make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation!"
with American Roots Music
Here are a few general thoughts to help make
more enjoyable at the Roots Gospel or any jam.
At the Roots Gospel jam, about 20 musicians and singers play through our sound
system. Other musicians play along in the front row. It is a great way to
learn and to meet other folks that share your interest for old-time gospel
music. If you'd really like to play through the sound system you'll need to
play along a time or two and practice with us on a couple of occasions.
Everyone's welcome to come to our informal practice sessions. If you're a
beginner guitar player, there will be plenty of folks that would love to sit
with you and help you out.
During a Jam, don't show off and over-play everything just so you can
show everyone how great you are. Play what the song, mood, and measure
deserve. Don't be "that guy" that everyone talks about on the way
home because he was driving them crazy.
Jams are made for audience participation. Please help sing
the songs and bring a couple of friends with you!
EVERYONE makes mistakes. Be courteous and understanding.
Help someone that is having problems. If you make a mistake, just stop and
find your place, then keep on playing.
Jams often have a lot of guitars. If you're playing a
guitar and have the ability, try to be inventive - capo up the neck and play
in that key, play bar chords and an appropriate strum, play the bass line,
finger-pick, etc. Too many guitars playing the same exact thing gets dull.
Make sure you keep your instrument in tune.
It's always helpful to bring along a music stand and instrument stand. We will
have many of these items, but it's always helpful to bring your own.
It can be difficult to get a good sound mix. Please don't
change the sound level on your instrument - let the beautiful sound tech control the
mix. If you're playing through an amp - don't get your feelings hurt if
you're asked to turn down. It's not about your abilities - it's about
getting a proper mix that is enjoyable to everyone.