“Divorce, lost job, new job, moving — name every major transaction you can have in your life,” Doyle Thomas says, “and I’m in it.” These are among the reasons why an interactive website for musicians called jammingout.net failed to launch last summer as had been anticipated. “That, and I’ve learned just how complex all these do-it-yourself content-management sites are.” This from a guitarist who is a nuclear engineer by trade.
“But the site is finally up and running now,” he says. “We have 37 members.” He’d like to see hundreds more join. “The more people are in the database, the more interesting it will be.”
“The House of Blues is starting a jam session on Wednesdays,” says Rosa Lea Schiavone, who is Thomas’s business partner and a local booking agent and promoter. “And they’re going to use jammingout.net to source musicians to play at their jams.”
Genre doesn’t matter on jammingout.net. “The part that I think is most important is the self-rating system,” Thomas says. Each member rates their musical proficiency by assigning a number from one to five. A one rating, he explains, is a beginner, while a number-five rating approaches that of a pro’s level. What keeps the system honest is an additional peer rating alongside the individual’s self-score.
“No comments allowed,” Thomas adds. “Just a rating number.” He thinks the dual rating system will force players to be more realistic about their own chops. “I have jammed with some level-two players who had the skills and desire,” he says, “but they were incompatible in jams with fours and fives.”
Thomas lives in Tierrasanta and travels frequently for his work, and he likes to jam wherever he goes. “I’m going to be in Atlanta,” he says hypothetically, “and who wants to jam?” He thinks his web idea will simplify the search.
“There are many sexual parallels,” he told the Reader, “and I have been advised to avoid them because it may put some people off. But, for level-four or level-five players, this is like a musical booty call.”