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Let's Rock the House at the CodeMash 2013 Jam Session!
Let’s Rock the House at the CodeMash 2013 Jam Session!

CodeMash 2012 was a “10”

I just got back from CodeMash 2012 — what a blast! This amazing developer-organized conference took place over three days in the brand new convention center at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio — a.k.a. America’s largest indoor waterpark. Inspired talks, awesome people, and meticulous planning by a few with generous support from many combined to make for a truly fantastic event.

On a personal note, there were two little details that touched and inspired me.

  1. Leon Gersing gave a heartfelt zen-infused pecha kucha talk on Love that reminded us that work/play/family/friends are synergistically intertwined aspects of a life passionately lived — not competing commitments in a zero-sum game.
  2. Designing Interactive sponsored a frickin’ Bacon Bar!
     

The Jam Session at CodeMash 2013 will turn it up to “11”

It got me thinking about what I could do to help make some aspect of next year’s CodeMash a bit more awesome. And it hit me: the Jam Session!

This is near and dear to my heart because I was beating on pianos, organs and various synthesizers for years before I ever touched a computer keyboard. Thanks to Carl Franklin and others, CodeMash has provided space for an open jam session at CodeMash for several years.  But there are a couple challenges with pulling off a great jam session that present opportunities for improvement:

  1. Some musicians are a little shy and need a bit of coaxing to feel comfortable jumping in
  2. Occasionally, someone needs a gentle nudge to take a break once in a while
  3. Negotiating what to play next can be tedious and time-consuming
  4. Having the right gear available to play and be heard is easier said than done

Creativity flourishes in a bit of structure. I’ve gotten approval from CodeMash to organize the 2013 Jam Session.  I want to arrange for a house sound system and gear (drum kit, percussion, keys, amps) to be shared as well as working out some simple ways to maximize the fun for players and listeners.  For instance, chord charts and lyric sheets can eliminate a lot of sputtering dead time trying to pick the next song and agree on a key.  Having a sound guy to get instruments miked, blend levels and kill feedback can be a godsend. Having a couple professional (i.e. full-time) musicians to facitate things could help keep things flowing the way a good talk show host makes all the guests sound interesting.

If you’d like to jam at CodeMash 2013 or have any ideas on how we can amp up the awesome, please share in the comments section below.

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