If you are looking for new songs to learn and introduce into the jam, please take a look at the list and give some of these songs a try. Or perhaps you may want to reintroduce into the jam some of the songs that used to be played regularly at the jam (I've included some of these on the list) but no longer are because the person who used to sing them no longer comes to the jam, or at least - like myself - doesn't come to it very often.
If you don't sing (or even if you do), but you can't help thinking that 'oh, that song would be perfect for so and so to sing', you might wish to draw the person's attention to that song and see if they would be interested in learning to sing and play it. Also, some of the songs on the list might lead you think of additional songs that would be just as well suited for bringing to the intermediate jam in the near future as the songs that are on the list.
The Wandering Boy (a.k.a. Bring Back To Me My Wandering Boy) - Stanley Bros. - A
Cabin In Caroline - Flatt & Scruggs - Ab (the instruments were tuned a half step higher than standard pitch)
Come Back Darling - Flatt & Scruggs - G
Cora Is Gone - Flatt & Scruggs - Eb (the instruments were tuned a half step higher than standard pitch)
Dooley - The Dillards - B
Feast Here Tonight - Monroe Bros. - D
Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go - Stanley Brothers - Bb
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder - B
How Mountain Girls Can Love - Stanley Brothers - A
I Have No One To Love Me (a.k.a. Drowned In The Deep Blue Sea) - Flatt & Scruggs - B
I Hope You Have Learned - Bill Monroe - G
I Only Exist - Ralph Stanley & Larry Sparks - A
I Wonder Where You Are Tonight - Flatt & Scruggs - E
Bluegrass Cardinals - G
I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky - Bill Monroe - A
I'm Using My Bible For A Roadmap - Reno & Smiley - A
It's Mighty Dark To Travel - Bill Monroe - G
Katy Daley - Ralph Stanley - C
Kentucky Waltz - Bill Monroe - E
Let Me Be Your Friend - Stanley Brothers - G
Little Cabin Home On The Hill - Bill Monroe - A
Little Georgia Rose - Bill Monroe - B
Little Girl Of Mine In Tennessee - Flatt & Scruggs - Ab (the instruments are tuned a half step higher than standard pitch)
I'm Lost And I'll Never Find The Way - Stanley Brothers - B
A Memory Of You - Jim & Jesse - A
Mother's Only Sleeping - Bill Monroe - F
No Hiding Place - Flatt & Scruggs - E
No Mother Or Dad - Flatt & Scruggs - Ab (the instruments are tuned a half step higher than standard pitch)
Boone Creek - Bb
On And On - Tony Rice - G
Ridin' That Midnight Train - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder - A
Roll On Buddy - Bill Monroe - B
(My) Rose Of Old Kentucky - Bill Monroe - B
Roving Gambler - Peter Rowan - Bb
Short Life Of Trouble - Flatt & Scruggs - D
Someday We'll Meet Again Sweetheart - Flatt & Scruggs - B
Take This Hammer - Osborne Bros. - B
Think Of What You've Done - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder - C
True Life Blues - Del McCoury Band - C
Two Little Boys - Country Gentlemen - B
Why Did You Wander - Flatt & Scruggs - Ab (the instruments are tuned a half step higher than standard pitch)
Why Don't You Tell Me So - Tony Rice - F
Y'all Come - Bill Monroe - Ab
Your Love Is Like A Flower - Flatt & Scruggs - Bb
The song of the week is 'Auld Lang Syne' in the key of G. We will play this mostly as an instrumental at next week's jam, but perhaps sing a verse and chorus near the end of it.
The chord progression I use for Auld Lang Syne is:
Each break will run through the progression twice (32 measures in total) so that each instrument gets to play a break based upon the melody for both the verse and the chorus.
