Jamming sessions are usually associated with jazz. They’ve always been an essential part of the genre since its very beginnings. But jam sessions can actually benefit players in every genre. You don’t need a sax player to partake and you definitely don’t have to be part of a jazz band to do it.
In fact, every band should have a band session every now and then regardless of what they usually play. Jamming is a great way to connect to your more creative side, get to know your bandmates, and explore new sounds that you might not be able to play with within the confines of whatever genre you usually play. In other words, there are just too many benefits, so get in on the fun.
Learn to be Quick on Your Feet
When you’re jamming you can’t stop miss session to figure out the best way to go forward. You need to think fast and react at the moment. This is a great way to get out of your head and start being present in what you’re doing. In time, this translates to your overall playing which means you’ll be a lot more agile as a musician. Professional musicians know how important it is to think fast and react to their surroundings. It’s really what sets the amateurs apart from the pros. And, of course, what makes the difference between bringing a song to a premature end in front of an audience or learning how to fix mistakes in real time and save the day.
Helps with Chemistry
Few things can help with chemistry as much as a jam session. It is the team building exercise of the music world. Jamming is playing just for fun which lets you play off one another without fear that you’ll make a mistake or thinking that you’re wasting precious rehearsal time. A great way to learn your teammate is by letting them play whatever they feel like and watching closely where they go to, by the end of a jam session you’ll have a clear idea of what their process is like and the kind of things they are capable of.
Leads to New Ideas and Creativity
More often than not, what gets you stuck in a rut is the pressure of having to come up with something else. You just don’t have that with a jamming session. You can just play for the sake of playing which, ironically, can feel liberating and lead to new ideas. It is kind of like turning off the rational parts of your brain and letting your more creative self take the lead. Playing outside of your comfort zone like that allows you to work on different things and go for different sounds than what you usually default to. You just have to make an effort not to play the same things you always do.
Whether you’re playing with friends, your bandmates, or complete strangers, just let yourself go and enjoy the moment. If you want the full benefits of jamming around for a while, just forget about overthinking it and go for it! You’ll be glad you did.