Is Jamuary demanding?

In december last year I really wanted to do a “full jamuary”, like post a jam every day. We’re now halfway January, and even I do not post every day I feel like it can be demanding sometimes to do a jam every day. Maybe it’s because I have a full time job and 3 young kids so I don’t have that much spare time, but then again: I don’t think I’m the only one here who has a regular daytime job and a home to take care of.

So how are you guys dealing with this? I’ve thought about this myself as well and I have already came up with some ideas to make it less demanding:

  • Timebox: jamming 3 hours every day is not doable in my situation. So I try to do everything in one hour. Truth is that up until now it has been 1,5 - 2 hours every time.
  • Don’t sound design: I use the factory-build presets and tweak them a bit, rather than creating all new sounds for every jam. Focus on jamming, not sound design.
  • Some devices are just better for instant jamming: My Model: Cycles for example is way more hands-on to quickly create something than my Roland SH-4d (personal opinion I guess)

Anyway, really interested in your experiences and suggestions on how to do a decent jamuary.

I get what you mean. It’s takes a lot of work and dedication to commit to something like this - it’s 8% of a year! I probably have it a little easier than most when it comes to free time since I work from home and don’t have kids, though maybe cats count because they always seem to come bother me when I’m trying to do something. Anyway, I think I still only delivered a little over half last year. This year is more consistent but I’ve also changed how I approach things a bit and try to keep myself engaged.

  • I don’t bother trying to polish something up - this is a jam not a song. I’ll be lucky if it has some sort of structure. I set up my gear, do a handful of takes, and very minimal processing afterwards - fade, normalization and that’s about it.
  • Don’t try to learn new gear. I do like to take advantage of gear I don’t use very often, but at least I’ve read the manual and messed with it a bit.
  • Don’t try to rearrange your gear - no, moving that one synth to the table will not take 5 minutes. It will take 2 hours.
  • Do try new things! New scales, new chords, new drum patterns… those are all easy pickings for the most part.
  • Realized it doesn’t always need to be a full spread of instruments - if I can only spend 30 minutes I’m perfectly happy throwing a pedal on an instrument and just noodling for a bit.
  • Engaging with the community and listening to what others are doing helps keep me interested. I’m amazed at some of the stuff you folks come up with.
  • Revisiting my own stuff from last year is fun too - recognizing and remembering the little bits and what created them. And then sometimes I’ll have no idea how I created something, which is almost as good.

Anyway, it’s only the second year but I already love our little community. That too helps keep me going.

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Great points @immaculate_abyss. My kids are adults and have left home so I have plenty of time to muck about, which I enjoying and I can get more done this year.

I think @immaculate_abyss kinda hit all the points. I did try new gear, but it was stressful. There definitely is a difference between using something new and something you just haven’t played with in a while. I usually try to do one take, because part of this challenge for me is the exploration in improvising over something freshly created and mistakes be damn. That said, I have stopped a couple takes because it wasn’t vibing right to me or my fingers vomited all over the keys in an unpleasing way for too long.

I do have a family, but I’m in a lucky spot atm, where I don’t have to work for a bit. For anyone that has a job and kids doing this, I am super impressed. I don’t think I’d be able to have enough time to decompress, job, family, and scrounge up inspiration.

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Agreeing with most if not all of the above.

I am also a dad with a 8y and an a 5y old. Staying at home dad due to my left ear that has been trying to ruin my life since '12 but I refuse to let it,
but still, the biggest challenge I face is ignoring the tinnitus which troughout the month really starts to fluxuate in volume and drains my energy and mood.

What also helps is my amazing wife who supports me in all my creative adventures.

Jamuary is just a perfect playground that feels like the ultimate endurance test.

Like Mortal Kombat’s TEST YOUR MIGHT!

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