Here are two good bluegrass versions of 'Auld Lang Syne' to take a listen to and play along with:
Bill Keith: key of G
David Grisman: key of G:
These arrangements of Auld Lang Syne (once you get past the intro in the first version) make for good examples of what can be done with any number of non-bluegrass songs in 4/4 time to convert them to a bluegrass rhythm and feel. I suggest listening to these back to back with any non-bluegrass versions of the song that you might have in your music collection or that you might bring up on youtube and study closely how they differ in rhythm and feel from the bluegrass versions. In this connection, you might find it interesting to compare the melody sheets attached here for 'Auld Lang Syne' with the melody sheets you will find on the internet if you google "Auld Lang Syne sheet music".
Have a Merry Christmas!
The song of the week is 'Silent Night' in the key of C.
Silent Night is played in 3/4 (waltz) time: 3 beats per measure; guitar rhythm = boom-chuck-chuck, i.e., bass note, strum, strum.
The chord progression is:
In the key of C:
For banjo players, I recommend playing the song without a capo. This way all your melody notes can be found within the first five frets of the instrument. The highest note of the melody is the F note on the 3rd fret of the 1st string. The lowest melody note is the C note that results from tuning your 4th string down to a C. But, since this note occurs in the melody only once (at the very end of the form), and since it would make it inconvenient to get other parts of the melody if one were to tune the 4th string down to a C (C tuning), I recommend staying in G tuning and simply playing the last 2 notes of the melody (D note followed by a C note) an octave higher (i.e., open 1st string followed by 1st fret of 2nd string). The reason why I suggest playing the last 2 notes an octave higher, instead of just the very last note, is for no other reason than that it makes it less noticeable that one has jumped up an octave higher than where one would ordinarily expect the melody to be. If a banjo player were to capo on the 5th fret and play as if in G, then the highest melody note would be on the 15th fret of the 1st string! And there would be no melody notes on the 4th string. For banjo players who are unaccustomed to playing in the key of C without a capo, or are not quite sure what rolls, filler notes, or other Scruggs-style frills to put around the melody for playing a break for this song, I suggest just playing the melody as is for a break. (See the banjo tab melody sheet attached to this email.)
In contrast to what I recommend for banjo players, for guitar players who wish to work out a Carter-style break (i.e., strums added between some of the melody notes) for Silent Night, I suggest capoing to the 5th fret and playing as if in G. This way one can get all the melody notes on the 6th through 2nd strings - which tends to work better for most Carter-style breaks - instead of the 5th through 1st strings. But some may find it easier to play this type of break in the key of C without a capo, since all the melody notes can then be found within the first 3 frets instead of the first 4 frets. For this reason, in the attachments, I have included two guitar tabs of the melody, one in C and one in G.
In the mandolin tab of the melody attached here, the 3 lines written above certain (longer) melody notes indicate where one may wish to use tremolo as a way to embellish the melody.
Here are a few youtube links for Silent Night.
The first is to help with finding the melody of the song on your instrument. I suggest attempting to work with this (i.e., finding the melody by ear, either with or without the additional help provided by being able to see where the notes are being played on the keyboard: left = lower in pitch; right = higher in pitch) before taking a look at any of the melody sheets.
The remaining two links are examples of the song being played on bluegrass instruments. But neither of these are (unfortunately) in the key of C.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF1_FcdeDqY (the melody, as played on piano, key of C)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDiJCb5vJZc (key of A)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7oUEpZHcaQ (key of G)
The song of the week is 'Good King Wenceslas' in the key of G.
The chord progression I use for 'Good King Wenceslas' is:
1 1 4/5 1
1 1 4/5 1
1/5 1 4/5 1
5 1/5 1/5 1/4 1
(In the key of G: 1=G, 4=C, 5=D.)
Notice that the second line is the same as the first line, not only in terms of the chord progression, but also in terms of the melody (see the attached melody sheets). The chord progression for the third line is almost the same as the progression for the first and second lines. The fourth line can be a bit challenging to remember. It is a five measure line (like the first, second and fourth lines of Wildwood Flower) that starts on the 5 chord, and in which the three middle measures of the line are split between two chords: 1 and 5 for the second and third measures of the line, and 1 and 4 for the fourth measure of the line.
