"I so very much appreciate the slow jam you guys host....It was just so thrilling for me to be able to actually PLAY (sort of) a few songs on Friday with others...AND to actually be able to pick out a few notes on most of the other tunes. I have wanted to play the fiddle for so long, this is all just so exciting!. .....so, thank you so much!....see you at the January jam!" --Barb Matarazzo Nov 2014
Woodbury Strings hosts "slow jams" for their students and for the general public. The purpose of these events is to give beginning and intermediate level folk musicians (fiddlers and fretted acoustic instrumentalists) an opportunity to get together, learn new tunes, develop their skills in learning by ear, meet potential peers to create musical opportunities with, and to get connected to other groups and resources that can help musicians of any age continue to develop their skills. This method is also a helpful way to develop the ability to learn tunes better while attending full speed jam sessions. Our slow jams are teacher facilitated jam sessions where fiddle tunes are played at a slow tempo over and over in order for participants to learn along with the chord changes. This will mainly be attended by adults, but youths are welcome (under 12 must be accompanied by an adult). Any level of ability is welcomed, but the skill level will be aimed toward beginning and intermediate level adult learners.
The slow jams are held from 7-9 pm at 12-22 North Street in Burlington (park in nearby streets, enter front of the building-this is the same building that houses the Vermont Community Garden Network). We will be hosting these on second Fridays of the odd months (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sep, Nov). The Slow Jam will have fiddle tunes as the focus, but other instrumentalists are welcome. We suggest fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukulele, viola, cello, and possibly flute (we regret that percussion and penny whistles are not good matches for this event due to the live acoustics of the room). To find out more about the slow jam, or to get onto our email list, contact us for more information. The suggested donation for the slow jam is $5. Participants may be added, if they wish, to the slow jam elist to get updates and reminders of the next event. Please join us!
At the beginning of the slow jam we will go over guidelines so that everyone will feel comfortable and know what to do. We will also have handouts with suggestions and resources at each session. Briefly, we will go around the room and those who wish to introduce a new tune or review a tune from a previous session will be welcome to do so. It will be recommended that participants present tunes that they are able to play at a steady tempo so that they are easy to follow by others. Participants may also request tunes for the instructors or other members to start if they do not wish to start the tune themselves. After a brief demonstration of the chord progressions, each tune will be played at a slow tempo 3 - 4 times, and then played 1 - 2 times at a medium tempo. Tips on how to learn tunes with this method will be presented at the jam sessions. Participation by listening is welcomed for those who feel shy!!HANDOUTS IN PDF FORMAT: LEARNING TUNES BY EAR, PARTICIPATING IN A SLOW JAM, AND SITTING IN WITH A BANDPOSTER AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR SLOW JAM
To find a list of tunes that we may be using for the jam, check out our contradance band lab page. Woodbury Strings hosts quarterly contradances that slow jam participants are welcome to play with the band in if they wish. Also, check out our TUNE BANK. for more fun tunes that can be played at the slow jam and are not necessarily appropriate for contradances!