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Rhomylly

Bluegrass, A Whole New World

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>Rocky Top. Groannnnnnnnn.

 

You fool around with it enough, jazz it up, and it sounds almost like music.

 

>Any relation to the English standard, Soldier's Joy?

 

Same animal, just more notes in the oldtime/bluegrass version, I think.

 

As Alan Day can attest (he heard the recorded evidence, guilty as charged), I was a jam recently where we played it as a rollicking Cajun tune. Folk music is nothing if not adaptable.

Edited by Jim Besser

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I played mandolin in a bluegrass band for 6 years and also attended many jam sessions. There are standard tunes just like you would find in an Irish session. Some jams are friendly, some are not. When I started playing concertina we worked it into our band. It was always well recieved at our gigs. There were some cajun bands here that used a single row accordian and the bluegrass folks always said I was adding a cajun sound to the tunes. LOL

Appallacian music has some Irish roots.

I am currently looking for a concertina again. My hands have completed mended since getting rid of my mandolins. I have been playing classical guitar and it has been theraputic. I have also changed some things in my diet and that helped a lot also. It is amazing now that I can play guitar for hours with no pain. I tried some mandolin last month and in a week could feel the old pains coming back. But I think I can do the concertina now that I'm not playing mandolin anymore. I really miss it. My left pinky was the only problem on concertina, and it is all healed up.

One thing you might want to try with the bluegrassers is hitting chords on the up beat. The guitars will hit bass note, strum, bass note, strum and you can chord on the strum part. If it is in 3/4 then it goes bass note, strum, strum, bass note, strum, strum. I had enough 2 and 3 button chords figured out to play along. Listen to some cajun accordian players for some other ideas. Learn the basic melodies first, sometimes what you here at a jam is really dressed up. You can find the basic melodies on the web. Don't be afraid to leave out notes and hold other notes. Pickers have to keep moving because their instruments can't hold a note. You can. Good luck. Oh, and next time I ride through Columbia I have some Shakespere's pizza and think of you!

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One thing you might want to try with the bluegrassers is hitting chords on the up beat. The guitars will hit bass note, strum, bass note, strum and you can chord on the strum part. If it is in 3/4 then it goes bass note, strum, strum, bass note, strum, strum. I had enough 2 and 3 button chords figured out to play along. Listen to some cajun accordian players for some other ideas. Learn the basic melodies first, sometimes what you here at a jam is really dressed up. You can find the basic melodies on the web. Don't be afraid to leave out notes and hold other notes. Pickers have to keep moving because their instruments can't hold a note. You can.

This is exactly how I started out on anglo, playing open fifths and the like, from 1992 to 1996 on the big red, 20-button box pictured in the "Italian discovery" article (linked on the home page). The jam I went to was mostly old-time and dance tunes, but there was a little bluegrass. Knowing where all those notes are still comes in handy. The jam I went to tends to stick to standard keys; some bluegrassers I've played with will capo into Bb or B since A is too low and C is too high for them to sing. You'll learn your keys in that case!

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:rolleyes: Happy Birthday Bob, sorry I am late with this. I have been off the internet for a month due to a personal crisis. Glad to be back.

 

:rolleyes: Rhomylly, sounds like you have found a new home that is very welcoming. Bluegrass people that I have met have been a lot of fun and very welcoming. Hope the same keeps holding true for you.

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In those situations, I pull out oldtime standards these guys all know, and that are concertina friendly: Soldier's Joy; .....

Any relation to the English standard, Soldier's Joy? I have an idea that the tune Redwing is another tune common both sides of the pond, but really I know diddly about bluegrass. Are there many tunes in common?

 

Chris

Are there many tunes in common?

 

There are a few jigs that are played as reels/hoedowns in old time music: "New Rigged Ship"(jig) is "Green Willis/the Raw Recruit" ,and "Patsy Geary" (Jig:a-part) is the "Yellow Rose of Texas". Also, an Irish reel: "Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies" ( sometimes played as a march and/or hornpipe) is played as an fiddle tune in old time music sessions. And- --I know ther are a few others but I can't recall them right now.

Edited by Steven Hollander

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Bluegrass jams are usually a mix of instrumentals and songs. Pickers show up to pick between the verses of the songs, this is called "taking a break". If you will learn the words to some old bluegrass standards and also some old time Gospel tunes you will be welcome in most bluegrass jams. There seems to be an abundance of pickers but a shortage of folks who actually know the words to the songs. You don't have to sing well, some of the legends of bluegrass sound horrible to me! The Irish sessions I've been to are mostly instrumental music. When you sing a bluegrass song you have to go slow enough to say all the words, which has the added advantage of slowing down the super pickers who tend to want to go at warp speed and ruin a pretty melody (and also manage to loose everybody else). I have noticed this same thing at some Irish sessions. Tunes that actually do have words to them are sometimes played so fast that it would be impossible to sing them. I understand the speed requirments for certain types of dancing, but much of the speed trip seems to be ego based to me. When I was making the jam and session circuits with my mando I could play up to speed, but it wasn't as much fun when it turned into a competition and other players were left in the dust. I never got up to dance speed on the 'tina.

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