Don't Suck at Guitar
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Don't Be Closed Minded About Open Jams

  02/28/10 02:47, by , Categories: Don't Suck at The Blues, Beginner , Tags: barefootmusicnews, blues jam, dan grigor, guitar center, jeff chaz, open mic, tony nash

Check your local paper or an online entertainment guide for your area and I guarantee you that there is a bar near you that has a regular blues jam or open mic night. Even if you are a “big-time” guitar dude with a band and a myspace and merch for sale, you owe it to yourself to take off and go be just another guitar player at a blues jam. You will meet fascinating people, amazing front-porch players and probably make friendships that will last for years. Not to mention that you’ll get to show off and try new stuff and get honest feedback based on what you play not who you (think you) are.

Click through for more including a great video of the boys playing
the Big Bill Broonzy classic “Key to the Highway”

It can be humbling when that 16-yr-old has to go on first ‘cause at 10:00 it is illegal for him to be in the restaurant-turned-bar, and then he kicks your butt. It can be awesome when you are the best player that night and are the star of the show, but more often than not, that will not be the case. The evening will be full of players of all kinds; if you’re lucky, not just guitar players.

In planning for an interview with Louisiana bluesman Jeff Chaz, we were invited to come down and capture some performance video at his regular Blues Jam Sessions. Ray’s Downtown Deli is a great and famous venue in San Bernardino and the stage there is ideal for a blues jam. Deep and wide, it has room for everyone and all their stuff. The PA is awesome and everyone can hear what’s going on from both sides of the stage.

Victor Estrada and the family at Ray’s puts on a good time with drink specials, comfy booths and tables right down by the action where you can seeĀ  and be up-close with great musicians. Large enough for a party, it has room for all the players, guests and equipment and does a fair walk-in trade on its own. Other nights they host great bands, but Thursday night is the jam.

It was a great time. I crawled around on the floor and shot video, Frank and his son played with Jeff, and Tony Rodriguez jumped in on harp. There was Tony Nash, Irvin Foster, Woody Andrews, some guy named Bruce, a guy that works at Guitar Center, a kid up there for his first time…everywhere you looked there was a great player playing or waiting to go on.

I said all that to say this: get a new battery for that pedal and check your cables. Go find a blues jam and just be someguy named [insert name here] and play some blues. It’ll be good for you, I promise.



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This entry was posted by and is filed under Don't Suck at The Blues, Beginner. Tags: barefootmusicnews, blues jam, dan grigor, guitar center, jeff chaz, open mic, tony nash


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Comment from: antonio-tony rodriguez
antonio-tony rodriguez

this is agreat video like always ,thanks danielle and dan my good friends.

03/02/10 @ 01:18
Comment from: Frank

I had a great time @ the jam.
I have noticed that I sing with my hands in my pockets when I don’t have a guitar strapped to me! Great bunch of guitarists. Some were totally unknown to me and blew me away. I hadn’t played with half the guys in the video and we had never played that song together-no even once-so it was cool to pull that off with 7 lead solos.That video was just one of many great performances that night by 15 or so really talented guitarists and a host of great bass players, drummers, harp players and of course-Irv on the keys…

03/06/10 @ 10:59
Comment from:

Sorry this video has been moved to

03/11/10 @ 15:58

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