Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

We need new things to discuss . jump in

We need some new stuff to roll over look at digest and what ever I know there are many out there have interesting things to talk about, from any thing connected to what it is that you play . even a listener is encouraged to post . come on guys . Running out of time here .

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Running out of time here .

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You are correct sir. We all are, whether we know it or not.

What about a listing of the jams, and a brief history, in our areas?


Since this is kind of the whatever thread…

At church I had a request for “We gather together” for sometime around Thanksgiving. It turns out it is perhaps the song most commonly associated with the holiday (silly me… I was gonna play Adam Sandler’s Turkey song). I was working out the chord progression when wifey came by and said “That was my favorite song growing up.” I said I thought it was “Morning has broken.” She said, “Oh yeah, that’s right.” I got to thinking and they were similar feels and such so I could understand getting her wires crossed. I ended up making a medley of the two. We haven’t practiced it yet, but if it doesn’t give the rest the band fits, I’ll do “Morning…” a bit faster with the tempo change on the little fermata at the end of the chord progression connecting the two songs. The little chord progression thingies come from Rick Wakeman’s (excellent) input into Cat Steven’s version of “Morning…” I thought I’d share it in case anyone wants to play it for Thanksgiving festivities.

Here’s a vid so you can hear Wakeman’s chord thingies:

And here’s the file:
[attachment=0]We gather together-Morning has broken.doc[/attachment]

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What about a listing of the jams, and a brief history, in our areas?

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A local retire college prof in my area (outside Philadelphia) posts this list of bluegrass jams in the local area (covering 4 states):

**Ed’s Bluegrass Newsletter for Thursday, November 13th, 2014

As usual: for a more complete listings of jams & festivals, click one of the following:
For jams see
For festivals see

The email, that he sends out once a week, is about 4 pages of local jams and concerts for the week (too long to list here). If you click on the links, you will see the extent of his work on this newsletter. Ed is an interesting fellow. He is a fine fiddler, but hates to play fiddle tunes. However, he loves the tune “Lady be Good”.

I like the arrangement Mike. Will you have a piano player?

Unfortunately, no piano player for this week. It’s a busy week for most so our practice will be on Saturday (which doesn’t give much time for individual practice afterward). This week I have folks that can play a piano part if you coach them a bit, but I don’t have a piano player that can go from reading to performance real quick. We do have an electric GTR who is pretty versatile, so we can work something up. It’ll be a different flavor than Cat’s version, but hopefully it will still be tasty. The drummer comes from a full-on double bass kick shredder background and the bass player likes jazz and fusion influences so we usually end up with an interesting twist on things. A few weeks back we did “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy” and instead of planning things, we just jammed on it for several iterations in practice to see what would happen. We ended up with the verses being straight up rock feel and the choruses being half time that got progressively more reggae with each chorus. The intent was to have a fun and joyful opener and it seemed to work out pretty well.

Good reading here and that is what I was wanting . to see some discussion and something new. good job !

I am sort of a loner so not much to add today.

Did you ever notice??? The guitar is the only instrument where I hear people in music stores or at parties or whatever where folks play licks and parts of songs but rarely do you hear someone sit down and play a full piece of music from beginning to end.
I never hear piano players sit down and start playing riffs from songs or partial chords or intros, they generally begin to play a song from the intro and thru to the ending, same with other instruments.
Someone brings in a guitar and right away licks…in the music store there are a dozen guitar players and all I hear is licks, I have only heard once or twice a person sit down and actually play a song beginning to end , and that was a classical player.
I have made myself aware of this over the last few years and gotten in the habit of actually playing music people know the tunes and generally are interested in listening.
GC is the worst, listening to the same acid metal noise in a amp cranked up to 10!! over and over again, and they have no intention of buying the stuff anyway, just really annoying and makes it hard to shop in there because you can’t concentrate on what you came in to look at.
The other day a guy had a electric bass cranked up so loud I thought the windows were going to break and on top of it he couldn’t play, I guess louder makes better in their minds.
Anyone else run into this???
I sat down trying out a Martin and started on Red Hair Boy and in 2 minutes I had two guys joining in to play, one was the store salesman, lots of fun and we actually finished the tune!
The one thing I know is instead of learning a million disconnected licks I have used tunes to practice so at the end of many hours of practice I have something to show for it and something I can use out in the world, I am not good enough to rely on improvisation drawing on a library of licks instantaneously, I like knowing the tune… JMO I have noticed as well when I ask guitar players to play a tune they will give you the head of a song and then that’s it, or the chords and those only work if you can sing the song. Just my observations over the last years thought maybe someone else has noticed??? :mrgreen: Jerry

