Research and surveys say that glossophobia, more commonly known as the fear of public speaking, ranks as the #1 phobia ahead of death, spiders, heights and dozens of other common fears. The researchers obviously haven’t polled a lot of musicians because nothing strikes fear in the heart of a practicing guitar player more than jumping up on the stage and performing at their local blues jam.
A quick Google will reveal hundreds of books, courses and seminars for conquering the fear of public speaking, but you’ll find very little that prepares you or helps you overcome the fear of participating in a public blues jam. And that’s precisely why we asked Jeff Scheetz to research and author The Blues Jam Survival Guide for TrueFire members and students.
Producer, recording artist and instructor extraordinaire, Scheetz has an extensive background as founder and leader of several highly popular blues and blues-rock jam bands. One of the most sought after instructors by students and professionals alike, Scheetz is eminently qualified to guide your blues jam aspirations.
The Blues Jam Survival Guide is packed with 115 tips, 75 essential licks, 43 practice rhythm tracks, and tons of other valuable insight designed for the practicing guitarist who is biting at the bit to jump up on stage at the jam but just can’t pull the trigger for fear of not being prepared. Even if you’ve overcome your “stage fright” but just can’t seem to kick it in to high gear at the jam, The Blues Jam Survival Guide will provide that “breakthrough” you’ve been hoping for.
Scheetz goes way beyond just preparing you mentally and logistically; The Blues Jam Survival Guide also includes dozens of essential blues rhythm patterns that you will need to know, a big bagful of go-to blues licks that will always work for you, and sound advice for other musical situations that you will definitely encounter and need to deal with at the jam.
The Blues Jam Survival Guide also features a variety of seasoned blues jam players and leaders who were gracious enough to share their insight and tips for the players new to jam sessions. Jeff has them perform examples of what to do and more importantly, what NOT to do at the jam. These segments are the proverbial “pictures worth a thousand words.” Scheetz ices the Survival Guide cake with complete breakdowns of the 7 essential blues song structures and grooves that you MUST know before taking the stage at any blues jam.
Here are just a few of the topics that Scheetz and his crew of master jammers cover and demonstrate in The Blues Jam Survival Guide:
>> The Right Attitude Goes a Long Way
>> Playing the Inevitable 12/8 Slow Blues
>> Chord Variations You Must Know
>> G Blues Licks You Can Use Anywhere
>> Watch Out For That V Chord!
>> Pay Attention or Pay the Penalty
>> Playing Too Loud (Or Too Softly)
>> The Good Ole Texas Shuffle
>> Pick Your Songs Carefully
>> Practice Standing Up!
>> Slow Shuffle: Safe Bet!
>> No-Fail E Blues Licks
>> Communication Breakdown
>> Crowd Pleasing Rhumba Blues
>> Mix In Those Mixolydians
>> Follow the Rules of the Jam
>> Boogie Woogie: Keep It Straight!
>> Playing With a Vocalist
>> B Minor Blues Grooves
>> Harmonic Minor; Yes You Can!
>> Signing Up with the Jam Host
>> Funk Grooves You Can Use
>> Playing with Other Guitarists
>> Your Best Friend: Guide Tones
>> Playing With a Harp Cat
>> Can’t Go Wrong with Bubble Parts
>> Exercise Killer Tone Control
>> Rhythmic Feels and Forms
>> Overplaying: THE Big No No!
>> Go-To Licks: Fits All Sizes
>> Getting Lost? No Worries
>> Dorian: The ONE Other Scale
>> Dealing with Stage Fright
>> Blues Faces You MUST Make
The Blues Jam Survival Guide covers all of the nuances of preparing for, participating in, and performing at blues jams in a manner that the jam host, the other players, and the audience will respond to favorably and positively. Put your time in with this Survival Guide and you can bank on developing a monster blues bag and overcoming any and all phobias you might have about jumping on the stage and playing your heart out.