “fake” the water. You don’t have to start with real live people, you can start with…you guessed it: VIDEOS!
This is why we create the Virtual Jam video series, and we’re creating play-along interactive videos for you in all kinds of musical styles, including Bluegrass, Blues and Swing Jazz.
Free eBooks and Music Charts
If you ever find yourself yelling “but I don’t know the chords!”, then take a minute to download our free eBooks with chords and lyrics to all the best jam songs. Remember, with an eBook you can keep it on your cell phone or tablet for immediate use at a jam, and it’ll be always with you!
We also have some great charts and cheat sheets too — all free!
Free sheet music & TAB
OK, now you’re ready to learn some more songs. Stroll on over to the free sheet music & TAB page and start downloading. We’re always adding new TABs to this list, and you can contribute to it as well by ordering a transcription of your favorite solo HERE (yes, all of our transcriptions go here to share with the world)
(Oh, by the way, if you like all the free resources we’re giving you, why not share the love and make a donation?)
Free JamAlong audio
Hone your jamming chops by playing along with our free JamAlong audio tracks. There’s a lot more of these fun Backing Tracks availabe on our eLesson Library page, so be sure to head over there too and start jamming along 🙂
Take advantage of our 100% FREE video lessons here, just a small example of the wealth of information available on our eLesson Library page. Remember, you can also order up a custom video lesson on anything you want, or sign up for a membership and pay just $30 a month and get full access to all of the lessons, all the time!
Also, be sure to visit the JamAlong YouTube Page for tons more free instruction!
Music Paper and Blank Charts
Download and print out your own music paper and chord charts, handy binder inserts, and even a scheduling chart to remind you when it’s time to practice.
Handy online tuning tracks to tune your guitar, banjo, mandolin or ukulele.
There are lots of great resources for music online, places to hang out and meet folks as well as get a lot of free music instruction. Definitly check out all of these links and bookmark the ones you like, they’re all great additions to your jammer network…
Random thoughts about jamming
Here is where we ramble on about various subjects on jamming, from capo’s to fiddle tunes to why tambourines are dangerous. For more great reading be sure to go check out our JamAlong Blog Page, where you’ll find hours of material that is not only educational, but entertaining as well…
Capoing the 5th string on the banjo
Lately we’ve been getting a lot of questions for our banjo peeps on this, and so we’ve decided to tackle this subject. First, we’re going to endorse capoing up your 5th string to A whenever your playing in the key of D. This is a great trick and works especially well for playing Scruggs Style banjo, giving you that “ringing out” effect of the fifth string and allowing you to use it freely without to many sour notes. To learn more about this check out our awesome video lesson on Playing in High A Tuning, it will get you sounding like a pro in the key of D, in days. Trust us. Next get a cup of coffee and check out this informative article from Deering Banjos on the subject, and psssst, Deering Banjos rock!
Get social with us
When you’re a jammer, you need to be active online, in a “social way”. Yes, we know this is over-hyped these days, what with all the ballyhoo about Facebook and Twitter, but it’s true. As soon as you start posting comments about your gripes and victories, you will be amazed at how much support you get, as well as making new friends who all have something to teach you.
Like our Facebook page so you can be in the loop on all of our cool events and offers!
Subscribe to our YouTube page where we’re always putting up new videos and jamming along.