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Jul 24, 2021 - 8:32:58 PM
7143 posts since 2/14/2006

"Hey guys, let's play Whiskey Before Breakfast again!!"


 

Jul 24, 2021 - 9:36:49 PM
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3920 posts since 5/29/2011

My response when someone asks if I can play Foggy Mountain Breakdown; "No, I've never heard of that one."

Jul 25, 2021 - 1:50:44 AM
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957 posts since 6/25/2006

Tune fatigue. For me the opening bars of 'Groundspeed' are an immediate heart-sink.

Jul 25, 2021 - 2:46:47 AM
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banjoy

USA

9795 posts since 7/1/2006

Sometimes, I'll play a gig where the crowd only knows three banjo tunes (the top tunes from the Bluegrass Jukebox From Hell) ... Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Duelin' Banjos, and Rocky Top.

Unless the gig is paying well ... sometimes I'll break out with Stairway to Heaven instead. Just my devilish way to see some pretty funny reactions...

Jul 25, 2021 - 2:47:46 AM
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banjoy

USA

9795 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

My response when someone asks if I can play Foggy Mountain Breakdown; "No, I've never heard of that one."


" ... can you hum a few lines for me ...? "

Edited by - banjoy on 07/25/2021 02:48:56

Jul 25, 2021 - 3:09:36 AM
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4320 posts since 12/6/2009

cripple creek

Jul 25, 2021 - 4:50:23 AM

76 posts since 2/14/2021

This is mostly a Bluegrass musicians problem. As an Old Time clawhammer banjo player for years at public performances (yes Old time musicians get gigs also) the issue seldom comes up. But from time to time it does. My approach is similar to the "pretending ignorance" approach or just ignoring the request with a promise to play "Mountain Dew" later and never getting around to it.

Jul 25, 2021 - 5:11:16 AM
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2551 posts since 10/17/2013

When people ask me to “play” the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’.

The correct name for that tune is “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.”

“Play us some Dueling Banjos!”

 

“Can you play AC/DC?”

No.

Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 07/25/2021 05:11:41

Jul 25, 2021 - 5:44:23 AM
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58025 posts since 12/14/2005

I'm there to entertain the folks who might put money in the tip jar.
If they only know three banjo songs, even if they get the names wrong, I'll give the tune a brief run.

I enjoy telling them that "Dueling Banjos is a scale exercise that made somebody a LOT of money, AND that Porch Kid wasn't really plating.
Then I advise the to look on Youtube for "Dogs Playing Bluegrass" for another example of how the movie folks did it.......

 

Jul 25, 2021 - 5:48:57 AM
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478 posts since 5/29/2015

You are performing for the audience, not yourself.

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:01:26 AM
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3612 posts since 7/12/2006

https://youtu.be/ZX_-3PMWPoQ
You can really get the crowd off guard if you play this version !
quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

Sometimes, I'll play a gig where the crowd only knows three banjo tunes (the top tunes from the Bluegrass Jukebox From Hell) ... Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Duelin' Banjos, and Rocky Top.

Unless the gig is paying well ... sometimes I'll break out with Stairway to Heaven instead. Just my devilish way to see some pretty funny reactions...


Edited by - stanleytone on 07/25/2021 06:01:54

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:03:11 AM
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1803 posts since 7/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Banner Blue

You are performing for the audience, not yourself.


Not in a jam.

Even if you're playing a show, just because you're there to entertain the audience doesn't make you their whore. Someone who's entirely indifferent to the wants and needs of a crowd isn't going to get many gigs, but hopefully they have some standards. As much as I might be tired of Man of Constant Sorrow, I might play it, but I'm never gonna play Papa Loves Mambo no matter how many people are screaming for it.

I've found that if you're trying to take requests, people are pretty easy to please. I used to get requests for Foggy Mt. Breakdown, even though I'm not a bluegrass banjo player. An approximation of the opening trill and the shift to E minor was usually enough. Same thing for Dueling Banjos; just play the opening riff and you can play whatever you want afterwards. I played a show at a winery one night with a party whose only apparent reference point for folk or country music was Marty Robbins' "El Paso," which I knew only the opening line of. They kept calling for it and eventually I sang that line, and that was apparently good enough for them.

As for songs I'm tired of, I don't really get tired of the old chestnuts as much as I get tired of songs that are just the same thing over and over. "New River Train," "Two Dollar Bill," stuff like that.

