June 10, 2018 at 12:19 PM #61890
To whom it May Concern , Have you ever noticed people get hooked on one style a lot , Like they will play say Turkey in the Straw , Then their next turn they Play , Boil them Cabbage down , then Ole Joe Clark and three hours later they continue that style , They seldom sing there tunes , They seldom play a waltz , or something without a shuffle , So when I play My turn , I Play a style , they are not , and mix it up and sing , I do not have a purpose for this subject , Just curious as What is your favorite style and do you like to mix it up ?????????? Or Not ????????June 10, 2018 at 1:00 PM #61893
I know what you’re saying, Steve.
Lately when I’m jamming with the banjo I like doing tunes in the key of D so that I can play with the Keith/Scruggs de-tuners. First round I’ll play “Home Sweet Home”, then when it comes around again “Faded Love”, then “You Are My Sunshine” and then “Red River Valley” and now I’ve made up a tune using the tuners that I call “Banjo Tuner Blues”.
When I play the fiddle it’s “Dry and Dusty”, then “Red Wing”, then “Happy Acres Two-Step” and tunes like that that’re easy for guitar players to accompany.
There’s nothing worse than trying out a fiddle tune with a lot of chord changes in a group of guitar-strummers who have seldom if ever played fiddle tunes.
But, when I get with a bunch of seasoned pickers, I love to change it up every turn around.June 10, 2018 at 1:10 PM #61897
Well I have to confess I’m kinda stuck in my own thing…when I was in the little bluegrass band for two or three years, we went to local jams, and I had a rough time when it was ever my turn to pick a tune…they’re all like…”Whaaaaat????” Then I’m trying to play, yell out chords…which I have a terrible time knowing if I’m not playing guitar at the moment…and also can’t yell stuff and try to fiddle at the same time. I didn’t like taking my banjo because I just play clawhammer or two-finger…didn’t play bluegrass guitar either…lol…it was pretty much a disaster.June 10, 2018 at 5:54 PM #61904
haha….I know exactly what all 3 of you are talking about. It really depends on the group, area, etc….
I’ve been in some jams that only know singing songs….they like the fiddle tunes but don’t know the chords. So, it ended up being one guitar player, a random banjo player and me over in the corner while everybody else was getting coffee.
Then, I’ve been in groups where every banjo or fiddle player suggested a fiddle tune. That was fun, but then that was sometimes over my head, because I didn’t know all the tunes. And, I can’t really improvise a fiddle tune.
If I’m in a group that doesn’t know many fiddle tunes, I’ll play Bile Cabbage or Soldier’s Joy.
Good topic, Steve.June 10, 2018 at 7:05 PM #61905
The last two times I played at My once a month jam I played the guitar and sang , I only played the violin two times in 4 hours and got no help from anyone , one of the tunes was Over the waves and I learned the tune on purpose because the mandolin player always did it in the key of G so I was surprised he did not join as John taught it in G , He thought I was not in his key and basically just sat there , Everyone enjoyed the tune , the audience loved it , but I was on my own , So the mandolin player and myself are supposed to get together and work it out , LOL The other tune was Rubber Dolly no one knew the tune , LOL So I feel like a orphan all lost and alone ! Cry , whine , sob !June 10, 2018 at 7:17 PM #61907
Steve, that “Over the Waves” is a really nice tune. I intend to learn it one of these days. I can play along with it when someone else is playing, but I just haven’t committed it to memory yet.June 10, 2018 at 7:19 PM #61909
I am actually playing the violin more often , when I solo at the senior citizen Activity and wellness center , I always play my guitar and sing to them and about every third or forth song I throw in a fiddle tune and I am getting some love back in return , They even line dance sometimes to my Guitar and singing , LOL
So the one Person I play violin most with , is good ole dependable Doctor Daddy John Cockman on my computer LOL
June 10, 2018 at 9:40 PM #61915
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Steve Srader.
Lol…it’s fun to jam, but it ain’t always anything like you hoped for.June 10, 2018 at 10:01 PM #61916
I love Bluegrass jams! Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about. I’m so new at the fiddle, I tend to play either my autoharp or mandolin. I am currently learning Ashokan Farewell, and almost at the point where I will play it in public. Next thing to learn is Boil ’em Cabbage down. I like to do a fast, then a waltz, then a story song, etc., but that is when I can control the rhythm. Who knows how I will be when I have the fiddle. Also, does one sing when they play the fiddle. I have not yet seen that, and when they play instrumentals, no voice. I jokingly asked once…if when I sing, and the players take breaks, if someone plays, should someone sing the break? LOL 🙂June 11, 2018 at 6:50 AM #61926
I guess singing is a vocal break, isn’t it?June 11, 2018 at 7:24 AM #61927
“I guess singing is a vocal break, isn’t it?”
