The song of the week is 'Little Liza Jane' in the key of D.
Alison Krauss: key of A:
The Nashville Grass: key of G:
Notice that in this version the order of the parts is the opposite of the Alison Krauss version. The order of the parts given in the attached melody sheets is the same as in the Alison Krauss version.
Little Liza Jane is a standard length two-part tune with an AABB form like 'Soldier's Joy', 'Liberty', 'Angeline The Baker', 'Turkey In The Straw', and 'Old Joe Clark'. That is, each part consists of 8 measures, and is repeated before going on to the next part.
The chord progression is identical for both parts of the tune:
The melody for Little Liza Jane uses only the notes of the Major Pentatonic Scale: i.e., the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th. and 6th notes of the Major Scale. In the key of D, this means that the melody notes are: D, E, F#, A, and B.
Transposing: Fiddle & Mandolin
Little Liza Jane is often played in the key of A, and sometimes in the key of G, but I prefer to play it in D. If you have a learned to play Liza Jane in A on the fiddle or the mandolin, grabbing the melody on the E and A strings, then by simply moving your same fingerings one string lower so that you are now grabbing the melody on the D and A strings, you will be playing it in the key of D.
If you are a banjo player, and you have learned to play Little Liza Jane in G, grabbing the melody on the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings, then by retuning your banjo to D tuning: F#DF#AD and moving your same fingerings one string lower, so that the melody is now being played on the 4th, 3rd and 2nd strings instead of the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings, you will be playing in the key of D.
As far as chords are concerned: the open strings of the banjo now make a D chord; and for the A chord measures in Little Liza Jane, you need not learn to form a full A chord in D tuning: it will suffice to simply zero in on starting your rolls with A notes for these measures (A notes are located in D tuning on the 2nd open string and on the 3rd fret of the 3rd string.) If you have never played in D tuning before, give it a try - it can be a lot of fun, and an easy way to start out with this tuning is to take songs you already play breaks for in G in which the melody does not require you to use the 4th string, for you can play these with the same fingerings you use when playing them in G, just by moving the fingerings one string lower in pitch.
Melody Sheets: Banjo & Guitar
I have included 2 melody sheets for banjo in the attachments, one written for D tuning, and the other written for G tuning (with the 5th string spiked/capoed up to an A note to make it more compatible as a drone string for the key of D).
I have also included 2 melody sheets for guitar in the attachments, one written in D and the other written in C (capo 2 for D). If you wish to work out a Carter-style break for Little Liza Jane (i.e., a break in which strums are used to fill up the space between melody notes that are of a duration greater than a quarter note), working it out in C and then capoing the 2nd fret to raise you up to D is easier on the left hand than playing it in D without a capo.
Don't This Road Look Rough And Rocky - E
Come Back Darling - C
Little Georgia Rose - D
The last three songs are not on the current main list for the jam, but there is no reason why they shouldn't be. They are bluegrass jam standards that are highly appropriate song choices for the new intermediate jam. For any of these songs that you are not already familiar with, I highly recommend taking the time to acquaint yourself thoroughly with them, starting with the youtube links I have provided, and then taking it from there.
Little Liza Jane - banjo (G tuning modified for key of D
Little Liza Jane - banjo tab (D tuning)
Little Liza Jane - guitar tab (C)
Little Liza Jane - guitar tab (D)
Little Liza Jane - mandolin tab
Little Liza Jane - melody in D
Jason's Intermediate Jam Blog 2019 - 2021
Was 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