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The Gypsy Jazz Jam Guide

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  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    edited March 2015 Posts: 393
    Only Django is allowed to take more choruses than everyone else, listen to Festival Swing 41!
  • JHBJHB Austin, Texas Dupont MD50
    Posts: 11
    Hmm, after reading this I'm really rethinking Django in June this year. The first time I was there I did not jam one time. Precisely because I innately followed all the aforementioned "rules" for not joining in. The "jams" were either showcasing guys like Joscho or Gonzalo. More of a performance, really not a jam even though the setting was either an outdoor lounge or living room. Couple that with a bunch of guys giddily filming their guitar heros....Well, that would just be wrong to sit in and wreak that. I remember one jam had so many players I could hardly tell what tune was being played. Among the other beginners I met I never saw one of them jamming, always watching and having a great time of it. If only I had beer, at least then my hands would be busy!
    wim
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    edited March 2015 Posts: 298
    What do you mean by "rethinking"?

    I wouldn't jump into a hot jam between some of those top guys, but I have also met and heard a lot of fine amateur/beginner players who only jam with friends behind closed doors because they are too shy to play publicly and I personally think they are doing themselves a disservice. Some of these are guys I would LOVE to play with but I'm from the east coast of Canada and it doesn't even occur to me to go sit inside on a warm sunny day, I see precious few enough of those as it is.

    I never turn my nose up at someone who is shy to jam but doing their level best. The jams I usually walk away from are the ones where someone thinks it is their personal showcase and they are blowing all over the other players. Even those people I give a few chances until it becomes clear that it isn't an off day but their usual MO.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    Django In June has changed since Joscho last went, it's much bigger, and held in a different area, with more private space for beginner jams! i saw lots of newcomers jaming in their own little corner, and sometimes i played with them too, and purposely tried to mess them up with polyrhythms... just kidding, i didn't do that.... but i did play with them!
    Buco
  • Posts: 4,777
    @JHB Based on my experience from 2013, there's not a better place to get your jam legs going then Django in June, period.
    kevingcoxpickitjohn
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Another vote. There are so many opportunities to jam at many different levels at Django in June. It's the spot and you should rethink your rethoughts.
    These "rules" are meant to be broken, as are all, once it is understood why they exist.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,857
    My favourite DiJ 'jam' story is when three or four of us guitar players got together in a dorm stairwell and started playing "Sweet Sue". I sang the first chorus of in my usual key of F… I can't reach them high G's!

    As more and more new guitarists arrived in the stairwell mid-tune, sat down on the stairs above us and joined in the music, things began to sound more and more strange..

    …but I didn't discover the reason for that until we finished the tune: it turned out all the new arrivals had been playing "Sweet Sue" in the more popular key of G!!-)

    Sometimes ya just gotta laugh...

    BucowimJim Kaznosky
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Hmmmmmmm.....LOL
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    JHB wrote: »
    Hmm, after reading this I'm really rethinking Django in June this year. The first time I was there I did not jam one time. Precisely because I innately followed all the aforementioned "rules" for not joining in.

    Don't re-think going. It's a great place jam. If the jams you see around the area are all huge, then find some people and go start one. Some of the best jams I've had at festivals have been in hallways - on staircases, sitting on beds or desks or picnic tables. And it's by no means verbotten to jam with more advanced players - hell - that's one of the best parts of the experience. It's motivational to jam with a great player - whether they're well known or not. I've met some jaw-dropping-good players who have no professional aspirations in music.

    The "rules" (if they exist at all) exist only because a relatively small number of people just have no clue whatsoever.... but that can be said about a small number of people in any endeavour. Some people seem to have no awareness that joining an 18 person jam by squatting in the circle in front of the guy currently soloing - then taking a three chorus solo and getting up and leaving before the song is over... is... um... lol...

    I guaran-friggin-tee that if you have ever in your life decided to not join a jam because it was already too large or because it was really more of an informal performance by a group than a jam, that you are absolutely NOT the guy people dread. Just having an awareness that common sense applies in jam situations automatically means you're not the guy people dread. But actually going so far as to consider not attending because you're concerned about being a rude jammer probably means you're the exact opposite - you're probably too polite.

    If the jams are crowded - grab some people and form your own jam. Those small impromptu ones are some of the most fun - really - they are.
    kevingcox
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • JHBJHB Austin, Texas Dupont MD50
    Posts: 11
    Thanks Bob. It’s a done deal for me as I’ve purchased all my tickets. And now that I’ve done that I’m kinda of looking forward to some of the more subtle (and not so subtle) communicating that goes on within the jamming environment. I’ll be on the lookout for the “evil eye”, yet I’ll probably break out in laughter when I see it, unless it’s directed towards me, then, I don’t know, maybe I’ll reciprocate with a look of confusion.
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