Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog neglect

Haven't posted in a while.

Check the twitter feed for more up to date content.

I'll continue posting more here, as well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Feel

If you're anything like me, you've heard a musician take a mind-blowingly hot break and stopped to wonder, "What does (Charles Sawtelle/Tim O'Brien/Vassar Clements/David Grisman/Bill Monroe/Earl Scruggs/Don Reno/David Grier/etc/etc/etc) have that I haven't got?"

To be sure, there is some sort of intrinsic physical talent there; some people are simply able to move their music makers faster, more precisely, with greater alacrity than others. I have to assume the best of the best also have some sort of distinct mental acuity; the amount of time between the realization, "This is what is coming up next" and the decision, "Ah ha! this is what I'm going to do!" is shorter for some than it is for others.

But no, I'm not interested in the purely objective, measurable differences. What I've started to obsess over is much more subjective, much less rigorous, almost ... metaphysical. In the absence of a better term, I've started to call it ... "The Feel".

The Feel is hard to define, but I suspect if I do my job correctly you'll know what I mean.

If you're a newbie, you'll mainly know The Feel by suffering its lack: When you're struggling with that new bit of sheet/tab and you can't hear the melody in your head and you can't produce it on your instrument EVEN THOUGH you've heard the tune a hundred times, thats The Feel. Or, more precisely, the ghost of The Feel, the tiny Feel-fish that slips through your grasping fingers.

If you're an intermediate player, you may have some passing acquaintance with The Feel. Like a fair weather friend, it may come to visit without warning, puff you up for a brief moment, and then vanish without a trace. The Feel may come to you, making that one break that you've struggled with for weeks suddenly come out sweet and effortless; that ludicrous finger-wrecking chord progression will ring out smooth and clear. But like that not-such-a-great-friend, The Feel will desert you when you need it most (usually at the jam circle), and fumble fingered frustration will be your one true companion.

And while yours truly only has hypothetical understanding of this, I have to assume that expert and/or pro players have somehow managed to master The Feel, to train it, or somehow find out where it lives and what kind of candy it likes, because they play with the bit between The Feel's teeth. While brilliance may not show its sparkle all the time, it is there often enough to make us mere humans know the difference between those who have The Feel and those of us who do not. For these lucky few, The Feel is the bridge, the glowing path of the id's impulsive drive through the transformative creative crucible to the medium that
is the musician's instrument. Conscious thought has little to do with it -- The Feel reigns supreme.

It may be that all of this is but an illusion cooked up in a feverish flatpicker's brain. I have to be willing to accept that possibility. But, I don't know what else to call it when it physically -hurts- to hit the wrong note -- the brain winces, the sense of revulsion rises. Conversely, the bliss, the ecstatic joy of making it through the break without blowing it, and whats more, actually hitting that hot lick at the right time and getting a nod of approval from your jam-mates -- that bliss is too real to ignore.

I call that path -- the process of converting the wince into the bliss -- the pursuit of The Feel, and that pursuit is the reason why I pick my instrument every day, and play.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quicklink: flatpicker hangout tab archive

check it out, there are about 50 different tunes in there, mostly fiddle but some singing tunes as well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some songs to learn

Dumping this list 'cuz I keep losing the little pieces of paper.

Why Did You Wander
My Saro Jane
Washington County
Country Boy Rock 'n' Roll
Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong
Home In the Mountains
Will you be Loving Another Man
All the Good Times are Passed and Gone
My Blue Eyed Darlin
Going Back to Old Kentucky
Hills of Roane County
Dill Pickle Rag
Sweet Potato Rag
She's no Angel

Quicklink: Pickin' in SF GG Park

From the fj-list

Saturday, May 9
Dahlia Dell Picnic Area @ Fell and Stanyan, Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco
free/all welcome
Presented by the California Bluegrass Association
Free drawing for tickets to the
CBA Father's Day Festival
Details coming soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

04/02/2009 RWC/5th Qtr Jam Report

Ah, spring is here. The days are longer, the nights are warmer, something about moonshine. Yeah.

I think the jam has hit critical mass and is just about self-sustaining. Folks are showing up without even really knowing how/where they heard of us. I think this is a good sign -- the jam has had enough impact to permeate into the collective, er, subconscious of the local bluegrass scene.

Or something like that.

In any case, the warmer and longer days mean that the 5th quarter jam is a sunny affair, where we hike up the blinds and let the evening sun keep us company whilst we pick. If we're lucky, we don't have to run the heat, for which the instruments thank us.

I've also noticed a movement away from the 'same old stuff' phenomenon. Yes, of course, we still play a lot of standards, but I've also noticed that folks are making the effort to bring out new (old) material to play at the jam. I think this is the sign of a healthy jam.

Here's the attendance list (best as I can remember) and the jam-setlist. UPDATE: Thx to Patrick for helping with Michael's name.

In attendance:
5 guitar: Linda G, Mark H, Michael S, Chris and a gentleman who gave me his name but was promptly .. lost. I'm sorry. I blame all the fast living in my youth. Michael S was HOT on the flatpicked Martin. I'm glad he came and hope he comes on back again.
3 banjo: Autumn, Robert, Jerry
1 dobro/saw: Patrick
1 mandolin: Dan (and darling daughter)

Some songs played:
Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
Mother's Not Dead (She's Only a'Sleeping)
Red River Valley
I Saw the Light
Lonesome Road Blues
Turkey in the Straw
Cripple Creek
Cherokee Shuffle
Blackberry Blossom
Foggy Mtn. Breakdown
Cumberland Gap
My Home Aint in the Hall of Fame
Little Maggie

I'm sure I missed about 30% of songs played. I know that the new gentleman picked a couple of tunes that, like his name, have flown the proverbial coop. Ah well. I'll bring a pen and paper next week.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quicklink: 3/29 practice


Nothing more to report. Got a lot of good practice in this weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: 3/26/09

Just a quick attendance and set list, more description over the weekend or if I can get more of a break from work.

In attendence:
5 guitar (Mike B, George B, Linda G, Chris, myself)
2 fiddle (Jamison, Brian)
3 banjo (Robert, Jerry, Autumn)
1 upright bass (Lou M)

Some songs played:
Red Haired Boy
Blackberry Blossom
Cherokee Shuffle
Bill Cheatem
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Red River Valley
Little Cabin Home on the Hill
I'll Fly Away
The Last Thing on my Mind
No Ash Will Burn
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
Nine Pound Hammer
Sitting on Top of the World
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Angelina Baker
Will the Circle be Unbroken
Big Sciota
Better Times a'Comin
Katy Daley

Solid group, great jams, and I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say that we all had a great time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meta: flatpick650 twitter feed

Here it is in all its web 2.0 glory.

I'll be using the feed to document my practice hours, in the idea that shaming myself by publicly showing my lack of practice will push me to practice more.

EDIT: yesterday's practice

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quicklink: All the Good Times / Maiden's Prayer / Red Wing

A quick dump of some arrangements I've been working on.

The Red Wing arrangement is still very much a basic melody / work in progress and will likely be updated.

All the Good Times Are Past and Gone - from Dix Bruce's double-stop mando tab (PDF)

Maiden's Prayer - key of A, rearranged from piano sheet (PDF)

Red Wing - from bluegrassguitar.com (PDF)

Jam update and whatnot coming later this evening.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

quicklink: youtube stuff






Friday, February 20, 2009

Quicklink: Dix Bruce Massive PDF Linkspam of Death

Dumping all the Dix Bruce tab I can find.

UPDATE- fixing my list

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/19/09 at 5th Quarter Pizza

Bluegrass and Old Time Jam
5th Quarter Pizza
Redwood City, CA

In attendance:
5 guitar (Vincent, Troy, Jerry L, a new female guitarist, myself)
1 double bass (Lou)
3 banjo (Jerry, Robert, new banjo player)
2 mandolin (Patrick, Dan)
1 dobro (a young lady with an excellent voice. Didn't get her name. Sorry!)
1 fiddle (Brian)

Quick summary (my own):
The BOB Festival Kick-Off Jam, and the first jam with the new start time (7pm). The circle started out small, but more folks showed up as we got warmed up. Circle size was much more reasonable than last week's, in my opinion. New faces included Vincent, Jerry L, and a powerful mother/daughter singing duo who were real easy on the ears. My personal hightlight was singing Dim Lights; my learning moment was when Lou ever-so-gently informed me that I was 'pushing the beat' on Red Haired Boy. Live and learn...

