We have been hosting outdoor jams in communities around Calgary. All events are free to attend and/or perform. We do them in outdoor green spaces, and are always look for new locations.
UPCOMING DATES: As of August 18, we have now finished our last jam of the summer of 2021. We are now taking a break, and are considering new times/dates starting in October.
JAM TIPS FOR PERFORMERS
Welcome to our Wednesday Jam, a FREE community event hosted by singer-songwriter Jacquie Drew and her amazing soundman & hubby Gary Drew – founders of Community Isobreaker. All are welcome to attend, regardless of which community you live in! If you would like to perform in the jam, here are some guidelines to make this the best possible experience for all. The show goes 7:00 – 9:00 Wednesdays – locations change weekly, but all are outdoors. Times may shift as the days get shorter during the summer.
- Everyone is welcome to play/sing. If you don’t play an instrument, ask the other musicians to support you, and do a song we know.
- Arrive by 6:30 latest, so Gary can get you set up in the sound board and give you a sound check. These are claimed on a first-come first-served basis. All players/singers must sit in the lineup for the evening (we can no longer allow people to jump up out of the crowd since it affects the tuning of the overall sound blend).
- Bring a microphone (mic) and stand if you have one, as we sometimes run out of them! These are claimed on a first-come first-served basis. A stool is also a good idea if you have one. We supply cables and power.
- Bring a TUNER and tune your instrument before we start.
- Ideally, use an instrument that has a pickup in it, or doesn’t need one (e.g. saxophone) so we can hear you.
- Once you’ve got your spot, please do not share or lend your microphone.
- You must sing “lead” (the melody) of a song to get a turn in the lineup.
- If you want to look like a pro – memorize your lyrics, and really, really know your song well. It is better to know an easy song cold, than stumble over a hard one. Playing the same songs every week is A-OK!
- For best success, choose songs that are quite easy for others to play and familiar. This gets more people playing along, and makes everyone sound better and have more fun.
- Do not request to use backtracks – this is a live performance opportunity for all the musicians.
- When it is your turn, start PROMPTLY, speak into the mic, and tell us:
- the name of the song, and optionally, why you chose it (but be reasonably brief)
- the chords used (keep it to 3 – 4 chords if possible)
- the tempo – count the song in loudly enough so that everyone can hear you
- Once you have started the song, keep a steady tempo – listen to the drummer and try to stay locked to him. If you screw up, keep the beat going and jump back in. It’s okay to repeat the same verse if you forget the next verse; or make up forgotten lyrics. Just keep going!
- If you want someone to do a solo for you, look at that player and nod to them as needed.
- When it’s someone else’s turn:
- Don’t sing over top of the lead singer, i.e. don’t sing the melody – let them do it.
- Feel free to sing harmony, or backup vocals
- Strum along, but keep the beat with the drummer
- If you can’t get the chords, or don’t know the song, stay silent (don’t chat/make noise).
- If you play lead guitar or a lead instrument (e.g. saxophone), you can fill “holes” around the melody – i.e. put in little riffs, but not while the lead singer is singing. It is crucial not to drown out the lead singer. Also, let some of the other lead players also have a chance to fill holes, and don’t play at the same time as they play so we can hear different lead players.
- When you get to the end of your song, lift your instrument visibly, look up, especially at the drummer/bass player and emphasize any slowing down…so the group can see that you are cutting them off (ideally a circular motion). This helps everyone end together.
- FOLLOW US on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isobreaker for day-of announcements on each weekly jam’s location. We hope to go until the end of the summer of 2021, and have more ideas coming in the fall.