The song has five verses and no chorus. At last night's jam, we played it as follows:
Except for the intro break, which I played on guitar, all the breaks were played as 'collective' breaks, old-time style, instead of having each of the different types of instruments taking turns being featured. This worked quite well, and this is how I intend to arrange the song again at the jam next week.
Here are a couple of bluegrass-style instrumental versions of Good King Wenceslas to listen to:
"Good King Wenceslas" Christmas carol, bluegrass style
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpST8w_cxok (key of G)
Good King Wenceslas · Knightsbridge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kntEZdexHd8 (key of G; modulates to the key of A about half way through.)
I did not come across on youtube any bluegrass versions of Good King Wenceslas with vocals, and I do not have a bluegrass version with vocals in my record collection, so, for a version with vocals to listen to, the following non-bluegrass version from the Irish Rovers will have to suffice as close enough for now:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11GlNvi7hPY (key of G)
If you have tried adapting Christmas carols to bluegrass, then you may have noticed that some carols adapt more easily and naturally than others. Like 'Away In A Manger', most of the ones in 3/4 time are good candidates for attempts to play them with a bluegrass feel; but of these, the ones that tend to adapt best have fewer melody notes (on average) per measure and fewer quick chord changes relative to the ones that don't adapt quite as easily. For example, Silent Night and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear are more 'bluegrass-friendly' than The First Noel and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
The carols that are either in cut time (2/2) or in 2/4 (e.g., Jingle Bells, Good King Wenceslas) are natural candidates for being given a bluegrass treatment; while, on the other hand, most of the 4/4 carols (e.g., O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town Of Bethlehem) need to be converted to a cut time feel in order to be played as bluegrass songs; but this can be challenging to do if one is not yet very familiar with how this kind of conversion works, or if one has not heard enough examples of songs being played both ways.
The song of the week is 'The Crawdad Song' in the key of G.
The chord progression is:
(Prog. V2 on the basic progressions handout. In the key of G: 1=G, 4=C, 5=D.)
The melody of The Crawdad Song (see the attachments) has no built in pickup notes, so to start the song effectively with an intro break at a jam, one needs to create pickup notes for it.
When the song is played in the key of G, the first melody note is a G note. The simplest and most straightforward way to create a pickup measure for this scenario that consists of 3 quarter note pickup notes is to start with a D note and then ascend from there up the G major scale, playing an E note next (2nd fret on the D string), and then finally an F# note (4th fret on the D string) This should lead your ear to want to hear next the G note that starts the first measure proper of the song.
Other songs played at the beginner jam that, when played in the key of G, have a G note as the first melody note and have no built in pickup notes include Buffalo Gals, Down The Road, and Mama Don't Allow. This same set of pickup notes (D,E,F# when in the key of G) will work just as well to lead into a break for these songs as what it does for The Crawdad Song.
If playing in a different key, then the pickup notes will need to be transposed. For instance, for the key of A, each of the three notes need to be raised up by a whole step, for the distance from G up to A is a whole step. The three notes would then be E, F#, and G#, which will lead the ear to want to hear an A note next. For the key of D, the notes would be A. B. and C#, for these three notes have the same relation to D that the notes D, E, and F# have to G and that the notes E, F#, and G# have to A.
Here are some bluegrass versions of the song to take a listen to:
Flatt & Scruggs - key of E
Doc Watson - key of D
Randall Franks - key of G
This week's song of the week is known by many names. Some of the most common of these (in Bluegrass circles) are: 'Reuben', 'Reuben's Train', 'Old Reuben', 'Lonesome Reuben' and 'Train 45'. This was the first tune that Earl Scruggs, when he was about 10 years old, played with 3 fingers (up to that time he had been a 2 finger style picker) Over the years, Earl recorded Reuben many times, and each time he always managed to find some new and interesting way to play it.