Next jam is 2/26/09, but may end up being sparsely attended. If you don't come to the jam, go see the Stoney Mountain Ramblers at Angelica's Bistro instead!

Jam setlist (partial):
Orphan Girl
The Flame in My Heart
She's No Angel
Maiden's Prayer
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
June Apple
Bill Cheatem
Cherokee Shuffle
Blackberry Blossom
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Colombus Stockade Blues
New River Train
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
I Saw the Light
Remington Ride
Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms
Angelina Baker
Red Haired Boy
Little Annie
Down Yonder
Step Stone

PS: Big thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the room!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fandango Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/18/2009

Bluegrass Jam
Fandango Pizza
Palo Alto, CA

In attendance:
4 banjo (Clark, Bob, Robert, Jerry)
2 guitar (Mike B, myself)

Little Annie
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
Blackberry Blossom
Katy Daley
Earl's Breakdown
Bonaparte's Retreat
Foggy Mountain Special
Mountain Dew
Old Home Place

I think I'm missing both Mike and Robert's first tunes in there, but
that's most of 'em.

9:15 quitting time? ouch.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quicklink: Mandozine's TablEdit FAQ

Useful. I am particularly interested in the section about converting from one instrument type to another. Quite often there are tunes transcribed for mando but not for guitar.

Since I'm doing the linkspam thing, I might as well add this, too: Lessons and informational exercises from http://thepicksf.com.

Here's a random take on Cripple Creek in A that I found while thrashing wildly about the net.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: Thursday 2/12/2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam
Thursday 2/12/2009
5th Quarter Pizza

Short summary:
The big news of the jam was the guest appearance of 4/6 of the Stoney Mountain Ramblers. Those boys sure do know how to pick! We were thrilled and honored to have them. Go see them during the BOB festival at Angelica's Bistro on the 26th!

Jam logistics were a bit rocky at first, we competed for space with a girl's soccer team meeting. Eventually we drove them out with the most sure fire anti-teenager power known to man: Bluegrass Music!

I must admit, it is a struggle to fit almost 20 jammers into the back room at 5th quarter. I think we all managed pretty well considering. The jam was engaged in a cold war with the folks watching the NBA in the front room; I think we won.

Tons of fun tunes, lots of hot picking, and old friendships being renewed. I can't ask for more.

In attendance:
2 double bass (Bill H, Lou M)
5 fiddle (Steve J, a new female fiddler (welcome! c'mon back, y'hear?), and 3 fiddlers whose names I -should- know by now but don't. Bad brain, no biscuit!)
3 mando (Mando Mike, Mason, John W)
5 guitar (Troy, Robert Z, Linda G, myself, and someone new to the jam)
1 dobro (Virgil S)
3 banjo (Scott D, Robert, Jerry)

Partial jam 'setlist':
Will You Be Loving Another Man
Sitting Alone in the Moonlight
Cherokee Shuffle (trad)
Billy in the Lowground (trad)
Blue Night (Monroe)
Foggy Mountain Top (AP Carter)
Rich Gal
White Freightliner Blues (Towns Van Zandt)
Love Please Come Home
I'm Using My Bible For a Roadmap (Don Reno)
Little Cabin Home on the Hill (Monroe and Flatt)
Whiskey Before Breakfast
One More Dollar (Gillian Welch)
Arkansas Traveller
Fisher's Hornpipe
Gold Rush
Sitting On Top of the World
Ragtime Annie (trad)
Going Downtown (?)
Catfish John
Fireball Mail

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5th Quarter Jam FAQ

Here is a draft of the FAQ I'll start distributing at the jam.

Quick FAQ:

*Q: Who the heck are you people?

