So I go down to the blues jam tonight at a local bar (as local as it gets here, maybe 20 miles away). The short version: I sucked, I couldn't hear my guitar, the host wasn't all that cooperative about helping me get my guitar to sound good through his Fender Blues amp. But I didn't care. It was friggin GREAT. Why? A few reasons. I was 10x less self conscious up there with another guitar player, a drummer and a bassist than alone @ the acoustic open mic night. And I really enjoyed having a rhythm section and playing with other musicians. I don't think I've ever done that before, or in a very long time. After a few bars I realized that the audience wasn't my concern, anybody who comes to an open mic night deserves what they get : ). Anyway, yeah, the host was a bit silly. Right before I start, he actually says to me 'I want some pro playing up here tonight, no pointless jams', I just looked at him and said 'it's open mic blues jam at the Airport Inn, good luck with that' to which he had no retort, it was really one of the dumbest things anyone has ever said to me, my guitar teacher Dan (who I was up there) looked at each other and almost cracked up. At any rate, I don't have a lot of experience with this, but apparently this host is a bit persnickety (that's what a few people there were saying), he doesn't want you setting up your own amp (apparently other open mic hosts will help you and don't mind, what do I know), but the sound I had happening tonight was thin and useless, I couldn't hear my own guitar on the friggin stage playing leads so the audience couldn't hear it so well either, which is not all bad all things considered. I told the host before we started, he did nothing. When I told the host this again afterwards, he told me the band was too 'loud'. Uh-huh. Oh well. So it goes. I came away feeling like I can play with these dudes, I just have to get more comfortable in a jam setting, be able to hear myself, etc. I sang and played rhythm too, the vocals sounded fine (good stage monitor), and the rhythm guitar was louder. It really was a blast playing with the impromptu band. New for me. Hey, I went there so petrified I wanted to turn around and go home. I finished the night not giving a flying fark what anybody thought and wanting to come back and play again. I'm going to a different open mic blues jam with Dan (my teacher) tomorrow night. And that's how I'll get better. That's the plan. I'll let you know how it works out.