About Membership

Not A Member Yet? Renewing?

The Nashville Old-Time String Band Association, Inc., is a Tennessee-chartered and IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and performing old-time string band music and related traditional styles.

Members aid in this effort…

  • by supporting NOTSBA jams and special events
  • by hosting weekly jams most Thursdays of the year for all people interested in playing
  • by teaching new tunes and techniques to others
  • through monthly emailed jam schedules
  • through public performances and workshops
  • through attending our annual Breakin’ Up Winter old-time music retreat
  • by maintaining this website
  • through countless hours of volunteer time

Learn more…

Q. What are some of the advantages to being a NOTSBA member?

A. The benefits of membership are:

  • You will join a community of musicians who regularly play old-time music for their own enjoyment
  • You will receive a monthly jam schedule with announcements and organization news
  • You will receive a discount on registration for Breakin’ Up Winter, our annual March weekend retreat
  • You are eligible to participate in all NOTSBA functions including board of directors meetings
  • You will be eligible to play in our Performance Ensemble (requires rehearsals)
  • You will have the opportunity to meet and network with other musicians and people with a love for and interest in old-time music
  • You will be helping to preserve and promote old-time string band music.
Q. How do the 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 being played indicates — usually by raising a foot — when the tune will stop; typically, a tune will be played through at least four or five times. Depending on the number of people in the group, each person might have the opportunity to select several tunes to play. We have a list of the tunes we play that can be used for reference.

Q. Do you play other types of music, like 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. NOTSBA’s focus is, however, old-time string band music played in ensemble format, a separate genre from Celtic or Bluegrass.

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 played instrumentally in string band format.

Q. Do I have to be a musician to belong?

A. No. We are a group of primarily recreational musicians dedicated to playing and preserving old-time music. This includes helping beginning and intermediate players learn new tunes. We give players at all levels an opportunity to play with others, to increase their skills, and to develop their repertoire. Spectators are welcome, too.

Q. What is the definition of a family membership?

A. “Parents and those children who live at home or attend college.” Grandparents and grandchildren can be included if they live in the same home as the person purchasing the membership.

Q. Do NOTSBA members vote?

A. The supporting memberships do not carry any direct voting privileges. Members of the Board of Directors vote. Membership and active volunteer service are requirements for eligibility for membership on the Board of Directors.

Q. Is my membership and participation tax-deductible?

A. The IRS recognizes NOTSBA as a tax-exempt charitable education organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but membership fees are not generally considered charitable donations when a person receives membership benefits in return. Whether any donation to a 501(c) (3) organization is tax-deductible is specific to each donor’s tax situation, and NOTSBA cannot give any tax advice. If you wish to make a contribution over and above the nominal membership fee, we are happy to accept and will provide a letter of acknowledgement that you can share with your tax preparer.

Q. How do I become a member?

A. The choices available make joining NOTSBA easy.

  1. You can register and pay online through this website by following the instructions in the next section below.
  2. You may fill out a membership application form and mail it to NOTSBA with a check or money order to us at P O Box 160038, Nashville, TN 37216.
  3. Sign up or renew your membership at Breakin’ Up Winter’s registration table by filling out a membership form and paying for it there.

A one year membership is $20 for an individual or $30 for a family.

Q. If I’m joining in the middle of the year is the membership fee prorated?

A. Membership is not tied to the calendar year. Your membership fee covers the time paid for, either one or two years, from the date NOTSBA receives it. You will receive a renewal reminder 30 days before your membership expires.

Become a NOTSBA Member Today

Join us in creating and supporting regional programs that preserve and promote the traditional music culture by becoming a member of NOTSBA. Use the online form below OR print and mail in a NOTSBA Membership Application Form with your check to P O Box 160038, Nashville, Tennessee, 37216. You'll receive an expiration notice 30 days prior to your renewal deadline.

Individual | One Year Membership = $20
Family | One Year Membership = $30

Renewing your membership?

If you originally purchased your NOTSBA membership online (this feature was introduced in October 2015), you may renew online by entering in your email address in the login box in the sidebar, left. If you cannot remember your password or didn't set one up when you paid for your membership, you can use the "Forgot Password" link to set one up. You might have a NOTSBA user name and password for various email lists, but our dues system is separate from that.

If you have been paying your membership by check or in person at a NOTSBA event but wish to switch to paying online, we ask you to register your current contact information into our new system. There is no difference in price or features; we introduced our online membership payment option in October 2015 and it doesn't carry payment or membership history prior to that date. So if you're already a member, but have not used our online service yet, please go through the process of fully registering your membership electronically.

Once you are entered into our online system, you will receive a dues reminder 30 days from the due date with a link to pay your renewal fee.

Again, in October 2015, NOTSBA switched to new membership maintenance software but were unable to transfer login credentials from our old system. If you joined our association prior to October 2015, and wish to renew your membership online, you will be asked to fully register in our new system when you pay for your renewal below.

Use the online form below OR print and mail in a NOTSBA Membership Application Form with your check to P O Box 160038, Nashville, Tennessee, 37216. If you renew online, you'll receive an expiration notice 30 days prior to your renewal deadline.

Individual | One Year Membership = $20
Family | One Year Membership = $30

If you have any questions about NOTSBA membership, please use the form on our Contact Page.

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