A: We are a group of bluegrass and old-time enthusiasts who regularly get together to jam. Our circle ranges in size from a low of about 6 folks to a high of about 20. We don't have rabies, but we do have banjos. Consider yourselves warned.

*Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: If Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley or Lester Flatt sang/played it, so do we (but perhaps not quite as well). If the New Lost City Ramblers played it, we'll be likely to take a whack at it. Yes, we have heard the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, but no, we don't sing I'll Fly Away in the key of D. Key of G? No problem.

*Q: Is this a (folk circle / singing circle / blues jam / klezmer jam / Irish seisun / Sea Shanty sing)?

A: Sadly, no. This is a bluegrass and old time music jam. There are certainly some bluesy bluegrass songs out there, and there are certainly some folky old-time songs (Carter family) out there, but by and large we like to play the bluegrass and the old-time. Sorry.

*Q: Can I sing/play my favorite (John Denver / Eric Clapton / SRV / Iron Maiden) tune at this jam?

A: We don't own the building, and we're non-confrontational folks as a rule, so you'll likely be able to get away with it. But have I mentioned that we like playing bluegrass and old time yet? If not, let me go ahead and give up the secret: We like the bluegrass and the old-time. Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest.

*Q: I've got this totally awesome Fender and three effects pedals and an amp that goes to 11 and...

A: Whoa there, buddy. Acoustic instruments only, please. Thanks.

*Q: I've been playing my instrument for only six (hours/days/weeks/months). Should I come to the jam?
A: Sure! Y'all come on out! But be ready to pick a tune when your turn comes up.

*Q: Pick a tune? What the heck does that mean?

A: It means you should have a couple of bluegrass or old time songs picked out that you'd like to attempt to play. Don't freak out; everyone has to do it. If you're completely new, may I suggest one or more of the following: {Cripple Creek, Sitting On Top of the World, Old Joe Clark, Angelina Baker}

*Q: OK, I think I've picked a good tune, now what do I do?

A: Raise your voice, and tell everyone in the circle: 1) What the name of the tune is, 2) What key it is in, and 3) Anything else we absolutely need to know to swim instead of sink. Describe the chord progressions, if they are nonstandard. Sing or hum the melody once, if people aren't familiar with the song. Once everybody is ready, kick it off!

*Q: Kick it off? Huh?

A: Kicking it off means starting the tune. You can either count into it (one, two, one two three four) or play a lead-in break, or jump straight into the first verse, depending on what is appropriate. Once you're done with the kick off, look to your left - it is your neighbor's tune to take a break.

*Q: Wait, am *I* supposed to take a break?

A: Yep. We will expect you to try, or to indicate to the person leading the song that you're not interested in taking a break. The person leading the song will either call out your name (if they know you), what instrument you're playing (if they don't), nod at you, make eye contact, or any variant of the above. That means you're up! If you don't want it, shake your head, say 'skip me', or tell your neighbor to take it.

*Q: OK, we've gone all the way around. I think the tune is done, but nobody is stopping! Help!

A: Don't panic! Wait till the person who is currently playing is nearing the end of their break, then raise your foot up in the air. This means 'we're done!'. Everyone will get it, and the song will end.

Q: This all seems like a bit much. Can I just come and watch?
A: Absolutely! There is plenty of room for folks to hang out and listen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Redwood City Bluegrass Jam Report: 2/5/09 at 5th Quarter

Here is an abbreviated jam report for last week's jam. Forgive me for not having all the information that I usually do -- it has been quite a week.

If you're considering coming out to the jam at all, consider coming out this month -- we're part of the NCBS Bluegrass on Broadway festival, which is a real treat. Rumour has it that Sid Lewis (http://www.acousticcollege.com, www.jamming101.com) will be in attendance either on the 19th or the 26th. I'll pass along more info as I receive it.

Jam participants will also receive a 20% discount off the 5th quarter menu, which is nice in these tough times.

Do you have a bluegrass or old timey band? Would you like easy exposure and 'face time' with like-minded folks within the scene? Consider coming out to the Thursday jam. Contact me individually if you're interested.

