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Calgary Acoustic Music Jam (CAMJAM) Message Board CAMJAM Feedback › Frequently Asked Questions - CAMJAM FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - CAMJAM FAQ

A former member
Post #: 65
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the CAMJAM Meetup group. We'll be adding to this list over time and/or modifying content accordingly. If you don't see an answer to one of your questions, please contact an Organizer directly (in the left side navigation bar under "Organizers", click on a name of an Organizer that you'd like to contact to send them an email). We'll get back to you with an answer when it's possible to do so.


  • Q) What constitutes a Jam? What is a Showcase Jam?
    A) Jams are round-circle style events (think "campfire style") where musicians take turns suggesting and playing/singing songs. Jams typically utilize easy 3-4 chord style songs that pretty much anyone can play even if they don't have the words/chords in front of them. They don't have really intense or complicated strumming patterns. The goal of CAMJAM Jams is group participation. It's frustrating when someone's playing a song that no one else can play. You just end up with a lot of people staring at you. That kind of performance is more aligned to a Showcase Jam.

    Showcase Jams are full-on, band style, public performances. They take practice and dedication to pull-off properly and often involve securing a venue which often costs money. Songs can be complicated and have solos, runs, fills etc. It's a chance to show-off a bit and have fun. Though we do offer these styles of performances, they are not typical. We do these types of Jams to give people exposure to playing in public. Not everyone has this level of interest however. Some just want to play casually. Some want to eventually play at open-mic's and some want to make money.
  • Q) How often does CAMJAM meet? Days/Evenings? Times?
    A) Jams only happen when members host them and there is no set frequency for occurrence. The list of Jams on the website is always changing. If there isn't a Jam that meets your musical genre, physical location or skill level, then you are strongly encouraged to host one that does. Every member can plan and host Jams. The trick is, that three or more members must be in attendance for a planned Jam to become a live published Jam. This is an automatic website setting. It can be overruled by a CAMJAM Organizer. To have this occur, send an Organizer an email directly to help expedite the publishing of your Jam if needed.

    Typically Jams are held in the evenings on workdays and can be in the daytime or evening time on weekends. It's a good idea to allow people some time to eat and for transportation/setup time. 6:30 or 7:00 pm tends to be a common start time on weekdays. Jams can go as long as the host wishes them to go. Typically they can last until 10:00 pm. It's not uncommon for them to go longer on weekends if it is agreed to by the Jam host. Really, it's up to each Jam host to decide the parameters of their Jam and publish these details in the Meetup itself.
  • Q) How long is a Jam session?
    A) It varies. Please see answer #2 above.
  • Q) How do I host a Jam?
    A) Here are instructions on how to host a Jam. Please keep in mind the skill-level your Jam is aimed at. If you're hosting a beginner Jam, please specify this in the Jam description. Likewise for Intermediate/Advanced/Closed Jams. Also, please be sure and specify a limit on how many people can attend your Jam or else you could get a surprise! The more information you put in your Jam write-up the better! It's your Jam, so state your rules and the group will follow them.
  • Q) Why do you charge a membership or per Jam fee?
    A) Here is an in-depth discussion on this topic.
  • Q) How much is a membership? Who do I pay?
    A) A membership is $20/year OR $2/Jam. It's up to you which method suits your needs. You will receive a membership card with your name on it. Eventually these membership cards will allow you some benefits through sponsorship we have planned with willing sponsors (in the works currently). Per Jam users will not receive these benefits without a valid CAMJAM membership card. Your payment date will be written on the card and it's valid for one year from this date.

    Please pay a CAMJAM Organizer. He/She will pass the fees onto our Treasurer (Gary) to keep track of. The status of your payment will be visible in your member profile. Note: CAMJAM operates on the honour system and its up to a Jam host check for valid memberships and to collect, and forward per Jam fees to our Treasurer.
  • Q) How much money does the group have on hand and what is the money being spent on?
    A) You can always see the group's financial status by navigating under MORE > MONEY or checking this link directly. A listing of what we spend the money on is listed here also. We're not out to make money but just to cover our expenses. Please review this discussion forum topic for more information.
  • Q) I'm kind of nervous attending or hosting a Jam, are there any rules I should know about?
    A) CAMJAM follows a set of rules called etiquette. Each member needs to read and adhere to these rules when attending a Jam. We're often attending Jams in private homes or representing the group in a public setting so it's a good idea to be professional and courteous. Please treat everyone with respect and with each member's material things as if they were your own and there will be no problems. Bottom line is that we're all a very friendly and easy to get along with group of musicians. This group prides itself on being a social outlet for passionate music lovers and so you'll always have this in common. It's easy to break the ice based just on this fact alone.
  • Q) I attended a Jam but didn't know any of the music and felt left out. How can I participate more?
    A) This is a common question. We've started to put together a list of commonly played songs and are in the process of putting together a songbook for our members to print out and refer to. It's just a guideline though and something to get you started.

    Ultimately, it's up to you to provide the links to the song's you're interested in playing at a Jam so leave a comment in the Jam listing with links to the tabs/chords/lyrics/YouTube video/etc. It is then the responsibility of those attending the Jam to print out a copy of the song you wish to play. Have a few extra copies on hand too to pass out to people so they can accompany you. If no one has heard the song before or doesn't know the words or chord changes, then you're just going to have a lot of people staring at you. If you want participation, help the process accordingly. Also, if you suggest a song, you must be prepared to play it!
  • Q) What is a good source website to get song lyrics and chord changes to give members
    A) Ultimate Guitar is one of the best out there. There are other good ones too though. If you have a great source website, add it to a thread in the discussions group.

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Calgary, AB

Founded Jan 18, 2011

Organizers:

Bob Hager, Alan Horabin, craig Steels, Frank Mosca, Gary Freeman, JF, Ken H
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