Category Archives: Songcircles

Virtual Songcircles

Now that our in person Songcircles are dark until further notice, we have had several Songmakers organize virtual Zoom songcircles.  Unfortunately, only the person who is taking a turn can have their mic live due to the time lag. However, anyone can mute their mic and sing and play along!  Thanks go to all of our organizers.  For tips on using Zoom during a Songcircle, see Prez Sez below at the end of the songcircle list.

Songmakers and other virtual Song Circles Information you are welcome to share with non-members too! 

(updated as needed – last update – 6/04/2020)

Jun 06 (link updtd 5/23) Saturday 7-9pm: Santa Monica Folk Club Zoom musical get together.  Moderator to be Ellen Silverman – Not the same link from last month. Has a different access #. Zoom has changed its format a bit. There is no password this month. The way it works is only one person can play at a time because the sounds do not sync, so everyone else needs to be muted while the performer is playing…but you can accompany, sing or dance wherever you are. Between songs we can all unmute and chat. And we will all have an opportunity to share the music. Enjoy…a big virtual hug Ellen. Join Zoom Meeting via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83887937316  Meeting ID: 838 8793 7316

Jun 07 Sundays 7-10:15pm Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Song Circle: Join via: https://zoom.us/j/637717652?pwd=ZW92MDYwN3NYUGtyWHJtQW1BRXlQQT09 Meeting ID: 637 717 652 Password: 008615 

Jun 08 – 2nd Monday 7pm: Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – play/sing-a-long. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. The virtual meeting link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313

SMPOC: Alan Ferentz FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org

Jun 09 & 23 (link updtd 5/28) 2nd & 4th Tuesday 4-6:30pm Virtual Port Hueneme Zoom Song Circle Marty Capsuto is inviting you to a Zoom Song Circle so ensure you have the most recent Zoom update and keep your mic muted unless you are speaking or it’s your turn to lead. Singing together with your mic unmuted is not possible due to lag times. Join via: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/7971953509?pwd=NFBiQ2JvaWZ0RWZzcWo4VUxrU1FqZz09 – Meeting ID: 797 195 3509 – Password: 578412

Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm: Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@gmail.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Jun 11 Thursdays 7-9pm Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. Every Thursday throughout the Covid-19 lockdown – Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83549396377?pwd=NFVqTEZJVzFHU3U2Mm9iZFdlVVRSQT09  –  Meeting ID: 835 4939 6377  Password: 262022

Jun 14 Sundays 7-10:15pm Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Song Circle: Join via: https://zoom.us/j/637717652?pwd=ZW92MDYwN3NYUGtyWHJtQW1BRXlQQT09 Meeting ID: 637 717 652 Password: 008615 

Jun 15 – 3rd Monday 7pm: Virtual E. P. Foster Library Song Circle – 30-minute workshop followed by play/sing-a-long. All instruments are welcome to come virtually enjoy. The virtual meeting link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/426255353?pwd=dmdnTTdDdmdFZDYrUnAxZEU5bkhxdz09 – Meeting ID: 426 255 353.  Password: uku1313

SMPOC: Alan Ferentz FosterLibraryUkuleleSongCircle@songmakers.org

Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-ups for 7pm: Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. NOTE: Due to the unstable health situation, please contact openmicGM@gmail.com to confirm. You will receive login and setup info. SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Jun 18 – 3rd Thursday 5pm: Official deadline for Calendar & Bard Chord Article / Info Sharing submissions via Website (actually you can submit non-calendar info anytime you wish). Calendar/Southland inputs must be sent by the deadline to TJ Zeiler via Email: calendar@songmakers.org or echord@songmakers.org.

Jun 18 Thursdays 7-9pm Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom. Every Thursday throughout the Covid-19 lockdown – Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83549396377?pwd=NFVqTEZJVzFHU3U2Mm9iZFdlVVRSQT09  –  Meeting ID: 835 4939 6377  Password: 262022

Jun 19-21 Fri-Sun: Live Oak Music Festival on radio now – see url http://www.liveoakfest.org/ – live postponed until June 18-20, 2021.

Jun 21 Sundays 7-10:15pm Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Song Circle: Join via: https://zoom.us/j/637717652?pwd=ZW92MDYwN3NYUGtyWHJtQW1BRXlQQT09 Meeting ID: 637 717 652 Password: 008615 

 Notes:

  • Non-members should email to EChord@songmakers.org to request inclusion for weekly email updates.
  • If you are aware of a public virtual song circle or want to host one, please provide the info to Calendar@Songmakers.org for inclusion to our members.

For quick, accurate ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE, see the updtd 5/31/2020 step by step procedures below provided by Joel Amromin. Also below is the original Steve Berman Zoom notice.

