hey, my band has been talking and we are thinking about jamming on stage just like led zeppelin and cream. the only problem is that i can't figure out how those bands would cue each other in order to tell the other members of the band when you are starting or finishing a solo. how do they do this. i'd also appreciate if you could give any other techniques used in jamming.
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whenever me and my band is jamming, either i or the other guitarist will start, the other will follow, then the drums will follow. If i want to take a solo, i yell really loud "i'm taking a solo!" and proceed to do just that.
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use foot movements, move around the stage to cue everyone in

example you have 4 measures left of your solo, you turn towards your drummer, the otehr members see this, they in turn know you have 4 measures left and it's back to normal
Practice, practice, practice...

Giving a guy X amount of bars can be limiting in a jam sense. If you are jamming over one chord, or only a few chords, I prefer the jam to be of an unspecified length. If me or the other soloists want to build up the solo, we have the time to do that, while if we're just out of ideas we can stop.

As for cues, Page said something along the lines of Led Zep using ESP a lot or some nonsense . You can do it doing visual cues, like bringing the guitar up right before the end of the solo, or raising your hand before hitting the last note. Or you can do asound cues, like going back into the main riff once you're done. The important thing is not to SAY anything, as it looks bad in my opinion.

When you get comfortable enough, you should know the onstage signals from your bandmates, whether they are visual or sound or whatever else. The practice room is the best time to learn this. When for the band to get softer, when to trade licks, when to play simultaneously... these are things that can really make the jamming happen.
I see what your saying by limiting them to certain amount of measures. but the point i was trying to make was use silent cues that you and your band will distinguish that your entering/exiting a solo, and many other things you need to learn to communicate with the other members...

ANd I agree 100% with the screaming of "I'm ending a solo or starting one" Don't do it, keep the words to a minimum and let the music do the talking
^ No your idea could work if the band settles on it in advance; I end my solos a lot by looking at the drummer.

I was referring to Mooooo who just said to settle on a specific amount of bars in advance.
I kind of disagree with that, I don't know how you play or anything but if your in a good solo or your buddies are in one, and your just doing the beat in the background, the chances of you twoo making eye contact can become very slim and lets say you assume he saw you make eye contact with each band member, but he was just looking past you or to another part of the room, it could throw some things off. I'm pretty sure the same thing could happen with visual cues as well though. so who knows. As long as everyone agrees and knows what to look for it should work
^uhhh.... EVERY jam band uses eye contact as a signal. Whether or not the guy actually means it (which he/she always does anyways), the band sees it as the signal to move on.

The other part is chemistry... the other part is good songwriting... the other part is... (I think you get the point)

The ONLY way to TRULY jam is to watch and/or listen a LOT to the jam bands... Cream, the Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Derek and the Dominos, Phish, Grateful Dead... LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN!
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