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Online Jam Night Tips

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2014 06:55PM CDT
Hello current & future JamKazam musicians! We are hard at work on some new features that will make it far easier to get into online sessions with like-minded musicians. Meanwhile, we are trying to help some of you meet up and play together by coordinating online jam nights in different regions of the United States – specifically northeast, southeast, midwest, south, and west. If you’re interested in participating in these sessions, here are some tips that we hope will help you get the most out of the experience.
1. Set Up and Test Your Gear Ahead of Time
If you haven’t already done so, we definitely recommend setting up your audio gear and making sure it’s all working in a session by yourself, at a minimum, before the day of the online jam session. We’ve made a video that will help you get everything set up and get oriented, and you can watch that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VexH4834o9I.
2. Connect with Others and Plan Sessions Ahead of Time
If you’re an accomplished musician who can get into a session and just start playing and jamming on anything, then no worries (and congrats on your awesomeness!). If not, we’d recommend you visit the JamKazam community forum and post a message describing what piece(s) of music you’d like to play, what parts you can play, and what other instrumental and vocal parts you need. You can also attach lead sheets or other music notation that would be helpful to enable other musicians to prepare. And then see who replies, and take it from there to coordinate. If you don’t coordinate something ahead of time, you’ll just have to hope that serendipity favors you on the night of the online jam. You can find the JamKazam community forum here:  http://forums.jamkazam.com/.
3. Create a Session
When the online jam night begins (typically 7pm local time in each region), if you’ve organized a session, go ahead and create a session for the other musicians to join. And if you haven’t organized anything, we’d recommend looking to see if any sessions are up that look interesting to you (see #4 below), and if not, go ahead and create a session, describe what you’d like to play in the session, and see who joins you. When you create a session, you might consider making part of your session description a reference to the online jam night – e.g. “Northeast USA online jam night session. We’re going to be playing…”. Also, if you have pre-arranged your session with others, you may want to set Musician Access to “by approval” to control who joins your session, whereas if you are just creating a session and hoping others will join you, you may want to set Musician Access to “open”. Here is a video on how to create a session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd753TFbfQM.
4. Find a Session
If you’ve pre-arranged to join someone’s session in the forum, start up the JamKazam app, and use the Find Session feature to look for the session/organizer. If the session is up, go ahead and join it, and if not, you can go back to the main screen and try back every few minutes until the organizer has created it. If you haven’t pre-arranged anything, you can still use this feature, and just look around for a session that looks interesting. Be sure to look at the latency score/color of any session you’re about to join to make sure the latency is either yellow or green. If the latency is red, that means you’ll have high Internet latency, and it will sound/feel laggy in the session. Here is a video on how to find and join sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dPGPjIJnJM.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post a request for assistance at https://jamkazam.desk.com/
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