NOTSBA JAM Q&A
See this month’s schedule for dates and times. We currently holding recurring jams in this location only: Buchanan Log House at 2910 Elm Hill Pike in Donelson
Jams are free to those attending.
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).
We may occasionally sing a song or two, but most of our old-time music is instrumental played in string band format.
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.
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.