20 Advantages Of Web Preplanning:
It keeps those who say "I just want to play!" happy because no prime jam time is wasted on fake book searching for songs we can play. It is a lot better to do this boring administrative work before the jam. You also get to listen to recordings of your prior playing at the jam as I set up for each new song.
It helps us keep our location because it helps keep song gaps small. Not pre-planning on the web for the 2nd jam at the 1st location is how we lost that location. Not having much experience I allowed a none member to come to a jam. Not having familiarity with the web site she brought the wrong song book. After completing 3 pre-planned songs often with wrong chords and structure we were spending 10 to 15 minutes between songs trying to find songs to play. The restaurant patrons complained. I lost the location. To completely fix this the web site now has a pop-up warning if the song book is not Berklee and you can now download a PDF of the chords for all non Berklee song books. I create a new PDF for any new none Berklee fake books including ones submitted on the new song table.
It allows rusty players to join in because they have more time to prepare. I think most people know that even though (these are rusty relaxed social jams where we are allowed to make mistakes and no one will jump on us if we do) we all deep down want to play as well as we can. So it should be obvious that prep makes for a more enjoyable experience. A little work never hurt anyone. I often listen to the recordings. Although nothing to write home about they are pretty dam good because of the preparation.
It allows us to play more complex jazz tunes rather than just simple blues scale tunes. Don't get me wrong. I like blues and having some blues at the jams is nice but when it gets to be more than 10% to 20% of the jam it gets boring.
It provides a popup calendar of my available jam days which makes it very fast and easy for multiple members to get this information while I am away from the computer. Members can use it to submit multiple Sundays to initiate a jam
It allows you to very quickly indicate how you want to participate in each song by checking check boxes for M=Melody, R=Rhythm, S=Solo or A=All. Some creative members could have their custom-input-form message memorized such that they never check a check box. For example a drummer could initiate a jam and get a chance to play on all songs within 15 seconds after clicking the Jam Schedule link.
It allows rusty players to set the speed of songs they select. BIAB ensures we start at the speed and either encourages drummers to maintain that speed with the fun BIAB game or replaces a drummer and guarantees we hold that speed. Please be aware I can set BIAB chorus repeats to 999 and stop BIAB at the end which would allow members to swap solos or help deal with a situation where a member forgets to do their 3rd short song solo. It works because you can't notice BIAB stopping if it stops on beat #1 and we fill in the ending. We still restrict solos to make the jam fair for all. This has nothing to do with BIAB and has a separate reasons list.
It allows jam sharing and this allows members equal chance to select 3 songs they like. This is good for other players since it helps to get them out of the same old songs rut. Example: someone selected Desafinado. I could not solo but I did rhythm. Knowing the rhythm motivated me to later learn to do melody and solo on it.
It has the custom-input-form which has 4 things in common with the email-input-form (text box, transmit button, memorized UID and memorized password). However the custom-input-form is designed to get the job done properly with less errors and a lot faster. It's a huge improvement over email.
It allows vocalists to submit a semi-tone shift (key change) which notifies rusty players they would need to practice in a different key. This in theory should increase the chances a vocalist will attend. It will reduce errors.
It allows you to see the "-S" after the participant's instrument which allows rusty players to know who is soloing and the order of the solos. This allows you to practice for this situation.
It also allows you to get the None-Berklee song book PDF of the chords without having to see a warning (click the Jam Schedule "Fake Book" code).
It allows me to know who is attending in advance which allows me to properly select recordings of our playing to be played between song gaps. I tailor the selections to feature the better playing of the players attending the jam which reduces the chances they will complain about the BIAB setup song gaps and to avoid audience complaints.
It allows me to create BIAB files so that missing players can be replaced so the jam almost never gets cancelled (your practice time is not wasted). BIAB helps maintain that full harmonic and rhythmic sound which rusty guitar players may have trouble with in a trio or duo situation while soloing.
It allows jam sharing which in theory should increase attendance and reduce pressure to participate in all 12 to 15 songs while giving you a chance to chat with your new musical friends while you listen and get inspired to practice for the next jam.
It allows you to easily pull up a YouTube great player sample list of every song (click the Jam Schedule "Song" Name). This might get you interested in learning a new song or help you with practicing it.
It allows you to see who is attending and this might encourage you to come out ( click the Jam Schedule "Show Attendees" button at the top) .
It allows you to plan your time with the song start time estimates which show on the far left of the Jam Schedule. Example: Jam runs 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. John Doe has one song at the end & has to leave by 9:00 pm for early work the next day & he drives a long distance. He can be sure he gets to play his song, leaves happy & wants to do the long drive again.
It allows you to download the BIAB song file to practice with (click the Jam Schedule song "Speed").
It provides easy access to the location map, menu, jam start/end times & number attending (See the Jam Schedule top right section).
Click here to jump directly to where Lee Ritenour says "Life has changed. You gotta go with it. If you try to stay in the past in the music business you are in trouble". Web pre-planning is clearly letting go of the past ways of organizing a jam. My experience proves Lee is correct. Before starting the club and fully embracing new technology I attended zero jams over 7 years. By embracing new technology I have had 14 jams within 3 years and these types of jams have clear advantages over both (traditional home jams I attended in my 20s) and (paid host jams where Aimee Nolte says some hosts get bored). I make zero money and I never get bored at our club jams.