Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
The song of the week is 'Leaning On The Everlasting Arms' in the key of A.
The chord progression that is used on the Grascals' version of the song (see the link below) is:
(In the key of A: 1=A, 4=D, 5=E; In the key of G: 1=G, 4=C, 5=D)
The progression is a bit unusual when compared with the progressions for most of the other 1-4-5 type songs that are regularly played at the jam. The 5 chords all occur a measure later than what one would ordinarily expect to be the case.
For this reason, both lines 2 and 4 are often played as 5 measure lines in bluegrass versions of the song. This is how it is played on Solid Blue's version of the song (see the link below), so as to allow for 2 measures of the 5 chord in line 2 (11155) and 2 measures of the 1 chord at the end of line 4 (11511), since this allows for fillin licks to be played by the instruments since a pause is thereby created in the vocal before the next line starts.
Since this song is commonly played at a fast tempo when played by bluegrass bands, these pauses in the vocal that result from adding the extra measures also allow the singers a moment to catch their breath in preparation for the next line.
The way that I prefer to play the song, however, is to keep line 2 as a 4 measure line, while extending line 4 to being a 5 measure line. The resulting progression is:
This is how we will play the song at the jam when I lead it this coming Thursday. So, especially when two or more breaks occur back to back, keep in mind that we are using a 17 measure form for the song instead of a 16 measure form; otherwise, the beginning of your break (especially if you play pickup notes into your break) will overlap with the fillin licks that others may be playing at the very end of their break (or at the end of the chorus that occurs before your break).
The Grascals - key of G
Solid Blue - key of B