Jam organisation

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BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
I posted this in the Sasquatch setlist thread - but I thought I’d repost it here as it occurred to me anyone not going to Sasquatch is pretty unlikely to read it, and it is relevant for all jammers:

Cards on the table - I’m finding all of this just too hard. 

Organising a Jam session is something that is difficult to describe unless you’ve done it for yourself - and not just on the periphery - I mean carrying the can. 

Since starting this I’ve tried to tread a very very thin line - a line that means that in the main, the jams try to make as many people as possible as happy as possible and somehow has the pretty much impossible blend of “what each people wants out of the jam”. 

Believe me, it’s pretty much impossible. I receive an awful lot of PMs about the jams. Some good, a lot bad. In the main, everyone has an opinion as to what the jams should be - it’s rare if two opinions are the same. 

Too much organising and people say it’s too formal - not relaxed, too highly stressful, too pressured and not comfortable. It can also lead to frayed nerves and a feeling that we are rushing through to an endpoint. 

Too little organising and it can be chaos - people trying to play with no prep, not knowing what they are prepping, some not liking the gaps between songs, some wanting to swap out amps and others not wanting them to do the swap outs.

Either scenario can lead to some songs not being done - and inevitably both scenarios lead to some people not being happy. 

Add to this the stress of getting the venues done, getting the money sorted, and getting it done on the day. 

I will be utterly honest here - I’ve run 5 Jam days and I haven’t enjoyed the actual days themselves at all because of the stress of making sure it went well and hoping everyone who turns up gets something out of it. Not once. I’ve not enjoyed the post Jam PMs from people not happy, or nagging for recordings, or asking if x or y can be done differently next time. I’ve not enjoyed the stress of getting everyone paid and hoping the venue will be okay on the day. I’ve not enjoyed quad going dark on me for nearly a month. 

It’s even more difficult when from an admin point of view the Forum wants one balance of things, but yet many of the members who come to the jams want something else. Well, I say that - the truth is that I hear about 50 or 60 different opinions as to how the jams should be run - all valid, and Tony’s is one of them. 

But from a forum point of view as a whole, I’m never going to make everyone happy all the time. Actually, I’m not going to make the majority happy - only some, and only occasionally. 

And most importantly - I’m never going to make me happy. The jams will always be a bind to me, they will always be highly stressful, will always come with baggage, will always be a plethora of PMs ranging from “I’m bored of you always banging on about the Jams” to “why can’t you do these monthly? Some of us want to play more - you don’t seem to be putting enough effort in”

And so I can only come to an inevitable conclusion - I will never win. I will never create jams that everyone feels is just right. I won’t be able to do what the forum wants because not enough members agree. I won’t ever be able to enjoy them as a punter does - and they will always be a source of great stress - from organising, from the whinging and criticism, and from the fact that they don’t do what the forum really wanted them to do. 

So I am going to regretfully withdraw from organising. I’ve been thinking this for a while - this thread certainly hasn’t caused this. The currently organised jams will happen, and I will support them, but if there are to be more in future then someone else will have to do them.

Oh, and to those who PM’d me asking me to stop banging on about the jam sessions as you were bored of hearing about them - here you go, I’m stopping - and fuck you very much for your support.
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  • martmart Frets: 2951
    Sorry to read that, it sounds like you’ve had a really rough time.

    You’ve been an absolutely godsend to this community - a real lift to the spirits. It’s a shame this hasn’t always been reciprocated in the way we’ve treated you.

    I hope pulling out of the jams allows you to get a better balance of pain/gain from the forum. In any case, your decision seems perfectly understandable.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
    mart said:
    Sorry to read that, it sounds like you’ve had a really rough time.

    You’ve been an absolutely godsend to this community - a real lift to the spirits. It’s a shame this hasn’t always been reciprocated in the way we’ve treated you.

    I hope pulling out of the jams allows you to get a better balance of pain/gain from the forum. In any case, your decision seems perfectly understandable.
    That’s very kind of you to say. 