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ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE

(updtd 5/31/2020 provided by Joel Amromin)

Because Zoom is “tuned” for spoken word, it is less than perfect for music without some configurations. Here are procedures for configuring Zoom for music. These procedures depend on using “original sound,” which bypasses the Zoom processing for spoken word, such as noise suppression. You want it pure. Note: Specific functions, labels, and locations will vary depending on what operating system and hardware you use. The procedures get shorter for simpler devices because they have less capability. Zoom is not particularly good when it comes to consistent interfaces across platforms, so there are separate procedures below for various devices. For performing music, Zoom works best on a workstation or laptop with a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to a network. Wireless local connections, such as Bluetooth or WiFi are less effective and may have audio dropouts and/or video freezes depending on signal quality. Cellular connection is the poorest.

  1. If you do not already have it, download and register the Zoom client for meetings at https://zoom.us/download. After May 31, 2020, you must be on version 5.0.0 or later.
  2. Start the Zoom client. (Not necessary for a Smartphone.)
  3. Follow one of these three procedures.

For a workstation or laptop (should be about the same for Mac or Windows):

  1. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the up arrow next to the picture of a microphone, usually at the bottom left side of the screen.
  2. Click “Audio Settings.” The Audio Setting window appears.
  3. Turn off (uncheck) “Automatically adjust microphone volume” and set the Input Volume slider at around 90%. If people complain about your volume, you may have to adjust it up or down, which you can do during the meeting.
  4. Also on the Audio Settings window, click Advanced; then make sure “Show in meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone” is on (checked); then close the Settings window.
  5. Click “Turn on Original Sound,” which is usually at the top of the meeting window. When set correctly, it will say “Turn off Original Sound.” The button shows the action it will take, not the current state – which is confusing.

Zoom instructions updated 05/31/2020 For a tablet, such as iPad (should be the about same on other tablets):

  1. Click the Settings icon, which looks like a little gear; then click Meetings. The Meeting Settings window appears.
  2. Scroll the window down until you see “Use Original Sound.” Turn that on (checked); then exit the Meeting Settings.
  3. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Click “Enable Original Sound.”
  4. When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts.

For a smartphone, such as iPhone (should be the about same on other smartphones):

  1. No need to start the client; simply join the Open Mic meeting. If asked, log on with video.
  2. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Then click “Enable Original Sound.”
  3. When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts.

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Pres Sez…

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Zoom free accounts have 40 minute duration. Contact Steve to coordinate longer sessions. First download and register the free Zoom Client for Meetings at:

https://zoom.us/download

You can find many sources of instruction about hosting Zoom music sessions. The u-tube videos I found helpful can be found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2ho1mnFsfs4aiYw5LrVFpCGoaX4c-L35E24EFafZQpMJA0uy0L8h4vf2w

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkG7yOTRIAk&t=566s

Tips:

Have as little as possible running on your system while hosting, maybe just Zoom, your email and whatever text files you might want to screen-share with lyrics and chords of songs you plan to play. Use a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to your router. You can put speedtest.net in a browser and check your download and upload speed through Ethernet vs WiFi, and with different applications running. My download speed more than doubled with Ethernet and little else running.

Use an external microphone and speakers if available. Built in computer audio input/output should work (that is all I have), but not as well.

Before anyone enters the meeting, use the following steps to optimize your Zoom for Music:

Editors Note: Original Instructions from Steve are:

  1. When you see your face upon starting the meeting, click up arrow to the right of the microphone (audio) icon in the lower left of your screen, and go down to Audio Setting
  2. Test sound to be sure it passes. I was advised that you should then turn off both “automatically adjust volume”, and use the sliders to set them high, which you can continue to adjust throughout the meeting. However, I have not experimented with this yet in a meeting so you may want to do so.
  3. Click advanced at the bottom right and check the REALLY important parameters for music: Check “Show in-meeting option to Enable Original Sound” at top. Make sure original sound is enabled during the meeting. DISABLE suppression of the 2 forms of background noise. Leave echo suppression on auto. Your music quality will thank you 🙂

I think these are good tips even when you are not hosting, if they can be applied, to make your individual audio optimal.

After starting a session, you can assign anyone who joins to be the host instead of you. This can help if they have a better system than you do, especially audio input/output devices, speed/bandwidth. However, experiment, and pass on your own wisdom to your fellow Songmakers via me, TJ at the weekly EChord, and/or website posts that comprise the new Bard Chord.

I hope to see you soon on my Zoom channel, 637717652. I’ll host the Virtual Agoura Hills Song Circle from 7-10 pm each Sunday until we can play in the same room again. May that day come soon. You may be required to provide the password, 008615, because hackers disrupting Zoom meetings have recently mandated increased security. The invitation is above in the listings.

The famous Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” seems particularly appropriate now. Stay home, stay safe, keep playing music, and we’ll get through these “interesting times” together. Remember to give thanks for all our blessings every single day! They didn’t have the internet in the 1918 pandemic! Songmakers will always be high on my gratitude list!

Sincerely, Steve