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Improvising to Keys - Please list some songs

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Jun 22, 2019 - 5:01:42 PM

Kye

Canada

82 posts since 3/16/2017

I'm trying to wrap my head around keys. I get that, let's say bluegrass songs, are a progression of chords from the scale of key being played, and if I have it right, the chord is the 1, 3, 5 (well, 'standard') of the scale/key, and the chord progression is usually 1, 4, 5. Generally. Or 4, 1, 5, or 5, 1, 4, ect.

So, could I please get suggestions for blugrass songs, exact recordings (artist, song name) and the key it's in? I'm aiming to practice along with songs, but while knowing which key it's in.

I'm hoping to get 2 songs for each key, major, minor, whatever. So long as I know what it's in, then I can figure it out from there.

 

The goal is to be able to pick up chord changes in a song, so I learn what Im doing vs. Guess. Hence neededing examle songs to play along to. 

Thank you!!!!
(and it'd perfectly fine if there are more than 2 :)

Edited by - Kye on 06/22/2019 18:51:31

Jun 22, 2019 - 6:02:24 PM
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1998 posts since 8/23/2008
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Figuring out the key is the first place to begin...……..

Jun 22, 2019 - 6:19:50 PM

52 posts since 6/11/2019

Bluegrass is all about vocals, so the key is based on whatever the singer's range is.

Take "Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms". You can easily sing that in key of D, if you're a male voice. Female voices may need G or A. Or, "Cory is Gone." That's most likely sung by a male in key of C or D.

Best thing to do is singing the melody as YOU comfortably can, and bowing it out by ear. Then, note the pattern on the fingerboard and transfer it higher or lower for other singers.

As far as tagging songs to their traditional key, I'd suggest going to the tab library on this site, or on the banjer hangout site, or taterjoes.com to find that. Pardon, but listing BG songs by key would be kind of a tailchase.

Jun 22, 2019 - 6:59:32 PM
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1577 posts since 10/22/2007

I've recomended this fellow's content before. Lot's of links. Lots of content.
drbanjo.com/jamalot/
drbanjo.com/two-chord-songs/

Jun 22, 2019 - 7:35:32 PM

52 posts since 6/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

I've recomended this fellow's content before. Lot's of links. Lots of content.
drbanjo.com/jamalot/
drbanjo.com/two-chord-songs/


I'll second that.  I took one of his workshops, but there's ton's of free resources online.  Also, letspick.org.

Jun 26, 2019 - 5:50:07 PM
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195 posts since 11/5/2014

The DrBanjo links suggested are great, specifically the jam along DVDs/videos.

Another approach: use the CDs from the Bluegrass Album Band (except the instrumental one) as your jam track. If helpful, I can share a list of the keys for each song.

Jun 26, 2019 - 7:43:14 PM
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4134 posts since 9/26/2008

I suggest YouTube and "Take's Bluegrass Albums" channel. Soooo many hours of bluegrass to play along. Seriously, so much music lost and out of print music there. If you want to play bluegrass, you will need to learn Bb B F E C along with A G and D. Aaaand, you should probably just learn those scales if you are unfamiliar, then start listening and use your fingers and ears to figure out the keys yourself. That will serve you more in the long (and short) run than us telling you what to listen to and the keys they're in. Everyone had their favorites  and you will too. 

Be aware, many of the old Flatt and Scruggs recordings are pitched sharp so you'll have to use your ears to tune up to them (generally shy of G#) if you want to play along. 

Jun 26, 2019 - 7:50:19 PM

4134 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Flat_the_3rd_n7th

Bluegrass is all about vocals, so the key is based on whatever the singer's range is.

Take "Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms". You can easily sing that in key of D, if you're a male voice. Female voices may need G or A. Or, "Cory is Gone." That's most likely sung by a male in key of C or D.


Around here, fellas sing "Rolling..." in G and A. "Darling Cora" in F and G laugh 

Jul 15, 2019 - 9:17:52 PM
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Kye

Canada

82 posts since 3/16/2017

A belated thanks for the recommendations!

It's always funny how learning an 'getting' comes in bursts and spurts!
Can't even say what I've been doing, but I think I see a smidge of progress already!

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