    I’ll be honest - this forum has really tested my patience of late, and I wonder why I’m here quite often. I don’t play guitar anymore, and the bass subforum is pretty quiet. 

    I’ve met some awesome forumites IRL and without exception they have all been a pleasure to chat with, play with and hang out with. 

    It’s such a shame I can’t say the same about my experiences with the forum online, but hey, that’s the internet for you. 
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  • Also copied from that thread:-

    I posted this in the Sasquatch setlist thread - but I thought I’d repost it here as it occurred to me anyone not going to Sasquatch is pretty unlikely to read it, and it is relevant for all jammers:

    Cards on the table - I’m finding all of this just too hard. 

    Organising a Jam session is something that is difficult to describe unless you’ve done it for yourself - and not just on the periphery - I mean carrying the can. 

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    And so I can only come to an inevitable conclusion - I will never win. I will never create jams that everyone feels is just right. I won’t be able to do what the forum wants because not enough members agree. I won’t ever be able to enjoy them as a punter does - and they will always be a source of great stress - from organising, from the whinging and criticism, and from the fact that they don’t do what the forum really wanted them to do. 

    So I am going to regretfully withdraw from organising. I’ve been thinking this for a while - this thread certainly hasn’t caused this. The currently organised jams will happen, and I will support them, but if there are to be more in future then someone else will have to do them.

    Oh, and to those who PM’d me asking me to stop banging on about the jam sessions as you were bored of hearing about them - here you go, I’m stopping - and fuck you very much for your support.

    Sorry to hear that @bridgehouse - Ive gained a lot of enjoyment and learning from the Jams you've organised.

    The first one I turned up to (Quad) I hadn't played live for 25 years (gave up guitar for about 20 of those) and nervously played two songs badly, but met @darthed1981, @legionreturns, @brocco who were in a similar place to me. I was a bit intimidated by the house band, but thought I'd learn a lot from putting myself through that and loved the guts and bottle Ed showed to get through "Plug In Baby" - that showed someone who was willing to put his ego aside and learn by doing it!

    Over the next few jam sessions, I added more and more to what I wanted to do - I played drums in public for the first time in Northampton, added basic singing/shouting Pretty Vacant at Hudds, played guitar and sang (slightly better) and danced! at Woking, played a Gig at Hudds Mk2 and felt good doing a few solos at Quad Mk2 - so each time putting more effort in and getting more out. Ive listened back and thought "that sounds a bit ropey" but that was ME sounding a bit LESS ropey than last time! Ive made great friends and been inspired by others (who are way better than me but always friendly and supportive) to put more effort in and try to make better music.

    Theres been spin off Jams that people have organised to help others get out an play music - @Brocco and @snags should be given great credit for starting those.

    Thankyou for that opportunity, and I hope I can get the chance to play music with you again in future! 

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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1376
    Much of what's been said previously, you've done a fantastic job.. the last sasquatch seemed so smooth and relaxed and just seemed to flow perfectly - I put it down to damn fine organisation. 
    I was quite amazed when you mentioned the abusive PM's last time.. people :/

    Hopefully you'll still at least come and play. 

    Kind Regards,
    An appreciative chap. 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
    LuttiS said:
    Much of what's been said previously, you've done a fantastic job.. the last sasquatch seemed so smooth and relaxed and just seemed to flow perfectly - I put it down to damn fine organisation. 
    I was quite amazed when you mentioned the abusive PM's last time.. people :/

    Hopefully you'll still at least come and play. 

    Kind Regards,
    An appreciative chap. 
    Yes, I’ll come and play - but it seems I’ve done too good a job of persuading forumites that playing bass is actually more fun :D
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5527
    edited December 2018
    @Bridgehouse I've very much enjoyed the jams I've been to as a punter, and the ones I've organised with you at Sasquatch. Thanks for all you've done, and I'm certain we'll not lose touch. 

    In light of the above decision, I feel like it's as good a time as any to say that Feb at Sasquatch will be the last tFB jam I'll organise too. I have no issue with putting in the graft and feel like we've done a pretty decent job for some rank amateurs trying something new for random strangers on the interweb, but I can't put up with all the background bullshit that goes with it.

