How the jam works

Pretty much anyone can play at our jams, just get your name on the player list when you arrive. We run neither a "first come first served" or a "pecking order" system, but somewhere between the two. We look at the players present and try to put the best combinations together to get both the best music, and balance giving the least experienced players the best opportunity whilst not overly limiting the scope of the most experienced players. As we have a good and appreciative audience, we try to get the best playing experience for the musicians and the best listening experience for the audience that we can, not always an easy task with 20+ players, sometimes over 30, with a broad range of styles and experience levels.

It can happen that a more experienced player that arrives later gets to play a set quite promptly, this is because they tend to be more versatile and make a new line-up possible. There is also the style & repertoire factor to fit in, some players are happy to play any style whilst others have a specific niche, making it harder to fit them in with other players. It can become quite a juggling act to fit it all together, but we do make a point of making sure everyone does get to play. It can be the case that a player that arrives early may not get to play until later because of the "juggling" of line-ups, and on the odd occasion a player has left before the end of the night thinking that they have been overlooked without checking with us first, and has missed out on a set ear-marked for later. We try our best but unfortunately, especially on very busy nights with challenging logistics, we can't keep all of the people happy all of the time in terms of which set they get to play, but we do try very hard to make it a good experience for everyone there - within the circumstances on the night!

Please note, this is not an open mic session for original material

If you are a singer, you need to know some "standard" songs as there isn't time to teach players new songs on the fly. Original or less than standard songs are OK if there is at least a guitarist and bassist there that already know them, or they are musically very simple so players can pick them up straight away.

Gear

We provide two valve guitar amps, a bass amp and drum kit. There are also good PA systems and microphones at both venues. Bring your own guitar, bass, drumsticks, horns etc. Keyboards are there somtimes depending on the house band line-up on the day, so it's worth checking whether you need to bring a keyboard.

 

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