Excellent jam last night!
The next intermediate jam in the Pioneer Building will be held on Thursday Dec. 14th. The song of the week will be 'Auld Lang Syne' in the key of G. We will play this mostly as an instrumental, but perhaps sing a verse and chorus near the end of it.
The chord progression I use for Auld Lang Syne is:
Each break will run through the progression twice (32 measures in total) so that each instrument gets to play a break based upon the melody for both the verse and the chorus.
Here are two good bluegrass versions of 'Auld Lang Syne' to take a listen to and play along with:
Bill Keith: key of G
David Grisman: key of G:
These arrangements of Auld Lang Syne (once you get past the intro in the first version) make for good examples of what can be done with any number of non-bluegrass songs in 4/4 time to convert them to a bluegrass rhythm and feel. I suggest listening to these back to back with any non-bluegrass versions of the song that you might have in your music collection or that you might bring up on youtube and study closely how they differ in rhythm and feel from the bluegrass versions. In this connection, you might find it interesting to compare the melody sheets attached here for 'Auld Lang Syne' with the melody sheets you will find on the internet if you google "Auld Lang Syne sheet music".
During the month of December (and the beginning of January) I welcome you to call Christmas songs at the jam that you would like to play that you believe would be a good 'fit' for the intermediate jam group. And you need not wait until the second half of the evening to call these.
If you have tried adapting Christmas carols to bluegrass, then you may have noticed that some carols adapt more easily and naturally than others. Like 'Away In A Manger', most of the ones in 3/4 time are good candidates for attempts to play them with a bluegrass feel; but of these, the ones that tend to adapt best have fewer melody notes (on average) per measure and fewer quick chord changes relative to the ones that don't adapt quite as easily. For example, Silent Night and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear are more 'bluegrass-friendly' than The First Noel and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
The carols that are either in cut time (2/2) or in 2/4 (e.g., Jingle Bells, Good King Wenceslas) are natural candidates for being given a bluegrass treatment; while, on the other hand, most of the 4/4 carols (e.g., O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town Of Bethlehem) need to be converted to a cut time feel in order to be played as bluegrass songs; but this can be challenging to do if one is not yet very familiar with how this kind of conversion works. Being able to do this conversion is useful not only for creating bluegrass arrangements of Christmas carols, but also for many other songs from various different genres.
Christmas/Seasonal songs that were played at the jam last December:
Good King Wenceslas
Auld Lang Syne
What Child Is This
Lasst uns froh und munter sein
Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann
In previous years, we have also played at the jam:
Away In A Manger
Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem
Deck The Halls (I recall this one being a bit challenging for the group to play)
Shepherds In The Field (a Jason Homey original that sounds a lot like 'This Little Light Of Mine' and 'Somebody Touched Me' and 'Paul And Silas', etc.)
The chord progression used for Big Eyed Rabbit was:
Ashes Of Love
The chord progression used for Ashes Of Love was:
1 1 4/1 5
5 5 5 1
1 1 4/1 5
5 5 5 1 1