Dr. Banjo’s Jam Tip #5: “It’s Not About Reciting”

“By keeping it slow and simple, ANYONE can be jamming within days of getting their first stringed instrument!” – Pete (Dr. Banjo) Wernick
Welcome to Dr. Banjo’s Jam Tips here on Prescription Bluegrass.

DR. BANJO’S JAM TIP #5. Jamming is not about reciting!

It includes the unexpected, so learn to go with the flow A common problem of closet players first trying to jam is: When starting a solo, they stumble and suddenly, they're sunk. In the closet, no problem just starting over. But in a real jam, no do-overs: The music continues. Image634926217739430606A stumble means, "quick, get back in." That's a jam skill -- because unintended things are part of jamming (like life).
Learning to stay in time while "finding your way back" after a stumble is something jammers learn to do, from experience.
Example: Imagine speaking only in pre-set sentences, and starting to say, "I'm going home," -- but accidentally starting: "Home..." Start over? No, an experienced speaker can recover by saying, "Home is where I'm going."
Experience gets you flexibility. Like speech, but unlike classical music, bluegrass is not about reciting exact blocks. Bluegrass can include the unexpected, and jammers who listen and stay flexible can keep going even when accidents happen.
To play along with a slow bluegrass jam where the band (on your video screen) gives you chances to solo, click here.


This is a brand new weekly series with Dr. Banjo. If you just can’t wait a week or need more advanced help, be sure to visit DrBanjo.com and browse around.

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