Random header image... Refresh for more!

Jam Session

When I walked into the room, I was quite nervous.  I felt like one of those little kids you see walking to school with their enormous instrument — like the instrument is walking them instead of the other way around.  I felt shut up inside myself, like a collapsible telescope — making everything feel very far away.

Before I left the house, Josh reminded me of the ChickieNob’s excellent advice to be the scariest thing in the room:

I once asked her how she was so brave.  She thought about it and said, “I try to be the scarier thing.  When I’m scared, I either scream to scare the other thing, or I try to freak the other thing out so that it isn’t the scariest thing in the room.  I am.”

I had to remind myself that the jam session was fairly low stakes.  Not seeing any recording equipment in plain sight, I had to assume that if I embarrassed myself, I embarrassed myself in front of these five other women and that was the end of it.  I could drop in once, and if I didn’t like it, never had to come back.

At least half of the women in the room were eons ahead of me, skill-wise.  But half were comfortably back where I was, just learning how to read tab, a little shaky on some chords.  They ended up changing around the song list and luckily I could roll with it because (1) I knew the new song and (2) it had fairly simple chords.

There was another song we covered which was currently outside my abilities, though I promised to learn it for next time.  Instead, I provided the vocals.  I will preface this by saying that the last time I  sung in front of anyone (beyond my current guitar teacher or Josh or the twins) was at my wedding, almost ten years ago.  Yes, I’ve sung “Happy Birthday” in a crowd, and I played Beatles RockBand once at Lindsay’s house, but the last time I got up and had eyes on me and sang was the night before my wedding (“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”).  That too felt fairly low stakes since we were all doped up on love and the people in the room were fairly forgiving of the bride making a fool of herself.

Which is not to say that I’m terrified to sing.  I may not have a fantastic voice, but I can generally stay on key and I enjoy singing.  I sang on the movies.  I’m fine with that because I don’t need to face you while you’re listening to it.  Whereas, if we’re in the same room, and I can see your eyes on me, I am massively self-conscious.

But I thought about being the scariest thing in the room.  Who knows when another opportunity will present itself where I can just have fun without any thought to how terrible I sound.

So I belted out that Anna Nalick song.  And for two hours in a shag-carpeted practice room, hanging out with five women I’ve never met before, I didn’t feel like a middle-aged writer with grey streaks in her hair.

I felt like a rock star.

I walked out, swinging my guitar case like I imagine Joan Jett does when she’s walking into the airport to board a flight to her next gig, feeling a bit like a rock star.


1 HereWeGoAJen { 05.25.11 at 8:37 am }

I’ve always thought you were a rock star. 🙂

2 Gail { 05.25.11 at 9:03 am }

Way to go! My husband and I are taking guitar lessons, too. And, I can’t help but smile knowing that other adults (like you) are doing it, too. You rock!

3 MommyInWaiting { 05.25.11 at 9:16 am }

Fantastic! How liberating. So I guess you will be going back then?

4 Searching for Serenity { 05.25.11 at 9:35 am }

Awesome. I’m so impressed!

5 Colorado Dreamer { 05.25.11 at 10:01 am }

Very cool! I’ve been taking guitar lessons too, though I frequently lead worship for a small group of folks from church. I’ll have to try that method – seems to be effective. Thanks for sharing, and for putting yourself out there.

6 Justine { 05.25.11 at 1:32 pm }

Scooters, guitar jam sessions … you really ARE a rock star! Can you be MY mom? 🙂

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.25.11 at 1:42 pm }

I remember the first time I heard you sing — on one of the videos you created. I was doped up on love for someone so creative and talented. I was in awe of you — still am. You ARE a rock star.

8 Kristin { 05.25.11 at 5:05 pm }

So Madam Rock Star, how do we convince you to sing for us at BlogHer this August?

9 Mali { 05.25.11 at 8:21 pm }

Very cool!

10 Deathstar { 05.25.11 at 8:39 pm }

Should have smashed it into the ground and thrown up before you left. Now that’s a rock star!

11 a { 05.25.11 at 9:58 pm }

You are a rock star!

12 TasIVFer { 05.25.11 at 10:07 pm }

Fantastic! And who says you have to be the bestest at singing or playing the guitar to enjoy doing it? I’ve known people who music seems to come naturally for who just don’t enjoy performing. Being good at something and enjoying doing it don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, so just do it for the joy of it!!

My husband and I sing *constantly*. I feel fairly certain that if we had an audience more discerning than our dog there would be tears at the sounds of our voices, but our dog thinks we’re great and we have FUN.

13 Chickenpig { 05.25.11 at 10:52 pm }

YEAH!!!!! Rock on! 🙂

14 Vee { 05.26.11 at 6:58 am }

You certainly ARE a rcokstar! and how clever is the Chickienob, love it!

15 Anna { 05.26.11 at 3:31 pm }

You are absolutely a rockstar. Very well done! I had been looking forward to hearing about this and I’m really pleased, proud on your behalf and jealous.

16 Luna { 05.26.11 at 8:56 pm }

Thay chickienob is brilliant. And what else to expect with such a rockstar mama?

17 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 05.27.11 at 1:45 am }

You are a rockstar on the axe and a ninja on the scooter.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author