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Valerie
01-13-2009, 03:44 PM
So! I signed up to go to this bluegrass club in about a week and a half. I love bluegrass music, and would love to actually, you know, play some.

I've fiddled around with Ken's various bluegrass arrangements- but part of the fun of bluegrass is jamming. And I've no idea how to jam.

Anyways- I'm showing up, with my uke... This particular club meeting is an open mic- and while I know I'll probably chicken out, I'm going to prepare a piece to play- just in case I feel the urge.

That said, I'd at least like to strum along while others play or some such.

Does anyone here play bluegrass? If so, any tips for the total novice?

(the club did say they love newbies to bluegrass- but none of the members play uke, so I'm not sure if they'll know what to do with me, lol.)

Nurdaben
01-13-2009, 05:44 PM
bluegrass jams are fun, i use to go to one every year and play bass ( but was so hard to get in a group cuz you can only have one bass in a group hehe.

as for jamming from what i have been in, one person picks a song they sing it with everyone playing along then they play a solo break of the melody or something close and it just goes around in a circle. who ever wants to play to take a shot at it. then usually they sing it again when it gets to them or the outro. by no means do you have to do a solo.
have fun!!

ricdoug
01-13-2009, 09:40 PM
Does anyone here play bluegrass? If so, any tips for the total novice?

You'll have a blast, Valerie! Most bluegrass songs have only three basic chords. Typically the key is picked by whoever's doing the singing. The strum is a Boomchucka Boomchucka Boomchucka Boomchucka Boomchucka...

Here's the basic chord progressions for the uke. You can print and cut this out and tape it to the top of your uke, to help you out while searching for the chords in a song:

Key_Chord Progression.......................Key_Vamp

C - ..C.....C7....F....Fm....G7....C...........C -...D7...G7...C....

F - ..F......F7....Bb..Bbm..C7....F............F -...G7...C7...F....

A - ..A.....A7....D....Dm...E7.....A...........A -...B7....E7...A...

G - ..G....G7....C....Cm...D7....G...........G -...A7...D7...G...

D - ..D....D7....G....Gm...A7....D............D -...E7...A7...D...

Ukulele JJ
01-14-2009, 04:35 AM
I don't know what part of the country you're in, but around here we (not surprisingly) often use and refer to the "Nashville Number System", especially in jam sessions.

Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Number_System)

It might seem intimidating at first, but if you learn a few basic chord numbers (1, 4, 5) in a few "bluegrass" keys (A, D, G, E, C), you'll be off to a great start.

JJ



P.S. One tremendous advantage to getting comfortable with the Nashville Number System is that it really, really helps develop your ear. That's because it's all about relative pitch instead of perfect pitch. Very few people can hear a "C" or an "F", but you'll find that you can easily hear a "1" and a "4" with practice.

For "chunk" instruments like mandolin/piano/uke/etc., you'd be playing your chord on the upbeats. That gives you the first downbeat of each chord to listen to what the bass player is playing--and he or she will almost always be playing the root of the chord. I've faked my way through tons of country gigs that way.:D

Ukulele JJ
01-14-2009, 04:39 AM
Oh, and you could also get yourself something like the Bluegrass Fakebook (http://www.cvls.com/fakebook.html), although you should still be prepared for "local varations" on any of those songs (differences in keys, turnarounds, etc.)

JJ

UKISOCIETY
01-14-2009, 04:43 AM
I hear that banjo players like to play in the key of G. But nobody listens to what they want. :D

benmealer
01-14-2009, 02:03 PM
Sounds like fun. Let us know how it turns out. I saw one around here on meetup.com and was thinking about it.

poopylungstuffing
01-14-2009, 03:03 PM
i had a lot of fun the time I sat in with a bluegrass Dead Kennedies/Bad Religion cover band called Dead Religion.

I found it to be very easy to follow along after one practice.

RON<>VA
01-14-2009, 03:21 PM
Good luck Valerie. Love bluegrass! Go for it. Any chance to get some video and share with us?

Valerie
01-14-2009, 03:52 PM
I don't know about the video... I guess I could shove my camera in my case, but this is my first meeting with the group, so who knows if they allow filming.

tHeDirTyJoHnSon
01-14-2009, 07:56 PM
Don't stress Valerie, you might be a bit of a Bluegrass novice at the start of the night, but i'm sure by the end of it, you will have developed on the skills,, theres no better way to learn than jamm'n with the right people, who can teach and couch you through the fundamentals of any style music,,
thats what these nights are all about,, have a good one...
Check out my channel :rock:
http://au.youtube.com/tHeDirTyJoHnSon
Sort of like bluegrass with a twist

tHeDirTyJoHnSon
01-14-2009, 08:01 PM
i had a lot of fun the time I sat in with a bluegrass Dead Kennedies/Bad Religion cover band called Dead Religion.

I found it to be very easy to follow along after one practice.

Would luv to see that,, my 2 fav punk bands mixed with my fav style of music,, any footage or audio on this....:eek: