There is nothing more fun to me than bringing friends together and doing something almost everyone has a passion for — music! Whether it’s playing, singing, or listening, jamming in beautiful fall weather is maybe the most fun way to bring your people together!
I grew up with my family constantly hosting music parties where my dad would set up the living room like a little house show and they’d have all their friends get up and sit in, playing on any song they happened to know. It was always a blast and cool to blend so many people with different skill levels and musical tastes. In high school, I was like " I can do this with my friends too!" and had a big group of people, maybe half of which were musicians, over for a big jam night, expecting it to be similar to my parent's parties. Little did I know, this doesn't always work the same as a bunch of musicians who have played in various bands together for years.
The problem was that no one knew the same songs, so people would keep calling out new ones before some of the musicians could get a hang of what they were playing. On top of that, a lot of people didn't know the words to anything and got bored watching everyone else singing and playing. The one song everyone DID know however was "Wagon Wheel" so we ended up playing that for like 20 min.
As fun as this was, I have learned a bit about making these types of parties more successful and realized this:
To make your party feel fun and laid back, you have to do a little more prep work, especially if you are inviting people who don't always play music together.
Here are my top tips for throwing one of these parties and I created a downloadable plan for you love-to-organize types! :)
1. CHOOSE EASY SONGS THat EVERYONE KNOWS
There will always be people who don't love all the songs that everyone else loves, but trust me, it will be so much more fun if everyone knows the song lyrics (or at least the chorus). People who know very basic guitar can keep up with the chords, and advanced guitarists can easily add in fills or solos to any song.
2. GIVE THEM ADVANCE NOTICE
A lot of people feel very freaked out when they are expected to play or sing a song and can't just improve it! Telling people some songs in advance will highly increase the participations in the jamming, and make sure everyone who likes being musical feels ready.
3. BE THE INCLUDER
As the host of this thing, you may need to have an extra eye on making sure everyone who wants to participate does. It's really easy for people who are a bit shyer to hang back until someone asks them to jump in and the outgoing personalities to take the lead. If they've told you beforehand that they want to play, then as the host, make sure they get a chance.
4. HAVE A TUNER AROUND
This may seem like common knowledge, but sometimes people will be like, oh it's close enough and you'll be like eeee I don't think that counts...
Other than those tips, just make sure you have fun! So you can get the ball rolling on making your playing more social, here is a jam party plan I made just for you! Let me know if you decide to host a music party with your friends and please post any pictures you take! Thanks so much as always for reading!
Download your you fall party planner HERE!
Complete with a set list planner and a sample song list with keys!