Next Meetup

First Wednesdays at The Old Stone House
The Old Stone House ( 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! Master Tune List: New Members: If you're new to BTSJ, check out our New Members Q&A. 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 (who will play the songs completely, loudly and in-tune for all to follow) 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!

The Old Stone House

336 3rd Street (in the park) · Brooklyn, NY

What we're about

This is an acoustic instrumental slow jam focusing on tunes in the following traditions: Irish, English, New England Old Time, French Canadian, American Southern, and maybe even Scandinavian. Tunes are those that are typically suitable for contra dancing or other traditional fiddle tunes. 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 venue 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! This jam will be at a speed that is accessible to advanced beginner and up, but welcome to all. Learning by ear can be a challenge to all! We’ll try to post some of the songs we’ll play ahead of time, so folks can do a little homework if they so desire. 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!

I will slowly build up some resource pages so that folks can find tunes and other resources for this type of playing.

Just Brooklyn? For now! But we will try to select locations that are conveniently located to many trains.

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