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Acoustic Music Community Message Board › Please name 5-10 songs would you like to see us play:

Please name 5-10 songs would you like to see us play:

A former member
Post #: 1

Commonly when musicians get together to jam, they go, "uh, what do we do?" So, if you had 5-10 songs that you'd either suggest the group try or wanted them to back you on, what'd they be?
Yes, yr list may vary according to what players are there; ie. if there's a cello, fiddler or lead players, your songs might be different than if not.
For decades, I've experimented with how to make the most of jams, i.e. how to get it together to sound good enough, while being loose, fun, and non-authoritarian as possible.
The best so far I've come to is:
a. having agreed upon material, more or less;
b. having your songs charted out on a single page, i.e. in the easy-to-read on the fly style that songs in a "fake books" come in;
c. having someone coordinate each song, i.e. direct the beginning, who takes lead breaks, and endings; and
d. having someone be lead singer on each song, basically.
I'm open to any other ways that work and are fun, including experimentation; I would like us to avoid the kind of haggling we had last time with the wonderful "Here comes the Sun," ya know? That commonly dampens jam sessions.
cheers, Charles
Cathy K.
user 10849575
Boulder, CO
Post #: 1

Thanks, Charles, for posting this. I think these are all good guidelines.
(On "Here comes the Sun" -- although there was a bit of haggling, I kind of thought this was a good group process and that the song got better and better as we went through it -- and I thought I saw the group coming to consensus that this song was worth working out... I thought people (this time, anyway) hadn't minded working it out, and that they became invested in it -- so that NEXT TIME, we knew we WOULD come to the table with it laid out, and printed out, and with someone to lead it -- so it wouldn't be so confusing the next time we meet.)
BUt you're right, if too much of that went on, it would be frustrating. I really like all your points, and I think we're well on the way to this, to hopefully have organized sharing and leading of songs in our song circle/jam sessions. Thanks!

P.S. -- Some of my songs I would vote for are:
***** songs that people can jam on:
"Knock Knock Knockin on Heaven's door" -- was great for this!
"Lean on me" (would also be a good jamming song, I think -- I don't know it yet, tho!)
"Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show (perhaps not a jamming song, per se)
"Closer I am to fine" (Indigo Girls) -- would like to learn this one!, was told its' easy
"I'll Fly Away" and the other one "Go Down to the Water to Pray" (?) -- don't know the title, but used to sing this latter one.... (I THINK these would be easy/fun/"jammable" songs ?)

***** Other songs I would like to get good enough to 'kinda :-) " lead on:
"Boulder to Birmingham (by Emmy Lou Harris)
"Blackbird" -- (a simpler version, from Across the Universe)
"Caledonia" (by Dougie MacLean from Scotland)
"On the Turning Away" (Pink Floyd)

There are others too -- but that's enough! :-)

NOTE: I"ll post OUR AMC "Group's" List of songs we want to work on soon in the next couple days -- either on this Discussion list and/or send an email to individuals on the ENTIRE List ... so everyone can be alerted to this list. I'll probably ask the individuals who first brought the songs to the group to post the chords and lyrics and be willing to lead the songs that they originally introduced to the group. THanks much all!


