Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Thu, 04 Feb 2010

Jamming at the Plough

As previously mentioned I've been mostly playing my acoustic guitar since the band project dried up. I've been keeping an eye on sites like musofinder and Bandmix for possible collaborations. With my general lack of time it would have to be something local and not require too much commitment.

I also subscribe to updates from the Lemonrock gigs listing site to see what's going on locally. I noticed there were 'Jam sessions' at a pub the other side of Hitchin. The listing said it was an Open-Mike, but I thought I'd have a look. I practiced a couple of songs and took my guitar along a just before Xmas. The pub is slightly off the beaten track down some tiny roads. It took me a while to found as I foolishly didn't use the sat-nav. When I got there I found the organiser Rick getting set up. He said it really was a jam session and to bring in my guitar. He plays ukulele, mandolin and violin. Other people turn up each week, mostly with guitars, but we've had banjos, saxophone and didgeridoo(!). The music varies between Irish and other folk tunes, sixties pop song, blues and other genres. I've done a few rock songs I know and people join in. Generally people have chord/lyric sheets that you can use or I just watch others for the changes. I've even been doing some singing. I'm not great, but I'd like to improve. There are other people in the pub, but I don't feel too self-conscious.

Some weeks are rehearsals for the pub 'band', the Ploughmen. I played at one of those where there were more songs I knew. It's all good practice, but I could do with improving my chord repertoire and technique. I'm looking around for a teacher to get some lessons. They are a friendly crowd with some good players, including a member (still) of the band Matchbox who had a hit in my youth and a director of a UK guitar company who plays a mean guitar and banjo.

I need to find some more songs to learn and share with them. I'm trying to find some that stretch me a bit. I did The Eagles' New Kid in Town this week and just about made it through after trying to throw in a few twiddly bits. Song suggestions are welcome. I try to practice a few times a week, but am also helping my son learn. His piece this week is Green Day's Good Riddance that I would like to play myself.

I've just splashed out on a few guitar accessories. I've had the same strings on my guitar for ages, so got some more sets. Although I have multiple devices to tune my guitar (in Zoom H4, Korg Pandora and Roland amp) I lacked something convenient for tuning the acoustic and so bought a Korg AW-2G. It's a very neat gadget and seems to work well. I used to have a Korg tuner years ago, but sold it when I didn't think I'd be playing much acoustic. This is better as you just clip it on and it picks up vibrations through the guitar. I bought from Strings Direct who got it to me today even though I only ordered yesterday afternoon.

[21:50] | [/Music] | Comments | G
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