Yup (in a word) lolJune 11, 2018 at 4:04 PM #61936
Here’s another weird thing that happens. Well, it happens to me, anyway. Lots of people around here start out a tune with what I always heard was the second part of the tune…so it all feels backwards to me. Like, what I thought of as the B part, or second part, they play it up front first, and then after that they go onto the A part. Then if I try to ask them…are we starting with the A part or the B part (this happened every day in the band I was in…lol)…they’d say they’ll start with the A part, but I found out later what they called the A part was in fact what I’d always heard and thought of as the B part…so I stayed confused. Anyway, the A part, what I thought of as the A part, to me, is introductory to the B part, and then the B part takes off with the thing and gets going. That one guy…oh gosh I can’t think of his name now…the guy who studied the Virginia Fiddler, Henry Reed…well, I’ll think of it later…anyway, sort of a musicologist and fiddler himself…he observed that the old timey fiddle tunes sort of emulated a busy creek…traveling along over rocks, cascading, etc. He thought maybe because the primary traces or ways to get around followed creeks, or people actually did have to travel by creek, when the fiddle tunes came about. The experience of being that in touch with a moving creek infiltrated the feel of the tunes, according to his imagination when hearing many of them, once forgotten, but played for him by Henry Reed. Anyway, I’ve thought that’s a very good analogy…and to me…the A part seems to introduce, and to sort of start the motion, and then the cascading and rushing over rocks, etc., begins on the B part. That’s usually once the fiddle or banjo has introduced the A part, set the feel and tempo, and the others join in by the B part, to get the thing going. Anyway, it seems all backwards to me the way people in this area…heavy, heavy bluegrass area (I came from heavy old timey…folkish amateur, isolated from radio area…lol)…they seem to see the tunes as backwards in m thinking. That always got me going bad, I felt like, when I was in the band and we were also going to jams a lot, our band was. I mean…it was fun, but musically disastrous in a way, for me. Yes, I guess I’m stuck in my old ways.June 11, 2018 at 4:16 PM #61937
Cricket, I know how you’re feeling about the topic of your last post.
I’ve run into that situation a lot over the years. Angeline Baker comes immediately to mind; or Soldier’s Joy. I’ve even had a band start Ragtime Annie on the third part which many, many fiddlers don’t even know about or play even if they do know it! I don’t even recognize the tune until they’re a third of the way through it, lol!
As you mention it, I’ve made up a lot of fiddle tunes that I’ve named after brooks in my home area in the Adirondacks. I think it’s because I find these remote brooks so tranquil and spend a lot of time composing tunes by their banks. I bring my fiddle along quite often. At night, I’ve actually had curious deer browse around my tenting site to listen to the fiddle.
Below is a tune I composed at the banks of Shanty Brook in the Adirondacks. It’s in the key of B Minor and its’ relative major, D.June 11, 2018 at 4:50 PM #61938
Cricket in My personal opinion the A part is the verse all the verse’s are chorded the same , The B part is the Chorus / Bridge as it is different and is set apart from the verse’s , However there are song’s that have no Chorus /Bridge so I guess you could start backwards and play verse’s 4-3-2-1 ! However I don’t know why someone would wont to do that because most song’s are a story with a beginning and ending ! Ha!June 13, 2018 at 5:06 AM #62042
Steve, it can take some time for musicians to develop a good jam session. A few months of regular meetings, and a song base begins to form. Everyone has a few favorites that everyone else commits to learn, and then it is off and running!
Faye, this may sound funny, but vocalists used to take breaks on instrumentals. There was a grab-bag of standard old-time lyrics (usually humorous) that singers would pick from and just do an impromptu vocal jam. Here’s a popular example that fits most reels:
Wish I had a needle and thread, fine as I could sew.
I’d sew that gal to my coat tail and down the road we’d go.
Fred, great composition! Thanks for linking.June 13, 2018 at 10:24 AM #62077
Yes it is just part of the struggle , I will keep pushing it till they come around ! LOLJune 13, 2018 at 11:03 AM #62084
Thanks John. That’s a tune I’ve had a lot of fun with over the years teaching it at fiddle seminars, etc. It helps students to further understand the relationship between relative minor and its major.
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