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, May 29, 2021, from 2pm to 4pm, Pacific time. (This is the fifth Saturday, but I’m running a virtual concert on the 22nd, and having done both a concert and a jam on the same day once before, I’d rather not do that again.)
Links to join the jam on Zoom and YouTube will be posted on May 28th here, on the Facebook event, and on the mailing list.
Tunes from the core repertoire to be played in May are:
- Barlow Knife (G)
- Bound to Have a Little Fun (G)
- Possum up a Gum Stump (G)
- Rat’s Gone To Rest (G)
- Seneca Square Dance (G)
- Johnny Don’t Get Drunk (D)
- Mississippi Sawyer (D)
- St. Anne’s Reel (D)
- Wind That Shakes the Barley (D)
- Swannanoa Waltz (D)
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.