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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Have you ever participated in a jam session?

April 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I thought of this question for our weekly giveaway, Mark O'Connor's "Jam Session," and I decided it makes a good vote as well!

I can remember going to parties, when I was in the Disney College Orchestra, where my colleagues were jamming, but I honestly thought that I couldn't participate because I played the violin. How I wish I had just taken out my violin and given it a try!

In recent years, I've experimented more with this, but I'd still like to find a setting where I could do a lot more, probably this is the setting, really!

While I'm speaking of Mark, I want to give him a shout-out, I played his Blackberry Mull last night in my violin recital (a benefit for my kids' school), with colleagues Carrie and Dane Little, and it was really fun and well-received. Nice that Mark makes his music available for download, and for a pretty decent price. It's the next best thing to being a master of improv, to play the "jams" he's written down!

Tell us about your experiences with jamming, or not jamming. Also, answer this same question to enter to win Mark's CD.


Posted on April 24, 2010 at 10:35 PM

unless everyone is thinking and listening it just becomes lke an episode of "The View"

From Mendy Smith
Posted on April 25, 2010 at 1:28 AM

My first real jam session was in Malaysia.  We did a rendition of one of the Bach Suites, viola on amp with I think a Van Halen effect, drums and bass guitar in not quite a garage, but pretty close to one.  Noone spoke English except me.  Good thing music is a language all its own!

From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on April 25, 2010 at 9:48 AM

WIth a violinfriend we started jamming and improvising in our band, than the arranger/keyboardplayer wrote the violinscore for us. Here the result in the form of a concert in a school. The text was from a poet, we wrote our own music. At 3.30 a close up of the 2 violinists and at 5.55 minutes the reggae-intro with violins:


From Kathryn Woodby
Posted on April 25, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Absolutely!  Both at the  string camp I coundeled at during college, also with a guitarist and mandolinist from back home.  We even (the later group) took some of our stuff out for an impromptu waterfront spin.  We got $10 and ice cream out of the deal!  I miss it!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Jamming is one of the biggest highs for me, and there are plenty of jam sessions going on regularly in my area.  Mendy, your experience sounds like a lot of fun.  I've had some similar experiences with musicians from various parts of the world who are brought here by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.  Often we don't speak the same language, but we can play music together.  One year I was listening, intrigued, to a group of musicians from Tibet.  I saw an American friend talking with them through an interpreter.  When I got brave enough to join the group, the translator had left and my American friend was about to leave.  "Tell me something about their music," I said to him.  "It's in a pentatonic key.  Play something in A moxolydian with them, he responded."  One of my favorite fiddle tunes, Red Haired Boy, is in A mixolydian, and I taught them how to play it on their own traditional instruments.  That was a great jam.

From Charlie Piccione
Posted on April 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Aboslutely, jamming is the best form of self expresion, I jam every week with a bunch of friends and the great part about it is there are so many styles of playing. I learn on the spot and hardly ever play the same tune twice exactley the same. That is the fun part of the whole thing. ( Each musician influences the tune in a differant way and sometimes things really kick a$$ and click.

Be a Jamaholic and have some real fun.

From The Weekend Vote
Posted on April 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

I think I need to find more opportunities to do this, it sounds so fun!

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