Whether you want to be in a famous band or just play a special song for your grandma, jamming with other musicians is a great way to learn and get closer to your goal. Once you’ve mastered a few easy songs on the guitar or gotten the hang of a basic drum beat, it’s time to start looking for other musicians around your level who are interested in playing music together.
Jamming is more about experimenting and learning than showing off, and for me this sort of open creativity is really appealing and fun. Don’t wait until you’re “perfect”; even the most talented and accomplished artists have certain skills they want to improve. You’ll learn more and have more fun if you start sharing what you already know. So how do you find people to jam with?
Phone a Friend
Playing music with your friends is one of the most fun things you can do on this planet. I find that when I’m jamming with someone who I already know and trust, I feel more relaxed and I’m more open to try out new ideas and let my creativity flow. If you have a friend who’s also learning an instrument, why not get together with your instruments and see what happens? Even if you sound terrible, you’ll still have a good time!
Hit the Open Mic Night
In my early 20s, I moved to a new city where I knew next to nobody. Going to open mic nights was a great way for me to meet new musical collaborators. Play a few songs and see what happens! Or, if you’re feeling shy, you can go and watch the performers and chat with the ones you like after they play. A good open mic night should be a positive and friendly place where people at all levels have the chance to share what they’ve been working on, so you may see seasoned performers and total beginners all in the same night.
Use Your Network
Are you looking for a drummer to jam with but you don’t know any drummers? Reach out to other musical friends and see if they can introduce you. If you’re taking lessons, your teacher might be able to introduce you to another student with similar interests. I’ve met great musical collaborators and friends because a friend of a friend was looking for a female singer. Throw up a post on Facebook or Twitter if you don’t know who to reach out to directly. You never know who will know someone who will be perfect for you!
By now, hopefully you have some good ideas that will help you reach out and find people to jam with! Remember to keep it fun and don’t be too hard on yourself, especially if you are just beginning. It’s totally normal to feel nervous about playing music with new people. I have been playing music for over half my life and I still feel nervous when I walk into a room to play with new musicians for the first time. Once we start playing, my nerves always melt away and I leave every jam session knowing something about my instrument, my song or music in general that I didn’t know when I walked in.
How do you meet people to play music with? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!
–Megan L. TakeLessons Staff Member and Blogger
Photo by lorenzog