Posted by rrode on Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I taking more time to learn new songs by ear-alone. No tab. And the more I do it, the easier it gets. Not that I've stopped using tab entirely -- it is still a valuable tool. But so is careful listening.
During one of the jams at Banjo Camp North they played Sail Away Ladies. Which is a tune I hadn't come across, but seemed like something I should know how to play. I listened to a number of versions on YouTube, and while each was slightly different it seemed like it would be easy enough to pick up. Then last weekend at Mystic Seaport in CT there was a banjo/guitar duo playing sea songs. On my request the banjo player, on a nice old late 1880ish banjo and wearing a period sailor suit, played his version of Sail Away Ladies. Given the circumstances (old banjo, cool costume) I figured he was as authentic as it gets and so based my own playing on his version of the tune.
I posted a copy on SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/rodeworks/song-of-the-month-sail-away - and here on Banjo Hangout. In honor of the start of the Summer 2013 sailing season please join by posting your own version of Sail Away Ladies -- any style, any instrument. Post a comment with a pointer to your version here. Pass on the idea to your own followers and let's crowdsource a massive mob of versions.
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