Open Jazz (Or any Genre) Jam in Singapore ? Do we have one ?


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Dear drummers,

While at the US, there is always an open Jazz Jam in a public marketplace once a week where participatory musicians is always encouraged. Here is an except on what an open Jazz Jam is:

"There’s an open jazz jam happening at The Commons Mixer every Thursday during lunch, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. The jam is hosted by a professional jazz trio, with Tim Kennedy on keys, Ian Sheridan on bass, and Claudio Rochat Felix on drums.

Jazz players and singers at all levels are welcome to come and join in. If you’ve got the chops, you’re also welcome to sit in on keys, bass, or drums. There’s a guitar amp available for guitarists, and there is a PA for singers.

If you wish to play a tune that is not in the common standards books, or you want to play or sing it in a key different than the books, bring charts for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. If the tunes are obscure, maybe give the band and participants ‘till the next week.

Hey beginners: do come check it out, and do participate! Don’t be intimidated by the talent you’ll see. There are some professional musicians roaming the halls at xyz. Then, there are those like myself who played in at a jam for the first time only a few months ago. If you can play the melody along with a recording of the tune in the typical key, or if you can do a solo on the chord changes that’s pleasing to your own ear, then you’re ready. You can even let others take on the tune, and you just take one round through the melody during solo time, as a way to ease into the jazz jam.

The only rule in play is that it is an open jazz jam, not an open-mic. All tunes should be participatory for anyone present who wishes to participate and should roughly follow the jazz structure of
1. Play/sing the head
2. Whoever wants can take a solo round or two through the chord changes
3. Maybe trade bars with the drummer
4. Play/sing the head again.

Note: The jam is open. But, to ensure the jam is fun and accessible for everyone, be sure you are familiar with jazz jam etiquette before participating. Some important points of etiquette that are essential to open participation are:

1. Everyone is welcome to take a solo. Generally, make regular eye contact with the keyboardist to indicate your interest in taking a solo, to know when it’s your turn, and to indicate when you are done. Don’t take more than two choruses unless it’s a slow day.
2. Don’t play or sing over someone else’s solo. The only exceptions are if you are in the rhythm section accompanying or if you know how to accompany with a melodic instrument.
3. If you called the tune and are playing or singing the head, leave time for everyone who wishes to take a solo. Do not do one chorus after another and then end the tune.
4. If you are calling a tune that is not in the Real Book Vol 1, then bring charts for C, Eb, and Bb instruments. Alternatively, get a consensus from the other participants.

I know we have an active strings (guitar, bass) and keys community in Singapore and here on SOFT but I see China Walls between each of these communities and ours. I have always believed that we should all be playing music and not instruments - SO why not tear those China Walls down ?

There are drumfests and equivalent events for drummers, guitarists, keyboardists, etc BUT they make great drummers, guitarists, keyboardists, etc BUT not really musicians.

A person owning a music school (looking at AlvinTheDrummer :)) would be a perfect person to co-ordinate and kick-start this sort of event due to the fact of the networks and communities they know.

Of course, I know I have referred to an Open Jazz as a genre but it really can be anything. Funk, Rock, etc Just that I felt that Jazz is a lot more rich and open, it is really easier to trade 4 bars with the bassists, keyboardists, guitarists, etc without actually knowing the song :)

I am wondering if anyone here would be interested in setting something like that for an event, maybe even for the next DrumExchange ? :)

Afterall, you become a more complete musician <insert your instrument of choice here> NOT by playing alone, alone in a group or with other drummers BUT by playing with other musicians of other instruments. You will be surprised at how much you can learn, improve and learn about your own instruments this way.
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actually there is regular free jazz jamming sessions on every Sunday afternoon at Tanglin Community Club. I did mention before a long time ago that people can come and join to watch/play with the sessionist musicians there. Its like jazz musicians get chances to play with different people. However very few had already dared to come at all. Having to say that, I still had one. The others dont really bother to make the trip down.
...However very few had already dared to come at all. Having to say that, I still had one. The others dont really bother to make the trip down.

That is a shame. The best way to make the great leap forward and better understand your trade with your instrument is to be able to learn and spar with the other instruments in a setting of context where a melody, song, etc is played.

The same in basketball. Anyone can shoot alone but it is the complete player who can defend and shoot well with a hand in their face.

I am going down to Tanglin. Am sending you a PM for more details. Thanks for this.
free jam idea is great! may be able to tie in to larger umbrella of SOFT family ie. the GUITAR, BASS, VOCAL, KEYBOARD forums. yes, maybe like a soft day out so all softies can drop by to attend talks by volunteer local musicians / music schools. *hint james*

places where free jams available:

Jazz@SouthBridge - Weekly jam sessions conducted by Mario Serio Trio

Blujaz - Jam Sessions with the Matrix Band (monthly)
come down other days to watch very happening performances by young jazz / contemporary musicians lead by Greg Lyons "GROOVEWORKS" / Aya Sekine "AYASCHOOL" / WICKED AURA

Crazy Elephant - Blues / Blues Rock Jam sunday nights

Roomful of Blues - Saturday Nights

Pump Room (Clarke Quay) - Jam with Jive Talkin! one of top bands in singapore (popular with young contemporary / jazz up-n-comers - once in awhile some crazy world/regional musicians drop by to jam - likes of VICTOR WOOTEN!)

Tanglin CC - Sunday afternoons
Popular with young jazz musicians
Jam/play with Tanglin Big Bands 1 2 & 3
Lead by Jam masters Frank and Paul Wong

House of Rock, Tanglin Shopping Centre
Resident Band Ministry of Rock (Jatt Ali / Paul Danial)

there are more around town, find a spot, grab a drink, folks are usually very sporting or willing to let u take a song or two, dont be afraid to ask.

hmmm i think this thread would get more exposure if put in the music kopi-tiam. but it sounds interesting...*james*cough*what*cough*are*cough*you*cough*waiting*cough*for*
You guys forgot the Sunday jam at Harry's at Boat Quay.

Expect to learn a lot from these sessions especially when the pros are up there grilling you. Its quite fun really.