On all months except December, following each Monthly Gathering Concert (see the events calendar for monthly gathering dates) , we’ll have a Slow Jam. This is in addition to the song circle, and an occasional “fast” jam. Led by fiddler Alan Davis, the Slow Jam will meet up on the third floor of the Great Aunt Stella Center in the “Board Room” where we’ll play for about an hour.
There are a lot of tunes here, that’s so we can have some variety. Each month we begin with a different key; playing the tunes in one key always seems to fill the time and let’s those that play in specific tunings the freedom to set up in advance and stay there all evening.
We’ll go through these in the order listed in the PDF. For beginners who might think this is too many to learn completely, the tunes at the top of each list are the easiest. The mp3 and midi samples, and the music/chords, are offered only as examples for those who need them. If you know a different version, as long as we’re in the same key that should be fine.
And there’s a Second opportunity for some Old Time Instrumental Slow Jamming!
Jamming in the Old Schoolhouse
The Mint Hill Jam at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village
Spend your Saturday mornings playing with the Mint Hill Old-Time Jam at the charming Carl J. McEwen Historic Village located in downtown Mint Hill, North Carolina.
We start at 10 AM and play for two hours, round- robin style. When the weather permits, we make music outdoors behind the Ashcraft One Room Schoolhouse building. If the weather is less cooperative, we meet inside the Schoolhouse.
This jam happens every Saturday throughout the year, except during the Holiday Season that is from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Just so ya know, in keeping with the historical and compact nature of this gorgeous restored schoolhouse facility, the setting is not ideal for pets, amplified instruments, or unattended children.
The “Slow-Jam” collection below was put together by Ed Gebauer, and is terrific for getting started. The Mint Hill Jam has earned the name “The Gentle Jam” because we welcome newcomers, though many of our jammers are quite skilled. Our favorite books are the two volume collection by Mary Gordon and Hilary Dirlam, ironically called The All-In-One Old Time Jam Book. But people also bring copies to share of their favorites tunes, or call out a tune name and we all play along by ear.
Some general resources to learn new tunes:
- Hetzler’s Fakebook
- Pegram Jam site (Here’s their “Recipe for a Happy Jam”)
- The All-In-One Old Time Jam Book from Celestial
- Chords to folk songs
- Traditional Music Library
- Jay Buckey’s free tab for many instruments
- List of tunes from New Mexico Folk Music and Dance
Society – Lots of mp3s
- Great website from Seattle area to learn fiddle
music. Lots of slow mp3s!
In addition to these resources, it is also recommended to acquire “The Amazing Slow Downer” from http://www.ronimusic.com/ as a practicing aid as you learn to play. (note-CFS has no business or organizational relationship with Roni Music) This easy to use tool has helped millions learn to play their instruments, and is fun to work with!