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Slow Pitch bluegrass jam

HonkytonkSue 05 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM
Tinker 05 Jan 03 - 04:39 PM
Cappuccino 06 Jan 03 - 05:04 AM
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Subject: Slow Pitch bluegrass jam
From: HonkytonkSue
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM

I've just joined the group and mentioned the Slow Pitch jam in my introduction. I've had some inquiries about it, so here are some more details.

After many years of playing in bluegrass bands I started teaching the art of jamming. I've developed a series of workshops called the Slow Pitch Jam, which I've been teaching for about 7 years now. Mostly at the Pacific Bluegrass & Heritage Society in Vancouver (jams at the ANZA Club, 3 West 8th Ave. on Monday nights), and for several years at the BC Bluegrass Workshop; a one-week camp on Shuswap Lake in central BC every August.

The basic idea is that I help folks learn how to join in by playing everything slower than usual (bluegrass of course is usually played pretty fast, which makes it nearly impossible for beginners to participate!). Also, before every song we review all the pertinent information - key, chords, structure of the song, etc. Instead of instrumentalists taking solos, as is usually done in bluegrass, they're done in groups; all the banjos, all the mandolins, etc. This provides safety in numbers and people at all stages of learning can play together and help each other. At the ANZA Club monthly jams we usually have around 50 people, and you'd be amazed at how musical it sounds!

I also teach the Nashville Number system and use of the capo, so everyone learns how to join in and play in a variety of keys. We cover jam etiquette things such as: when to take a solo (not when the singer is singing or when someone else is soloing), how to support the other singers/players, how to play quietly (what a concept!), how to communicate in a jam, choice of material ..... and lots more.

I've also produced a couple of songbooks that come with play-along cds; slow enough for beginners to practice with at home.

I don't want to ramble on too long, so if you'd like more information feel free to visit

By the way, if you're not familiar with the term Slow Pitch, it's baseball that's played slower so everyone can participate regardless of skill level. Thanks for asking.

Honkytonk Sue

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Subject: RE: Slow Pitch bluegrass jam
From: Tinker
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 04:39 PM

Try this connection...slow pitch jam ...

Wish I was closer, but from New Jersey it's a bit of a haul..BG


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Subject: RE: Slow Pitch bluegrass jam
From: Cappuccino
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 05:04 AM

Thanks - it was me who asked!

I'd rather like the opportunity to learn Orange Blossom Special at about one-sixteenth of the normal speed, if you can manage that... but I'm in England, so no chance.

I must confess that the Nashville number system has always struck me as bizarre - but, realising how many musicians I know have absolutely no concept of transposition in keys, I suppose it has value.

I'll certainly visit the website. All the best,

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