Since it may be awhile until we can all get together again at the Pioneer Building to play together, and also to try to offer something in the meantime to all of you who have been very mindful and supportive of me and my family during this time, I got the idea to record a few songs each week from the beginner and intermediate jam lists and put them up on youtube with me leading them much like I would at the jams, for those of you who might like to play and jam along at home.
When calling the breaks, instead of calling out 'everybody', 'banjo', 'fiddle', etc., I have substituted 'together' and 'your turn'.
This is my first attempt at 'leading' a jam while playing alone, so I sometimes found it hard to remember in the moment to call out the next break or to signal the end of the song, so I apologize about many of the cues coming later than what they ordinarily would at the jam. I hope my future attempts at this will be better than this first one.
Also, I may have started some of these songs off a bit on the fast side of things, so if need be, you may find it desirable to slow some of the songs down to 75% of the recorded speed. You can do this on youtube on a laptop, but not on a phone, by going to settings, and the clicking on 'playback speed'.
Angel Band - Bb
Are You Missing Me - G
Bill Cheatham - A
I hope that this email finds you well, and I hope that you will enjoy playing some of the songs here along with me.
Also, for all you banjo players out there, Bill Evans (who was going to be one of the instructors at Weiser Banjo Camp this year until it was cancelled - but he'll be there for the 2021 camp) is teaching a free Facebook Live online workshop this coming Saturday (tomorrow) at noon Mountain Time on “Working Up Scruggs-Style Solos.” This page is set to “Public,” so anyone with a Facebook account can view. Here’s the Facebook link: www.facebook.com/BillEvansBanjo
Keep safe and well.
The song of the week is 'Are You Missing Me' in the key of G.
Jim & Jesse - key of G
The progression for the verses and breaks is:
The progression for the chorus is the same as that for My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains, and the verses of How Mountain Girls Can Love and Columbus Stockade Blues:
Notice that the verse and chorus progressions differ from each other only by two measures. For helping to get the song off to a strong start at the jam, the main thing to remember about the verse progression is that there is a change to the 4 chord in the second measure of lines 1 and 3.
Melody & Harmony
The melody for the chorus has little in common with the melody for the verse, and is not nearly as straightforward as the melody for the verse. Each line of the chorus starts with a different melody note (disregarding the nonessential grace notes that the first and third line begin with). The melody for lines 1 and 3, which one might expect to be similar, are significantly different from each other, and line 4 begins with a uncommon starting note for a line, the 7th note of the major scale (F# note when in the key of G).
On the recording, the harmony part is prominent in the mix, and in certain spots, most notably the beginnings of lines 2 and 4, the harmony notes form wide intervals with the melody notes (a major 6th for the beginning of line 2 on the word 'with': the notes are separated from each other by 9 half steps: A is the melody note, and the F# above it is the harmony note; a minor 6th for the beginning of line 4 on the word 'are': the notes are separated from each other by 8 half steps: F# is the melody note, and the D above it is the harmony note).
For all these reasons and more, it is very easy to misidentify many of the melody notes for the chorus. So, in addition to the melody sheets for the verse which are intended to give people a good starting point for coming up with melody-based breaks on their instruments, I have also included in the attachments a chorus melody and harmony sheet for the benefit of singers which is based upon the first chorus on the recording. The lower of the two parts shown on the sheet is the melody, and the higher of the two parts is the harmony.
16 songs were played at last night's jam:
Are You Missing Me - G
Ashes Of Love - G
Cherokee Shuffle - A
Clinch Mountain Backstep - A
Cry, Cry Darlin' - Bb
Down In A Willow Garden - A
I Can't Feel At Home In This World Anymore - G
Little Cabin Home On The Hill (played twice) - A & G
Little Liza Jane - D
Love Of The Mountains - A
Reuben - D
Steel Rails - C
Why Don't You Tell Me So - G
Bill Cheatham - A
Lonesome Feeling - C
Long Journey Home - A
Jason's Intermediate Jam Blog 2019 - 2020
Weekly on Thursdays
Songs regularly called at the Beginner Bluegrass Jam and links from Jason's "Song of the Week" emails. (from Renee)
in alphabetical order