View Full Version : Most Popular Songs for Jams
I'm a guitar player who just took up mandolin and was wondering what songs to learn so I can jam with other players at festivals (field picking). I'm working my way through Sam Bush's two-disc set which has tunes like Ragtime Annie, Bile Them Cabbage Down, Sally Goodin, Blackberry Blossom. Are these popular "standards" that folks play or too basic? What are the usuals that might comprise the top twelve or so jam tunes?
The ones you named are some of the top tunes along with liberty, roanoake, rawhide, goldrush,wheel hoss, sugarfoot rag,salt creek. There are tons more but you only said name 12. The ones you are learning in the Sam Bush book are still played a lot.
Thanks for the reply--so name some more. I said twelve cause learning one has been a challenge, but I'm hoping it'll get easier.
I think it varies by where you are. Up in the northwest, roanoake and rawhide aren't very common, and I've never even heard Sugar Foot Rag. Salt Creek, Red Haired Boy, St. Annes Reel, Soldiers Joy, Cherokee Shuffle, etc are common. I'd say if you can figure out what people are playing in jams in your area to learn those, otherwise learn tunes you like.
I think it varies a lot by area, even from one county to another around here a tune that is considered a "standard" in one place will get you blank stares in another.
The advice to check out local jams and see what is being played is probably the best route imo.
i went to a mandolin festival a month or so ago and not one of the songs mentioned so far was played at the slow jam.
A list of non-exclusive essential tunes....
Ones commonly playes at the beginner jam around here are Red Haired Boy, Cripple Creek, Salt Creek, Old Joe Clark, Blackberry Blossom, Soldier's Joy, Nine Pound Hammer, Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Old Home Place. #When it's your turn you can call any tune you want.