Your Source for Southern California Jams,
Open Mics, and Band Showcases

Jam 101
Confused by the terminology? Wondering if an event is right for you? The definitions below may help. Also, keep an eye on this page for additional information about jam etiquette, coming soon!
Musical NotesJam
A semi-structured session in which a group of musicians play together, privately, or for an audience. The type of music is usually limited to a particular genre, such as rock, jazz, or blues. Blues jams are probably the most common, due to the universal familiarity musicians have with blues progressions, scales, and songs.

GuitarOpen Jam
This type of jam is the most inclusive, in regard to the players. Although there may be some rules in place as to the basic knowledge and skill level of musicians, even lower-level players may get a chance to participate. Some jams allow full bands to play, while others prefer to mix and match individual players. Groups of musicians are generally allocated a few songs, or a time slot, before the organizer swaps out the lineup.

GuitarPro Jam
This is typically an event looking for "pro level" musicians, or at least those who are proficient with following a set leader in the designated genre, and who are well-versed with jam etiquette. Some pro jam organizers will severely limit or disallow playing time by novice players.

MicrophoneOpen Mic
This is an event where a club, coffee house, restaurant, or other venue allows individuals and/or bands to play for a designated amount of time. As the name implies, there are typically few restrictions on who is allowed to play, but organizers generally reserve the right to pull the plug on someone who isn't pleasing the audience and/or the host. Although the term "open mic night" is traditionally associated with acoustic, singer-songwriter type of performances, the venue may allow small groups, amplified instruments, and even full bands to perform.

Musical NotesBand Showcase
This is a form of open microphone event where full bands may play for a few songs, or even a whole set. Although the organizer may allow bands to walk in, many require bands to sign up in advance.