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Teacher-Directed Jam Sessions with Tony Watt


I offer a wide variety of "teacher-directed" jam sessions for bluegrass musicians in both Cambridge, MA and Albany, NY, where students have the opportunity to learn from each other, from tabs and mp3s I distribute, and from our discussions about how to improve our playing. The jams vary according to the number of tunes the participants know, and both rhythm and lead players are invited. My teacher-directed jam sessions provide a level-appropriate, supportive environment to help students grow their skills and repertoire. If you are interested in any of these jams, or have any questions, please e-mail me at

My teacher-directed jams are usually weekly or biweekly. Jams typically last 90 minutes, although some go as long as three hours, and the cost varies depending on the length. Students can also sign up for a jam session series, which guarantees them a spot in the jam of their choice and gives them a substantial discount. Otherwise, students are invited to RSVP to jams on a first come, first served basis at the regular per-session cost.

Jam sessions in the Boston area typically meet on weekday evenings in North Cambridge, a half mile from where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station. Some jams meet at Sandy's Music on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge between Harvard and Central Square, while others meet in Brookline, between Washington Sq. and Cleveland Circle. Both the North Cambridge and Brookline locations have plenty of meter-free, permit-less parking, and all three locations are a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway stop. Occasionally I offer weekend jam sessions, typically starting around 2 or 3 pm.


Here is a summary of the various jam session I host in North Cambridge by level:

These jams are open to all instruments, both rhythm and lead players, however they are primarily intended for mandolin and guitar players who can play both rhythm and lead. You can attend even if you don't know all of the tunes, as I will have mp3s and copies of tab, chords and lyrics (where applicable) for most of these tunes, however I only have tabs for mandolin, guitar and bass at this time. Students are encouraged to sign up for the full jam session series, which guarantees you a spot each week and provides a substantial discount. Otherwise, students are invited to RSVP to jams on a first come, first served basis at the regular per-session cost. Enrollment is limited to 8 for each jam, so please e-mail me at if you are interested or have any questions.



BEGINNER SLOW JAM (goes with the Slow Jam Class)

These jams correspond with the Introduction to Bluegrass Jamming (Slow Jam Class), however the class is not required to participate in the jam. We will play through songs from the BEGINNER Jam repertoire (above) as well as other songs brought to the group by the participants. Intended for all bluegrass instruments, both melody and backup, there are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to play leads on your instrument, sing, or read music.


ADVANCED JAM (dozens of songs)

These jams are intended for mandolin and guitar players who know at least a few dozen fiddle tunes. In addition to fiddle tunes, we will also be working on breaks to vocal tunes, as well as general concepts of improvising, practicing, etc. These jams sometimes meet on Tuesday evenings at Sandy's Music at 896 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, between Harvard and Central Square. When we meet at Sandy's Music, we finish up in time for folks to head over to The Cantab Lounge (about 4 blocks from Sandy's) in time to catch the featured act upstairs or jam in the downstairs.