Among the many rites of passage to go through when starting a band, jamming has to be one of the first. Not only will those first few jam sessions determine whether band members are compatible or not, but they may also define the sound of your band as the foundations begin to form. As well as acting as musical workout sessions and brainstorming moments, jamming has a great number of benefits towards strengthening the band, developing confidence for each member and forming the identity of the band. The ‘jamming bubble’ is also a dedicated safe space for all members of the band to show off their talents, have fun and develop as a team.
Whether you’re an internationally known band that have won a ton of awards or you only have a few busking appearances under your belt, understanding the importance of jamming and how it can affect your musical performances is critical. For instance, if your band feels a bit too uptight, and you’re looking to introduce some improvisation in your performance when you’re live, try out some of these great ideas in this article and implement them into your practice sessions. Your band are your teammates, and hopefully, you want to grow just as much as you want your teammates to grow. That’s what the jamming bubble can do for you. And if you’re new to jamming, why not check out this article on what you need to know.
Here at WeJam, we have compiled the ultimate guide on why Jamming is the best Team Building Activity. Even if your band jam together regularly, and you think you’ve refined your jamming sessions as much as possible, pay attention because we’re about to introduce some new elements that will blow your mind.
Breaking the Ice and Team Growth
A huge benefit of jamming is how much you can learn from listening to other people play music. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a live gig, listening to music at home on your own or when you’re playing with your bandmates, even if you decide that you don’t like what you are hearing, at least you have refined your taste. Hosting a jam session for your band is a great opportunity to understand how other people play, in the hopes that you can learn something from them, and they can learn something from you. Learning and growing is essential to building the perfect team and the development of any band, because if you don’t iron out as many creases as possible, then how can you expect to become the best band out there?
The jamming bubble should also be a safe, open environment. No one wants to feel as though they are on trial, and if your jamming sessions feel like awkward auditions, then it may put people in the wrong headspace to do their best. Treat the jam session as a way to break the ice between meeting new bandmates or re-joining your existing band.
Having the ability to operate in a team, know your role and work towards a common objective are skills that not everyone possesses. Whether you’re the lead singer, drums, bass or electric guitar, it’s important to be conscious of the band members around you. When it comes to performing, it’s critical that everyone’s levels are just right so that no one is overshadowing anyone else. Avoid fighting for space on stage by having everyone’s positions rehearsed in jam sessions.
We’re sure there are bands out there that don’t jam together as often as some up-and-coming bands, and the reason for that might be because those older bands are experienced professionals. Eventually, it will become second nature where everyone’s position is, the levels for instruments and mics, and your awareness to let other talents shine through instead of your own.
Establish Long Term Goals and Short-Term Goals
Most motivational speakers will say that your short team goals are just as essential as your long team goals. The reason people rave about this mindset is that picturing yourself as you are now, and who you want to be at the end of your journey can be very daunting as there are no dots that connect A to Z. Creating a detailed plan for your band that outlines your 3 month, 6 month and 12-month goals is a great way to track your progression and achievement.
Naturally, you won’t be hitting your long-term goals any time soon, so short-term goals are important for keeping morale up among the troops. When you have a long-term goal with short term goals along the way to keep you focused, you can rest assured that you’ll be successful in no time. The next time you have a jamming session, use the time when you’re setting up or dismantling to discuss your ideas about the future and the things you want to achieve together. Don’t let the jamming bubble become a monotonous thing you have to do, let it be a fully creative space for discussions and collaboration.
Another point to mention is that you should stick to your plan and see it through. While it is important to be flexible in life in order to keep adapting to uncertain situations, it’s important for a sense of solidarity among your bandmates to decide on a plan as a team and see it through to its conclusion. The same applies to your jamming sessions: have a song in mind that you want to work through as a band, but if new ideas begin to develop in those sessions, don’t push them away. Take the time as a team to explore every creative idea because you never know what will be created!
Schedule Your Breaks and Take Them
We all know what it’s like when you’re having the best jam session ever, you’re producing the best work you’ve ever done, and you can almost smell the fortune and fame. It can be difficult to think about putting a pin in these moments, so you can take a break, get some fresh air and make something to eat. Having a break can be a good team-building moment to discuss any issues rising, congratulate people and reflect on how far you have come as a team.
As much as we have stressed the importance of jamming and the wonder it will unlock for the strength of your band, if you don’t get on with the other members of your band, then how can you expect to go on tour and be successful with people you don’t bond with. Just think of all the bands that have broken up or prematurely retired over the years, and how so many members said that the band just stopped communicating with each other. Let’s do everything we can to avoid the breakup and address matters before they develop into major issues, speaking of which…
Communicate Clearly and As Often As You Can
In a jamming session, you need to be able to tell people what you think is working, and what isn’t working. To be able to do this, you need to make sure your thoughts and ideas are conveyed in a constructive manner and don’t appear aggressive. As much as airing your opinion is important, it is also important to use jamming sessions as a constructive environment for growth.
Inside the jamming bubble, everyone should be able to communicate their feelings and ideas safely, without judgement. If members feel as though they can’t voice their opinion, then you won’t end up being a successful band in the long run. The power of creating music and instruments is that you are able to communicate in ways other than just using your words. You have an expressive instrument that you can use to express the feelings in your heart and soul through a sweet-sounding melody. If you can’t illustrate your point verbally, then maybe your trusty instrument can help you along the way.
Stuck Needing New Ideas For Songs?
If your band is ever stuck writing new music, then jamming can be a great way to unlock new song ideas. When you’re trying to think up songs on your own you may get stuck when you exhaust your creativity, but when you’re working within a band, ideas can snowball from one person to the other and hopefully by the end of the jam session you’ll have a good song, maybe a few or even a full album!
Jamming sessions are particularly great at establishing an open environment for innovation. If you’ve written an incredible chorus, but you don’t know what to pad the rest of the song with, then maybe your jam buddies will be able to offer their musical thoughts when you play it for them. The possibilities are endless when you have great chemistry and a team that trust each other.
For those of you looking for an authentic, live jamming session experience – look no further than WeJam! Our centres are able to facilitate groups between 3 and 6 people, where each member gets to control their own instrument and match real notes on a tablet. It’s guaranteed fun and a learning experience all wrapped into one, so book your place today and bring the best musicians you know to make the experience even better!
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