Bluegrass Jamming Skills classes by Gregg Daigle

Bluegrass Jamming Skills Introduction: 

What skills does one need to be a successful jammer?

1. Instrument Ability.  You need to develop basic chord switching ability.  Start with two chords and build to three.  You know what they say about bluegrass…three chords, then you’re done. (It is helpful to not have to look at the left hand because you want to be able to make eye contact with the others in the group.)

2. Listening. You need to be able to recognize chord changes by ear in order to learn songs quickly.  1) Learn songs by ear.[Listen]  2) Identify chord changes. 3)Memorize songs.  “The more songs you know, the more you know how songs go.”

3. Memorization. You must learn how to store chord change information. [Memorize]  Music is full of patterns . Learn to recognize them.  For example, “What is the first chord?  G.   Okay, what is the next chord? C.”  Memorize that chord change because that part of the song will come around again.

4. Courtesy and Etiquette.  Know the rules of the jam. Here are some:

– Be in tune. No excuses.

– Find a blend with the group. Don’t overpower vocals or soloists.

– Make eye contact with others. Watch for cues to solo and end the song.

– Smile a lot. Remember, you are trying to have fun.

5. How to Lead a Jam

– announce the chord changes.

– give a strong count in.

– give eye contact/cues.

– get everyone home safely…use ‘the foot’ or say “last time”.


Sign up for eNewsletter “Picking Circles” Gregg’s personal music community newsletter with class offerings, tips and what’s new.

Call 243-4910 to reserve a spot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>