View Full Version : same songs

Feb-14-2004, 11:51am
Sometimes when i play at a jam I find some songs so close to another one that when it gets my turn I start drifting into the other song and then I have a hard time getting the right song back on track without messing up everyones timing How do you hold your concentration when the tunes are so close to one another?

John Flynn
Feb-14-2004, 12:14pm
I have had that problem from time to time. I think a lot of people do. When it happens to me, I know it is a matter of two things and both come down to listening: First, I realize I have to learn the tunes better. I get that by listening. To the extent possible, I have recordings of every tune I do and if I mess up, I know I have to spend more time listening to them. If they are not perfect in my head, they won't be perfect in my hands

The second thing is also a matter of listening. When I mess up, I know I have to listen better to what the group is doing, real time. There is always an "alpha melody player" who is playing the tune right. I strive to always have an ear glued to that person, rather than having both ears listening to what I am playing.

Oh yeah, and "Practice, practice, practice..." http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Feb-15-2004, 6:23am
I played in a Bluegrass gospel band(badly I may add). When the banjo player did the break on either "Power in the Blood" or "Are You Washed in the Blood" he would always drift into the wrong song, then we would go back to singing the correct one. he always got those 2 confused.

Feb-15-2004, 9:45am
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with this problem. Last summer at a performance we were playing Alberta and I had a harmonica solo. I played another song we did, Midnight Special! Oh well, it was in the same key and most people did not seem to notice.
By the way, those two old songs are fun and sound great on mand. Smiling Jack[I]

Feb-16-2004, 11:23am
If the song has words think of them when you play. It will help you think of the melody too. many times in jams folks will play sameish songs in a row. Banjo players can be confused and confuse you. because scruggs style only stays close to the melody, for many players anyway. this is a problem with everybody I think. I always trly to think of the differences in similar songs. What makes each song unique? melody? but there are lots of similar songs. and if you don't watch out you can make even very different songs sound the same. i did it on a record one time. I was playing something like soldiers joy when I was supposed to play grey eagle. The fiddler tryed to tell me but at the time it just didn't sink in ...

Feb-16-2004, 11:47am
Fortunately, the mando has no singing
to it. I normally keep playing even if its
the wrong lead as long as the chords, timing
and changing of chords are the same. Its up
to the singer to remember what song we're
doing : ) If its an instrumental, well
then its up to the next guy to do his own
Another way is to simply think of it as
" Making the song your own " Everyone is
changing the lead anyway on a lot of songs.
Most people dont know the diference.


Feb-16-2004, 11:57am
Just call it jazz and you'll be fine. There is a long tradition of playing riffs using parts of other songs while taking a break in jazz. I currently play "Chatanooga Choo Choo" as a break during "Take the A Train" and use "Putting on the Ritz as a break during "Compadres of the Old Sierra Madres".

Coy Wylie
Feb-16-2004, 11:58am
We were just discussing this over the weekend. I find myself playing very similar licks in both "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Bluegrass Breakdown." FM goes to a 6th minor chord while BB goes to a 7th major chord (ie. G-Em vs. G-F).

Feb-16-2004, 12:08pm
a lot of music seems to be that way.
jazz standards use similar turn arounds,
Italian music "always" has some B part in a different key, its real easy to slip in the wrong song's B part for the one you intend to play...

I keep the sheet music close, I bring a stand to all my gigs, and I turn to the song I am playing, even when I know it, just incase I forget a little part, thats usually what happens, I forget one little phrase here and there.

Feb-16-2004, 12:25pm
Just start singing "Oh Susana" and say "it's a medely"http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif