The chord progression for 'Take This Hammer' is V9 on the Basic Progressions chart. As I pointed out last night, this progression consists of the progression used to play Little Birdie: 1155
followed immediately by the last 8 measures of the progression used to play Bury Me Beneath The Willow - V7:
Other songs that have been played at the various incarnations of the beginner and intermediate jams that use Prog. V9 include: Banks Of The Ohio, Love Me Darling Just Tonight (on the current additional 30 list for the beginner jam), 99 Years And One Dark Day, and the chorus of In The Sweet By And By. Goodnight Irene (on the current additional list for the beginner jam) and the chorus of Blue Ridge Mountain Blues use the closely related W9 Progression that consists of the Little Birdie progression: 11555511 followed by the Blue Ridge Cabin Home progression: 11445511.
Here is a good version of Take This Hammer from the Osborne Brothers to listen to:
The chord progression used for Handsome Molly last night was:
repeated twice, with some versions of the song consistently adding an extra 1 at the end of the progression, or doing so both at the end of the progression and in the middle of the progression (and not just between a break and the next verse, where one expects in many Bluegrass songs than an extra measure or more of the 1 might be added to the end of the progression before it starts over again).
Here's a version that comes close to how we played Handsome Molly last night - though, unlike on this recording, the breaks we played were twice as long (16 measures + however many extra measures of the 1 might elapse between a break and the next verse, rather than just only 8 +...).
What tends to throw people off about the following type of arrangement is how quickly the breaks come after the vocal ends (only one measure of the 1 chord at the end of the progression, rather than the much more typical two measures of the 1 chord for a 16 measure (4x4-type) progression that allows for a 1 measure length fillin lick to be played before the pickup measure that leads into the break. (Almost always, and Handsome Molly is no exception to this, the last syllable sung in a verse or a chorus coincides with the final change back to the 1 chord in the progression.) Notice that every progression in rows V, W, and X of the basic chord progressions handout (i.e., every single one of the 16- measure progressions on the chart) ends with two measures of the 1 chord. Playing the final line of the progression as 55511, as in some alternate versions, therefore, could make playing through the progression feel a bit more like playing through the progressions in the three top rows of the basic progressions chart, even though it would involve playing a 5-measure, rather than a 4-measure, line.
Flatt & Scruggs - Handsome Molly:
weekly on Wednesdays
Songs regularly called at the Beginner Bluegrass Jam and links from Jason's "Song of the Week" emails. (from Renee)
in alphabetical order