What C'hup To for Playin' n' practicin'
September 2, 2019 at 9:14 PM #76089
Thanks, Cricket. I appreciate it. We have a lot of fun picking and grinning.September 2, 2019 at 10:15 PM #76090Steve SraderParticipant
What Cricket said Fred ,September 3, 2019 at 4:36 AM #76093Gunnar SalyerParticipant
What Steve said!September 3, 2019 at 7:01 AM #76097
Great tunes, Fred. I enjoyed listening.September 3, 2019 at 7:20 AM #76098
Thanks, Cricket, Gunnar, Steve and Jim. Appreciate y’all listening.September 4, 2019 at 8:11 PM #76139
Had a great Bluegrass jam session last night. For two solid hours with only maybe a 30 second break between tunes and songs. Steady, hard-driving good old traditional Bluegrass. I love it! My chair is empty while I take the picture. I play fiddle with this group.September 5, 2019 at 5:08 AM #76141
Bet it was a lot of fun, Fred! Wish I had folks to play with near me. This music is social music, which means it is not meant to be played alone. I also think I would learn faster if I had others to play with. There is a jam about an hour away from where I live on the first Tuesday of each month from 7-9pm. Problem is I go to bed around 7 or so since I get up at 3am. I am going to try to go to it next month though.September 5, 2019 at 7:11 AM #76142
Looks like fun, Fred. I know you’re very appreciative of having folks to play with around you. Yes, MoonShadows, I hear ya…that’s how it is for me too. There is a big BG jam down the road here once a month but the traffic getting there makes me insane and it’s very, very crowded at the jam…it’s kinda extreme Bluegrass too…everything played in B or Bb and rapid fire fast…I always think of the time I was just standing there sweating in the big crowded, elbow-to-elbow room, guitar strapped on and slammin’ out chords with the capo on…really kinda boring for me…and I couldn’t even hear if I was making any sound on my guitar, it was so loud in there…I had to look down and see if my strings were vibrating…lol. A lot of traffic nightmare for really no fun…I never did get to know the people…it’s just too crowded to be personable with people…just a big loud crowd of fast music in a stuffy room.September 5, 2019 at 7:30 AM #76144
The Dobro player is 64, I’m 68 (69 later this month), and everybody else is older than that. Bassist is 89, mandolinist 86, female guitarist 88, male guitarist 75, banjoist 73. Y’all wouldn’t believe the music that these folks make. They’ve all played music their whole lives and it shows! It’s such an honor to be allowed into their world. It took me two years to be accepted into this jam but now I’m very well received.
This is a rare jam where everyone is quiet enough to be able to concentrate on the words of each song and to focus on the meaning of each song. It’s a real flow experience.
Jim, I wish you good luck in finding some musicians closer to your home and not so interfering with your work schedule and required sleep. I know what it’s like to have to travel to play.
Cricket, I understand completely what you’re describing. There’s a couple of jam sessions back in eastern Tennessee that are just like what you are saying. I finally got to where I would not attend and word got out why and one group actually toned it down to where the words could be heard but once in a while they all would slip back into their bad habits. That’s when I wrote this essay:
What Did You Say?
Did you ever enter into a conversation with someone who would speak right over you when you were responding to their prior remarks? If so, then you know how irritating that can be. Such a person is said to be disrespectful, or at the least, thought of as being rude or lacking fundamental rules of polite conversation.
This same condition applies equally as well to musicians in a jam session or performing a tune in public. Imagine that you’re all playing and singing the popular song “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and it is your turn to lead-sing a verse. Just as you begin to voice the first line of your verse, the banjo, fiddle or resonator guitar player decides to play “backup” so loudly that it distracts not only you from singing and concentrating, but distracts the listeners from the “heart” of the tune. While the backup “artist” may feel his/her ego has been sated, the story line and consequently the tune, at this point have undoubtedly become a mess and many a listener’s flowing attention to the piece has dropped out of the interest zone. Applause at the end is usually obligatory and not necessarily spontaneous or well deserved.
This is what happens when there is improper etiquette in a jam tune and poor arrangement in a performance piece. It’s one of the main reasons why bands forming at the outer periphery of Bluegrass performance are unable to stay the course and meld together into an integrated musical entirety.
When each individual learns to integrate, chances of success move up rapidly.
Thanks Jim and Cricket for your kind comments.September 5, 2019 at 12:20 PM #76153fran hParticipant
All looking good Fred. Nice playing and nice peopleSeptember 5, 2019 at 3:07 PM #76156
Thank You, Fran. Great to hear from you. Have a nice day.September 5, 2019 at 3:59 PM #76157Gunnar SalyerParticipant
Yep, looks like fun. I’m also a wee bit jealous, I wish I had folks to play with, oh well I’ll have to break out my presonus later and channel my inner Cricket to try and get something workable lol ??September 5, 2019 at 4:07 PM #76158
Lol…Gunnar cracks me up. Fred, nice essay. There are fun jams and annoying jams or no jams, I guess…lol…seems like. Whoever has a good jam or friends to jam with, enjoy that, extra, for the rest of us, please!September 6, 2019 at 10:52 AM #76196
Had a great practice session for three hours last night with my band “Hit or Miss”. I played about an equal amount of tunes on fiddle as I did banjo. Here’s some of the tunes we’re playing (mostly from Set #2) when we perform at the various venues around here:
Love Come Home; High on the Mountain; Amanda Jewell; Are You Missing Me; Banks of the Ohio; Big Country; Big River; Bootleg John; Bouquet in Heaven; Cherokee Shuffle; Dark Hollow; Down Yonder; Eight More Miles to Louisville; Fire on the Mountain; Foggy Mountain Special; Freeborn Man; Give My Love to Rose; Haskell Stomp; Clinch Mountain Back Step; I’ll Go Stepping Too; Long Road to Aspen; Theme Time; Ashoken Farewell; and a bunch of others…
It’s a blast! lolSeptember 6, 2019 at 1:34 PM #76207
Sounds like a great buncha tunes!September 7, 2019 at 7:01 AM #76242
I found a monthly shindig and jam session closer to where I live held on a Sunday afternoons that will start up again in October (https://www.poconobluegrass.org/events), but it sounds like mostly Bluegrass. I think I will check it out anyway. The one I want to go to is an OT Jam at Godfrey Daniels Coffee House in Bethlehem (http://godfreydaniels.org/event/old-time-jam/). It is hosted by my teacher and her husband. I may just bite the bullet and be exhausted the next day.
While searching, I found an article on Jam Session Etiquette at Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (https://www.blueridgemusicnc.com/listen-and-learn/jam-etiquette). Thought it was interesting…September 7, 2019 at 8:04 AM #76246
Wow! Godfrey Daniel’s Cafe! I played there once years ago with my band “Lonesome Road”. The guitar player in the band was a good friend of C. F. Martin IV and got us the job. There was an entourage of friendly Japanese investors who wanted to buy the Martin Guitar Company and CF IV invited them to hear our band and discuss any possibility of purchasing the company. They settled on meeting there at Godfrey Daniel’s Cafe and hired “Lonesome Road” to provide the entertainment.
My guitar player/singer was none other than Dave Nichols of Whippleville, New York (a small town near Malone, NY). Dave has done custom work for Martin Guitar for over 40 years now. After we performed, we visited the sawmill and warehouse areas (they’re all different now) and played three different places in the factory itself. (They used to make strings there but I’m told they don’t make them where they used to).
Anyway, Godfrey Daniel’s is a tremendous “feather in one’s cap” to play at.
Have fun there, Jim. It’s a super venue.
Here’s Dave’s website: http://www.custompearlinlay.comSeptember 7, 2019 at 1:08 PM #76257
Have fun, Jim. I hope it’s something you’ll enjoy!
We have a local Old Time Jam here too…but I guess I’m just too … unjammy of a person, maybe. I tried it twice. I don’t like going through the traffic, and then it’s setup in a yuppie restaurant where the food and coffee is weird yuppie stuff and expensive…you are suppoed to eat (I never eat restaurant food and can’t afford the coffee) and watch the one and only local OT band in this region…then move your chairs up and play the same stuff they played with them afterward…the whole affair is boring, expensive, and sort of on the uppity side. I sure miss just neighbors getting together, having a potluck meal, letting the kids and dogs run and play, and pulling out whatever assortment of instruments and playing whatever we all feel like playing…however we all do…making up stuff, making it all fun and funny and incorporating whatever’s going on at the moment to get inspired for crazy improvising, not caring how somebody famous did it. That’s what I think of when I wanna jam…I can’t get into the traffic, the parking, the yuppie places and weird food and expensive stuff, sitting there waiting for the band to get done playing, and then into the wee hours getting to mimic what they’d just done while they look off, aloof and weary…that’s all too formal for me, I’m afraid…so…I guess all the jamming that I think of is history by now…people don’t do it, not that I can see.
I even tried the local dulcimer society…oh gosh that was awful. They wouldn’t let me play vecause I couldn’t read the music in the books…they wanted to send me to the “back room,” where nuns or somebody was gonna teach me notes and only then would I be permitted to sit in the room and play with everybody. I told them i just play by ear…they’re like….oooooh nooo…we don’t allow that here…tsk tsk tsk…one must march in line together…lol…well, no, they didn’t say it like that…they were nice, really, but it just wasn’t my kinda thing at all…nothing that would be fun for me…so I told them I’d just take off for now and maybe be back another day (meaning, never…lol…the euphemistic way to put that…they were nice people and I didn’t wanna hurt their feelings…I know they enjoyed what they were doing, but I’m just too weird for it, I guess).September 7, 2019 at 9:08 PM #76280
Well, we (“Hit or Miss”) had another practice today from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. with a short break in the middle for some snacks. In addition to the tunes I listed up above here on this thread, we also worked on these: Sweet Dixie; Back Up and Push; Panhandle Rag; Roxanna Waltz; Makes Me Wonder if I Ever Said Goodbye; I’ll Never Shed Another Tear; and Mississippi Waltz.
It sure is fun playing with this group. I hope y’all are able to find folks to pick with and enjoy your music. I sure know what it’s like not having folks to pick with. It’s what caused me to move to the South back in 2011. I haven’t regretted it for even 1 day. I spent 60 years up North starved for fellow musicians. They all lived so far away and couldn’t get together very often. I managed to get into Bluegrass bands though and traveled a lot to be able to play.September 7, 2019 at 9:29 PM #76284JBoundsParticipant
I wish I could find some people to just hang out and play with. I don’t really wanna be in a band. I did that for years playing guitar, but it would be fun to just find a few or a group to hang with on weekend nights here and just jam and learn.
But around here it almost seems scarce and I live in southeast, Missouri. Last time I played with some people was about a month ago when my brother came to visit from NC and went to my cousins house.
My cousin had people he knew from Kentucky and Tennessee for the weekend over. So that was fun.
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