A former member
Post #: 2
PLEASE CAST YOUR NOMINATIONS/NAME OUR SONGS TO PLAY:
Previously we successfully did:
Ripple: Dead
Hallelujah: Len Cohen
I shall be released: Dylan
Knockin on Heaven's Door/Helpless (medley): Dylan/Crosby Stills Nash Young
Here comes the sun: Beatles
Amie: Pure Prarie League
Knock Knock Knockin on Heaven's door/Helpless
Song nominations so far by Cathy include:
"Lean on me": Bill Withers
"Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show
"Closer I am to fine" (Indigo Girls)
"I'll Fly Away" (by who?)
"Go Down to the Water to Pray" (by who?)
"Boulder to Birmingham (by Emmy Lou Harris)
"Blackbird" -- (a simpler version, from Across the Universe)
"Caledonia" (by Dougie MacLean from Scotland)
"On the Turning Away" (Pink Floyd)
I want to add:
Friend of Devil: G Dead
helplessly hoping: Crosby Stills Nash Young
Teach your children: Crosby Stills Nash Young
While my guitar gently weeps: Beatles
Willin': Little Feat/Ronstadt
California Dreaming: Mamas and Papas
Happy Together: Turtles
Wild Horses: Stones bluegrassy, a la Old and In the Way
a parting song: happy trails or so long it's been good to know ya
Others I can see us doing: I can play but can't lead 'em yet
With a little help from my friends: Beatles
Angel from Montgomery: B Raitt
Rock me on the water: Jackson Browne
Let's get together ("everybody get together, try to love one another"): Jesse Collin Young
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody): Talking Heads
Music is Love: David Crosby
Rockytop (an unusual, fun bluegrass standard, orig. by Osbourne Brothers)
Like a rolling Stone: Dylan
You Cant Always Get What you Want (Stones, a bluegrassy version, see http://www.youtube.co...­, http://www.youtube.co...­,
or http://www.youtube.co...­
"How to do 'em" Ideas:
a. Split up the singing of the verses, using different singers
b. Each player gets to call 2 songs/session.
c. For now, no song "railroading" (indivduals start tunes by just leaping into a next tune without getting group's agreement: rock guys often do it in jams; it works well with experienced bands only).
d. Crucial questions on all of songs are, a. can you lead them? and b. who's gonna sing?
Here's to love of playing music, Chas
Paula
user 3144160
Denver, CO
Post #: 1
Hi ,
I like a lot of these songs. My list of these would be :
Closer to Fine
Lean on Me
Boulder to Birmingham
Caledonia
Helpless/Knockin on Heavens Door
Wild Horses or Can't Always Get What you Want -(those youtubes were cool)
Friend of the Devil
Teach Your Children
Willin
Rock Me on the Water
Tequila Sunrise

I'll try and make some copies of some of these...

Paula
Cathy K.
user 10849575
Boulder, CO
Post #: 2
Thanks so much, Paula and Chas!!! I apologize for not posting songs like I promised. I will post a couple in the next day -- at least Halleluja and Caledonia. Maybe others can also jump in and post the versions they would like to lead under the "Files" section of this site?
Thanks for making some copies of the songs, Paula, too!
And thanks for all the good guidelines on group direction, Chas.

Looking forward to Sunday!
Cheers,
Cathy
A former member
Post #: 3
I would like to to express my support of the direction Chas is talking about, in fact, I'd like to support it so much that I think evolving an OFFFICIAL jam etiquette would greatly help the long-term life of this group. A jam etiquette that is explained and reinforced at the beginning of every jam.

People have been getting together in informal circles sharing songs for many, many years, and there has been a lot of learning around what helps people particpate vs. what alienates people and makes them find the process a waste of time. How do you get a bunch of people who don't know each other and have potentially very different tastes and abilities to the point where they can enjoy each other's musical company? A place where beginners feel like they can make a start playing with people, and more advanced people feel they can have fun too? Pete Wernick of Hot Rize has had much to say on the topic over the years.

I'll share my understanding from my experiences, I'm not quoting Pete here, and of course, this is open to the Folk Process.

One critical thing is what you call the jam, the expectation you set. When I first learned of the division between an old-time jam and a bluegrass jam, I thought, those silly people, it's all Americana, why set groups against each other? Then I went to enough bluegrass and old-time jams to see that there is a huge, critical difference between the two. They are not the same thing, and people come expecting one or the other, and if they don't get what they expect, they leave disappointed and do not return.

So this is an acoustic jam, which to me says, basically, no electric instruments. This is a huge distinction. Many musicians have become reliant on amplification to get their notes to ring out or to be able to hear their voices. Electricity starts an arms race of volume, which I personally have no interest in. So this group is not tied together by genre, but by a technique and style of playing. It means that it is inappropriate to call a song, like for example, Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix, where the musical crux of the song depends on amplification and effects. But you might call a blues version of Hey Joe, a song with a simple progression.

Anyway, a basic jam etiquette:
Players sit in a circle. Leadership of the group rotates around the circle. Every person in the circle, in order, gets to either call a song or decline to call a song.

What song do you call? The best song has three or four simple major, minor or 7th chords, and is recognizable to others in the circle, or can be quickly taught, because it is simple If people feel they already know the chorus, great. Best no bridge, if the bridge can't be taught in one minute, the song is not appropriate. If the song is complicated enough to need to be written down, you should question its appropriateness for this kind of jam, but it never hurts to have the words and chords written out for people. Yet you should not assume that because you brought copies, everyone will be able to jump right on. You still need to lead confidently and predictably. There are many people, myself included, for whom the printed page is not a great musical guide. The point is to get a bunch of people playing along, not to demonstrate your musical prowess/knowledge/superior taste. There is a reason that there are thousands of three or four chord songs in the world. People like them.