Anyway, on with the jam report:

In attendance
4 fiddle - Mostly new folks who were old-timey players.
5 guitar - Linda, George, myself, and two new gentlemen, both of whom were quite hot on the improv.
2 banjo - Robert and Jerry holding it down for a grand total of 10 strings between them.
1 hammer dulcimer / saw / dobro - Patrick the multi-instrumentalist! Believe it or not, the dulcimer can overpower both banjos and fiddles without even trying.
0 mandolin - but who is counting?

Some tunes played -- more incomplete than usual. I blame work.
June Apple
Sitting on Top of the World
Turkey in the Straw (aka 'do your ears hang low')
Angelina Baker
Red Haired Boy
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
I'll Fly Away
Katy Daley
Ragtime Annie
Cherokee Shuffle

NEW FEATURE: Practice Tunes!!!

If you are wondering what to practice between now and Thursday evening, here are two tunes I am guaranteed to call Thursday night. If you have any practice tunes that you would like featured for next week, email me and I will add them.

Practice Tunes for 2/12/09:
* Forked Deer (traditional, key of D)
- guitar : http://www.bluegrassguitar.com/tabs/ForkedDeer.html
- mandolin : http://www.mandolincafe.com/tab/fdeer.txt
- banjo : http://www.banjohangout.org/tabnew/files/forked_deer-677.tef (tabledit)
Sorry, I couldn't find fiddle tab.

* Nine Pound Hammer (C. Bowman, key of G)
- guitar : http://www.flatpick.com/blues/9lblesson.htm
- banjo : http://www.freeguitarvideos.com/banjo/B_13.html
- mandolin : http://www.mandolinsessions.com/jun04/hammer.html
No fiddle tab. What is it with the bluegrass fiddle online?

Quicklink: New Promo on Craigslist || Soldiers Joy Tab

New promotional ad for the jam on craigslist: clicky

Soldier's joy for guitar [warning pdf]: clicky

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jam Report: Wednesday 2/4/2009 Fandango Pizza Bluegrass Jam

Bluegrass Jam
Fandango Pizza
Palo Alto, CA

In attendence:
3 banjo (Robert, Bob, Jerry)
2 guitar (a gentleman whose name I'm failing to recall, myself)

Some songs played:
I'll Fly Away
Foggy Mountain Top
Cherokee Shuffle
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
Earl's Breakdown
Grandfather's Clock
Cripple Creek
Old Home Place
Lay Down My Old Guitar

Small group, but good jamming nonetheless. We got a pretty late start (~8:30pm). Boy, Fandango's sure closes up early in the winter!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quicklink: Ain't No Bugs On Me

Here's a easy and fun little tune. Made famous (as famous as any oldtime song may be in these days) by Garcia and Grisman's "Not for Kids Only".

I'll learn it to sing with the kid, if nothing else. I might make the jammers endure it, too.

TOTALLY IRRELEVANT UPDATE: Here is a great russian folktale that is very appropriate for the transition from the depths of winter into spring. For a good fifteen minutes of family time, tell the Snow Maiden story and THEN play Ain't No Bugs on Me for a mood-lifter.

UPDATEx2 NOW WITH EVEN MORE IRRELEVANT: I'm going to use this blag as my own bookmarking thing, because I can. Check out 'song of the day'. Teh funay.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Redwood City Old Time and Bluegrass Jam Report - 01/29/2009

1/29/2009 Jam Report
Old Time and Bluegrass Jam
5th Quarter Pizza, Redwood City CA

UDPATED 2/2/09: Added names that I figured out after-the-fact. TY to Mando Mike and Ran for the assists.

Short summary (my own):
Three hours of great jamming. Having a bassist around is always a treat! New folks every week, new tunes every week, top-notch jamming every time, and lots of old friendships being renewed. I do wonder what happened to all the mando players, though... Oh, and Ragtime Annie has a "C" part. Who knew?

