In the past century, humans have become more mobile than ever in the past. Because we tend to move for work, relationships and a plethora of other reasons, communities are much more dynamic than they once were: there’s less of a chance that you know your neighbors now than ever before in the history of civilization. If you do have friends it’s probably a mad dance of scheduling to meet up, and even when you do you’re so exhausted that you need six cups of coffee over brunch to get a conversation going.
Putting Together The Ultimate Jam Session
There is a solution to this problem: finding a common activity that gives you energy and makes your friendship stronger, something other than standing in a brunch line for two hours. The solution is jamming together! If you happen to have any musical friends, it can make for a really amazing ritual if you meet up once a week to bang out some tunes. It doesn’t have to be serious, in fact, it might be better if it’s downright silly. In the Netflix show Love – for example – the main character (Gus Cruikshank) and his buddies all get together every week to write theme songs for movies that don’t have them – Carlito’s Way and The Perfect Storm are examples. This type of carefree, fun activity allows you to forget about your day to day problems and really be present with your close friends.
You may be thinking “sure, this all sounds great, but I can’t play an instrument or carry a tune to save my life!”. If this is the case, don’t sweat it; the best jams have relaxed “the more the merrier” vibe, so sing loud and proud in your pitchy voice and grab a hand drum, a jam session with friends should be a no-judgment zone. If you want to get a little more ambitious and participate beyond hand-drumming, sign up for music lessons and learn how to play the bass or strum a few chords on the guitar!
An added benefit that you wouldn’t even think of is a basic health benefit: when you sing from your diaphragm for long periods of time it reduces stress and anxiety. Recent studies have shown that the way we breathe is tightly tied to our fight or flight response and autonomic nervous system, singing is a fun way to regulate the breath and decompress after a long day at the office.
So let’s say you’re sold on the idea of jam session now, but one crucial question still remains: where will we have this epic rock sesh? Well, ideally you can single in on a friend who’s still a bachelor/ bachelorette who has a reasonably spacious home where you won’t be pissing off the neighbors/ landlord. If the bachelor in question is without musical prowess, put them on hand drum duty! If every single one of your friends lives in a small apartment or condo, or with a family, you may need to rent a space at a rehearsal factory. This may seem like excessive lengths to go to, but trust, after a few jams, you’ll see how many benefits lie in wait.