For the intermediate jams in October, the songs of the month shall be:
I Saw The Light - Bb
Turkey In The Straw - G
Down In A Willow Garden - F
Song of the week write-ups, melody sheets, etc., and jam videos for these songs can be found on the IBA website by clicking on the following links:
Category: I Saw The Light - Idaho Bluegrass Association
(Here is an updated link to the Hank Williams recording of I Saw The Light, since the one I gave in the write-up no longer works: I Saw the Light - YouTube
Category: Turkey In The Straw - Idaho Bluegrass Association
Intermediate Bluegrass Jam Songs - Idaho Bluegrass Association
Jason’s YouTube Links – Alphabetical Listing – Parisology (cyberplasm.com)
A copy of the current handouts for the intermediate jam may be found here (scroll to the bottom of the page in the link for the handouts):
Idaho Bluegrass Association - Jason's Intermediate Jam Blog 2021 - 2022
I intend on being present at the intermediate jam to lead it at the Powderhaus (6:30 - 9pm) on October 13, the second Wednesday in October.
Here are some things in the song of the week write-ups for the October songs of the month that I would like to especially draw attention to:
From the 'I Saw The Light' write-up:
The chord progression for I Saw The Light is:
Notice that the last line of the progression consists of five measures, instead of only four.
From the 'Turkey In The Straw' write-up:
Also in the attachments is a chart of...double endings that will work well for Turkey In The Straw, since the use of these types of...endings are the most effective ways to begin and end most fiddle tunes at a bluegrass jam.
In practicing 'tack-on' endings (e.g., the double endings given in the attachments) that are played after the last note of the tune proper, be careful to hold the last note of the tune for exactly the right length of time before starting into the ending. And the same goes for the last note of the first half of a double ending. For otherwise, your timing will be off, and there are few things more anticlimactic at a jam than people being out of time with each other in playing their final note or chord for a song.
For Turkey In The Straw, this means, among other things, that the last melody note played needs to be held as a half note before starting into the double endings given here. The reason why this melody note is written on the melody sheets as a quarter note instead of a half note is simply because the melody sheets show how long the last note would need to be held if one were to go into the beginning of the break again after playing the last note. They do not show what needs to happen in order to transition into a tack-on ending, for no tack on endings are given on the melody sheets.
For figuring out...the timing involved in going from the end of a break into a tack-on ending, just remember that, with the exception of specific spots in 'crooked' tunes (e.g., Down The Road, Clinch Mountain Backstep), all measures of a song, from the first full measure onward, need to be of equal duration.
From the 'Down In A Willow Garden' in F write-up:
Flatt & Scruggs - key of F
Although on most of the recordings provided here, breaks are played only over the verse progression and melody, I find it tends to work better when I lead the song at a jam to have the breaks alternate between the verse and chorus progressions when two or more breaks are played back to back. In this respect, the arrangement we will use for the song as it goes through its song of the week cycle is similar to how we almost always play Columbus Stockade Blues at the jam, except that I will usually end the song, not with a vocal chorus, but with two 'everybody' breaks played back to back: the first over the verse progression, and the second over the chorus progression.
The only essential differences between the melodies for the two parts occur in the first two measures of the parts, and once one gets past the first two measures of the chorus, the progression for the chorus is identical with the progression for the verse. So, for a chorus break, all one needs to do is to alter the first two measures of one's verse break to make it fit the chorus progression and melody.
The melody of the Down In A Willow Garden is Major Pentatonic, which means that it uses only the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the Major Scale. In the key of F, those notes are F, G, A, C, and D. ... The melody for Down In A Willow Garden spans the same [wide] range as the melody for Fireball Mail. In order, from lowest to highest, the notes for both tunes when played in the key of F are: C, D, F, G, A, C, D, F.
Notes to Guitar and Banjo Players
The attached melody sheets in guitar tab, and one set of the melody sheets in banjo tab are written in the key of C (capo 5 for F). To interpret the preceding explanations for the key of C instead of for the key of F, make the following substitutions of letter names for the notes and chords:
Key of F: F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E
Key of C: C, D, E, F, G, A, B
The set of banjo tab melody sheets written in F contain a few spots where the melody has been altered (the first note of line 1 of the verse, the first note of measure 2 of line 4 of the verse, and the last note of line 2 of the chorus), for the reason that the low C note is not accessible when the banjo is tuned to G tuning. When the low C note occurs in the melody in an F or Dm chord measure, I have raised it to a D note. When the low C note occurs in the melody on a C chord measure, I have raised it to an E note.
When playing Down In A Willow Garden on banjo in the key of F without a capo, I usually raise the pitch of my 5th string to an A note, since this note is part of the two main chords used in the song, the F chord and the Dm chord, whereas the G note is not.