Music Jam Session

Jason Farthing
Electives ~ High School

Quarantine - Class Update

While you are at home, let's keep JAMMING!

I will present some ideas in the next few weeks for Homebound MUSIC projects to keep your mind active and your creativity flowing. Look in the assignments section for inspiration.

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Class Description:

An exploration in music and instruments in a ‘Jam’ setting, with a focus on identification and expansion of musical ideas to form structured songs.

Course Objectives:

To explore musical creativity in a ‘jam’ based class setting. Students will be able to choose which instrument they would like to play, while creating music as a group with other students and varied instruments. Each week of class will be an exploration in sound, rhythm, and musical collaboration. Students will learn basic song structure and creative process by developing interesting bits of music into full song compositions.


Student is required to bring an instrument of choice (and amplification if necessary) to class each week, some small percussion instruments and a keyboard will be provided by the instructor as well.


Upcoming Assignments RSS Feed


Let's keep this Jam going -

I have an idea for a video jam that we can work on in the next couple of weeks, I'll post the info soon...
But for now, here are some backing tracks to jam to while you are at home.
Get your scales and chord sheets out, and try out some new stuff along with these's FUN!!!
Acoustic Rock Guitar Backing Track In A Minor
Tasty Blues Rock Guitar Backing Track Jam in B
Deep Psychedelic Groove Guitar Backing Track Jam in C Minor
Send me any of your song ideas that you would like to work on, and let me know if you have any questions about anything.
Have fun!

Past Assignments


12 Bar Blues

Basic 12-Bar Blues

The 12-bar blues is based on these 3 chords and is the basis for much popular music. What do we mean by 12 bars? A bar is a unit of measurement in music. In the case of the blues, it is counted out in 4 beats—so a bar is a unit of 4 beats, counted 1-2-3-4, with each beat getting equal time. The vertical lines below are the dividers between bars. Each slash is a beat, and you can see how it is counted above the slashes. Twelve sets of 4-beat bars:
The most stripped-down chord progression for the blues looks like this:
—and if you were to play in the key of C, we can substitute C, F and G for I, IV and V to get:


Chord Variations

There are many variations on this pattern. You might see the IV chord put into the second bar like so:
In the third line, you frequently come across this pattern, with the IV substituted for the second V:
And sevenths or other variations of the chords can be substituted, as well. Since we are relatively new players, we're sticking to the sevenths for now.
If the blues is going to go on for more than one verse, a turnaround can be employed at the 12th bar. The easiest turnaround is the V7 (shown again in the key of C):


Playing in Different Keys

To play the 12-bar blues in any other key, you simply substitute the appropriate I, IV and V chords (the I chord is always the same as the key you are playing in). So to play 12-bar blues in F,  your 3 chords are F, Bb and C. To play in A, you use A, D and E. (Again, you can substitutes the sevenths of any of these chords.)
Here is what it looks like in the Key of G for Guitar.