What we're about

This is an acoustic instrumental slow jam focusing on traditional fiddle tunes, mostly Irish and Scottish, with a smattering of English, Old Time, French Canadian and Swedish. Tunes are those that are typically suitable for contra dancing and found in trad sessions.

This group is intended to provide a musical home for folks interested in playing tunes with other musicians, learning to play by ear and overall increasing their own musical skill. It’s fun and welcoming to all ages (see venues for 21+ restrictions) and levels of playing. While we won’t play from sheet music, you can certainly use this as a reference on your own!

What do you mean by SLOW JAM? All acoustic instruments (e.g., fiddle, mandolin, guitar, cello, etc.) are welcome and the typical format is that we sit in a circle (or circle-ish, depending on the space) and take turns suggesting/leading a song. The songs will typically follow the AABB format (two “A” parts followed by two “B” parts) and we will simply play it over many repeats and if you know it, great (!), but if you don’t, you try to figure it out as we go along, maybe picking up a few notes here and there. We’ll play tunes at a slow to moderate speed so that they are accessible to a variety of levels. As the song goes on it usually gets a little louder and neater as more folks pick up pieces of the melody.

All levels? Yes! All slow jams will be at a speed that is accessible to the advanced beginner and up, but we welcome to all. Learning by ear can be a challenge to all! We also welcome more experienced players that can help guide songs, such as calling out chords for harmony instruments. Never played in this format before? Come on out! It’s fun and can be challenging, but is a great way to improve your playing. You don’t have to be a great player, play in tune, or know the songs to give it a shot. If you want to suggest a song, you should either know the song well enough to play it on repeat or we can see if anyone else does!

What about the medium jam? As the group has progressed, we've added a periodic "medium jam" for more experienced musicians. This group will be focused on playing with a tighter sound and at faster speeds, versus experimenting and will have a pre-identified list of tunes. Check out the event description for more details, including session etiquette and tunes.

Upcoming events (5+)

First Wednesdays at The Old Stone House

The Old Stone House

The Old Stone House (http://www.theoldstonehouse.org) hosts our group on the first Wednesday of each month. Come slow jam with us! Please arrive as close to the beginning as you can. You are, of course, always welcome to arrive/leave as fits your schedule. For information about the tunes we're playing these days, check out the Tune List. Don't forget to check it regularly for new tunes! *** The last half hour of this jam, which has been extended to 9PM, will be a faster paced "medium" jam. Master Tune List: https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e New Members: If you're new to BTSJ, check out our New Members Q&A. https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e Donations: We're asking that folks donate $10 at each session, or what you are able. We'll be putting out a donation jar and this money will support our fantastic jam leader and provide a small donation to the Old Stone House for providing us with such a beautiful space to play in. You may bring food and drink into the space, just be sure to clean up after yourself. We should leave the place as we found it. Lastly, all are welcome to join us at The Gate (on 5th Ave across from the Old Stone House) after the jam for a drink or two! See you there!

Session at Freddy's Bar and Backroom (Medium Speed)

Freddy's Bar & Backroom

For those of us who are chomping at the bit to play a little faster, behold the medium speed session! This session will: 1. Include tunes played at moderate to full speed, depending on the tune. I will include the tune list in this meetup event at least a month in advance. 2. Follow regular "session rules" - i.e., melody players, please don't noodle around audibly if you don't know a tune. Play if you know the tune, or noodle quietly. Harmony/rhythm players, we will have chord sheets and a lead guitar. 3. Start at 3pm, but feel free to join whenever. The more folks there at the start, the better, but everyone should feel welcome to join when they're able. Support our Hosts! Freddy's has graciously allowed us to use their event room, so please purchase food and/or drinks, so they want us to come back! They have a comprehensive menu of food and drink! Support our Jam! We ask that you donate $10, or what you can, to help thank our jam leader and support this group. New Members: If you're new to BTSJ, check out our New Members Q&A. https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e Tunes Check out our tune list, where you'll also find a link to audio files and sheet music for many tunes. We will work to get all tunes/sheet/chords posted well in advance of the date. Many are currently available. https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e TUNE LIST (Updated 10Mar2019 - pretty much final) Scully’s Reel (Em) + Farewell to Whiskey (G) Coleman's March Jig of Slurs (D/G) Irish Washerwoman (D) Reign of Love (Em) + Nail that Catfish to a Tree (G) Donald Blue + Sleep Soon I'da Mornin' Morrison’s Jig (Em) Lilting Banshee (Adorian) + Tar Road to Sligo (Dmajor) Spootiskerry (G) + Willafjord (D) Banish Misfortune (Dmix) + Cliffs of Moher (Ador) Treaty of Paris Swallowtail Jig (Em) + Out on the Ocean (Gmaj) + Kesh Jig (Gmaj) Swinging on a Gate (Gmaj) + Dinky's Reel (Amix) The Banshee The Gobbio (Am) + Bert Ferguson (A) Kerfunken Jig (D) Sheepskin and Beeswax High Drive (D) Road to Lisdoonvarna (Ador?) + Blarney Pilgrim (Dmix) The Wren (Em) + A Sheep Came to Our Door Bleating (Am)

