About Our Jams

NOTSBA Jam Q&A

Q. When are your jams, how much do they cost, and where are they held?

A. See this month’s schedule for dates and times. We currently hold our recurring jams in these locations:

  • Buchanan Log House at 2910 Elm Hill Pike in Donelson
  • Friends Meeting House at 530 26th Ave. North, off Charlotte Pike in Nashville
  • Church of the Advent at 5501 Franklin Pike at the edge of Brentwood

Jams are free to those attending except for the Third Thursday Jam at the Friends Meeting House where we are asked to donate $2 each to help defray the costs of maintaining the building and utilities.

Q. How do NOTSBA jams work?

A.. There is an informal “jam etiquette” that is followed, and newcomers are encouraged and offered help and support. Participants sit in a circle and take turns selecting tunes to be played by the group. The person who selected the tune indicates – usually by raising a foot – when the tune will stop; typically, a tune will be played through 4 or 5 times. Depending on the number of people in the group, each person might have the opportunity to select 2 or 3 tunes to play. We have a list of tunes we play most often that can be used for reference (see button below).

Q. Do you play other types of music, like Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic, etc?

A. Many Bluegrass songs have their roots in old-time music, and many Celtic tunes have evolved into Old-Time tunes, so there is inevitably some sharing and crossover. The focus in NOTSBA is, however, on Old-Time string band tunes, a specific separate genre from Celtic or Bluegrass, played in ensemble format. Ensemble format means that the melody instruments all play the melody line together, with no solos.

Q. Do you sing songs as well as play tunes?

A. We may occasionally sing a song or two, but most of our old-time music is instrumental played in string band format.

Q. Do you maintain a list of old-time songs?

A. Yes, we recently updated a list of some of the tunes we play at local jams. The NOTSBA Tune List includes many regional favorites and a few that volunteers have taught at our events. Click the button below to see and/or print a copy.

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