In attendance:
4 guitar (George B, Linda Grace, Chris, myself)
3 banjo (Robert, Autumn, Patrick, and Aron from Ran's jam class)
2 dobro (Patrick, new guy)
2 fiddle players (both new to me. I promise I'll learn your names!
1 electric upright bass (John E)
0 mando

Partial setlist, not ordered correctly:
Blackberry Blossom
Red Haired Boy
Sitting on Top of the World
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Wildwood Flower
Katy Daley
Ragtime Annie
Temperance Reel
John Hardy
Little Maggie
Maiden's Prayer
Kitchen Girl
Cherokee Shuffle
Clinch Mtn Backstep
Bill Cheatem
Red River Valley
City of New Orleans
Arkansas Traveller
Lay Me Down a Palette on Your Floor

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bluegrass / Old Time Jam Report: 1/22/2009

Bluegrass / Old Time Jam Report: 1/22/2009
5th Quarter Pizza, Redwood City CA

In attendance:
7 guitar (Myself, George B, Martin L, Lyn(?), two new guys and Mason's buddy with the D18)
2 mando (Mason & Dan)
2 fiddle (Two gentlemen new to the jam)
1 upright bass (Lou M)
2 banjo (Jerry and a new banjoist)

Short summary:
A good group of folks! Some of us were obviously pretty new to bluegrass/OT, some of us were old hands and quite skilled, some of us were just trying to hang on.
Lots of BG/OT, plus some americana/folk and jug band! I love it.
We started on time and were out the door at 10:30. A solid three hours of jamming...

Some songs played (incomplete, no particular order, no warranty)
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Hard Times Come Again No More
On and On
Old Dangerfield
June Apple
Cherokee Shuffle
Blackberry Blossom
Big Sandy River
Salt Creek
Bill Cheatum
Blue Night
Red Haired Boy
Mississippi Sawyer
Earl's Breakdown
Catfish John
Iris Dement tune
Emmylou Harris tune
Foggy Mountain Top
Katy Daley
Better Times A' Comin'
Arkansas Traveller
Cora is Gone

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quick Link: Yet Another Old Time Fiddle Tune List

Here is an interesting list of old time and bluegrass fiddle tunes. This list is nice because it includes some lyrics for tunes that often get played without them. The page contains interesting historical information about the tunes as well.

No tabs, though, and not guitar-specific.

Jam Report: Wednesday, 01/14/2009 Lintpicker's Revenge

Another lovely winter Wednesday at Fandango.

Vibe summary (my own): "To hell with mandolins! We'll just add more (banjo/guitar)!"

In attendance:
Mike B (Martin HD28-12 and banjo)
George B (thrift store special fingerpicked)
Autumn, Bob, Robert, Jerry (banjo)
Yours truly (Michael Kelly Rose Trio guitar)
Zippy (fiddle)

Three 'new folks' or folks who were new to me:
A gentleman on fingerstyle folk guitar
Autumn's quiet guitar buddy, who sits outside the circle even after repeated pestering to join us. Don't be shy, now!
A woman on guitar, reportedly a jazz guitar teacher. She threatened to bring in her accordion next week. I think she thought we might have tried to run screaming, but we didn't.

Some tunes played (no particular order):
I'll Fly Away
Golden Slippers
Old Home Place (damn you, B7, damn you to hell!)
Hard Times Come Again No More
Teardrops in My Eyes
Old Cabin Home
Simple Life (ricky skaggs)
blackberry blossom (this one started out slow, and just ran away from us)
theme time
cherokee shuffle
sowing on the mountain, reaping in the bounty (a.p. carter by way of woody guthrie)
earl's breakdown (plus explanation of 'scruggs pegs')
old country church (?)
how mountain girls can love
denominational blues

* Banjo Bob (as opposed to Banjo Robert) has a fancy new axe. Looked like mahogany back, with 'stealth' in mother of pearl on the front at the base. I allowed as to how there was never seen such a strange beast as a stealthy banjo. In any case, stealthy or not, it sounds real nice and bright.

* Jerry, Mike B, George B and I ended up in the laundromat after Fandango gave us the boot. I recall picking/singing a couple, but couldn't give you a list.

