Jam Sessions - Sasquatch, Quad, WaterRats (et al)

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TTonyTTony Frets: 15080
WOW !!

Just WOW !!

As some of you may have noticed, I've become re-engaged with the forum more actively over the last few days (we never went away completely, but we went passive!) and a large part of that is because I've been wow'd by all the enthusiasm and activity in the jam session threads.

I'll freely admit that I've really enjoyed all of the sessions that I've been to.  There's a bit of work that happens behind-the-scenes to make sure that they run smoothly, but that work is more than worthwhile when you get to see the results of it, and to participate in it too.

TBH, those sessions are the only opportunity I get nowadays to play outside my bed music room, so despite being an old bugger, I still get a huge buzz from playing at those sessions.  As well as seeing how everyone else enjoys them.

I think it's fair to say the the behind-the-scenes team have been a bit swamped with the responses to the latest set of jams.  We need to take a bit of a step backwards to get the organising - errrr - organised.  We're just being over-run with all the enthusiasm - which is way way better than being underrun by indifference! - but we need to calm things down a bit on the next SasQ and WaterRats threads so that we can stay on top of the planning for those (those being slightly further away than the Quad session).

They're absolutely going ahead - and I hope that we'll be able to sort out some more active/participative session too - we just need to take them one at a time and get slightly more organised or else we're going to go slightly mad.

As an example, we've got well over 100 suggestions for the song lists.  Which is great, but totally unmanageable.  And when we cut that down to the 15-20 that can actually be played during a jam session, there's going to be lots of pissed off people because their suggestions didn't make the cut.  We asked for the suggestions, so it's our fault we're in this place, but we need to get back on top of those discussions/decisions.  

But still WOW - what a great place this is!
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Comments

  • SnagsSnags Frets: 552
    Speaking purely personally, I wouldn't be in the least humpy if none of my suggestions ever make the cut.  I totally get the herding cats issues, and for me the opportunity to just get out and do some stuff I wouldn't normally do is the key thing. If that means learning a bunch of songs that never occurred to me (as it does for Quad) then I'm fine with that - in fact, it's good for me.

    Obviously mileage varies, but that's just my 2p - I ain't going to be ticked off whatever, as long as I get to meet folk and play some guitar (and maybe bass, and maybe sing).

    Keep it coming :)
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15875
    Snags said:
    Speaking purely personally, I wouldn't be in the least humpy if none of my suggestions ever make the cut.  I totally get the herding cats issues, and for me the opportunity to just get out and do some stuff I wouldn't normally do is the key thing. If that means learning a bunch of songs that never occurred to me (as it does for Quad) then I'm fine with that - in fact, it's good for me.

    Obviously mileage varies, but that's just my 2p - I ain't going to be ticked off whatever, as long as I get to meet folk and play some guitar (and maybe bass, and maybe sing).

    Keep it coming :)
    It’s all good - we just need a little bit of time to sort out a few bits for consistency and make the jams as good as possible
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  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3685
    Same here, I'm not going to take the huff..!

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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 444
    My strategy was spray and prey - I must have put in about 10 suggestions so maybe a couple will make the cut.

    It'll be cool whatever, we're all on the same team.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1867
    edited August 17
    Same as water rats last year, just want to turn up with a guitar and cable, plug it in where and when told and play whatever made the list as least cackly as I’m able!
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  • RedRabbitRedRabbit Frets: 259
    Likewise, I'd really not be bothered if none of my suggestions made the final list.  I'm happy to play on whatever I get.
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  • markblagdonmarkblagdon Frets: 783
    Wise words guys, these events are put on for us to enjoy and learn from, and challenge us to learn something new. They aren’t a “book a backing band to allow you to play your one favourite tune” , so go in with a happy to learn attitude and everyone will benefit from the event.

    I only wanted to play Hendrix and Black Crowes songs at the first one, so was limited in what I played on, but during the follow on jams I have been trying new songs/styles so I’ve grown my repertoire and playing skills trying new styles (I was even jamming along to the Status bloody Quo track for Quad last night - who I’d never listen to normally, and it was a bit of fun!). Just to put it in context - they’re songs to play on the day for fun, not your bands setlist that you’ll be committed to playing every gig for years.

    Only my opinion and YMMV.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1045
    I obviously blame it on the organisers! Everyone is still on a post Sasquatch jam high. 

    None of my songs made it to the last one - didn't bother me in the slightest - still a great selection to play on and I had a blast. 

    This is meant to be fun for everyone, even the organisers. So do what you gotta do to make it easier for yourselves guys :)


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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 15080
    Thanks for the responses all and for the positive comments
    :)

    Just to give you a bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes ...

    When someone suggests a song for inclusion, we listen to it.  Ok, most of them we're already aware of, but we've probably not actively listened to it regularly or recently. 

