Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Jan 20, 2021 - 4:53:05 PM



12 posts since 12/27/2018

Hi there -

not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I couldn't find a better place.

Here we go: I am looking for book (paper or online) with a collection of the melodies (and verses) of "typical folks songs" played at jam sessions.

I was not born in the US, and as such I am not familiar with many those songs. I have been playing banjo now for about 2 years and I want to broaden my repertoire. Banjo tabs are good to see how others have interpreted a song, but in order to really learn and see what is going on knowing the melody would be very useful.

Does anybody know of such a collection (free or to buy) or any resource that would be helpful? Is there perhaps a "fiddle book" that would fit?

It does not matter what key those songs are written in, I can easily transpose them (I originally come from classical music)

Thanks a lot!

Jan 20, 2021 - 5:32:08 PM
like this

1451 posts since 4/13/2009

"Folk Songs of North America," by Alan Lomax might be just what you want.

Jan 20, 2021 - 9:03 PM



929 posts since 4/12/2004

For Christmas, my wife gave me a book called "Bluegrass Fakebook", by Bert Casey. It has 150 songs that are popular in Bluegrass jam sessions. It includes lyrics, chords and standard musical notation for the melody line. For each song, it also includes a reference to a well known artist and the album upon which their performance can be found. I suspect that nearly all those performances can be found on YouTube.

Jan 21, 2021 - 12:35:38 AM
Players Union Member



40906 posts since 3/7/2006

The Banjo Player's Songbook, by Tim Jumper

Jan 21, 2021 - 3:35:01 AM
Players Union Member



103997 posts since 11/7/2007

I’ve had a copy of “Rise Up Singing” for several decades. The arrangements are rudimentary with just lyrics and chords but it’s an exhaustive collection and has I’ve used it at many campfire singalongs. It’s not unusual for several people to have a copy with them. 

Rise Up Singing

Jan 21, 2021 - 5:51:13 AM

1019 posts since 1/26/2011

The Bert Casey book is good. Another good addition to your library would be the Real Bluegrass Book.

Edited by - jdeluke137 on 01/21/2021 05:53:11

Jan 21, 2021 - 6:35:48 AM

2503 posts since 2/10/2013

If think it would be wise to talk to individuals who play in local jams, and find out what tunes are played on a regular basis. Every jam can have its own "favorites". And, the number and complexity of tunes varies from jam to jam.

Jan 21, 2021 - 8:44:13 AM



12 posts since 12/27/2018

Thanks all! I'll check out those books!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories