What is a Jam Session & Why You Should Go to One

Whether you're a seasoned music veteran or a musician new to the music scene, jam sessions can be great for taking your talents and career to the next level.

Where can you find a jam session? Sessions can occur anywhere, from someone's living room to a studio or even in public spaces like a park. In fact, by holding jam sessions in public places like the park, you can get a sense of whats resonating with people and even get tips in the process. The money kind of tips 😁. How great, practice and maybe even make a few extra dollars.

The venue is less important than the purpose, which is for musicians to experiment, practice, share ideas, and create connections. It's a collaborative event where musicians of different skill levels and backgrounds can participate, often leading to spontaneous and unique musical creations. Imagine heavy metal guitarists playing alongside a classical singer while a jazz drummer keeps everyone on beat.

To find a jam session, here are a few ideas:

  • Search for music clubs at your school or neighborhood.
  • Search first music venues or production studios that host jam sessions. These may have a small fee to join the jam session or may require a purchase of a drink, but it's well worth it. A great example is FirstLive in Brooklyn, New York. This event studio hosts a jam session open to the public every Tuesday.
  • Create your own. If you can’t find a jam session, try to start one. All you need is to connect with musicians in your area, pick a spot, and send out an invite. It may start with only two people, but as word spreads it's likely to grow. a great way to find local musicians is with the Ckord (shameless plug 😊).

Are you thinking about doing a jam session? Here are some tips to develop your craft and contribute to the session:

  • Listen actively and stay open to new directions and ideas.
  • Communicate with other group members with gestures to signal changes or shifts in the music. Be on the same page with volume levels and be willing to adapt and adjust.
  • A basic understanding of scales, chords, and keys can help you improvise and understand the musical landscape.
  • Be Versatile and prepared to explore different genres and styles of music. Read the vibe of the jam to create a collaborative flow.
  • Allow the music to develop organically! Don't try to force complexity; sometimes, simplicity is key!
  • Respect your group, give everyone a chance to contribute, and don't try to dominate the session.
  • Be open to networking and creating connections. Networking during jam sessions can create new opportunities and help build a local music community.
  • Work on your live performance skills. Improvising can help musicians develop stage presence and adapt to the energy of the moment to engage with an audience.
  • Embrace mistakes as part of the creative process! Stay positive and enjoy the experience!