Friday, December 4, 2009

Endings month: Jam etiquette for endings

Endings Month

To get endings month off to a good start, let's consider jam etiquette for endings.

I think most jammers will agree with these points from Dr. Banjo's (Pete Wernick's) Jamming Tips: Bluegrass Jamming Pointers:

Whoever is singing lead or kicks off an instrumental usually leads the group through the song, signaling who takes instrumental solos ("breaks") and when to end.


On instrumentals, the same person usually starts and ends, with solos going around in a circle to those willing.


Use signals to help everyone end together: Foot out, hold up instrument, end after “one last chorus” or repeat of last line.


Listen for instrumental licks that signal ending.

That last one is a little tricky. What, exactly, do "instrumental licks that signal ending" sound like?

I'm guessing that Dr. Banjo means to listen for what Bill Knopf calls "preparatory licks," which will be the next thing I talk about when endings month continues.

Cross-posted at J.R.'s Banjo Hangout blog

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