    I've made some great friends and jam buddies, and will keep playing with them where possible. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • mart said:
    Sorry to read that, it sounds like you’ve had a really rough time.

    You’ve been an absolutely godsend to this community - a real lift to the spirits. It’s a shame this hasn’t always been reciprocated in the way we’ve treated you.

    I hope pulling out of the jams allows you to get a better balance of pain/gain from the forum. In any case, your decision seems perfectly understandable.
    Seconded - @Bridgehouse is brilliant both on here and ‘in the flesh’. :)
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
    @richardhomer - “in the flesh” 

    Er..... ;)
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  • @richardhomer - “in the flesh” 

    Er..... ;)
    I had dinner at a gay friend’s house last night - it was a masterclass in double entendre and innuendo. Some of it’s obviously rubbed off on me....
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  • @Bridgehouse sorry to hear that and think your a top, top guy. I don't have any issues at all and only offered up comments on Leicester as was asked for feedback (sometimes best to just do it your way and that's that as you're the organizer) and I fully realise you're all doing it off your own back and I'm very grateful! Will you be at Huddersfield? You're completely an asset to the community. 


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
    @Bridgehouse sorry to hear that and think your a top, top guy. I don't have any issues at all and only offered up comments on Leicester as was asked for feedback (sometimes best to just do it your way and that's that as you're the organizer) and I fully realise you're all doing it off your own back and I'm very grateful! Will you be at Huddersfield? You're completely an asset to the community. 


    The suggestions in the threads when asked for are very much appreciated. It’s the PM’s, comments on the day, and the fact that some people seem to forget that the organisers are volunteers and give up a lot of free time to get them sorted. 

    I’ll be at Huddersfield. 
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1774
    edited December 2018
    Really sorry to read this @Bridgehouse but I understand where you are coming from... only just getting in from tonight’s gig and catching up...

    I joined this forum just over a year ago now and I think totally joined in with the “community spirit” that’s is so lacking apparently... when the suggestion of a southern jam was put forward earlier this year I didn’t hesitate to volunteer my services to help organise it...

    Admittedly I didn’t do that much organising... I just sourced the venue, got a great deal from the venue, supplied the drummer, supplied a bass player to help out in the extra studios, made sure we had exactly the kit required, made sure we had two competent engineers on hand, arranged delivery of the raw recordings, spent an entire week mixing the recordings, uploaded the mixes to theFB soundcloud account and finally arranged for anyone who wanted them delivery of the raw recorded tracks...

    All just to join in with the community spirit of this forum... 

    now heres the thing, not only did I give up my time, but I convinced two very busy people to give up their time to help out essentially a bunch of great guys that they had never met before... (spreading the community spirit into the real world with that one eh?).

    myself, Bill and Matt have over 90 years gigging and band expierience collectively between us... we know what works, what doesn’t work, what can and what normally does go wrong, we know how to deal with problems on the fly, we know how to adapt in the real world of gigs and gigging bands... we were there very much to support the guys jamming!!! Why? Because that’s what decent folk do!... I am all for anyone of any ability getting up and giving it a go... top fucking work, more power to you for having a crack...

    on the day i even stepped in to cover for a jammer who couldnt make it, I’d never heard the song I played on until 5 minutes before I played it in that room... but, the five of us on that track got through it and to be fair got through it incredibly well... in fact, we could have gigged it...

    What I have come to not appreciate is the subsequent snipping that has come to light... apparently “don’t they know it’s my song” and “why should I have some arsehole widdling over my song” was mentioned.

    well tbh, without some arsehole widdling all over your song it would really have fallen flat on its fucking arse pal!...

    In addition, it was frowned upon when myself, Bill and Matt grabbed @markblagdon and ripped into an impromptu version of “Tush” during one of the scheduled breaks!... really? Get to fuck! That’s the whole point of a jam, jump in a room and see what happens... 

    Matt won’t be attending the jam in April... as mentioned elsewhere, we have a gig that night and it’s a bit much to expect him to drum all day and then gig...

    I won’t be attending purely because of the snarky fucking comments that have come to light after the fact...

    So I do get why you don’t want any further involvement @Bridgehouse... it’s just a shame that it comes to this...

    the very “negativity” that is vilified on this forum seems to be purportrated by those whom it disgusts...


    But... it could just be me being a bit of a sensitive flower I guess!... 




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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2341
    @poopot and bridgehouse you are both top g's and it's a shame people's reactions have made you feel like you don't want to do it anymore. 

    Ive seen the work you both put in and I can see why it's too much if you are getting grief over it. 

    I hope you feel you can still come along to events if they are still able to proceed without your input which I doubt. 

    Either way way cheers for everything. 
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  • poopot said:

    What I have come to not appreciate is the subsequent snipping that has come to light... apparently “don’t they know it’s my song” and “why should I have some arsehole widdling over my song” was mentioned.

    well tbh, without some arsehole widdling all over your song it would really have fallen flat on its fucking arse pal!...

    Eh... who said all that "who is widdling on my song" nonsense - name and shame! @poopot :lol:

    Seriously if there was one rule and only one rule at the jams (apart from no snogging) its "leave your ego at the door"!

    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1110
    edited December 2018
    I've not been to any of the jams, so I've been oblivious to all of this. This is a very sad thread to read because it highlights how people can suck the joy out of any initiative to do something different. 

    People attending but NOT helping should understand that they are not customers who need to be satisfied nor do they have any rights They are reaping benefits from the voluntary efforts of others, as offered by those people. Attend or don't attend, but what's on offer is what's on offer.

    If they want to change the way things are done, they should put their hands up and assist. If they're not prepared to do so, then just STFU, stop distracting those who do and appreciate what's on offer for what it is. 

    So, well done to those of you who have put your time and effort into this. 

    Haters gonna hate. Takers gonna take. It's not them you want to care about, so don't. 

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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 582
    Believe me, it’s pretty much impossible. I receive an awful lot of PMs about the jams

    I don't understand why people are PMing organisers over the jams, other than a few special circumstances where sensitivity or confidentiality may be necessary.

    In general what is there to say that can't be said in public?

    Must put a lot of pressure, and hidden extra load, on the organisers.

    Not cool.

    btw Huddersfield in August helped me move to the next stage in my musical journey. The group were all cool and the downtime was as much of the experience as the music time. If that's what you guys were hoping to achieve, it did for me. Thank you.
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  • I've not been to any of the jams, so I've been oblivious to all of this. This is a very sad thread to read because it highlights how people can suck the joy out of any initiative to do something different. 

    People attending but NOT helping should understand that they are not customers who need to be satisfied nor do they have any rights They are reaping benefits from the voluntary efforts of others, as offered by those people. Attend or don't attend, but what's on offer is what's on offer.

    If they want to change the way things are done, they should put their hands up and assist. If they're not prepared to do so, then just STFU, stop distracting those who do and appreciate what's on offer for what it is. 

    So, well done to those of you who have put your time and effort into this. 

    Haters gonna hate. Takers gonna take. It's not them you want to care about, so don't. 

    Very wise words Mr Dipper! You sound like the sort of guy that would have flourished at the jams!

    There was always the opportunity for someone to organise an extra activity at these events ie, setup an equipment showcase room, have a room for an hours acoustic jam setlist, run some tuition workshops etc but although these were proposed no one took it upon them selves to step in on the day and do it. Having helped run two of these, the organisers have enough to do to keep the main room running that they can’t do any extra, so it would always need additional people to do that and they would have been very welcome to join in.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1376
    Seconded ^^ I don't get the point in pm'ing abuse in particular.. it's a forum, if there is a (non sensitive) issue.. post it, others are probably wondering the same thing or the community can answer it.. 
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  • pmbomb said:
    btw Huddersfield in August helped me move to the next stage in my musical journey. The group were all cool and the downtime was as much of the experience as the music time. If that's what you guys were hoping to achieve, it did for me. Thank you.
    Breakfast was good too ... ;)
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 582
    edited December 2018
    pmbomb said:
    btw Huddersfield in August helped me move to the next stage in my musical journey. The group were all cool and the downtime was as much of the experience as the music time. If that's what you guys were hoping to achieve, it did for me. Thank you.
    Breakfast was good too ...
    amen. breakfast_S_ IIRC.
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  • BroccoBrocco Frets: 28
    @bridgehouse and @markblagdon (and all other organisers) - the jams I have attended have been excellent, thank you!  Please know that your efforts ARE very much appreciated by those I have connected with at these events.

