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Bluegrass rules for the end

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Bluegrass rules for the end

Postby mreisz » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:47 am

I was noodling on the mandolin (my favorite noodling instrument) and came up with an ending for "Whiskey Before Breakfast" I thought was fun to play. It's basically some arpeggios followed by the little G D A D (4-1-5-1) progression that ends the phrases in the song. The downside to noodling is that I typically forget things after a day or two so I figured I'd tab it. Here it is:
WB4BreakfastEnding.tef
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After I tabbed it, I realized that the ending chord progression was different than the one I learned from Ben for the same song. That got me to thinking, what are the "rules" for endings? I realize that if you are coordinating a song (i.e. recording) you can do whatever you want, but in a jam situation, you typically don't want to do something that isn't telegraphed or expected. When playing rhythm I've just always played what "sounds right" for endings without giving it much thought. It usually works out ok. I do know that it always seems to start on the 1 chord and go 5-1 for the last two chords, but for the stuff in between that I don't really know. Any thoughts? Maybe Ben has discussed this in a video and I forgot it or missed it.
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
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Re: Bluegrass rules for the end

Postby Banjo Ben » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:41 pm

Hey Mike,

I don't think there are any "rules." Most all the progressions for the endings I make are custom, meaning that I wouldn't try to pull 'em off at a general jam session. I write them mainly for personal touch and it's also what I do in a band situation. I think unique endings are a great addition to a song, even when the progression isn't exactly like one in the song. I like to have it be compatible with the song though, in that I wouldn't go to a flat 7 in Whiskey. I like your ending there. One ending that I hear somewhat common for Whiskey is:

D-A-G-D-G-D-A-D

This is also the progression for the last phrase of the A part, but it makes a great ending as well. Good stuff!
- G LICK!!!
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Re: Bluegrass rules for the end

Postby mreisz » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:42 pm

Thanks Ben!

So... the first rule of bluegrass ending is that there are no rules :D

I can live with that.
Mike

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Re: Bluegrass rules for the end

Postby ldpayton » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:00 pm

Most all the progressions for the endings I make are custom, meaning that I wouldn't try to pull 'em off at a general jam session.


I can understand that. I keep my endings short and simple -usually just repeating a few bars of the chorus/B section- in a general jam. More elaborate endings add a lot to a song, but if everyone isn't on the same page, it muddies up the tune and makes for a for a real dud of a finish.
Larry
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Re: Bluegrass rules for the end

Postby welder4 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:21 am

A good intro and an ending is all you need . as long as you finish together,. That was what a guitar guru told me once in jest but it is somewhat true,.
It's not as hot as it is was it! Sometimes making no sense at all makes sense .

Ken
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