Help I've just been to a Jam Session ...?

“I feel like taking my guitar and throwing it off of a bridge.  I went to my first jazz jam session today and I was completely unprepared for how it went.  The leader asked me before hand what tunes I knew  so I said I knew easy tunes (I am not that

experienced).  I named Blue Bossa and he said okay, he counted it off and I was completely unprepared for how fast they played it.  All of my hours of practice seemed to go out the window (or down the toilet).  My hands were shaking as it came my turn to solo, I don't even

remember what I played.  I just remember not being able to keep up.  Another thing

that took me by surprise was how everything sounded different.  The piano player was playing these crazy chords that sounded so outside I didn't know what key we were in.  I guess I am used to hearing myself play inside guitar chords.  So I guess what I am

trying to say is I thought I could play a little but now I realize I can't play at all.  How does one practice playing changes at such fast tempos?  How does one practice tunes at home where there isn't a drummer, piano player or bass player?  How does one keep their hands from

shaking?  Afterwards I seriously thought about giving up trying to play jazz and guitar and becoming a bus driver.”

Here is a collection of tips for Survival of the Jazz Jams by experienced members.



Books On The Subject

Emily Remler's Advanced Jazz & Latin Improvisation Video is excellent for perspective on this topic.

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