The person who calls the song leads the song. They choose to sing or choose a singer. They find out if anyone wants to take a lead and yells out their name at an appropriate time. The person taking the lead plays one time through, unless asked by the song leader to play one more. It is also possible to rotate the lead around the circle, in a circle where there are a lot of confident improvisers, or a lot of people wanting to improve their improvising confidence. The song leader sets the tempo, and starts and ends the song, and keeps people on track in the song.

One of the main things that creates confusion, in musical jams, is when people don't know what is going on. In a song circle like this songs haves verses, choruses, and leads, if people don't know where they are, they get shy and clam up, or they try to play over what is actually happening in the song. In an acoustic jam, people need to constantly adjust their volume based on what is happening in the song. Is the singer quiet? Play quieter. Are you taking a lead? play much, much louder. Leadership is a skill, learned through practice. How do I lead without being an asshole? Just one of the valuable questions you can answer for yourself by going to a song circle.

Ok, next person, leads or declines to lead. Next! Repeat.




A former member
Post #: 4
Right on, Eric! you've put out lots of cool, practical stuff above!
While I don't want to contribute to the death of spontaneity or be controlling with such guidelines, I gotta say, after 40 years of jamming: people think it'll be simple to get together and just have fun playing music, and it can be; and it can be a mess! And it's not easy to lead it without being bossy, a turnoff.
It's works simply in rock: the loudest dude rules. You do what s/he says; which explains how I quit being a working rock guitarist in 1980.
And so, jam etiquette aka how to do it? It's not obvious, esp'y when there's 10 people.
We've mentioned some great guidelines so far. I'd comment on a few things you said, Eric:
a. re acoustic instruments only: until an upright bass shows up, I'd say let the soft electric bass be an exception, and: anyone is invited to either tell me to turn down or turn the knob down yourself.
b. re appropriateness of songs: not simple, i.e. there are bluegrass versions of Stones songs and even an Aerosmith song! The question is, practicality of learning in less than 5 min. and how it fits us, as you pointed out.
c. re volume and leads: great point. How many strings is a rhythm guitar strumming? 6.
How many strings is a lead guitar, mandolin, or fiddle hitting? 1.
So it's natural for the lead to be drowned.
Solution, short of amps: when someone plays lead, rhythm instruments, tone it way down! Strum softly to back 'em. Not easy, it's counter to instinct.
d. If enough people don't show up with 2-3 songs to lead, I'd suggest we take a list of songs mentioned above, a combo of more than 3 of our wishes, and vote, "how many want to try this and that song?" and we go with the most wished for.
Everything you wrote above, Eric, is worth my reading twice. Love it.
for the love of jammin', Chas
A former member
Post #: 5
For our ease and love of playing music:

JAM MEETUP SUGGESTED SONGLIST:
1. FOR SUNDAY:
Ripple: Dead
Hallelujah: Len Cohen
I shall be released: Dylan
Knockin on Heaven's Door/Helpless (medley): Dylan/Crosby Stills Nash Young
Here comes the sun: Beatles
Amie: Pure Prarie League
Knock Knock Knockin on Heaven's door/Helpless
"Wagon Wheel" (Old Crow Medicine Show)
"Closer I am to fine" (Indigo Girls)
"Caledonia" (by Dougie MacLean from Scotland)
"Boulder to Birmingham (Emmylou Harris)
? Teach your children: Crosby Stills Nash Young
? "On the Turning Away" (Pink Floyd)
? "Lean on me": Bill Withers

2. NOMINATIONS FOR FUTURE SONGS:
"I'll Fly Away" from “Brother, Where art Thou”)
"Go Down to the Water to Pray" (from “Brother, Where art Thou”)
"Blackbird" -- (a simpler version, from Across the Universe)
Friend of Devil: G Dead
helplessly hoping: Crosby Stills Nash Young
While my guitar gently weeps: Beatles
Willin': Little Feat/Ronstadt
California Dreaming: Mamas and Papas
Happy Together: Turtles
Wild Horses: Stones bluegrassy, a la Old and In the Way
a parting song: happy trails or so long it's been good to know ya
With a little help from my friends: Beatles
Angel from Montgomery: B Raitt
Rock me on the water: Jackson Browne
Let's get together ("everybody get together, try to love one another"): Jesse Collin Young
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody): Talking Heads
Music is Love: David Crosby
Tequila Sunrise
Rockytop (unusual, fun bluegrass standard, orig. by Osbourne Brothers)
Like a Rolling Stone: Dylan
You Cant Always Get What you Want (Stones, a bluegrassy version), see http://www.youtube.co...­. , http://www.youtube.co...­. ,
or http://www.youtube.co...­.
aloysius
user 3504400
Boulder, CO
Post #: 17
Really like some of the suggestions so far.

