You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do we have to take turns, or can we really play at the same time?
A: You can really play at the same time. Watch this string quartet in action.

Q: How many people can play at once?
A: Currently around 6-8.

Q: What is JamKazam?
A: JamKazam is a live music platform and social network that enables musicians to play music together in real time from different locations over the internet.

Q: Does it cost anything to use?
A: JamKazam has been free, but moved to tiered pricing on January 1, 2021. There is still a free version, but people who play chamber music regularly will probably need something more than what it includes. The new subscription structure comprises a Free basic plan, and Silver, Gold, and Platinum premium plans. A free 30-day Gold plan trial is offered for new users. This article has a description of the plans.
ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players) has negotiated a volume discount with JamKazam on half-price one-year Gold Plans, and is selling them back to members at cost. If you decide you'd like to avail yourself of this deal after your free trial is over, inform sgriffin@acmp.net of your interest, and give her the email address associated with your JamKazam account. If you are not a current ACMP member, if you end up using JamKazam a lot, it could be worth joining just for this bennie. (There are also other benefits, some financial, like subsidized home coachings and a discount with gear-provider, Sweetwater.)

Q: What is latency anyway?
A: It’s a jargony word for the delay between when you expect to hear or see something and when you actually do. It tends to increase as a function of distance. Latency can be due to local issues in your gear as well as network issues. Since classical music relies on precise timings, we need the lowest latency we can get.

Q: How close do I need to be to the people I am playing with?
A: If you are within a few hundred miles, there should be no problem. DC JamKazammers have reported barely detectable latency playing with others as far away as Tennessee and Georgia.

Q: Do I need special gear?
A: Not super special, but we want to keep latency down, so it’s back to the future with an all wired set-up. You might have it all already, or need to buy a few things. See what you’ll need, below.

Q: How do I get started?
A: We recommend watching a few of the JamKazam tutorials before you try setting up the first time. Once you have your gear, you'll initiate a solo session to experiment with your configuration and try to pass the latency test. Detailed instructions for getting started can be found here.

Q: How do I find other people to play with on JamKazam?
A: There is a search tool that doesn’t really work, so DCCM has begun hosting a directory of everyone we know who wants to be found. Once you’re up, help bring others online and suggest they register with us.


What you’ll need:

  • A computer running Windows 7 or higher or Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, 64-bit (if you have a computer more recent than 2011 or so, you’re probably fine)
  • Broadband Internet
  • A wired (ethernet) connection to your router - if you need one, you can buy a long cable like this on Amazon. You may need an adapter, too, if your computer has no ethernet port.
  • Wired headphones - if your cord is too short, you can buy an extension cable like this.
  • A microphone, ideally plugged into an external USB audio interface (not a complete list), and thence into your computer (but the built-in sound card could work if there’s not too much latency-- depends on how fast the computer does the audio processing. For example, the Mac's Core Audio is quite fast. You can cobble together an acceptable entry-level set-up by plugging some wired headphones into the headphone jack and using the built-in microphone. See here for instructions on how to do that.)
  • A JamKazam account -- sign up at https://www.jamkazam.com/signup
  • The JamKazam software, which you can download from https://www.jamkazam.com/downloads
  • The JamKazam server needs to be up in order to establish a session for you.