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Thread: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

  1. #1
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Help! Can you think of any? I am drawing a blank, except for maybe Polly Vaughn.

    Have a jam coming up in a couple of hours and would love to bring in a little minor key flavor.

    Thanks all!
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    OK, I'm doing Pretty Polly in A minor.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    Help! Can you think of any? I am drawing a blank, except for maybe Polly Vaughn.

    Have a jam coming up in a couple of hours and would love to bring in a little minor key flavor.

    Thanks all!
    Lots of Monroe tunes are in minor keys..... Kentucky Mandolin Gm, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz Dm, Jerusalem Ridge Am. Other tunes....Shady Grove, Wayfaring Stranger.
    Teri LaMarco

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Go on Pandora radio and create a station using the song Jerusalem Ridge. You will get some good results. It worked for me. I love songs in a minor key.

    Svea

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    Registered User Dan Cole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    There's a line in a Grisman tune about him always playing in a minor key. I think its with Sam Bush
    Go Vandals!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Little Sadie and Cold rain and snow are songs that are maybe not originally bluegrass, but get played in that format quite often.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffQMQ7qHfqQ They are not natural minor, but dorian though-

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    There are many old time tunes set in a minor key. Most bluegrass players know a few--or many. Many of them have a an A part in a major key and a B part in a minor key, or vice versa.

    Cattle in the Cane
    Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains
    Frosty Morning
    Sally in the Garden
    Swallowtail Jig, etc...

    Or how about Muddy Water for a vocal tune? How about Minor Swing? That's fun at a jam.
    Steve



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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cole View Post
    There's a line in a Grisman tune about him always playing in a minor key. I think its with Sam Bush
    It's the jethro burns song "cept old bill"!

    Love that song

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Deep Mine Blues - Dm - Larry Cordle

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    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    "Shady Grove" in Dm....
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Oh....and "Wayfaring Stranger" in Am
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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    Registered User edandjudy3946's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Lonesome Fiddle Blues starts off in Dm
    Blessings from the Smoky Mountains

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Travellin' Kind, off an old Country Gentlemen record.

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    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    You want minor flavor? How about southern flavor? Can't believe no one has mentioned it yet. One of my favorite tunes especially for mandolin
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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  17. #15
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Dillards, The Whole World Round, There Is a Time
    Monroe, Wayfaring Stranger
    Many variants of The Cuckoo are in minor keys, though I guess the standard BG treatment now is in major, like the Osborne Brothers version
    Doc Watson et. al, Walk On Boy

    Just some that come readily to mind, in addition to the ones suggested above.

    Oh, and not really bluegrass, but could be a great bluegrass tune: House Of the Rising Sun.
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Crossing the Cumberland, Bill does it in Gm. I find it interesting that people always assign keys here when the key of a tune is determined primarily by the range of the singer. I know that some instrumentals lay out best in certain keys but there is no rule saying that they must be played in any particular key. By the way, Wayfaring Stranger is in Gm when Bill plays
    it.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlackVeil View Post
    You want minor flavor? How about southern flavor? Can't believe no one has mentioned it yet. One of my favorite tunes especially for mandolin
    This is one of those living in that nether world. I prefer to play it with major chord accompaniment.

  21. #18

    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    This is one of those living in that nether world. I prefer to play it with major chord accompaniment.
    MC calls it Em in part one and Emaj in part two.

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    Registered User Robert Smyth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Down In The Willow Garden

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Nashville Blues. House of the Rising Sun. Irish Spring. Bluegrass Minor (aka Kentucky Mandolin). Opus 57.

    Is Grsiman's EMD in a minor? I've never played it.

    I don't think Cept ol Bill is in a minor key, but I could be wrong.
    re simmers

  24. #21
    Registered User sgrexa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    EMD is indeed in Em. Easy to remember I would think.

    Sean

  25. #22
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    This is one of those living in that nether world. I prefer to play it with major chord accompaniment.
    True, but it certainly sounds good with a minor backup as well
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by re simmers View Post

    I don't think Cept ol Bill is in a minor key, but I could be wrong.
    It's reference to david grisman playing everything in a minor key makes it relevant here.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Ahhhhhh!!! That went right over my head!!! I need to wake up from my Redskins nap.

    Bob
    re simmers

  28. #25
    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass Songs In a Minor Key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Smyth View Post
    Down In The Willow Garden


    This goes to the vi chord, but it's in a major key.

    Also, there are two versions of "Shady Grove." Bill does it major.
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