Tips for Reviewers 

How to send a report of your session experience

We at Jam The Bay are committed to getting the word out, within reason and without offending or discouraging others from trying. 

Here are the basic guidelines as to what we need from you in order to put up your review on this site:

  • The venue location (web site preferred)
  • Dates and Times of the session
  • Name of host, if known
  • Skill level expected - open/amateur, pro, invitation-only 
  • Genres i.e. what you end up playing there: blues, rock, jazz, grab-bag
  • Anything else relevant or useful for jammers!   - How is the parking situation? - Do the cops actively ticket the area? - Is there a door cover for jammers? (rare, but happens) 
  • If you got stiffed, and had a *reasonable* expectation that you wouldn't be, we would like to hear about that too. 

Things that we will not allow to be put into a review:

  • Profanity, hate speech, personal attacks, non-sequiturs
  • Whether you thought the drinks were reasonably priced
  • Reviews for jams that are long dead and gone (interesting, but not for here)
  • Reviews outside these area codes: 415, 650, 510, 408, 925, 707, 209, 831, 916
  • Reviews of sessions billed as open mic or acoustic-only sessions

Why don't you review "open mic" sessions? 

We review jam sessions that fit within a certain type of format, and that format isn't an open mic format. We mean no disrespect. We love open mics, in fact many of us jammers visit them from time to time when we want to try out solo material. However, the open mic format is geared for a different type of player. Our readers are not looking to perform solo or original works, generally speaking. At least, we can't recall the last time a sax player showed up at an open mic and blasted in and out and around their favorite bebop stylings for 10 minutes while the audience sat in rapt attention. (We're thinking maybe that did happen one night, but we just missed it somehow. ;-)  

How do you know a jam session is "open mic" format? Well, it's pretty simple. The criteria for an open mic format can be any of the following. An open mic session:

- usually bills itself as an "open mic"
- claims to welcome "all acoustic players"
- is geared toward solo or duo players
- does not have a house band with full instrumentation
- does not have a backline available for jammers to use (drum kit, bass rig, guitar amp)
- is in a venue that does not have a cabaret license, required in some localities for any music volume levels over a whisper.

If any of the above apply, then it's really an open mic, and alas, we don't review them here.

Help us help your fellow jammers !


Givin' it back, and keepin' it real. Since 2000.

All text content Copyright 2011