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Thread: Essential Jamming Tunes

  1. #1

    Unhappy

    I am working on several tunes to have available for jams. What I am looking for is additions that are widely used by the mandolin world. My list so far:

    Blackberry Blossom
    Crossing The Big Sandy
    Roanoke
    Leather Britches
    Old Joe Clark
    Rawhide
    John Hardy
    Fireball Mail

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
    Gibson A-9
    Fender FM-63
    Gibson A-12
    (Just for starters.......)

  2. #2

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    Soldiers Joy, Bill Cheatum, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Sally Goodin, Jerusalem Ridge.

  3. #3
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    Lets not forget red haired boy or as I like to call it red haired girl.

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    Excellent thread.
    Wye Knot

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    Steve Kaufman's bluegrass work out has 49 great standard fiddle tunes that adds a lot to one repertoire. You can pick it up at Elderly.com

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    Cripple Creek.

  7. #7
    I'll take it! JGWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Rich @ Jan. 28 2004,13:21)
    Cripple Creek.
    We once had a request yelled from the audience- "play that song about the crippled creep!" ...

    I think he had $hit in his ears...
    gw
    Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
    Favorite Mandolin of the week: 2013 Collings MF Gloss top.

  8. #8

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    Hey, thanks for the replies. I had forgot about a few of those tunes. Keep up the good work!
    Gibson A-9
    Fender FM-63
    Gibson A-12
    (Just for starters.......)

  9. #9
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Here are some of the ones we do around Missouri that are fun to play and notable for thier titles, two things I love about the tunes we do around here:

    Jump in the Well, My Pretty Little Miss (completely different tune than "Fly Around MPLM")

    Sheep and Hogs Walking Through the Pasture

    Nail That Catfish to a Tree

    Can You Dance a Tobacco Hill?

    Ebeneezer

    Ship in the Clouds

    Lady of the Lake

    Mississippi Snag

    Shove That Pig’s Foot a Little Closer to the Fire

    Squirrel Heads and Gravy




  10. #10
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>I am working on several tunes to have available for jams. What I am looking for is additions that are widely used by the mandolin world. My list so far: Blackberry Blossom, Crossing The Big Sandy, Roanoke, Leather Britches, Old Joe Clark, Rawhide, John Hardy, Fireball Mail</span>
    Uh,...doesn't anyone sing at those jams? #

    You can do these things as instrumentals, or just sing a single verse and chorus. And because a lot of those are songs, the tempos are reasonable and the melodies are not particularly complex. Besides, if and when you get into a band, songs are going to make up the majority of your onstage material; it's not all non-stop instrumental barnburners (which may be fun for the pickers, but gets wearing for an audience).

    Trouble In Mind
    Lonesome Road Blues (Going Down The Road Feeling Bad)
    In The Pines
    Your Cheatin' Heart
    Wabash Cannonball
    Alabama Jubilee

    Tequila (instrumental)
    Faded Love #(instrumental)
    Ragtime Annie#(instrumental)
    Earl's Breakdown #(instrumental)

    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>12 bar blues in various keys (with or without vocals):</span>
    # Foggy Mt. Special #(instrumental)
    # Move It On Over
    # Pipeliner Blues
    # Matchbox

    Six Days On The Road
    Truck Drivin' Man
    That's Alright Mama
    Heartbreak Hotel
    I Walk The Line

    Oh NO!....vintage country music!!! #

    It's been my experience that a some Hank Sr., Elvis, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills or Buck Owens can provide a refreshing counterbalance to fiddle tune after fiddle tune (or banjo tune after banjo tune).

    Niles Hokkanen

  11. #11
    8 Fingers, 2 Thumbs Ken Sager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (mandocrucian @ Jan. 28 2004,15:49)
    Oh NO!....vintage country music!!! #

    It's been my experience that a some Hank Sr., Elvis, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills or Buck Owens can provide a refreshing counterbalance to fiddle tune after fiddle tune (or banjo tune after banjo tune).

    Niles Hokkanen
    I find the exact opposite to be the case 8*).

    Best,
    Ken
    Less talk, more pick.

  12. #12
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    The Chapmans used to do some Merl that sounded great!

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    Since there are some songs to break up the tunes... how about New Camptown Races and Dixie Hoedown?

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    If it's an instrumental, and it was ever recorded by Monroe, it's fair game.

    Blake's March, Salt Creek, Sally Goodin, Fisherman's Hornpipe, Sailor's Hornpipe, Grey Eagle, Temperance Reel, Off to California, Ashokan Farewell, St. Anne's Reel are some goodies.

    I like the ones where you can play around with the melody and get away with it. Things like Jerusalem Ridge bore me to tears.....everyone playing only the straight melody. Some guys wouldn't have it any other way, but I don't see that as a satisfying musical experience.

    You can learn most of these tunes from the Co-Mando Tab Edit files.
    Passernig #42

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    Red-Haired Boy, Liberty, Panhandle Rag, Old Dangerfield, Dixie, Arkansas Traveler, and Big Mon are great ones too. And they're classics.