    We do that to assess whether it's a viable option.  Does it heavily rely on instruments that we might not have available (keys, brass, etc).    Are the vocals do-able?  Is it simple enough that a good number of people will be able to learn it?  

    Then we look at what else has been suggested by the same person.  We aim to get something on the list for most people.  Sometimes its the exact song suggested (maybe because others have suggested it), sometimes its a similar song that's been suggested by someone else.    Sometimes we can't do that, but we do try.

    We also aim to get some sort of mix across genres so that it's not all BritPop  or 80s HairRock, or whatever.  Again, in the interests of there being something on the list for most tastes.

    Then there's a qualitative assessment.  Do we think that we could achieve a good version of the song with the complete absence of playing together beforehand - eg is the structure reasonably simple and easy to follow.  Yup, playing in a room together is great, but getting a good result of the process is even greater!

    Then we have to work out which version we're going to use as the base to learn from.  Is it the original studio / album version?  Is it the extended version that came out on the remixed, remastered and extended box set 30 years later.  Or what about the live version? 

    Errr, which live version?


    That process still normally leaves us with too many to fit in.  There are just too many good songs out there.  So then we have to try to narrow it down through discussions amongst ourselves, putting aside our own preferences!


    With 100+ suggestions to work through, that takes some time.  It gets more complicated when you're halfway through the process and then realise that another 10, 20, or 30 songs have been added to the list and, effectively, you have to start the process again.


    Now, that's our fault because we made it open season.  Throw in whatever suggestions you like, as many as you like, whether you're attending this session or not, etc.  That's part of our learning curve and something that we'll get better at when organising future sessions.

    But, I'll repeat the punchline.  I'd rather have a problem caused by over-enthusiam than indifference.  It's a great problem to have!
    :)
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1867
    The other thing to consider as organisers is we the great unwashed are paying a pittance to turn up and play with other musicians, I don't know anybody else who plays other than people I have met through here.  The fact that you remember to turn up on the day and the studio know we are coming is the point where for me, and I think most people, our expectations are met.

    No-one can ever please everyone and I would rather there be stuff played on the day I don't know/like than have a day of just stuff I like and not meet people who are into slayer or 16th century nose flute music or whatever.  Once I get more used to playing with people I intend to follow Mark Blagdon's path and start playing on stuff that's not my bag.

    My point is don't put undue pressure on yourselves to put on a professional level gathering for no money, even though that is what you have all achieved so far.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 15080
    munckee said:
    The other thing to consider as organisers is we the great unwashed are paying a pittance to turn up and play with other musicians, I don't know anybody else who plays other than people I have met through here.  The fact that you remember to turn up on the day and the studio know we are coming is the point where for me, and I think most people, our expectations are met.

    No-one can ever please everyone and I would rather there be stuff played on the day I don't know/like than have a day of just stuff I like and not meet people who are into slayer or 16th century nose flute music or whatever.  Once I get more used to playing with people I intend to follow Mark Blagdon's path and start playing on stuff that's not my bag.

    My point is don't put undue pressure on yourselves to put on a professional level gathering for no money, even though that is what you have all achieved so far.
    You're now my favourite person @munckee ;
    ;)
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  • David5150David5150 Frets: 115

    Never easy - and you're right, the enthusiasm and spark we have for the jams translates into a waterfall of song ideas (we have the same in my band when we're all up for it)

    All I can say is I have the Quad Spotify list playing as I 'work' today as there are loads of songs on there I wouldn't think of learning so it's opened up my creativity.

    And it's getting us talking about music and songs which whilst being unconstrained chaos - is quite energising.

    I'll shut up now and plan my suggestions for Water Rats.....

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15875
    I don’t want to kill the enthusiasm at all - I just need a method for getting order of some sort out of the organised chaos!
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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 444
     Thanks to those putting the graft in, appreciate it.

    Don't let it be a stresser, we're all here for fun. Can't please all the people blah blah blah ...

    I'd suggest be harsh on pruning the setlist, rather than trying to squeeze a lot in, I think it makes for a better experience to do less with a bit more time.

    Happy to chip in a bit of effort next time, we're not far off being able to run more events.




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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 444
    LuttiS said:
    I obviously blame it on the organisers! Everyone is still on a post Sasquatch jam high. 

    We are of the HuddStock 20!  This is going to end up like seeing the Beatles at the Cavern Club - the place holds 100 people but a few million were there.


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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2285
    pmbomb said:
    LuttiS said:
    I obviously blame it on the organisers! Everyone is still on a post Sasquatch jam high. 

    We are of the HuddStock 20!  This is going to end up like seeing the Beatles at the Cavern Club - the place holds 100 people but a few million were there.


    Joking aside, the "5th Birthday" jam and gig turned out to be a very special event.

    I've not ruled out us becoming the next Beatles...
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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