The song of the week is 'Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms' in the key of B.
Flatt & Scruggs - key of Bb
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder - key of B
The chord progression on the recordings is:
(W2 on the basic chord progressions handout)
This progression is often mistaken for the closely related progression:
(V2 on the basic chord progressions handout)
The tempo is 166 beats per minute on the Flatt & Scruggs recording. The song is played even faster than that on the recording of the Kentucky Thunder live performance.
While we may not get the song up to the mid-160s as it goes through its song of the week cycle at the jam, I recommend practicing playing along with the recordings at full speed: for the faster we can play the song at the jam, the better. Last night, we attempted to play it at 150. The speed that I will kick it off at the next three intermediate jams will be determined by the size of the jam group and the combination of people and instruments that we have at each of those jams.
My intention is for us to play the song as fast as we can without getting the beat flipped around. For this purpose, it is important that the bass notes on the bass and the guitars be clearly heard above any chop/vamp rhythms on the off-beats played by the other instruments, and that those who are playing the chop/vamp rhythm make sure that they are playing on the off-beats rather than on the down-beats. If the song is being played too fast for someone to play their chop/vamp rhythm correctly, then that person should find something else to do on their instrument rather than play the chop/vamp rhythm out of time. Besides, the fewer people doing the chop/vamp rhythm at the same time as each other, the less danger there will be for the beat to get flipped around.
Key of B Review
In the key of B: 1=B, 4=E, 5=F#
The notes that make up the B chord are B, D#, and F#.
The notes that make up the E chord are E, G#, and B
The notes that make up the F# chord are F#, A#, and C#.
Together, these notes form the B Major Scale: B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, and A#.
The key of B is closely related to the key of E. The B Major Scale shares all but one of its notes in common with the E Major Scale. (The E Major Scale consist of the notes E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, and D#.) For this reason, of their 1, 4, and 5 chords, the keys of B and E share two chords in common. The 1 chord in the key of B is the same chord as the 5 chord in the key of E, and the 4 chord in the key of B is the same chord as the 1 chord in the key of E.
1 4 5
Key of B: B E F#
Key of E: E A B
For playing in the key of B, bluegrass banjo and guitar players almost always capo to the 4th fret, so that they can use the same fingerings that they would use for playing in the key of G. (In the key of G: 1=G; 4= C; 5=D.)
Here are the corresponding notes of the G and B Major Scales:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#
B, C#,D#, E, F#,G#,A#