The Top 10 Most Played Bluegrass Jam Tunes
by Bradley Laird
If you are a noob when it comes to bluegrass jam sessions you might be curious to know the top ten most frequently played songs. Even an experienced picker might be curious about this research.
One of my websites has a bunch of free chord progression "cheat sheets" to help beginners survive venturing into the jamming scene. Having the chords written out in front of you, or by practicing some of them in advance, will mean better music and more fun for all of the musicians. Trust me, the veteran jammers will appreciate you NOT playing a bunch of wrong chords.
So what are the specific tunes it might be wise to expect? Visitors to my site are voting with their mouse clicks and these are the top 10 most-viewed pages:
It appears that good ol' Blackberry Blossom is the winner. This is probably because it ALWAYS gets played and the chords come at you pretty rapidly and a cheat sheet is a big help. It could also be because it is at the top of the list? You can find it here.
Next comes Cripple Creek, Man Of Constant Sorrow, Blue Moon of Kentucky, and Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
If you do nothing else, learn the chords to these. You will hear them plenty. After this we have Boil Them Cabbage Down, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Bury Me Beneath the Willow, and Old Joe Clark.
There is a high probabilty that these guys (Hal Turpin, Ranger Brad, Cory Chambers and Banjo Ben) are playing one of those top ten tunes. I betcha the contents of that tip bucket! (3 quarters, a beer bottle cap and a thing that looks a little bit like a dime. I put the flashing red light on the bucket and it helped a little. That's your future playing live music!)
You will notice that immediately following those top ten are my instructions for using a capo. If you are playing banjo or guitar go read it if you don't know what one is. You can thank me later.
You can view a list of the top 100 bluegrass jam session tunes if you pop over to my Jam Session Survival Kit website. Be familiar with them in advance and you will have more fun and play fewer wrong chords.
Have fun and happy picking!
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