A guitar jam session might be an excellent opportunity to enhance your guitarist skills and confidence. However, it might be challenging for guitarists who are new to online jamming, especially for beginners. Since jamming should be fun, you have to know what to expect and prepare for it.
Generally, a jam is an improvisation of one or more people to play melody parts or beat. It can be free or dependent on a particular song or chord arrangement. Even if you don’t always intend to play a specific melody or part, you can (and should) prepare by making sure you know your instrument well. It means practicing chords and scales in many different keys so that you can play both solo and rhythmic elements when you improvise.
You don’t have to be an experienced guitarist to improvise, but you need to know the principles. The necessary skills for guitar jamming are strumming chords, playing in time, hearing chord progression, and improvising leads melodies. Now let’s take a look at the situation to jam online below.
Jamming With Other People
Jamming in a live setting with several musicians is unbeatable. After practicing alone at home every day, it’s great to get together outdoors with like-minded people. It also provides invaluable experience if you want to play in a band or alternative live setting. Playing with different people requires listening, improvisation, and rhythm skills in addition to those you generally use when playing independently.
Sometimes people get together to improvise on existing songs (or song structures) or stick to a chord arrangement given to them by a member, which may or may not involve chord cards or charts. Sometimes, as in many freeform jams, there is no set arrangement, and everyone improvises based on what they feel in the moment. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably find it easier to do sessions that follow a familiar melody or chord progression, with simple structures like three-chord songs or a 12-bar blues.
In a group situation, jamming needs you to perform a specific function during each piece, such as playing rhythm or taking a solo. Be sure to follow the task while paying attention to what the different people in your session are doing. Eye contact can be especially essential if everyone improvises freely (rather than sticking to a set arrangement). It can indicate when people are about to change chords or rhythms or finish a solo.
You may be nervous about playing with other people for the first time; this is normal, and you shouldn’t worry too much about making blunders because they are inevitable. It will help if you play with numerous people who aren’t too complicated or are happy to add some more simplistic songs to the session for beginners. Most musicians will welcome newcomers in no time and remember how it felt when firstly jamming. If not, find another partner to do online jamming. Suppose you don’t have friends to do the jam together. You can often find local jam sessions organized by music stores, pubs, and others since the matches toward musicians of different levels are available, so find out about beginner jam sessions to get started.
Jamming With Recorded Tracks
If you can’t improvise with other musicians as guitarists or only need to improve your jamming skills between sessions, you can also improvise with recorded tracks. In this case, you can also play it along with instruments like a drum method. Although this doesn’t have the same specific portion of unpredictability, it allows you to practice creating your improvisation skills from a consistent musical history. You can certainly play along with records of songs by artists you like. It is a great way to learn about melodies that might be in your live jamming sessions.
Jamming With Software and Other Learning Aids
The last one is practice jamming sessions with virtual bassists or drummers. In fact, there are many programs on the internet that allow you to program your drum or bass lines pre-programmed with several presets. Some programs even offer complete backing tracks in many different keys.