Colorado fiddler and string educator Annie Savage has a new book, Join The Jam, designed to help string musicians become more comfortable in the somewhat daunting jam session environment. It is meant both for the string student and their teachers.
In the book, Savage seeks to show the student how to think in terms of chords, not always emphasized for fiddlers, and how to approach playing backup or harmony parts when your instrument isn’t playing lead. A variety of exercises are presented to help this sort of technique feel more comfortable.
Join The Jam! starts by showing the student how to make up simple breaks based on the melody of a number of popular jam standards, and how to learn and add licks to spice things up. Examples are provided, though Annie consistently encourages the student to learn to hear and insert things by ear.
This system has been developed over her many years of private instruction for fiddle, on top of her career teaching orchestra in public schools and universities. Savage is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Boston Conservatory, and has also studied at the Berklee College of Music.
This, her second instructional manual, is available for $19.99 from her web site.
Attendees at next week’s World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh, NC will have the opportunity to meet Annie, who will be presenting in a seminar on Thursday morning called Using Effective Teaching to Enhance Career and Community. She will have copies of the book with her at IBMA.
Look for her also performing during World of Bluegrass with her group, The Savage Hearts.