Getting Yourself Ready for the Jam
Enjoying yourself during the session is important for you and your fellow jammers. Being relaxed and happy is infectious and will help everyone to have a good experience. To help you to get in the right headspace it is important that you prepare beforehand. So here are 10 Top Tips on How To Prepare Yourself For A Music Jam Session.
Allow enough time to prepare yourself. Do allow some time to prepare yourself for the session. Just a few minutes can make such a positive difference to how you will feel throughout the jam. Preferably find a space where you can do this alone without noise and other distractions.
Gather all your resources. Whatever equipment you have for the session it is a good idea to keep them in containers, in the same place if you are in a care home or easily transportable if you move from place to place. This saves time and unnecessary stress before the session.
Have a test run. If you are using audio-visual equipment, it is important to set it up and check it’s working. Then you can relax and focus on yourself. Use a socket that minimizes loose leads (trip hazards) or tape the leads down.
Have a plan. To have a fun experience in the session it helps to have thought out a framework in which to play freely. If you have a list of different tunes and activities to explore within your time together, you can then go with the flow. If something is working really well, keep going for a little bit longer. Or if people are not responding well to an idea, no problem, you can move on to the next idea. The plan takes away the pressure of keeping people engaged. It’s good to factor in a short break in the session. Not a tea break as this can affect the flow of the session (before or after is a better time for tea). This break could involve listening to music and giving the arms a rest for example.
Be okay with making mistakes. If you make a mistake, like dropping a drumstick, this endears you to your fellow jammers. It makes you human and you should laugh and make it part of the whole fun experience. Preparation and experience will help with your confidence to incorporate whatever happens into the flow of the session.
Take a breath. If you are feeling tense before the session, breathing can really help to relax you. If you breathe in for a count of Three and then out for a count of six a couple of times you will feel more relaxed and able to focus on the session.
Be brave. To bring freedom to explore and make things up, to the session, you will need to be brave. You may feel nervous but by being fearless you are bringing an exciting approach to the sessions which your fellow jammers will love.
Wear comfy clothing. It is important to wear clothing that enables you to move freely during the session. You may be dancing, swaying, crouching or conducting, so why not be as comfortable as you can.
Imagine the session. It helps to form a picture of how you want the session to go, before you do it. The jam will be different but having that image will help you prepare.
Stay in the moment. Staying in the moment means just focusing on what’s happening in the session at any given time. For example, how people are reacting to a tune, how’s the general energy in the room or is anyone unhappy with a certain activity. Another joyful part of being in the moment is that there is no pressure to remember anything. Everyone is bringing something unique to the session to make a piece of music together.
So, try preparing before a session and do let us know how it went for you and your fellow jammers.