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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Open Blues Jams protocol



Earn while you learn
Mar 13th, 2016 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I went to a couple of local blues jams recently both instances had nice people, good vibe, etc.

I only played on a few songs that were going on. I never pick a tune or tell the house band to play this/that chord progression....although one tune was in F# minor (putting my sax in Ab minor) which was interesting.

In general, I just go along with what is being played. Both instances I got asked to stay on stage and continue to play as the players were rotating through....(I guess they don't see too many sax players).

I usually listen for a set (or a few tunes) then hop in for a few tunes, then listen to a couple more, and then leave.

Should I be staying for another whole set after I play?? I don't want to be rude.....


(This message was last edited by reverendrob at 11:51 PM, Mar 13th, 2016)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Mar 13th, 2016 04:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you are asked to stay up by the house band that is a compliment. Stay up if you wish to keep playing. If you where not adding to the mix you would not be asked to remain.

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

Built for comfort, not for speed.
Mar 14th, 2016 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hammond is right on the money...

Mike: Knowing your talent, you should be able to walk in any jam and get on stage any time you want...if there happened to be a second sax player at the jam, you might "take turns", but you could play all night if you wanted. And I am sure you will be asked if you are looking to join a group several times each night.

Every jam is run different.

Some are "Dodge City" where you just step up, play and leave when ready. Others are very organized with one person who has the sign up sheet and will usually ask a newbie about their playing experiences so the guy with the clipboard can decide who to put the newbie on stage with.

The format in Oklahoma City's blues culture seems to be the guy with a clipboard who puts "jam groups" together and everyone gets 30-45 minutes, then everyone steps off. But like everything, there are exceptions...especially as the newbie gets better known.

I played at a couple of jams where after the house band played a short set (2 or 3 tunes) one or two guys would step off and the guy on stage would call up a couple of replacements he knew...it could be a long evening if you were a newbie and no one knew you.

I went to another jam out of state where the policy was ONE musician sets in at a time with the house band...2 or 3 tunes, then get off the stage.

Lots of formats. The sign of success and acceptance is getting asked to stay on stage or getting asked back up for a second set...or simply being asked to sit in anytime.

If you come this way, I will put together a jam and you can play all night...

Vic Vega


Deflating Balls Since 1969
Mar 15th, 2016 02:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Where do you live? I know of a great blues jam in East Brookfield.

Contributing Member


I like guitars and amps
Mar 20th, 2016 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Being asked to stay onstage and play some more is a serious compliment. It says something about your playing AND your "not" playing. Jams are all about taking turns in the spotlight.

Sax and harp players at a popular Jersey Shore I attend don't know when to shutup. (sorry for the mini rant) Very annoying when they step on the singer or another soloist.

I get asked to stay up for extra tunes beyond the 3 tune max. Gary the jamboss, likes my playing but he mentioned once that I know when to lay back too.

Sometimes what you play is as important as what you don't play.

Enjoy the jam. It's great to find a good one

Warren Pederson


Mar 31st, 2016 09:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Might be a good idea to play for a little while, order a drink and tip the waitress. No?

Contributing Member

Philly, B-3 Capital

don't dream it be it
Apr 8th, 2016 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile  


yes, too many people musicians come to jams, play and leave w/out patronizing the place.
they need people to spend money to survive.

sometime it's good not to stay all night even if asked, makes them want more, so you'll be even more appreciated next time you come by.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Apr 8th, 2016 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Even if I have to leave, I at least get a drink and stay thru the next couple of songs in appreciation of the club having live music and the house band putting in the effort.


62 Strat Man

May 2nd, 2016 06:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

If they ask you to stay up week after week then your doing something right. Go for it

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Open Blues Jams protocol

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