    In terms of future jams, and in particular, the Bristol jam in June next year which @fandango and I are organising, maybe we should consider communicating that any non-confidential PM's on the side sent to organisers will be reposted into the main discussion so that tFB jams can be a positive experience for all involved, organisers included. 
    Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him ~ James Allen
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  • is water rats still going ahead and if not what about refunds

    I have no idea why people pm anyone, it's supposed to be a friendly informal jam, turn up and play, it's pretty straight forward

    Shame this has happened but these people have caused it themselves. 

    I'm also glad i met 5 or 6 people on this forum to practice with, we meet up maybe once a month to bash out some stuff for fun, it's been really good, I'm lazy but it makes me practice more which is good
    www.danielsguitars.co.uk
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16715
    Water rats still going ahead as it stands. I said I’d see the organised ones through, just won’t be doing any more
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  • Water rats still going ahead as it stands. I said I’d see the organised ones through, just won’t be doing any more
    Likewise Sasquatch is on, but after the Feb weekend we'll not be running another one. 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • This is all very sad but inevitable considering the shit that the organisers have had to put up with from several quarters. 

    Since it looks like February will be the last tFB jam in Huddersfield, let’s make it as good as we can.

    @ttony can you confirm the organisers have received the funds that have been paid to you so they can start booking things up for Feb? I imagine Bob needs a deposit. My £40 was paid back in August.  Keep 10% as a donation to tFB. 
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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 582
    edited December 2018
    ... the shit that the organisers have had to put up with from several quarters. 
    inexplicable to me. just does not compute, and is frustrating. no I don't blame peeps for backing off from more, life's too short. I'm sorry for what you've had to put up with. shouldn't happen.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 782
    I really don't know what to make of this, it's equally disappointing and surprising.

    Personally, from someone who has never been to a jam it sounded all super chilled and easy going but clearly there is a lot going on behind the scenes I was unaware of. 

    If there is anything I can do to help with Water Rats in April, please ask.

    Likewise if the organisers decide it is all too much I'll totally understand, happy to donate my fees to the FB or to cover any cancellation cost - I was happy to attend just to support the forum and didn't particularly expect anything from it.
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  • I don't know what else to say except thank you to those that have given up time to organise these events and echo those that cannot understand why the need for PM's about something so simple to be a part of.  I have been to three - I think, and while not necasarily at the forefront of the songs, i have enjoyed the easy going, inclusive approach, so thank you; you know who you are.

    Separately, I may be looking sketchy for Sasquatch, but still trying to make it work. If I really can't, can my fee be rolled on to Bristol by any chance?
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1036
    edited December 2018
    @Bridgehouse - Sorry to hear this, I for one certainly dont underestimate the work that must go on in the background, I have to say that the 3 times Ive attended Ive found it to be excellent, sure theres the odd glitch, but thats life ...

    I can tell you for sure that most of us are very appreciative of your efforts to get us out the house and playing in a live environment, trust me your work, does not go un-noticed.

    Im on a few forums and if they all had people as keen and willing as some of you guys we would all be in a better place.

    Have a think about it...need a hand?...shout up...we like Jam days !

    Anyone fancy a Bham jam ?


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • horsehorse Frets: 632
    Blimey - sorry to hear it's become such a ball-ache.

    Sounds like a good old fashioned 'List of cunts' is needed to clear the air!
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