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user 9393649
New York, NY
Post #: 2
it would be helpful to me and i think to other slow jammers if the leaders who post the song list would also give the key they play the song in
user 8191213
Glen Cove, NY
Post #: 2
No doubt it would be helpful, and I wished for this many times in the past, however it just doesn't work out this way. Each song leader will call the key that the song is to be played in, depending upon their vocal range.

The jam leader might suggest a key, but it is up to the song leader to call the key.

If you are comfortable with using a capo, then this will make things much easier. Once you learn a song you have some flexability.

Instrumentals that do not have vocal parts, generally have specific keys that do not change, so if you learn the traditional way a song is played, then you should be OK.

It is frustrating to learn a song in one key, only to have someone play it in another. But this is a challenge we all face. The more you play the easier it gets.

Good Luck

user 8191213
Glen Cove, NY
Post #: 3
Of course the above suggestion is only useful if you can use a capo, if you play an instrument that can't be capoed, then obviously that advice is not going to do you any good.

user 3479046
New York, NY
Post #: 1
Warren is right...When anyone sings a song at a jam, its entirely up to them to choose the key based on what is best for them vocally, and they just announce what its going to be..."Rank Stranger in B" or whatever. Although a wide variety of keys are fair game to be chosen by the singer (I attend jams where some singers choose keys like Bb or Eb!), for this Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Jam, it would be best if singers try to stick to the basics, i.e. G, A, C, D, and I think B is also doable. As Warren points out, for guitars, banjos, and dobros, switching around among these keys is not a big deal, thanks to the capo. Mandolins and fiddles don't capo, so these players learn to play in each key.

However, fiddle tunes are usually played in certain keys. Here are the typical keys for fiddle tunes on my jam list: Angeline The Baker (D), Bill Cheatham (A), Blackberry Blossom (G), Cherokee Shuffle (A), Cripple Creek (A), Devil's Dream (A), Gold Rush (A), June Apple (A), Liberty (D), Old Joe Clark (A), Over The Waterfall (D), Salt Creek (A), Soldiers' Joy (D), St. Anne's Reel (D), Temperance Reel (G), Whiskey Before Breakfast (D).

Also, I wanted to emphasize that although I've included many fiddle tunes on my set list, I encourage people to lead plenty of songs as well. I know a number of you have some great songs in your repertoire, so I look forward to you singing them at the jam!

Sue B.
user 3161346
Group Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 10
I wanted to recommend a few resources that might be helpful to people:

Parking Lot Picker's Songbook


Bluegrass Fakebook

you can purchase these books online. They include a great many of the standard repetoire songs and they include words and chords. But as everyone points out, the key in the book may not be the key that is played at a jam. As long as you know your I, IV, V chords in each of the common keys, you'll be able to play most of these songs in any key that is played at a slow jam.

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