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Thread: Hi

  1. #1

    Question Hi


    I've just tkaen the plunge for the first time and bought in to the Blues jam course. It looks great and I'm looking forward to working through it and then maybe having the guts to get up at my local jam. I've been stuck in my practice room for a couple of years now and need to get out and play. It's so scary though! Does anyone have any recommendations for songs that I should have under my belt before I take the plunge?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries


    Welcome to the forum gillieshill. Congratulations on buying the Blues Jam course and good luck on your path to playing at the local jam. It's a great goal to have and I bet you'll do fine. Now, as for songs I think the first thing I'd do is to hang out at the jam, listen to the songs that you hear locally, talk to the other guys and gals there and get their takes on it. After all, those are people you'll be playing with and not only can they let you know what they like, they can probably give you tips on how to play those songs. So that's a start. Other guys will come in here with their suggestions of standards and all but I'd take my first cue from the songs played at the local jam. Great having you here on the forum!
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Blog Entries


    I don't have time at the moment to offer more than a big WELCOME!
    Great course to get you motivated gillieshill. I will stop back later but learn the Allman Brothers version of Stormy Monday and do the course.... you will be ready
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Blog Entries


    Welcome to the forum. This is a great motivational course, and Jeff is a great instructor. I haven't gone through the whole course yet, but I did a quick overview. And I remember specifically that Jeff offered suggestions for something like the first 4 songs you should learn, and well as a couple of progressions and licks you're likely to need.

    He also had a section about talking to the jam leader, and asking if they had a songbook to look over. And covered some great advice on how to approach the whole first time jam.

    I don't/haven't jammed myself, so I can't offer any personal suggestion. But have fun with the course, and in case you're not aware Jeff drops by here on occasion, so ask any questions you like. You just might get an answer straight from Jeff.
    Honey, I'm spending money on guitars or women, ... your choice.

    If you take Satan for a ride, pretty soon he'll want to drive.

    Favorite Course - Blues Alchemy
    Working On - Fretboard Epiphanies & Jump Blues

  5. #5


    Well, there was a thread a while back where we discussing this and my reply was it is better to learn the most prevalent grooves you will find in blues as far as going to a blues jam. You see there are 3 main grooves and about a dozen total grooves that make up most blues songs, if you know a slow blues groove as well as shuffle and straight 4/4 and learn how to follow a 3 chord pattern in any key you will be pretty well armed to go to a blues jam and sit in. If you know these grooves and explain to the jam that it's your first time then hopefully he or she will keep it to basic patterns and maybe even ask what key you are comfortable in. Of course there are variations to any groove but that's a great start.

    Blues Expose' is a course that covers grooves rather than songs, Josh and I do mention a few songs that relate to each groove and the course covers both lead and rhythm. I think there are other courses that covers grooves too.

    Now, as far as specific songs, if I were to mention a few I would say Stormy Monday, The Thrill Is Gone, Red House would be a good start but I would also say be prepared to play them in whatever key the host band play the song in unless you are going to sing the song in which case choose a key that suits your voice.

    The Main thing is relax, listen to the other musicians and when uncertain just lay back at a lower volume, when you fell confident you know what to play crank it up and let it rip.

  6. #6


    Slasner's got some good advice there. Can't add much to that so I'll just say welcome to the forums

    'Retired' Truefire Swat team member

    "You should never lose the groove to find a note"-- Victor Wooten

  7. #7


    Welcome Gillieshill,

    You have picked a great place to hang out, learn a lot and basically chat music and guitar! Very knowledgeable and friendly folks here. Red (Slasner) is one of the more prolific and experienced folk on the forum, he knows of what he speaks and he has been around the block so great advice there.

    I look forward to seeing you around. BTW the first thought I had when I initially read your post: Stormy Monday.

    Good Luck.

  8. #8


    Welcome aboard gillieshill. I too am one of the many who have opted to order the Blues Jam Survival Guide. I'm also hoping that this will give me the confidence and the tools to take the leap into the world of blues jams. I've been to many as a spectator, but never as a performer.

    You will have to keep us informed as you progress through the course as well as whether or not you find the confidence to overcome your stage fright.

    I want to die in my sleep like grandpa, not screaming like everyone else in the car.