There are numerous different versions of 'Reuben', - and even whole other songs that are based on 'Reuben' (e.g., 'Ruby' by the Osborne Brothers) - but they are all based on what is essentially the same simple repetitive melody (8 measures. Only 4 melody notes in many interpretations of the melody. See the attached melody sheets.)
In Bluegrass circles, Reuben is almost always played in the key of D, with the banjo tuned to an open D major chord ('D tuning': F#DF#AD, or ADF#AD).
The chord progression is:
which is the second half of Progressions V1, V3, V5, and X1 on the basic chord progressions handout.
In the key of D: 1=D and 5=A.
Note: Most interpretations of the melody do not imply any chord change at all: so it can be difficult at first trying to hear where the 'A' chord fits into the progression. If you are uncertain about when to change to the 'A', then just stay on the 'D'. It is better to play a 'D' over the measure of 'A', instead of playing an 'A' in the wrong spot.
The tune has a strong 'drony' character to it. To help contribute to this feel of the song, I recommend that guitar and banjo players avoid using a capo for this tune. Some guitar players like to lower their low E string to a D, so as to further enhance the drony feel of the song.
Although Reuben is often played as an instrumental, it does have lyrics. (Actually, there are several different sets of lyrics for Reuben.) But even when lyrics are used, the tune often still remains mostly instrumental. The singing can be thought of as a kind of 'vocal break'. What that means in a jam context is that, when it comes time for you to play your break, you have the option of singing your break instead of playing it. Just two short verses, or a verse and a chorus is all you need to do a 'vocal break' for Reuben. You can use whatever lyrics from whatever version you like, or you can make up your words for the tune.
Because the melody is simple and repetitive, and mostly stays on one chord, jamming Reuben makes for a good opportunity to develop one's improvisational skills. (When improvising over Reuben, one can often get away with ignoring the 'A' chord altogether.) Indeed, Reuben is the kind of tune that, when played without variation, gets monotonous quite quickly. Yet, when one adds just enough variation into the mix, Reuben is the kind of tune that can be jammed on for 10 minutes or more without it getting monotonous.
One can take one's first steps towards improvisation (making up a break on the fly) by creating variations on the melody. There are many ways to do this. Examples include adding in extra notes between melody notes, taking out notes, altering the rhythm of the melody, and taking a measure or two of the melody and simply repeating it over and over again. If you wish to get a little bit more adventurous, you can try creating variations that drift in and out of the melody. For getting started with doing this, I would like to point out that one can get a lot of mileage out of including 'C' notes in your variations. Lingering on 'C' notes works quite well for improvisation on this tune if you find yourself out on a limb while your hands are trying to find where to go to next on the fretboard. And, if you are new to improvising, there will be many, many times when you will suddenly find yourself 'out on a limb'. In order to become a good improv player (or even to do any kind of improv at all), one must be willing to take risks.
Flatt and Scruggs (banjo, fiddle, and dobro breaks)
Earl Scruggs, Marty Stuart, Mark O'Connor (banjo, fiddle, dobro, and guitar breaks: very improv. oriented)
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys (banjo, fiddle, and guitar breaks: simpler than the breaks on the two preceding links)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMydc293aVU
The Dillards (Vocal, banjo breaks, and a simple mandolin break)
The song of the week is 'Liza Jane' in the key of D.
'Liza Jane' is a standard length two-part tune with an AABB form like 'Soldier's Joy', 'Boil The Cabbage Down', 'Angeline The Baker', 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:
In the key of D: 1=D and 5=A.
The melody for '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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
Here are a few good bluegrass versions of Liza Jane to listen to:
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.
The song of the week is 'I Saw The Light' in the key of Bb. I will not be at the jam this coming week: Kathy will lead the jam in my absence.
