Play Well With Others

A Musician's Guide to Jamming Like a Pro 

Martha Haehl & Mike Walker




"While essential for beginners, the experienced jammer will also find
invaluable information in this book. Follow the directions and improve
both your musicianship and your manners!"

Faith Petric
Founder of the San Francisco Folk Music Club


Play Well with Others is a great, much-needed book for anyone who
likes jam sessions. It's filled with a lot of great information about
music (like the Circle of Fifths), but most importantly it
discusses the etiquette of jam sessions in a way that would do Miss
Manners proud. You need this book!

Dakota Dave Hull


This is a very good guide to help the beginning player learn how to
play with other musicians and have the confidence to join in the fun.
It is also very useful to the more advanced player with practical
tips to make jamming a positive experience for all involved. Give it
a read and have many great
jam sessions.

"Country" Dave Harmonson
Professional musician since 1970
Seattle WA 


“Play Well With Others does a great job of addressing the issues that come
up in jamming, with helpful suggestions and a sense of humor.  I really enjoyed
and recommend it.”

“Jumpin” Jim Beloff
Ukulele master and songwriter.


“What a fun book! I never expected that a book on jamming would be such
an entertaining read. Play Well With Others is full of advice and
instructions valuable to the beginning as well as the advanced jammer.”

Susan Urban
Chicago Singer-Songwriter,
member of February Sky.


"Playing well with others requires many important skills of listening,
watching and learning. This could take the average untutored player
years to acquire ... however Martha Haehl and Mike Walker have
distilled all this wonderful knowledge into one collection that is in
my opinion, a must read for all entry level and even intermediate

Lil Rev
Milwaukee, World famous ukulele
and blues harmonica entertainer.

K.C. Tribune Review: Patricio H. Lazen
Published 09/08/2008 - 5:49 p.m. CST

Play Well With Others, A Musician’s Guide
to Jamming Like a Pro, written by
co-authors Martha Haehl and Mike Walker,
is a comprehensive step-by-step guide
meant to enhance the fun of making music
with others.

A jam session, for those not acquainted
with musicians’ lingo, is a musical
performance where musicians gather and
play without extensive preparation or
predefined arrangements.

Play Well With Others targets lead players,
singers, and musicians who carry rhythm
or provide structure by playing chords.

The book is inclusive of all levels of
musicianship skills and all styles of

Haehl and Walker have written the guide
to be a helpful tool if you’re an
experienced jammer, but want to fine tune
your skills and branch into other styles,
or if you have always wanted to join a jam,
but were terrified of the thought.

There are also several helpful tips for
dealing with situations such as when to
join a jam, or if other musicians decide
it’s time for a snack, or if you’re done
playing and someone changes keys.

The authors point out that although their
book is divided into three parts, it
doesn’t have to be read sequentially. If
you already know the material in certain
lessons, you can just skip to a part
you’d like to learn.

Part 1 covers jam do’s and don’ts to
helps musicians get a good idea of what
the basics rules of jamming are.

Part 2 talks about subjects like music
progressions, transporting, and musical
keys, and gives the reader a musical
foundation for jamming.

Part 3 deals with the nuts and bolts of
playing music, and serves as a basic
music theory reference guide.

This final part includes common chord
progressions, a table of major chords
and their relative minors, as well as
how to construct major, minor and
diminished chords, and more.

The pages of this book are illustrated
with several highly technical, but easy
to follow, diagrams. There are also
several charming cartoons that give a
funny spin to some awkward situations
that jammers surely encounter when
practicing this craft.

Jam Busters, Train wrecks and several
other pitfalls of the art of jamming
are also exposed and dissected.

Play Well With Others also offers several
tips to develop good etiquette when
joining a jam session, for performers
and, to a lesser extent, for the audience
as well.

Throughout the pages, the reader will
learn how to make artistic judgments,
how to play in the style of the jam,
what to do between songs, during songs,
how to listen, how to practice, and
much more.

The authors also subscribe to the idea
that being fit or unfit to tackle a jam
session is not the exclusive territory
of its flesh and bones participants.

It also applies to instruments; don’t
bring a trumpet to a dulcimer jam, a
flute to a bluegrass jam, or an
autoharp to a jazz jam.

Combining etiquette skills and technical
abilities, and addressing many other
sub-topics, the authors covered just
about everything that’s related to
jamming sessions in just a little over
100 pages, and it’s their hope that
upon turning the last page, you should
know enough to have all kinds of fun
playing with others… and offer the
audience and your fellow musicians
a window to your heart.

Martha Haehl is a math and music
professor, a multi-instrumentalist
and a songwriter (11 at last count).

Mike Walker is an award winning
writer and publisher who also plays
the ukulele.

In writing Play Well With Others,
A Musician’s Guide to Jamming Like
a Pro, Martha Haehl and Mike Walker
approached the subject from a unique
perspective as they come from opposite
ends of the musical spectrum, but it’s
obvious that they both toiled to exert
an equal amount of love and passion
for the craft of jamming.