  9. #9


    Thanks guys for making me look good! (checks in the mail)

    gillieshill: The Jam Survival course is IMHO a great course to get you ready for a blues jam, that was the idea put into making that course! Jeff Scheetz is a great guitarist/instructor and a really cool guy too! I provided the live band and venue for the live stage jam fottage on this course, I'm the guy with the redish hair and off white strat, after we finished recording we went on a fishing trip with the owner of TrueFire, I was able to really get to know Jeff and I can tell you he is dedicated to helping folks get up on stage, he is very available to communicate with here on the TF forum as well as his own website

    Additionally many folks here including myself are here to help you in any way we can. Feel free to contact me any time

    Welcome and good luck!

  10. #10


    Hi Gillieshill. Welcome to the forums!

    Let us know if you need anything or have any questions.

  11. #11


    Hello Gillieshill!

    First off to echo others - welcome. And thanks for picking up the survival guide! Before I talk about your real question - I want to address one thing you said - when you remarked it was "scary" thinking about jammin. Man, that is so true!!!! But here is the very good news - it is scary for everyone! So you are not alone. But once you do it a couple of times it will be not nearly as bad - so just throw your brain up ahead into that time frame - and trust me - each time you do it, it gets better - so the key is just plow ahead and do it as much as you can. Work on some of the basic grooves and you will be ready.

    As for songs - Gadlaw had some good advice in that you should go to a couple of the jams you may want to eventually play at. Because even though there are some fairly "standard" tunes - it has been my experience as I have travelled around the country, that different areas jam on different tunes. Kind of strange - you would think we would all play the same songs - and like I said there are a few - but it is surprising how many different songs you will here in different locales.

    Of course Red is indeed a master of the jam and has probably led or played at more jams than the lot of us put together - so his advice is right on. Learn basic grooves and the overall concepts behind the 12 bar blues. You don't need to study it with a fine tooth comb to start out with - but be able to "Play blues in G" - or in "A" - or "Db" or whatever key someone calls out. Then work on getting down and being able to recognize the shuffle - a 12/8 groove - straight blues etc - really just a handful of those will get you by most places. That stuff is WAAAAAAY more important than learning actual songs.

    Here is a secret - I have a terrible memory for songs. I really can't remember songs - even ones I played a lot - once I stop doing them -they are gone. I have taught some songs to students a thousand times, but when the student wants to learn more than the basic structure I have to listen and re-learn. So..... the basic grooves and understanding the format is what I rely on. Now some people like to really have things memorized and down - but I really prefer to improvise solos and stuff, so that attitude helps me play through songs when I don't know them. Once again - don't get too caught up in having to learn actual blues songs - because the structures are very similar on many of them.

    Once you get up and jam, you will see that many times the guys jamming that you may have thought looked like they "knew" all these songs and stuff - were really just sort of winging it as they went -
    So while I advocate practicing as much as you can - remember, it's not rocket science, no one is going to die on account of what you play or forget to pla - so just get up and have fun with it. I have TOTALLY butchered and screwed up songs so badly that you couldn't even tell what song it was.... and yet, here I am, I play for a living - and heck - I'M the teacher!

    As has been mentioned here - Stormy Monday, Thrill is Gone (these both have a couple of different little twists that make you have to "learn" them) - On the slightly more rock side - things like Mustang Sally, Crossroads are all good. Of course Voodoo Child, Red House, Hey Joe seem to come up from the Hendrix fans a lot.

    But if you can "play slow blues in E" and keep up with the changes, you will be able to get up and play a couple of songs at a jam night. And that is where you should start.

    Hope all that rambling helps - please don't hesitate to post or shoot me a message if you have any questions or if I can help you in anyway to be able to get up and jam - it is an awesome thing that any musician who doesn't do is really missing out on. There is a quantum leap in fun and fulfillment between just playing by yourself at home and getting onstage and rippin it up with other real live musicians.

    Jeff Scheetz - TrueFire's Director of Education
    Jeff Scheetz Website and Blog

    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about." - Benjamin Franklin -

  12. #12

    Wink Congrats on getting the Jam Survival course! :)

    Welcome gillieshill!!!

    Hope you enjoy the course!


    A lack of effort will give you a lack of results. PebberBrown)
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