Core Tunes

For people who would like to practice a few tunes that they know will be played at the jam, we are assembling a core repertoire. Each month, we’ll choose some tunes from this list to be played at the next jam, and announce them on the home page, on the mailing list, and on Facebook.

Sheet music for all the tunes below can be found in the Tune Book PDF.  The current version of the book and list is dated February 25, 2020. If you have a copy older than January 20, 2020, you may want to re-download it.

Tune titles are linked to pages with youtube videos of the tune being played. They won’t necessarily be the same version that’s played at the jam, or even necessarily in the same key; it’s just a way for you to hear what the tune’s like, if you aren’t familiar with it. Tunes with an asterisk after their name have recordings at a relatively slow tempo that you can loop and play along with.

Backing tracks for these recordings were made with Strum Machine, a web and mobile app with many old-time and bluegrass chord charts and an easy to use editor so you can create your own charts. You can have it play backup for you to jam along with at various tempos or use it as a speed trainer where each repetition gets a little faster. It’s a great app with a free two week trial and is only $5/month or $50/year for a paid subscription; I highly recommend it.

Download Tune Book PDF

If you don’t need any of the front matter or indexes, you can also download a PDF containing only the tunes from the tune book, one per page.

Key of A:

Key of A Modal (mostly Dorian):

Key of A Mixolydian:

Key of D:

Key of G:

Revision history:

  • 2020/02/25 – Cosmetic only: fixed beaming to reflect change from 4/4 to cut time.
  •  2020/01/20
    • Removed Turkey in the Straw, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, Boatman, Golden Slippers, McClanahan’s March
    • Added Buffalo Girls, Clayhole Waltz, Soldier’s Return, Sweet Marie, Abe’s Retreat, Mace Bell’s Civil War March, Pretty Little Shoes, Eye of the Beholder, Freda, Rose Waltz, Wind That Shakes the Barley, Barlow Knife, Bound to Have a Little Fun, Girl I Left Behind Me, Hollow Poplar, Rat’s Gone to Rest, Susi’s Waltz
    • Changed time signature to cut time where appropriate
    • Fixed awkward multiple-ending tunes where it was just about a pick-up for the part
    • Changed from Planscribe NF (commercial) to Routed Gothic (open) font for part boxes
  • 2017/04 – Little Billie Wilson is still in the book, but removed from the rotation at the jam.
  • 2017/02/17 – Replaced Abe’s Retreat with Cold Frosty Morning.