Jamming with the Breakthrough Music Group

We rolled up in our big blue van to the Brunswick Mill rehearsal studio, situated right in the heart of Manchester. The weather was sweltering outside and all I could think about was wearing a Hawaiian shirt on a beach, but today we had only one mission – we were going to rock!

First up on the agenda was a bit of drumming practice with John. We sat around and tapped out rhythms and got to have a go on each individual part of the drum kit before playing on a full kit. Drums can be really tricky to get your head around at first. To play them, it takes the perfect balance of concentrating and letting go. But that said, I think that drums are one of the most enjoyable instruments to play. They’re so versatile, because you can play them hard and loud if you need to get out stress and frustration, or you can choose to get lost in the rhythm.

After we’d had a bash out on the drums, it was time to move onto the jam session. It was my job to fill in on bass duties for the day, but I hadn’t played bass in years, so I was a bit nervous if I’d be able to keep up with everyone. After I thumped out a few tentative notes on the heavy black bass guitar I’d been given, it all came flooding back to me and I couldn’t wait to get started playing music with the guys.

First up on the agenda was a quick run through of the chords to Free Falling by Tom Petty. After a few initial vocal stylings, in which we collectively sounded like a pack of wild dogs, we made a great decision to change the key (the original was a bit too high for us all). It didn’t take us long to get our act together and we were rocking it out within a couple of run-throughs. ‘I’m free, free fallling’ rang out many a time, much to our delight and joy.

Then we moved on to a much tougher song, Parisenne Walkways by Gary Moore, noted for its raucous guitar leads. First time run through actually sounded pretty good to my amazement and it NEVER sounds good when a band first runs through a song (and I’ve been in lots of bands), but this was actually alright – brilliant! The feedback part was great and Chris’ solo was excellent. The day had gone superbly, and after a few attempts at Ticket to Ride by The Beatles, it was time on our session and we headed back into Manchester, all very pleased and upbeat.

What a great day, I can’t wait to jam with everyone again. If you want to get involved call Breakthrough on 0161 228 1629 or visit the cyber café.

by Joe Brotherton




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