You’re right Jerry. I guess I am kind of guilty of that as well when shopping, but I generally play a song for about a minute then change to a different tune. I usually try some things that are different to try to get a feel for a guitar’s strength. With that said, once I get to a guitar I am really getting serious about, I’ll generally play songs mostly complete. If I have some semblance of privacy, I’ll even sing a song with it. It might sound odd, but I find some guitars much easier to sing with (for that I prefer a warmer guitar like rosewood), and some guitars easier to cut through with a lead line (hog).

But that’s just shopping… at group lessons, about all I hear are “licks” or chord snippets before we get started. We always end with a few songs, so hopefully I can help change the trend you have witnessed in my little corner of the world :smiley:

Thread jump… what I might typically play when trying out a guitar:
G5 chord (If they pass this step, on to the next one, and repeat with each step)
E5 chord
D shapes up the neck
barres up the neck
Some strumming song or progression with lots of lush sounding chords
Some finger picking song (this time of year something like Silent Night)
Flatpick something like I am a pilgrim or Angeline baker
Bluegrass rhythm
If a guitar makes it to this stage, I am getting pretty much sold on it and I’ll generally play whatever comes to mind. By this time the guitar is often pointing the way.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!!! :laughing: JERRY

You hit the correct note with the salesmen as they know good music when they hear it and am sure they are wore out hearing the shredding coming from an amp that amplifies them way to much for their ability . I have had the owner of one In Dayton Ohio come and sit a spell with me and in the process showed me a guitar I really liked. Yes he knew his music better than I but he still enjoyed playing along with me . I did to and call it what you will but I call it being human . and that sells guitars . Seems like there are always one who can play and 6 that can’t but they sell them to anyone . I actually got a compliment as I was playing a 199 dollar guitar and the lady was in the store with her husband , and she said boy that one sounds good . I remember never missing a note LOL .

Anyone on here play electric ??? kind of off topic if there is one, :mrgreen: but I have run up on a deal for a pretty scarce guitar and was wondering if there are any blues, jazz type players in the closet here. I have been a jazz guitar nut since the early 60’ living in Chicago and hanging out in the clubs listening to the guitarists. Saw Wes Montgomery and spoke to him at a 2 dollar matinee they had back then, saw George Benson in a little dive club before anyone knew who he was. Many others back then, attempted for years to play jazz but gave up more or less a few years ago when I started the Bluegrass acoustic thing. Still once in a while I get a hankering to lay down some chord melody or blues.
Just ran into a 1996 Gibson j165 Herb Ellis in Mint condition, a case queen, and I am really tempted to grab it. I am not a collector but this is a sweet guitar and has the old set in hum bucker, a one pickup 175. same exact guitar in size and body build just different cosmetics. Really has that old jazz blues tone and mellow Gibson vibe. The case is like new as well, in itself a work of art with the grained leather.
Guy wants an acoustic, well, offered me a straight trade for my D18 which is about a year old, wonderful guitar, but cost wise i think I would make out. I could get another 18 for around 1700 later down the road. I have my Gibson J45 that is my all time favorite so I would still have a acoustic.
Very tempting I gotta tell you…anyone else have a jazz archtop? Jerry

Hi Jerry,

I played jazz guitar (swing, bebop and fusion) for about 30 years and still play occasionally when I can find the folks to play. I started out in a big band and a jazz quintet and then started playing with all manner of side men. I always wanted a Gibson jazz box but have owned a Guild X350

and a Fender Montego II

They were both fun guitars and the Fender I owned for about 20 years.

Currently, I use a Jay Turser JT134 quilt top for jazz stuff

The Guild and Fender were full hollow bodied guitars while the Turser is a semihollow body. Occasionally, I will use my Casio PG-380 for jazz gigs since it can sound like a flute, vibraphone, B3 or any other number of tones (it is a digital guitar with onboard digital conversion and sounds). It is always fun to take a solo and have folks look up to see who is playing flute. :smiley: