The Intermediate Jam will be held as a public jam indoors at the Powderhaus once a month, on the second Wednesday of each month, with (Jason) me leading it in the large back area of the building.
The next Intermediate Jam at the Powderhaus will be on Wednesday Nov. 10th.
If you are interested in attending the Intermediate Jam on any of the other Wednesdays of the month (Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 17, etc.), please call Joe Gobel at 208 869 0952 for more information and details.
NOTE: None of this affects the Beginner Jams held on Tuesday evenings. With no foreseeable exceptions in the remainder of the Fall season and into the Winter months, I shall continue to lead the weekly Beginner Bluegrass Jams at the Powderhaus every Tuesday evening, but, due to the weather getting colder now, the plan is hold the jams indoors (and with a seating arrangement that accommodates distancing) at least until the weather warms up again at some point in the New Year.
In preparation for the Nov. 10th Intermediate Jam, I'll send out a Songs of the Month email shortly. The 'songs of the month' simply refer to the three songs that I intend on calling at the jam, but my selection of songs to call (as well as my choice of songs to put on the main song list for the jam) is determined by what I perceive to be good songs for the jam group to work on for the month in the interest of the progress of the jam group as a whole.
I'll do the same next month, after the Nov. 10th jam, in preparation for the Dec. 8th Intermediate Jam at the Powderhaus.
But, in preparation for the Jan. 12th jam (and the subsequent jams in February and March), I would like to create a new main song list for the jam that consists mostly of songs that the regulars and semi-regulars at the jams intend to call during the first half of the evening at the jams.
So, if you are a regular or semi-regular at the Intermediate jams, please email me back, after you have had a bit of time to think about this, with a short list of two, three, or four songs that you especially like to call at the Intermediate jam. In selecting your songs to call at the jam, please keep in mind the general level that the jam group as a whole is currently at, and that I am advertising the monthly Wednesday jams at the Powderhaus as intermediate jams, not advanced jams. Advanced level players are certainly welcome, and encouraged, to participate in the jams, but the purpose of my being there to lead the jams is not to jam at an advanced level, but to help the current jam group as a whole to steadily progress forward in order to reach the goal of becoming an advanced jam group. And even in the instances in which only advanced level players happen to show up at the jam, there is much to said in favour of spending time getting more solid on songs and tunes that are level-appropriate for an intermediate jam, rather than focusing mainly on seeking out songs and tunes of increasingly greater complexity to introduce into the jam. All the songs on the current intermediate jam main list, and hundreds of others like them, are entirely appropriate for an advanced jam, and playing songs like these can often be quite conducive to the progress of an advanced jam group: it affords a greater opportunity to work on the nuances of the songs (feel, pulse, honing in on the range of tempos that the songs 'sit' best at, tasteful note and 'lick' choices on the instruments; tone, phrasing, inflection, dynamics: both vocally and instrumentally, etc., which collectively add up to the difference between playing the songs really well versus playing them mediocrely at a jam), when one does not need to expend most of one's energy trying to catch on to the basics of the songs (form, arrangement, chord progression, melody, implied harmonies, chorus lyrics, etc.)
But, above all, timing is key to the difference between a good jam and a mediocre jam. No matter the level of the jam (beginner, intermediate, advanced), it is a good jam when everyone is locked in together with each other as regards timing, and are playing 'in the pocket' as they say. (This applies just as much to singing as it does to playing the other instruments.) Being in tune with each other is also key to a good jam, and this involves more than just checking to make sure that your tuner shows your open strings as being in tune. Finally, strong beginnings and endings for the songs and tunes also go a long way when it comes to the differences between a good jam and a mediocre jam.
I look forward to jamming with you.