The Ten Commandments of Jamming by L.P.
I. Thou shalt not ever forsake the beat.
II. Thou shalt arrange thyselves in a small circle so that thou mayest
hear and see the other musicians. Thou shalt listen with thine ears to
the songs and attempt to play in accord with the group; also, open thine
eyes betimes to look about thee, lest there be some visual sign someone
is endeavoring to send thee. Thou shalt play softly when someone
lifteth his voice in song, when playing harmony, and when thou knowest
not what thou is doing.
III. Thou shalt play in tune. Tune thine instrument well, and tune it
often with thine electric tuner, lest the sounds emanating from thine
instument be unclean.
IV. Thou shalt commence and cease playing each tune together as one, so
that the noise ye make be a joyful noise, and not a heinous tinkling
that goeth in fits and starts, for that is unclean, and is an
abomination. Whensoever a musician sticketh forth his foot as though he
were afflicted with a cramp in the fatted calf, thou must complete the
rest of that verse, and then cease.
V. Thou shalt stick out thine own foot or else lift up thy voice
crying "This is it !", or "Last time !" if thou hast been the one to
begin the song, and it has been played sufficient times over. If the
one who began a tune endeth it not by one of these signs, then the tune
will just go on and on, like the Old Testament, until the listeners say,
"Hark ! It all soundeth the same."
VI. Thou shalt concentrate and thou shalt not confound the music by
mixing up the A part and the B part. Most songs, but not all,
proceedeth according to the ancient law "AABB". But if thou sinneth in
this regard, or make any mistake that is unclean, thou may atone - not
by ceasing to play - but by reentering the tune in the proper place and
VII. Thou shalt be ever mindful of the key the banjo is tuned in, and
play many tunes in that key, for the banjo is but a lowly instrument,
which must needs be retuned each time there is a key change.
VIII. Thou shalt not speed up or slow down accidentally when playing a
tune, for it is an abomination. (See commandment I)
IX. Thou shalt not, by thine own self, commence noodling off on a tune
the other musicians know not, unless asked or unless thou art teaching
that tune, for it is an abomination, and the other musicians will not
hold thee guiltless, and shall take thee off their computer lists, yea,
even unto the third and the fourth generation.
X. Thou shalt have fun and play well.