Willin' - fabulous (I have a very cool version by Seatrain if anyone's interested).
Rock Me On The Water - love this one too. And there are some nice covers of this as well.
Hallelujah
Amie
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Can't You See - Marshall Tucker Band - Loved it when Steven played this one.

Other tunes that come to mind, some well-known, some obscure:

What's Up - 4 Non Blondes. Always popular for the female singers among us
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac. Likewise
Summertime - can be fun to trade lead vocals, let people have fun messing with the melody
House of the Rising Sun
Tom Traubert's Blues; Downtown Train - Tom Waits
One Toke Over The Line - Brewer & Shipley (maybe some other, more obscure B&S too - Can't Go Home)
Alison; Watching The Detectives... - Elvis Costello
You Can't Be Too Strong - Graham Parker
The Last Resort; Hotel California... - The Eagles
Angel From Montgomery, but also: Rocky Mountain Time; Souvenirs; Illegal Smile; Hello In There, etc. - John Prine
The Needle and the Damage Done; Down By The River, The Thrasher, Out For The Weekend... - Neil Young
Southern Cross, Helplessly Hoping... - CSN(&Y)
King of the World; Kid Charlemagne; Gold Teeth II; With a Gun; Kings... - Steely Dan
Don't Think Twice It's Alright; Tangled Up In Blue... - Dylan
Quicksand; Five Years; Ziggy Stardust; Song For Bob Dylan; Andy Warhol... - David Bowie
Grand Central Station; Tonight I Feel So Far Away From Home - Steve Forbert
Keep Me Turning - Pete Townsend and Ronnie Lane
Sweet Home Alabama, That Smell; Gimme 3 Steps... - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire
Behind Blue Eyes; Won't Get Fooled Again; Goin' Mobile... - The Who
Wild Horses; Dead Flowers; Sympathy For The Devil... - The Stones
Poncho & Left - Townes Van Zandt
Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
John Barleycorn Must Die; Mr Fantasy... - Traffic
Lola; Apeman; Celluloid Heros... - The Kinks
Ripple; Cumberland Blues; Uncle John's Band; Friend of the Devil - The Dead
Locomotive Breath; Up To You... - Jethro Tull
Story In Your Eyes - Moody Blues
As The Raven Flies - Dan Fogelberg
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Blue On Black - Kenny Wayne Sheppard
Heaven - Talking Heads

I think that's enough for now.
Cathy K.
user 10849575
Boulder, CO
Post #: 4
Thanks for posting this long list of songs! I like a lot of these and some I don't know (though most I'm sure I'd recognize when I hear them). Am just thinking off the top of my head right here, now... but maybe we could start a list where everyone adds 5-10 songs they think would be fun to do in a group and that they felt they could comfortably lead. and then at the next meetup we could put this list together from all the contributers (maybe top 5 from each person) and vote on what songs to play in the group for that day? ...... and if someone hasn't been able to add anything or contributed online yet by time of the group, they could add a few songs to our list when the group gets together -- and we then would vote on all the songs we want to play in the group together that day.

For instance, I like the "Summertime" song you suggest a lot (among many of the others), Aloysius, since that's seems like it would be a great bluesy song to sing and play and take turns on in the group...and that we could do a lot with that song.

For my list of 5 songs:
Caledonia, by Dougie MacLean,
Boulder to Birmingham, by Bonnie Rait (squared up so it's easier)
Wagon Wheel, by Old Crow Medicine Show
Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen
Moment of Forgiveness (Indigo girls)
* I'll Fly Away/Down to the Water to Pray -- (a medley of these songs from Brother Where Art Thou) -- *although this last song I don't know yet and need to learn, to be able to lead it.....

What are YOUR 5 or so songs you'd like to consider leading this next time--especially, and/or having the group consider doing (that you thought went REALLY well in past meetups or that you think WOULD work really well for our group)? Thanks!
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