Though not originally a bluegrass song, 'I Saw The Light' has by now become a bluegrass jam standard. Everything about the song - its melody, its chord progression, its subject matter, etc., makes it perfect for bluegrass. 'I Saw The Light' was written and originally recorded by Hank Williams.
Here are two good bluegrass versions of 'I Saw The Light', both in the key of Bb, from first generation bluegrass artists:
The Stanley Brothers
Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys
(For those new to bluegrass: Bill Monroe is the mandolin player singing the high harmony on the song. The membership in Bill's band was subject to constant change during the 60 or so years of its existence. The 1945-1948 lineup, which included Lester Flatt on guitar, and Earl Scruggs on banjo, is regarded by many bluegrass musicians and fans as the original bluegrass band.)
For the sake of comparison and contrast, here is the original Hank Williams recording of 'I Saw The Light' (key of G):
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.
In the key of Bb: 1=Bb. 4=Eb, and 5=F.
The Bb chord consists of the notes: Bb,D, and F
The Eb chord consists of the notes: Eb, G, and Bb
The F chord consists of the notes F,A,C.
Together, these notes make up the Bb Major Scale: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, but the melody of 'I Saw The Light', like many other songs, makes use of only 5 of these: the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the scale (In Bb, these notes are Bb, C, D, F, and G: these 5 notes form what is called the Bb Major Pentatonic Scale.)
For playing in the key of Bb, banjo and guitar players almost always capo the 3rd fret so they can play as if they were playing in the key of G. (Bb is 3 half-steps higher than G.) For this reason the melody sheets attached here for guitar and banjo are written in the key of G.
[In the key of G: 1=G. 4=C, and 5=D. The G chord consists of the notes: G. B, and D. The C chord consists of the notes: C, E, and G, The D chord consists of the notes: D, F#,, and A. Together, these notes make up the G Major Scale: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#. The 5 notes: G, A, B, D, and E form the G Major Pentatonic Scale.]
Excellent jam last night!
The song of the week is 'Wildwood Flower' in the key of C.
The chord progression for 'Wildwood Flower' is:
In the key of C: 1=C, 4=F, 5=G
Notice that the 1st, 2nd, and 4th lines of the progression are each 5 measures long.
This song has lyrics, but more often than not, it is played as an instrumental at bluegrass jams, and that is how I intend on playing it while it is the song of the week.
When played as an instrumental at a bluegrass jam, Wildwood Flower is most often played either in the key of C or the key of G, with guitar players tending to prefer C and banjo players tending to prefer G.
When Wildwood Flower is sung at a jam, one can expect it to be played in any of the 8 standard bluegrass keys: G, A, Bb, B, C, D, E, or F. Because the melody of the song has an unusually wide range (it spans an interval of a major 10th: that is, one whole octave plus a third of an octave), one may find it difficult to find a key that one can comfortably sing the song in, and once one has identified a comfortable key to sing it in, one may discover that that is the only key that one feels comfortable singing the song in.
Most people I have heard sing Wildwood Flower use the same set of lyrics that the Carter Family recorded back in the 20's, but some of the lines in their set of lyrics make little sense; so, for those who would prefer to sing a set of lyrics that make more sense, here is an older set of lyrics for the song:
I'll twine 'mid the ringlets
Of my raven black hair,
The lilies so pale
And the roses so fair,
The myrtle so bright
With an emerald hue,
And the pale aronatus
With eyes of bright blue.
I'll sing, and I'll dance,
My laugh shall be gay,
I'll cease this wild weeping
Drive sorrow away,
Tho' my heart is now breaking,
He never shall know,
That his name made me tremble
And my pale cheek to glow.
I'll think of him never
I'll be wildly gay,
I'll charm ev'ry heart
And the crowd I will sway,
I'll live yet to see him
Regret the dark hour
When he won, then neglected,
The frail wildwood flower.
He told me he loved me,
And promis'd to love,
Through ill and misfortune,
All others above,
Another has won him,
Ah! misery to tell;
He left me in silence
No word of farewell!
