From Jam to Melody!

The magic of jamming is in creating. Sometimes the particular melody is born out of jamming. This melody is a magic creation by all involved equally. It might consist of longer or shorter pieces, it can grow rapidly or evolve slowly. Rarely it crystallises straight away. Instead it can be chopped and changed nearly endlessly and even come back to original at the end.

Throughout this week, we are exploring our musical abilities and creativities. We imagine and realise little motifs and riffs. We bounce ideas off one another and develop these again and again. These are important stepping-stones in our jamming journey and inevitably will lead to the composition of our own melodies and pieces. But HOW does this happen, and even more so – how do we remember what we create?!

At the beginning  I thought it all has to be perfect and right at the start, but later I realised that parts of the new melody, which didn’t seem to fit together at all, fit in perfectly  with a slight tweaking. The other great thing is that every bit, no matter how long or short, how high or low or even completely mad can be fitted into this new melody. Anybody can come up with a star and then each player can keep adding their own notes until this magic creation is born.

Using solos, phrases and ideas of the performers, we start to build up the piece. Everything is contributed and decided upon by the players and gradually the spark is lit. Adding layers and texture to the various sounds and we see our melodies begin to take form. Bringing in raw material from previous sessions and begin to colour in the outlines of the new melody. Dynamics are added, different rhythm patterns and tempi begin to emerge, it all fits *somehow* and slowly but surely, our building blocks begin to formulate into our very own creations. Solos materialise and are given room to advance and breathe. Recordings are made as we go, helping to concrete and assure ideas formed. It’s exciting work, composing out of thin air and hearing material that WE created played back by a big group. It’s a brilliant achievement and only a small taster of the performers’ ability. These musical fruits will be showcased on Sunday evening – can’t wait!

The next Castlebar Jam band session will run on Saturday April 9th in St. Patrick’s Boys School from 2.30 – 4.30 pm with further sessions to follow in April, May and June of this year.

Keep an eye on our facebook page for more details and you can also get in touch with Music Generation Mayo too. Hope to see you there!

Written by Jam Band tutors Zane and Michelle 



Jam Bands Mayo – Who We Are!

Jam Bands Mayo was born in 2016. Born from a need for young people, in Mayo, to create music. To write music. To play and perform music as a group. To see a musical vision come to life. And to provide them with the skills to do that!

Jam Band sessions encourage an already flourishing passion for music through the support and guidance of experienced local musicians. We are passionate about helping young musicians to explore music within their own interests, goals and genres, while also immersing them in new music styles. We love to mash up music, challenge musicians beyond their comfort zone and throw them into a new creative, free and inspiring world of noise!


One of the really amazing things about Jam Bands is that we provide access to lots of equipment. I WISH I had my hands on the keyboards, drum kits, basses, guitars, mics and amps provided for Jam Band Musicians regularly when I was getting started. I would have been a far better multi – instrumentalist by now, for a start! Isn’t it wonderful that young musicians in Mayo won’t grow up saying ‘I really wished I could play bass, be in a band, write songs, I just never had the chance.’ The opportunity is there for everyone now – and in a friendly, welcoming and nurturing musical environment.

We love self expression. We love brainstorming. We love collaborating. We love Jam Bands. And hopefully, you will too! If you want to get involved, have any questions or just want a chat with a real life musician, give us an email or a message on Facebook. We’re raising up the next generation of already crazy talented Mayo Musicians to be unstoppable!

Pictures above are from Jam Bands Mayo Easter Camp 2016 in Ballinrobe Community School

Written by Jam Band tutors Brian and Con

Jam Bands Mayo is operating under the auspices of Music Generation Mayo