    PJ

    "Kill Your television. Throw it out the darn window. Watch PBS in a bar." - Chris Thile

  16. #16

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    Sure, there's singing but that usually involves me doing a kickoff, one break or a turn around. I'm working more towards improving my overall fingerboard knowledge by learning the instrumental tunes and variations thereof so when someone walks up and says, can you play *****?, I'll have it ready to do and sound like I know what I am doing
    Gibson A-9
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  17. #17
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Sure, there's singing but that usually involves me doing a kickoff, one break or a turn around.</span>
    I guess I don't "get it". #Is this a "jam" or an informal "band rehearsal" with which a few others get to play along with the core "band"? #

    A few personal thoughts about jamming.

    Maybe the Stanley's kept their arrangements limited to a few turnarounds between verses, but that had as much to do with the constraints with the recording technology and radio broadcast preferences of the day. (45's or tunes should never run more than 2:30).

    There is no law that a song is instrumentally limited to a kickoff, turnaround, one solo and a tag. #In a jam, if I'm doing (singing) something like "Trouble In Mind" I'll sing a verse/chorus, take a solo for 2 or 3 choruses, hand it off to the next picker for another 2 or 3 chorus break, sing another verse/chorus and then let the next several pickers take do their thing, and when everyone has played some, end it with a chorus. #So, it takes 6 or 7 minutes. #I'm in no rush to do as many tunes in the shortest amount of time as possible.

    OK, songs are usually at a more relaxed tempo than the fiddle tunes. #That gives one more time to think so the script (pre-planned solos) doesn't need to be strictly adhered to. #If the pace slows down, you've got the option of trying stuff out just to see if it will work, or you can pull it off.

    In a soloing (whether breaks are improvised or not) jam situation where breaks are passed out around the circle, what's the big deal about hitting some clunkers? (If it is an everyone playing the unison melody jam, as in Irish music or old-time, it's not really appropriate to be deviating much from the melody.) #Are you jamming or are you informally "auditioning"?

    I have a theory which I put forward to my students. It goes like this:
    # <span style='color:blue'>Every picker has a personal quota of clunkers (different for each person) that they must play before they climb to the next level. So the sooner you get your quota of clunkers out of the way, the sooner you progress. Nothing beats trial and error to personally experience what works and what doesn't work.</span>

    So do you want to always play it safe at the jams, and actually slow your overall progress down? #Or do you try stuff out in an informal and recreational setting, knowing you will screw it up now and then and learn from your mistakes? #Messing up is something every player has done and will inevitably continue to do as an byproduct of improving. No pain, no gain, as they say.

    Personally I'd rather see my students stick their necks out at jams - yeah, they'll fall down a lot, but they'll have those moments when the off-the-cuff thing they tried out works out right and they realize that that potenital is within them, and all they need to bring it out is more work.

    The jam contest mentality doesn't really prove a thing, except that so-and-so can probably outplay/play-faster on their "showpiece repertoire" than someone who doesn't play or really know that particular tune or arrangement. All that demonstrates is that Joe does best what Joe does, and Harry does better at what Harry likes. #Apples and oranges. And if one person is a better player than everyone else at a jam, do they need to continually make a point of that by playing things at tempos where others can't keep up and have to drop out? #Sounds like some inner insecurity thing to me.

    Niles Hokkanen




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    [quote=mandocrucian,Jan. 29 2004,12:12]
    Quote Originally Posted by
    So do you want to always play it safe at the jams, and actually slow your overall progress down? #Or do you try stuff out in an informal and recreational setting, knowing you will screw it up now and then and learn from your mistakes?
    Right…I think once you have a band that plays actual gigs, you can see a "jam session" for what it is. A great chance to try new things, learn tunes,ask questions, and generally have fun. Of course, when everyone in the jam ONLY plays at that jam session…then I guess it turns into a performance. Ever been at a party where someone who's never played a gig before picks up an instrument & tries to turn it into a pseudo-concert? "shhh…I'm performing!" kinda saps the fun out of it. LOL

    (no disrespect intended towards non-giggers)

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    Devil's Dream is a fun tune, and pretty widely known.

  20. #20
    Registered User Dan Adams's Avatar
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    "Gold Rush" We're also suprixed how many people don't know "Billy in the Lowground?" June Apple, Kitchen Girl, Done Gone, Clinch Mountain Backstep, Cherokee Shuffle, etc...

    All That Glitters is not Scrolled, Dan
    Play em like you know em!

  21. #21

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    My stars and garters, Niles and Blammo! I'm not in some competition, insecurity thing here. I just asked a simple question about popular mandolin tunes at jam sessions. I'm not trying to out perform anyone. I just want to know what some of the more popular mandolin tunes are so I can learn them. I just like to have a semblance of structure to my practicing.
    Gibson A-9
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  22. #22
    Still Picking and Sawing Jack Roberts's Avatar
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    I get pretty good mileage from the battle of new orleans. Thanks to Randy for showing me how to play it.
    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    --William Shakespeare

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    We're also suprixed how many people don't know "Billy in the Lowground?"
    It seems like alot of jammers outside of guitar pickers avoid the key of C. I think its alot of fun to play in C on mando, but I've also noticed alot of people give me a crooked look when I call something like Billy in the Lowground or Texas Gales.

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    OK, is it "Texas GALES" or "Texas GALS"? Inquiring minds, etc, etc.

  25. #25
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    Doc Watson says its "Gales", so so do I.

    I think its just different names for the same tune, anyhow.

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