NEW YORK JAMS
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What is a jam?
Jams are gatherings of old-time or bluegrass musicians there just to play music together. People take turns calling out a tune to play. Old-time jams players don't usually take solos, as is the case at most bluegrass jams. The tune will usually be repeated multiple times, so that folks new to the song can learn it. Every jam is different, and there are thousands of songs that might be played. Weekly jams often differ week to week in sound as it depends on which musicians show up that day as to which tunes are played!
What is a session?
A session (or seisiún), is a jam of Irish or Scottish musicians.
What does open/closed mean?
Open jams are open to all to attend and join in playing - no prior permission required. Closed means that you need to go to the jam and ask the leaders if you can sit in. Advanced jams are for advanced/professional -level musicians and often feature highly complex tunes at a very fast pace. Make sure you pick a jam appropriate to your playing level. If you aren't sure, just show up, and get a feel for the music. If you think you can hang with the pace, take your instrument out and join in!
I just started learning how to play, can I go to a jam?
Absolutely! Jams are where many of us learn new tunes. Just make sure you select a jam that is approrpiate for your level. "Beginner" and "Slow Jams" are great places to start. These are gatherings where the tunes are played at a much slower pace, so that they are easier to learn.
I don't play an instrument; can I just go to listen?