He taught me to love him,
He call'd me his flower
That blossom'd for him
All the brighter each hour;
But I woke from my dreaming,
My idol was clay;
My visions of love
Have all faded away.
The Carter Family lyrics are as follows:
Oh, I'll twine with my mingles and waving black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the myrtles so bright with emerald dew
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue.Oh, I'll dance, I will sing and my laugh shall be gay
I will charm ev'ry heart, in his crown I will sway
When I woke from my dreaming, idols were clay
All portions of love then had all flown away.
Oh, he taught me to love him and promised to love
And to cherish me over all others above
How my heart now is wond'ring misery can tell
He's left me no warning, no words of farewell.
Oh, he taught me to love him and called me his flow'r
That was blooming to cheer him through life's dreary hour
Oh, I'm longing to see him through life's dark hour
He's gone and neglected this pale wildwood flower.
Here are some versions of Wildwood Flower to listen to, some instrumental, and some with vocals, and in a variety of different keys:
Flatt & Scruggs - key of D instrumental
Ralph Stanley - key of G instrumental
The Carter Family - key of Bb: original recorded version with vocals
Mother Maybelle Carter - key of F# with vocals
key of F: instrumental
key of E: instrumental
The song of the week is 'Foggy Mountain Top' in the key of G.
The chord progression for 'Foggy Mountain Top' is one of the most common progressions in bluegrass:
(Prog. V6 on the Basic Chord Progressions handout. In the key of G: 1=G, 4=C, 5=D.)
Other bluegrass standards that use this same progression include:
Live And Let Live
I'll Never Shed Another Tear
All The Good Times Are Past And Gone
On And On
Little Cabin Home On The Hill - verse prog. only
Before I Met You - verse prog. only
Cabin In Caroline - verse prog. only
Gonna Settle Down - verse prog. only
Little Girl Of Mine In Tennessee - verse prog. only
Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane - verse prog. only
Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go - verse prog. only
Lovesick And Sorrow - verse prog. only
Greenville Trestle - verse prog. only
Keep On The Sunny Side - chorus prog. only
For people who are much less familiar with bluegrass than with other genres of music, some good points of reference for this progression might include:
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Jesse James - verse prog. only
Cotton Fields - verse prog. only
My Old Kentucky Home (some versions) - verse prog. only
Note: With the exceptions of 'Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go' and 'My Old Kentucky Home', all the songs listed here in which only the verses of the song use the V6 progression, the progression for the chorus is prog. X6 on the basic chord progressions handout:
Progressions V6 and X6 tend to show up together with each other in the same song much more frequently than any other pair of progressions on the basic progressions handout.
Compare the progression for 'Foggy Mountain Top' (V6) with the progression for the song that was the song of the week two weeks ago: 'I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' (V7):
Notice how similar these two progressions are. They differ from each other only in 2 of their measures, namely the last measure of line 1 and last measure of line 3.
Part of the practical value of observing how certain commonly recurring progressions are similar and different from each other is that by taking note of this, one can help oneself to avoid certain common mistakes.
In my many years of jamming experience, I have noticed that a lot of people tend to be more familiar with prog. V7 than with prog. V6. At large jams, whenever a song that uses prog. V6, I have found that it is typical to find at least one person playing prog. V7 for at least the first round or two through the progression. I count this as being one of the top half dozen or so errors involving wrong chord changes that occur at jams. Yet, the opposite case - namely, someone playing prog. V6 during a song that uses prog. V7 - rarely ever occurs at jams.
Another way to put this is that when the first three measures are 114, there is a much greater tendency to assume that the fourth measure will stay on the 4 instead of going back to the 1.
This assumption should be avoided, because songs with the 'Foggy Mountain Top' (V6) progression are very common in bluegrass, even if not quite as common as songs with the 'I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' (V7) progression.
Here is a live version of Foggy Mountain Top to listen to, played in the key of G:
Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs: