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10 most popular tunes at jams

marthabees 06 Mar 04 - 10:31 PM
Padre 07 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM
Amos 07 Mar 04 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,marthabees 07 Mar 04 - 05:52 PM
Joe Richman 07 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Russ 07 Mar 04 - 08:52 PM
GUEST 07 Mar 04 - 09:02 PM
Joe Richman 09 Mar 04 - 11:28 PM
Joe Richman 09 Mar 04 - 11:30 PM
Amos 09 Mar 04 - 11:58 PM
dermod in salisbury 10 Mar 04 - 12:50 PM
CelesteF 10 Mar 04 - 01:09 PM
Joe Richman 10 Mar 04 - 08:39 PM
BanjoRay 10 Mar 04 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,marthabees 10 Mar 04 - 09:38 PM
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Subject: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: marthabees
Date: 06 Mar 04 - 10:31 PM

There is a body of "standards" in every type of music including old-time, bluegrass and more, of course.
I'm looking to learn the 10 most popularly PLAYED bluegrass and old-time pieces at jams.
There's already a thread about Irish tunes, so we can dispense with that discussion on this thread.

So I'm looking for 20 tunes that I can learn with some certainty that when I go to a jam, I'll actually find people who know them.
I'm not looking at this point for selections that SHOULD be played but rather ones that you can just about count on showing up.

As a newbie, I've learned a lot of music that I have discovered hither and thither that nobody else seems to know. And while I'm happy to have those under my fingers, I'd sure like to have some tried and true tunes ready as well so that I can actually participate rather than just nod approvingly.....

What 10 old-time tunes and what 10 bluegrass tunes would you think are the most PLAYED pieces? Maybe even played to death, but I'd like to know what you all think.

I sure do appreciate the wisdom, experience, humor and humanity of you folks at Mudcat. What a blessing you are......

Martha in Tallahassee
who has recently upgraded her ranking of her mandolin playing from advanced beginner to beginning intermediate


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Padre
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM

Martha,

You might try these for Old-Time:

   Mississippi Sawyer
   Bill Cheatham
   Ashoakan Farewell
   

And for Bluegrass:

Dear Old Dixie
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Earl's Breakdown

Hope this helps get you started

Padre


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Amos
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:10 AM

May the Circle Be Unbroken
Noone to Stand by Me
Little Maggie
Darlin' Cory
The WIngs of a Snow White Dove


are favorites I encounter over and over. A lot of pseudosongs from the Sixties, also, like:

Last Thing On My Mind
Ramblin' Boy
Four Strong Winds
San Francisco Bay

Really, your job is pretty much covered by the Rise Up Singing Songbook, which is often used at sings to guide the choices. I don't have a copy myself, but a lot of folkies do.

A


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: GUEST,marthabees
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 05:52 PM

Right - I'd forgotten about the Rise UP Singing Songbook. I guess I need to check that out!! Is that the "blue book" I read about?

Martha


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Joe Richman
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM

Our "Old Time" Jam seems to defer to the tune tastes of the oldest fiddler there. Get to know an old fiddler. If you can't find one, try "The Fiddler's Fakebook" by David Brody (Oak). Some popular tunes from that book at our jam:

Angeline the Baker (aka Angelina Baker by Stephen Foster)
Colored Aristocracy
Cumberland Gap
Hobart's Transformation
June Apple
Liberty
Red Wing
Soldier's Joy


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:52 PM

Marthabees,

I can only speak about old time jams populated by people who are obsessed with old time (as opposed to folk) music.

First, tunes.

In old time jams you can get a lot of mileage out of being a newbie as long as you let people know. The jammers will be happy to indulge you and play the chestnuts that everybody knows (and which they assume you know), but nobody ever plays, e.g., old joe clark, soldiers' joy, mississippi sawyer, angeline the baker, cumberland gap, june apple, red haired boy, old molly hair, etc. Chances are somebody will remark that they had forgotten how good those chestnuts are. Someone else will probably say that they're old because they're good. etc.

If you are talking about a recurring jam, every one is different. Each group will have a current set of favorites. The list of favorites will change over time as people get tired of some tunes and others capture attention. Old time musicians can be quite faddish.

Don't go to old time jams just to play tunes you know. One function of such jams is to disseminate music. You're expected to learn new tunes by playing them. You are part of an oral/aural tradition when you attend an old time jam, after all. A friend of mine either once said or quoted someone else as saying "In a bluegrass jam everybody knows the tune when they start. In an old time jam everybody knows the tune by the time they finish."

Once you have established yourself as a member of a jam, anything goes.

Second, songs

Once again, every old time jam is different, but most of the ones I have attended tend to be tune jams. Songs definitely takes a back seat to tunes. That said, you can never go wrong with Carter Family songs. Gold Watch and Chain, Orphan Child, Hello Stranger, Wildwood Flower, etc. All old time musicians know and tend to have the highest respect for the Carter Family even if they don't sing much of their stuff.

NOTE that if it is a true old time jam rather than a "folk" jam, it's best not to trot out the folkie favorites like Four Strong Winds until you've established yourself and the group is willing to cut you some slack.


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:02 PM

I guess the tunes both Russ and I had on our lists are a good place to start for the Old Time standards list.


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Joe Richman
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 11:28 PM

Oops that lsat post was me without the cookie reset

Joe


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Joe Richman
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 11:30 PM

last not lsat... typing gone south tonight


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 11:58 PM

Welcome to the sunny south lands, Joe! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 12:50 PM

Amsco Publications in New York publish a terrific little book, The Fiddle Case Tune Book, that fits in the case as the title suggests and can be propped on almost anything when you need a discreet crib. It contains what it considers to be the 50 tunes from the basic old time repertoire that every fiddler should know. 50 is different fron 10, I hear you say. But what you find at any jam sessions is that the 10 tunes that everybody always plays change everytime you go there.


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: CelesteF
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 01:09 PM

At the old-time jams I attend (Boston area), not many songs seem to come up over and over again. But there are a few tunes that seem to pop up more than others.

In D:
Ducks on the Millpond
Julianne Johnson
Mississippi Sawyer

In A:
Shenandoah Falls
Tater Patch

G modal (on the banjo):
Cluck Old Hen


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: Joe Richman
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 08:39 PM

Yeah, Julianne Johnson gets played heavily by one guy in our jam, too. In the sunny south of Southern CA.


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: BanjoRay
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 09:17 PM

A selection of tunes that get frequently played in Sheffield UK,
4 keys, 4 tunes in each.

G tunes (fiddle in GDAE, banjo gDGBD)
Shove The Pig's Foot A Little Further Into The Fire
Nail That Catfish To A Tree
Wild Horses At Stoney Point
Sandy River Bell

A tunes (fiddle in AEAE, banjo aEAC#E)
Bull At The Wagon
Sugar In The Gourd
Cherokee Shuffle
Old Mother Flanagan

D tunes (fiddle in ADAE, banjo aDADE)
Shootin' Creek
Spring Creek Gals
Rockingham Cindy
Sally Ann

C tunes (Fiddle in GDAE, banjo gCGCD)
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia
Billy In The Low Ground
Altamont
Pikes Peak

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: 10 most popular tunes at jams
From: GUEST,marthabees
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 09:38 PM

Yes! These suggestions are exactly the types of responses I was hoping for.

The way some of you divided them into tunings is cool. I would have never even thought of doing it like that.

And what's interesting is that the ones that I keep hearing in my jams are not mentioned as often as I would have thought.

More ideas welcomed!!

Martha


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