* coming up: Thursdays at 5th quarter! No rest for the wicked!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick Link: Jack Tuttle's Guitar Lesson Mp3s

Here is a winamp playlist containing links to all of the mp3s from Jack's guitar books that he has posted to his site: tuttle_online.m3u

Am I too retro, still using winamp (v5.08c baby!)?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick Link: Right Hand Technique for Guitar

Here's a good vid on how to improve your right hand technique on flatpick guitar. Vid by Brad Davis. He's pretty damned good.

Oh, and here's a take on Blue Night which is pretty straight forward for beginners.

EDIT: damn, that crap is difficult

EDITx2: Another fairly simple bluegrass lead: Roll On Buddy, and Roll On Buddy variation #2

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jam Report: First Thursday at 5th Quarter

Last night was the first 5th Quarter Thursday jam. I think we had a pretty stellar turnout for a completely unknown promoter type (me) and mostly untested venue.

I think at its height, we had about 12 folks there. There were a number of Fandango folks, and quite a few folks I had never met before. The jamming was of pretty high quality, too. I'm very pleased that everyone could make it out.

I'll keep promoting the jam in various venues, online and off, in hopes of keeping the number of participants high. One idea I've had is to ask Jack down at Gryphon to mention the jam to his students. I'll also continue to try and get the jam on all of the various jam lists on the internet.

I didn't keep a song list this time, but I will next week.


EDIT: better jam report from my post to fandangojammers:

Last night was the first 5th Quarter Thurday jam! Here is a quick report.

First of all, while I'm typically terrible with names, I am trying to learn at least the names of the regulars. If I screw yours up, please yell at me.

I showed up at 5th quarter at around 6:30 to have dinner and prep 5th quarter's owner/manager, Hassan, as to what all was going down that night. Dan (mando) and daughter showed up just after 7, and together we rearranged the back room to accommodate about fifteen or so folks. Hassan had turned on the heat (!) in the back room, so it was downright toasty.

About the room: I think max jam occupancy will probably be 20 or fewer folks. The room is long but somewhat narrow, carpeted, and low-ceilinged. The acoustics are decent; I was able to hear folks taking their solos all the way across the circle.

Patrick W of www.scbs.org showed up early with his dobro and saw. We chatted a bit about the upcoming Bluegrass on Broadway show ( http://www.scbs.org/events/bob/ ) and the state of bluegrass on the mid-peninsula in general. Other early arrivals included Jerry and Bob/Robert (which one of you is Bob and which Robert? I'm so confused). An excellent mando player also showed up early; his was a new face and I didn't get his name. Mando-rascal Mike joined us, as did George B a bit later. Guitarist-who-was-new-to-me-whose-name-I-should-be-remembering arrived fairly late in the evening with his D-18 and played the fiddle tunes real nice.

All told, I think we had about 12 folks turn out last night, with a max count of about 10 folks jamming simultaneously. There was some good cross-pollination of groups, and introductions being made.

Thanks to Mike for the pitcher of beer!

We wrapped up at about 10:45. Thanks to everyone who helped put the room back in some semblance of its original arrangement.

Some songs I remember being played, in no particular order:

Cherokee Shuffle
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Blackberry Blossom
Rose of Old Kentucky
June Apple
Salt Creek
A Maiden's Prayer
White Freightliner Blues
Turkey in the Straw
Red River Valley
Earl's Breakdown
Some singing tune with Gb in it.
Dark Hollow (in Bb)
St Anne's Reel

PS: We need a stand-up bassist and some fiddles! :-D

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Quick Link: The Mother-Lode of Old Time Fiddle Tunes for Guitar

All I have to say is holy crap.

I haven't looked at all of them yet, but I'm drooling in anticipation.

EDIT: This is also pretty sweet, and has a wider variety of instrument types...

EDITx2: Even more tab. Good god. Its a good thing I've got some time left on earth to learn all of this.

EDITx3: Sheesh. Those are ASCII, though. New Years resolution: learn 5 new tunes a month.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Quick Link: Temperance Reel Tab for Guitar

Here are a couple of takes on the old Irish reel:

Temperance Reel #1 [PDF]

Temperance Reel #2 [PDF]

There are also a number of tabs of this tune available out there on the net - clicky

I like this tune a lot, but no surprise there: I'm a sucker for Em.