Sunday Sessions at Lark

Lark Cafe

Join us for a slow jam at Lark Cafe (http://www.larkcafe.com/)! Lark Cafe is a super cute cafe in Kensington with lots of space, snacks, drinks and sun. They have a great side room and have agreed to host our group on the third Sunday of each month. We'll start at 2pm and, while of course late arrivals and early departures are fine, we'd love it if folks could shoot for as "on time" as possible. Sometimes we're a little slow to get started without a quorum! As always, check out our Master Tune List and comments from the previous jam for what we're playing these days. Master Tune List: https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e Donations: We're asking that folks donate $10 at each session, if you are able. We'll be putting out a donation jar/basket/case and this money will pay our fantastic jam leader (who will play the songs completely, loudly and in-tune for all to follow). New Members: If you're new to BTSJ, check out our New Members Q&A. https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e Our venue: Please support our venue by buying drinks and/or food. We aren't setting a minimum right now, but we want our hosts to love us! They have a really nice selection of drinks and food, including many options for those of us with dietary restrictions. Directions: Lark is easily accessible via subway. The Q stop at Beverly Rd (or Church Ave) and the F stop at both Church Ave and Fort Hamilton Pkwy will get you there. Parking should also be pretty painless in that area. Look to Google for directions (https://www.google.com/maps/place/LARK/@40.6453418,-73.9706317,15.67z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xa003b9b73c99dedf!8m2!3d40.6468221!4d-73.9701009); however, please note that if you come via F line, the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop is closer, but Church Ave is less confusing. At Church Ave there are also a million B35 busses going up and down Church Ave at all times of day, so it's easy to catch a lift those extra few blocks. If you take the Fort Hamilton Parkway route, make sure you exit at the front of the train (if coming from Manhattan), or you may be horribly lost. Walk straight out of the subway and keep going until you hit Church Ave (about two blocks). Make a left on Church.

First Wednesdays at The Old Stone House

The Old Stone House

The Old Stone House (http://www.theoldstonehouse.org) hosts our group on the first Wednesday of each month. Come slow jam with us! Please arrive as close to the beginning as you can. You are, of course, always welcome to arrive/leave as fits your schedule. For information about the tunes we're playing these days, check out the Tune List. Don't forget to check it regularly for new tunes! *** The last half hour of this jam, which has been extended to 9PM, will be a faster paced "medium" jam. Master Tune List: https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e New Members: If you're new to BTSJ, check out our New Members Q&A. https://app.box.com/s/rgqaw6yfxbfmoknvt2ys5x4d1q74mn7e Donations: We're asking that folks donate $10 at each session, or what you are able. We'll be putting out a donation jar and this money will support our fantastic jam leader and provide a small donation to the Old Stone House for providing us with such a beautiful space to play in. You may bring food and drink into the space, just be sure to clean up after yourself. We should leave the place as we found it. Lastly, all are welcome to join us at The Gate (on 5th Ave across from the Old Stone House) after the jam for a drink or two! See you there!

Past events (89)

Sunday Sessions at Lark

Lark Cafe

Photos (12)