Monday, February 5, 2018 @12:13:43 AM
Kate, I'm glad you enjoyed that.
I like that checklist. Unlike so many that get posted to BHO, that one is constructive and useful (many of them are just lists of gripes and are really intended to cut down those who aren't experts).
I'll post about my jamming experience when I can. I'm not very good at jamming, just a beginner at it myself.
Monday, February 5, 2018 @4:35:24 AM
Boadicea Kate - you should be able to use a capo. Put a capo on the second fret, for example, and you are now playing in the key of A. Do you have spikes on your banjo (to capo the fifth string)? You need that also. Ask your teacher. Fiddle players and mandolin players like the keys of A and D, both which you can play more easily if you capo at the second fret. Of course there is more to using a capo than this. Ask your teacher.
Also - if you are comfortable singing, learn three or four songs that you can sing and play along, even if you just vamp, or even if you can't play along. There will be plenty of backup players that know the common songs - pick a song with simple chord changes. When it comes your turn (they typically go round the circle, and each player takes turn leading a song), announce what song you will sing, in what key you want to sing it, and kick it off if you can. A simple way to do a kick-off (e.g. in the key of G) is to play one measure of D, one measure of C, one or two measures of G and launch into the song. Hope that makes sense. I didn't spend a lot of time on the website for your jam - look for a song list - they typically will list the most common songs that come up in their jams. I don't know what an Australian song list looks like. Haha. Lonnie Donnagen comes to mind. Does you're Chewing Gum Loose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Over Night is playing in my head! I know - I'm bad. As I said, pick a couple that you know, that have simple chord changes, and you can sing in a comfortable key.
There is a subtle hint here. Jams typically focus on singing songs - and playing along. We as beginners tend to focus on instrumental songs. So there is, as I said, a subtle shift - you need to think about the songs you would like to sing, and learn the break that goes with it. If you are good at picking out the melody of a song on your banjo, the next step is to fit the melody into the rolls you play.
Hope this helps.
Monday, February 5, 2018 @8:16:20 AM
Kate - I just looked at the web site. It is a Pete Wernick sponsored jam - that is a really good thing. The materials he has available will really help you. This is a great way to extend your fun playing the banjo!
When I was starting out I got his Jamming for beginners DVD - it helped a lot.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 @5:53:09 AM
This is an interesting conversation with good advice and I want to read the referenced items.
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