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"Play Something We Can Dance To"

Posted by SimonSlick on Thursday, September 21, 2017

If you play music long enough, sooner or later, someone will ask you to "Play something we can dance to." The jazz players can handle that request pretty easily, but there's not a lot of bluegrass or old-time music that is compatible with most forms of popular dancing (2-step; foxtrot; waltz; etc.) Any aspiring musician would be wise to learn some classic country, blues shuffle, some swing, and a few waltzes. People love to dance, and they love musicians who can honor their requests. I had the good fortune of playing in an acoustic dance band for several years. The instrumentation was like bluegrass, but 90% of what we did was country-western 2-step music. We had a regular following of fans who would follow us all over Middle Tennessee to community centers and school houses for dances. I learned to adapt my playing to different tempos that were conducive to dancing. Here's a few examples of banjo in a dance context. Shuffle Dance Country 2-Step Latin Dance Modern / Hip-Hop

1 comment on “"Play Something We Can Dance To"”

n1wr Says:
Friday, September 22, 2017 @8:54:32 AM

Ha! When I saw the title of your post I immediately thought of the currently popular song by the group Train - Play That Song. Actually a good song to put to banjo.

Quite a thought provoking post. I personally favor the old standards - but that is just me. The banjo can be a very versatile instrument. Who knows where it will take us.

Of course people have been clogging to the old standards for a long time. Maybe we need to teach the new generation how to clog? Actually your first video looks a bit like clogging (if you have an imagination!

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