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:45:53 AM
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121 posts since 9/27/2014

I’m in the camp with Mike and Rob on this discussion. If I get a request and know the song I will do my best to perform. This has been beneficial in my experience down through the years.

Jul 25, 2021 - 7:12:33 AM
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Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1279 posts since 10/15/2019

Imagine how Earl felt. It had to be quite a grind after a while.

Jul 25, 2021 - 7:26:27 AM
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58025 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

Imagine how Earl felt. It had to be quite a grind after a while.


Classmate of mine (Vance W) had previously been a frat boy in another school.

Their House was where the Kingston Trio went to party, after a campus concert.

Vance asked one of them what it felt like, to be a folksinging star.

The reply was something along the lines of

"YOU try playing TOM DOOLEY and M.T.A., once or  twice a night,  just about every night, for three years, and see how SICK you are of Tom Dooley and MTA!"

Jul 25, 2021 - 7:32:19 AM
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2737 posts since 2/10/2013

Other musicians have helped me when I was learning tunes like that. I think I should return the favor and help novices learning to play classic banjo tunes.

Jul 25, 2021 - 8:31:03 AM
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8 posts since 5/12/2021

In my jam group, a really common tune to play is "The Old Cat Died and the Kitten Got Poor." It's not a hard tune, and on fiddle (my primary instrument), I think I've uncovered about every stone I can, and I hardly ever play it anymore just in my own practicing. Since I just started clawhammer banjo though (3 weeks ago!), my teacher started me out on this tune, and honestly, it sounds really beautiful on Banjo - it's like I never heard it before. Also, since I'm only just figuring out basic technique stuff (and it looks like a long road), it's nice to have a tried & true tune to work with. I guess it's just nice to be reminded, either for self or others, that everyone's coming at this from a different point of view.

Jul 28, 2021 - 7:45:50 AM
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6822 posts since 9/5/2006

sure i got tired of the same old request,,everybody does,,,but if you getting paid you gotta please the masses. after all they paid their money to be entertained.

Jul 28, 2021 - 8:10:42 AM
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1267 posts since 9/6/2019

Generally about 45 seconds after I start playing the biggest request is that I stop.

Jul 28, 2021 - 8:18:28 AM
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58025 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Banjonewguy

Generally about 45 seconds after I start playing the biggest request is that I stop.


To the tune of    "Roll in my sweet baby's arms"

==========================

I got me this here banjo

I only learnt one song

And unless you PAY

for me to go aWAY,

I'll pick it all night long!

=========================

Jul 28, 2021 - 9:38:24 AM
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5610 posts since 6/30/2020

I usually have several variations (musically and sometimes wording) of popular songs from which I can choose to play and that makes things interesting and fun. It also promotes audience participation which can add to everyone’s fun-factor.
I also think any picker would rather have a request to play an old favorite, than to have some fool yelling “Play something you know”.

Jul 28, 2021 - 9:59:32 AM
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Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1279 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Pick-A-Lick

I usually have several variations (musically and sometimes wording) of popular songs from which I can choose to play and that makes things interesting and fun. It also promotes audience participation which can add to everyone’s fun-factor.
I also think any picker would rather have a request to play an old favorite, than to have some fool yelling “Play something you know”.


Or the drunk in front yelling "Freebird!!"

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:03:50 AM

2604 posts since 4/5/2006

At jam sessions, we used to get requests from people who thought Tom Dooley & Country Roads was bluegrass. We had developed numerous excuses to not play those tunes. laugh You can get away with being picky at jams. When you're being paid to play, It becomes a bit more challenging.

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:08:01 AM

5610 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A
quote:
Originally posted by Pick-A-Lick

I usually have several variations (musically and sometimes wording) of popular songs from which I can choose to play and that makes things interesting and fun. It also promotes audience participation which can add to everyone’s fun-factor.
I also think any picker would rather have a request to play an old favorite, than to have some fool yelling “Play something you know”.


Or the drunk in front yelling "Freebird!!"


LOL!
There is that!

Maybe it's time to work up a banjo rendition of Free Bird
 

Edited by - Pick-A-Lick on 07/28/2021 11:09:24

Jul 29, 2021 - 10:57:32 AM

35 posts since 7/26/2021

As a new banjo player, what are some good first songs to learn that don't fall into this cliché and won't make more experienced players roll their eyes?

Jul 29, 2021 - 12:29:31 PM
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2150 posts since 2/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Nathan E

As a new banjo player, what are some good first songs to learn that don't fall into this cliché and won't make more experienced players roll their eyes?


Ignore them, they were new banjo players once !

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