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FIFTY TUNES

Posted by Dock Jekel on Sunday, May 3, 2009

            A few months ago I asked the BHO forum a question, “How many tunes is a good amount to know and play regularly?”  Some BHO members probably thought this was a pathetic question to worry about, but I worried anyway.  I figure, if you don’t know enough tunes, your repertoire is not that interesting, and you might get bored.  If you know too many tunes, you can’t know them well, and you’re master of none.  That is not interesting either.  Well I came up with my own answer, finally. 

            A few years ago, I was bored with a limited number of tunes to play.  I started a band called the “Cobb Stompers” (we live on Cobb Mountain).   We researched the Appalachian old time standards and decided on 10 at a time.   We wanted to play high energy, fast dance stuff, stompin’ good.  We listened to the Camp Creek Boys for inspiration.  We knew our music was working when our kids couldn’t help themselves and were hopping around.  We added an occasional Waltz or other tune to avoid monotony.  When we got 10 tunes down pretty good, we added 10 more.  After deciding on 30 tunes we agreed that that was enough to play at any event, and was more than enough to keep us busy practicing.  

            I was left with a few banjo tunes that are best played solo. Over the last year I have been obsessively trying to figure out a cool list of solo tunes and showpieces to keep me interested, and anyone else in the neighborhood, or household, who was forced to listen.  Tah, Dah!  Job done. Twenty solo tunes!  Total is fifty tunes.  I quit searching.  I am done for now.  It is time to start practicing these tunes that I have chosen.   I can already play them.  But, I admit it.  I have ambitions.  I would like to get purty good at them all.  Somebody wrote on the BHO forum regarding my question that Tommy Jarrell only played fifty tunes.   Fifty sounds good to me.

Band tunes:

1.       Angeline the Baker

2.       Arkansas Traveler

3.       Back-Step Cindy

4.       Big-Eyed Rabbit

5.       Breaking Up Christmas

6.       Cluck old Hen

7.       Cripple Creek

8.       Cumberland Gap

9.       Fire on the Mountain

10.   Flop-Eared Mule

11.   Ground Hog

12.   Hop High Ladies

13.   John Brown’s Dream

14.   Johnson Boys

15.   June Apple

16.   Mississippi Sawyer

17.   Old Joe Clark

18.   Old Rosen the Beau

19.   Over the Waterfall

20.   Piney Woods Gal

21.   Sail Away Ladies

22.   Sally Ann

23.   Shady Grove

24.   Shortnin’ Bread

25.   Si Bheag, Si Mohr Waltz

26.   Soldier’s Joy

27.   The Girl I left Behind Me

28.   Turkey in the Straw

29.   Western Country

30.   Whiskey Before Breakfast

 

Solo Tunes:

 

1.       Barlow Knife

2.       Betsy Lickens

3.       Bile Dem Cabbage Down

4.       Bright Sunny South

5.       Cacklin’ Hen

6.       Citico

7.       Coal Creek March

8.       Coke Oven March

9.       Danville Girl

10.   Froggy Went Courtin’

11.   Grey Eagle

12.   Hills of Mexico

13.   Little Birdie

14.   My Old Horse Died

15.   Needlecase

16.   Old Molly Hare

17.   Reuben’s Train

18.   Sandy River

19.   Stoney Point

20.   Wagon Yard

 



2 comments on “FIFTY TUNES”

nick556pm Says:
Sunday, May 3, 2009 @5:05:22 PM

fifty tunes? i would settle for 5 right now. but im jelous . great stuff hope i get that good. Nick.

Dock Jekel Says:
Sunday, May 3, 2009 @5:25:45 PM

Hey, I started with only 5 tunes.  I have been playing for a long time.  Keep up the good work, one tune at a time!

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