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 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Looking for some new songs to learn

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loc50welder - Posted - 02/16/2020:  13:24:27

Hi all. Trying to come up with some new tunes to learn and sort of hitting a roadblock. I've learned most of the Foggy Mountain Banjo album, a lot of stuff off of the Johnson Mountain Boys Schoolhouse and Blue Diamond albums. I've also learned a few Jimmy Martin tunes, and some Bill Emerson pieces. I don't really care for much of the new bluegrass stuff out there.

Mooooo - Posted - 02/16/2020:  13:30:41

There's tons of great stuff from the Stanley Brothers and the Osborne Brothers...

loc50welder - Posted - 02/16/2020:  13:43:07

Thanks. I did some looking the last few nights, but so far nothing is really grabbing me. Don't take this to mean, I dont like their material, because I really do. I just find, that I learn beat when I am really invested in a piece that speaks to me. Lately, those have been pieces that I just sort of stumbled on or was recommended to me. I'm just finishing up Farewell Blues righ now.

Old Hickory - Posted - 02/16/2020:  14:01:11

Get a copy of Alan Munde's Festival Favorites Revisted, The Banjo Kid Picks Again or Banjo Sandwich.  Those will keep you busy for a while.

Some available from Alan Munde's Banjo College.

Banjo Kid album on YouTube.



From Greylock to Bean Blossom - Posted - 02/16/2020:  14:11:30

Go to TAkes bluegrass album channel. there is more music than you can shake a stick at:



stanleytone - Posted - 02/16/2020:  16:21:29

go to the tab archive and just go right down the list and see what grabs you

chuckv97 - Posted - 02/16/2020:  16:25:37

Keith, is there a jam nearby that you attend? That’s where I get my inspiration from,,hearing other people’s tunes.

loc50welder - Posted - 02/16/2020:  17:51:53

No. Unfortunately, no bluegrass players in my area. I'm by my lonesome.

Richard Hauser - Posted - 02/17/2020:  06:46:12

After working on Scruggs material for a while, I finally tried playing a melodic fiddle tune. That was a long time ago, and now have decent repertoire of fiddle tunes.
Melodic tunes like "Lonesome Fiddle Blues" are fun to play, add to your playing technique, and add variety to your playing. Right now I am working on "Whisky Before Breakfast", a tune popular with stringed instrument players. I already played the tune on the fiddle and guitar.

Some tunes force your fingers to do new things. The second part of the tune "Deputy Dalton" is like doing banjo calisthenics. The tune seems to have been created as a banjo exercise. The rhythm guitar player gets a lot of work as well.
So learning this tune will add a new tune to your repertoire and give both hands, especially the picking hand, lots of exercise.

banjobob36 - Posted - 02/17/2020:  10:37:48

Adapt your banjo to Together Again by Buck Owens or Merle Haggard Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room Tonight. My wife sings I Fall To Pieces by Patsy Cline or Coal Miners Daughter by Loretta Lynn. You'll be surprised how your banjo style changes backing up these great country songs .

monstertone - Posted - 02/17/2020:  13:47:59

There is so much good stuff out there from which to pull material. Every BG festival I used to attend always had songs that were, new to me, being done in the parking lot jams. Mixed in with the old standards were popular songs done by whoever the current headliner bands had recorded. The next thing I knew, I was ordering a Jim& Jessie, Dillards, or an Osborne Bros album. I went thru all the Country Gents, albums & everything I could find on JD Crowe. This was all way before BHO & Tabledit.  Amazing Slow Downer was a 16 rpm turntable. lol  To learn the old standards, you bought a Rural Rhythm Raymond Fairchild album, or two. Those LP's had twice the number of tunes as any other LP. And then I discovered the Seldom Scene. ROF

Lefty5string - Posted - 02/17/2020:  13:52:28

+1 dillards

Eric A - Posted - 02/17/2020:  14:26:34

I don't see Bill Monroe on your list.   And for Flatt and Scruggs, nearly all their best stuff was done before Foggy Mountain Banjo (imo).  It's a journey, so I suggest you go back and start at the beginning.

Edited by - Eric A on 02/17/2020 14:31:17

loc50welder - Posted - 02/17/2020:  19:44:14

Thanks for the replies all. After really thinking about what songs have interested me before,I ended up with a few songs to take a look at. I want to tak a look at Earl and Charlie Cushman's playing on I'll Go Stepping Too, and I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open. Also would like to delve into Jim Mills' playing on Big Tilda, Ground Hog, Bound To Ride, and his break on Kentucky Thunder's live recording of Black Eyed Suzie.

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