- Acoustic instruments only.Â No amplifiers.
- No alcohol or drugs. Our aim is to be family friendly, always.
- Jam spots are strictly first-come, first-served.
- Always remember,Â we are guests of the City of Morristown, Tennessee. Pickin’ is a privilege, not a right.Â They ask only that we respect the rules and pick up after ourselves when we leave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sorry, I’m new to this. Just what is a â€śPickin?â€ť
Traditionally, â€śPickinsâ€ť are a regular place and time where musicians can come together and spontaneously and informally play music together. â€śPickinsâ€ť can be found in many small towns and rural communities up and down the Blue Ridge Mountains.
What kind of music will be at Pickin’ In The ParkÂ®?
In many communities, there is a rich tradition of Bluegrass and Oldtime Appalachian music, so youâ€™ll attract those musicians for sure. In addition, there are many musicians who play Country music, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, and participate in drum circles. All of these types of musicians are encouraged to attend and even mix their music styles if the â€śchordâ€ť strikes.
What makes up a jam session?
A jam session consists of one or more musicians playing the same tunes and/or singing the same songs.
How do the musicians know who to play with?
Thatâ€™s the charm of a â€śPickin,â€ť itâ€™s informal. Musicians can play in one jam session for a while, and then move on to another one. If there seems to be too many instruments of one type in one jam, a musician can take the initiative to start another gathering of music.
How much does it cost?
Pickinâ€™ In The Park is always FREE to musicians and listeners alike.
What if a person has just started playing a musical instrument; is it okay to join a jam session?
Of course! If they donâ€™t know the tune, they can just play quietly on the outside of the jam. A more experienced musician might try to catch their eye to see if they would like to â€śtake a break or a soloâ€ť on the tune. If the newer person is not comfortable, a subtle shake of the head â€śnoâ€ť and everyone will understand that they are still learning.
What is an â€śacoustic instrument?â€ť
An acoustic instrument does not employ electronic amplification of its sound. The attributes of acoustic music are both aesthetic and practical. (See â€śWhy arenâ€™t microphones or amplifiers permitted?â€ť)
Why arenâ€™t microphones or amplifiers permitted?
As a practical consideration, only acoustic (non-amplified) instruments are permitted so that any number of small jam sessions may be formed and play their music without interfering with one another. From an aesthetic point of view, the musicians relish the mellow, natural sound of their blended instruments.
What time is the show?
Pickinâ€™ In The Park will begin at 6 p.m. and wind up at dusk. The pickins will be held at the same time, rain or shine every Thursday evening May through September. Jam sessions are small and intimate. Listeners are welcome to bring a chair and sit up close where you can hear the music.
Who is in charge?
You are! Pickinâ€™ In The Park is a venue â€“ a place to play acoustic music. Think of it as you would a park or playground where you can bring your family or meet your friends to play softball or join a pick-up game of basketball with strangers who like to play the game, too. Only here there are no basketball courts or picnic tables, just lots of places to jam.
If you donâ€™t charge the musicians to play or the public to listen, how do you make any money?
The short answer is, we donâ€™t!Â Pickinâ€™ In The Park is about making music, not money. It is not a commercial enterprise. It operates under the aegis of the City of Morristown, Tennessee and is supported solely by volunteers. The cost of tools we use to communicate with the world at large, such as news releases, email newsletters and this website are donated by private individuals. There is no payroll.
Who owns Fred Miller Park?
Fred Miller Park is a designation of the Morristown Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Morristown, Tennessee.
Is there any place to spend the night in Morristown?
Lots of them. Here is a list of those located nearest to the Pickin’ Park.Â http://www.morristownchamber.com/tourism/stay.html
What about meals. Are there any good restaurants nearby?
For a complete listing, check this link provided by the Morristown Chamber of Commerce. http://www.morristownchamber.com/tourism/eat.html
Is this a suitable place to bring small children/teens?
Pickinâ€™ In The Park is an ideal outing for the entire family. You will feel welcome and safe in our alcohol- and drug-free park.
Are there any other attractions or recreational opportunities in the immediate area?
Fishing, camping, wildflowers in season, and the natural beauty of East Tennessee are all around. For a more complete listing of area attractions, check this link provided by the Morristown Chamber of Commerce. http://www.morristownchamber.com/tourism/main.html
If the jam sessions are impromptu, who gets to say what music will be played?
By tradition, each player in a jam has an opportunity to suggest a tune when it is his or her turn. Vocalists, too.
How many musicians will be there?
The numbers of attendees will change from week to week. Some weeks, there might just be a dozen musicians on hand, other weeks scores. But as long as musicians attend in any number, Pickin’ In The ParkÂ® will sustain itself for years to come.
If a hundred instruments are all trying to play at the same time, doesnâ€™t it result in bedlam?
It sure could! But the truth is, jams are usually 2 to 6 instruments, occasionally up to 10 or 12 participate. When a jam grows too large, some players will detach themselves to form another jam and carry on in another location. This is the natural, expected course of events. As the day/evening progresses, pickersâ€™ migrate from jam to jam as the mood strikes. Itâ€™s all about having fun and making music.
With so many jam sessions playing at once, donâ€™t they clash?
Acoustic instruments, by their very nature are not loud. Thatâ€™s the reason most jams form in a circle where the musicians are facing each other. The un-amplified sound does not carry very far, so several jams can form around the courthouse square without interfering with one another.
Why do you say the Pickinâ€™ Park is â€śfamily-friendly?â€ť
Pickers are family folks, too. You will find the music at times lively, but not raucous. The lyrics sung are never unwholesome or rude. The mood is joyful and it is infectious. And Pickinâ€™ In The Park is an alcohol- and drug-free venue.
Can our church worship band jam at the Pickinâ€™ Park?
We encourage it! Make it a church outing, if you like. Same goes for any affinity group that plays or enjoys acoustic music. Pickinâ€™ In The Park is for everyone.
Iâ€™ve been learning to play the guitar, but I havenâ€™t really got any experience playing with others. Would I feel intimidated or out of place if I brought my guitar (or fiddle, mandolin, autoharp, string bass, etc)?
New players are always welcome. From time to time we will announce â€śSlow Jamsâ€ť for the benefit of those who are new to pickinâ€™ and jammers will be helpful in suggesting clubs near your home where you can gain experience.
Do you have bleachers or benches or . . where do I sit?
There are some benches in Fred Miller Park, but we strongly recommend you bring a folding lawn chair for your comfort. You will want to pick up and move to hear a different group from time to time. Besides, bringing your own chair guarantees you a reserved seat wherever you go!
How do we reserve a place to set up our jam?
All jam sites at Pickinâ€™ In The Park are claimed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Can I just come and find a jam to join?
Yes, by all means. Thatâ€™s the name of the game at Pickinâ€™ In The Park. Our goal is to find musicians on the square every day of the week, whenever they feel the urge to play.
Iâ€™m a vocalist, I donâ€™t play an instrument. Are there opportunities for me to sing?
Almost always. Bass players and vocalists are much in demand, so just find a group that is playing your kind of music and hang around long enough to see how they are operating, then just ask one of those friendly folks if you can sing one. By the way, jam courtesy gives vocalists the right to pick the key.
What if itâ€™s too hot/cold/windy/rain/sleet/snow/earthquake/tsunami, etc.?
Jams are impromptu. That means, â€śif you want to.â€ť If any of the above conditions prevail, you may not want to.
What if our Bluegrass club decides to come as a group, can we have a picnic in Fred Miller Park?
Yes. We encourage you to do so. Be sure to observe the Park Rules.
What is â€śpickinâ€™ courtesy?â€ť
The conventions of a jam session are those “unwritten” rules that make things go smoothly. They can be found here.
If we come to the Pickinâ€™ In The Park next weekend will we see any big names there?
You never know. However, if we learn that a special person or group is going to be at Pickinâ€™ In The Park, we always inform the subscribers of our email newsletter.
Have a question we haven’t answered here? Just send complete our contact form and we’ll do our best to find the answer for you.