Join The Circle, Learn To Jam

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A weekly facilitated, acoustic jam in Santa Cruz dedicated to helping novice and intermediate pickers build skills and gain confidence playing in groups.

Learn to Jam, Jam to Learn

Jam Circle 101 is a weekly, acoustic jam circle based in Santa Cruz. The circle is carefully facilitated to ensure not-so-experienced players feel safe to explore, learn technique and have fun. Unlike a traditional jam circle, we take some time to work on and discuss different techniques and approaches for playing and improvising. You get to learn and experience that jam circle magic.

Looking for more advanced Jam? Let us know. When we have a full circle, we’ll start one!

Check out the Blog for learning tips and fun info!

What We Learn

  • Good jam tunes to help build your repertoire
  • Tricks, tips, and ideas for playing breaks and improvising
  • Solid backup playing
  • Singing harmony
  • Leading songs
  • Tips for practice and ideas on where to focus
  • Jam etiquette
  • How to make it fun, not scary
Find out more

I am living proof that you can do it!

As a teen, I dreamed of being a hot musician in a cool band. I worked hard at guitar, learning from books and occasional lessons . I mastered some fancy chord progressions but it was a lonely pursuit and I never figured out how make the dream reality. It wasn’t until I fell in love with the fiddle late in life and started going to music festivals that I discovered what was missing. The magical world of “jam circles” opened me up to a new way of relating to music. When I started playing with other people, music suddenly got a lot more fun and I quickly became a much better musician. To the lucky few, musical skill comes easy. The rest of us have to struggle, but as the great fiddler, Darol Anger once explained to me, struggling has benefits. It teaches you to be a smart learner and how to devise tricks for simplifying theory and technique. You develop efficient ways to practice because, let’s face it, when it’s just for fun, who has the time? I’ve spent years collecting bits and pieces of hard-won wisdom and information. My mission is twofold. One, to share what I’ve learned, and two, to help people discover the joy of playing music together. So come join The Circle and let’s jam!

The Jam Dojo

Jam 101 happens in a beautiful backyard space on Santa Cruz, west side. We call it The Jam Dojo. .

How big is the jam?

The circle is limited to 10 people. When it grows beyond 10, we’ll add another night to accommodate more people.

When is the jam?

Jam Circle 101 currently happens Tuesday night 6: 30 – 8:30. When we reach capacity we’ll start a Thursday night option. Members can come to one or both nights during the the week.

How will Jam Circle 101 help my playing?

We offer a regular opportunity to play with other people along with instruction and personalized coaching. It’s a great way to learn and really fun. Go here to learn more about Member Benefits

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What skill level is required

Ideally, you know how to play a few songs and are comfortable with changing chords. If you think you aren’t quite there yet but you really want to learn, come regardless. Feel free to come by and check it out first. If you’re a seasoned player looking for a more advanced jam, let us know.  When we have enough players for a circle, we’ll start one!

Is there an age limit?

If a kid wants to play and can stay up until 9:00 sign them up!

How much does it cost?

Click here to see sign up options

Can’t afford it but really want to come? Talk to us.

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Membership Info

The goal of Jam Circle 101 is to offer musicians a regular, ongoing way to play and build skills. We encourage regular attendance by offering discounted, monthly membership rates but drop-ins are welcome. In addition to the weekly Jam Circles, members get access to content tailored for Jam Circle 101 players and areas of specific interest to the individual player. You can cancel your membership at any time, however no refunds will be offered for remaining days left in the membership period.

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Member Benefits

  • Jam 101 Circle
  • Personal Instruction
  • Instructional Content
  • Meet other musicians
  • Learn from special guest leaders
  • Invitations to special musical events
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Contact Us


Want to come by and check it out ?

Send email
or Call David Bernard: 831 252- 6092

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