The 10 Commandments of the Blues Jam
Nine rules shalt thou follow, and ten shall be a balm unto thy health. Listen, and thou shalt not be as the heathen on stage.
1) If though calleth a tune at the blues jam, you may play of the Chicago or of the Delta.
2) Treadest thou lightly on the R&B and the R&R. Though they be of the offspring of the blues, lo they also be from afar.
3) Amy Winehouse and 4 Non Blondes are right out.
4) When thou callest a tune, thou must callest the key to thy bandmates. The key of C# is an abomination to all. Use it not.
5) If thou needest an ending, look to thy drummer who shall set thee up and lead thee. Do not just stop playing; that is most foul. Givest the bandmates the “cue” by the raising of thy hand, or lifting thy guitar neck to the heaven, and your bandmates shalt follow thee.
6) To the singer/songwriter: The open mic is your domain. You may annointest the people there. Bring not your originals to the blues jam.
7) Thou shalt play nicely with others. The jam is not for your band alone. It is not a showcase for thy group.
8) If thou bringest thy guitar amp to the jam, it shall be of the practice amp size. Thy Marshall shalt thou not bring, neither thy Twin. Turn not the gain to 10 to get “your sound.” Make not thine rhythm section’s ear’s ring; that pleaseth not.
9) If thou playest the harmonica, thou shalt keep them quiet until called to the stage. When the time comest to play your chosen harp, it shalt be in the same key as your brothers.
10) If thou listenest only at the jam, thou shalt offer a sweet offering at the tip jar.
© this day, Eleven July, in the year of our Lord 2015, William of the Rhythm