Virtual Jams: August 2020 – ???
Until the pandemic threat is over, Slower Than Dirt is moving to a virtual teleconferencing jam on the fourth Saturday of the month, between 2pm and 4pm Pacific Time.
The next virtual jam is on Saturday, January 30, 2020, from 2pm to 4pm, Pacific time. (This is the fifth Saturday because the fourth is the weekend of the Bellingham Folk Festival, which will have a couple of short Slower Than Dirt jams as part of its programming.)
To reduce the risk of attracting griefers, the link to the interactive chat room for this jam will be posted here, on the Facebook event, and on the mailing list the day before, on January 29th.
To join the jam on YouTube, visit: https://youtu.be/9UVNcKdubWU
Tunes from the core repertoire to be played in January are:
- Boil Them Cabbage Down (A)
- Abe’s Retreat (A dor)
- Cluck Old Hen (A dor)
- Cold Frosty Morning (A dor)
- Mace Bell’s Civil War March (A dor)
- Barlow Knife (G)
- Hollow Poplar (G)
- Jeff City (G)
- Rat’s Gone To Rest (G)
- Tombigbee Waltz (G)
The technology to be used for these virtual jams is the popular meeting software which begins with a “Z” and rhymes with “room”, for the time being. It has the best combination I’ve found of ease of use, cross-platform support, and settings which allow for decent quality audio. I’d also like to try Jamulus or maybe SoundJack for its better audio and the possibility of being able to hear everyone playing together, but that’ll probably be a separate project from these virtual jams.
The link and/or password for the month’s jam will be posted on this page and to the Facebook event page the day before, to lower the risk of trolls finding and interrupting the jam.
If you haven’t participated in one of these before, how it works is that when you join the jam, you may start off muted. If we’re playing a tune, you won’t be able to un-mute yourself, because conferencing apps just don’t work for playing together in sync. The tune leader (which for Slower Than Dirt will be Josh on fiddle and Strum Machine providing accompaniment) is the only one who can be heard during a tune, so you will be able to hear yourself and the tune leader, but nobody else. I’ll play each tune once quickly so people who don’t know it can at least hear it once, and then start over at a slower tempo with accompaniment and play the tune between five and eight times, depending on how short the tune is. Between tunes, everyone will be un-muted so we can talk to each other.