What's going on with the Pegram Jam
We've brought back an old favorite -- Tunes With Scores
FEBRUARY 2017 -- After a long hiatus, we have brought back the "Tunes With Scores" section of the web site. Tunes With Scores is the place where we feature one of our current favorite tunes. We provide a Pegram Jam recording, plus a written transcription of the tune in standard notation. We will focus primarily on tunes that we can't find in any current book or tune collection. Sometimes a tune just grabs hold of us hard, and we feel the need to share it with everyone. Tunes With Scores is one area where we can accomplish that goal.
In the past, we made use of a special web browser plug-in called "Scorch" by Sibelius. Scorch allowed users to literally play the score by clicking on it. After many trials, we concluded that the Scorch plug-in was simply not stable enough for every day use. So we've simplified things a bit. While you can not click on a score to play it as in the past, we've provided a link to a recent Pegram Jam recording of the tune right above the score.
Our plan is to add new tunes as time permits. You can start with our newest favorite, "Bee In The Pumpkin Blossom" available at this link: Tunes With Scores
Chord Chart Book grows another inch
AUGUST 2013 -- Once again, we're happy to tell our friends who stop by that we've given birth to yet another update of the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book. Version #48 now brings you over 450 chord charts. We've also published a chart book update .pdf with just the changes that have been made since the January 2012 publishing, so if you have an older edition, you can get all the new tunes without printing out or purchasing a new book.
The Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book is always downloadable for free in .pdf format. But we also have printed books available for $15 for those who aren't set up to print out a 78-page book.
Check out the Chord Chart Book page to download or purchase.
While we no longer hold a large open-to-the-public jam (we found out the hard way that there is such a thing as too big), today we enjoy smaller, invititation-only gatherings where we concentrate fully on learning cool new tunes. But never fear... we'll continue to share what we learn and discover with you.
Hot off the presses: a new edition of our Chord Chart Book
JANUARY 2012 -- We are pleased to announce the release of the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book v.47, now packed with the chords to over 400 songs. Help yourself and print one out. We added over 30 new tunes to this edition, marked with an asterisk here on the site.
We've been weeding out errors from the last edition, and have published a 2012 Supplement. If you already have the last version of the book (v. 46), the supplement contains just the new tunes and any other changes we made to the chord charts. This will keep you current without having to print a new book if you already have one.
Word has it that the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book is popping up all over the place. We're glad to hear that the charts have been useful. The book is getting larger. At 66 pages, it can be tedious to print on your home printer. We didn't want to reduce the type size (our goal was to make the pages readable laying on the floor at your feet) and we've got the tunes as close together as possible to still be legible from a distance, so we had some books printed up for sale. Each is secured with coil binding so it will lay flat when open and has protective clear plastic covers on the front and back. Now you won't have to use your ink, paper and time to own a chord chart book. The price is $15 per book plus shipping. See the Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book page for details.
New Chord Chart book to be published soon
JANUARY 2009 -- Kirk and Susie have been updating the PegramJam chord chart book. We have added dozens of tunes and corrected all of the errors which were discovered over the past year. Thanks to the folks who sent us corrections and suggestions for the book. We hope that you will find the new book more useful than ever. Stay tuned..
Thanks for Six Great Years of Music
JANUARY 2008 -- It has been said that all good things must come to and end. We prefer to think that all good things can lead to new good things. After six straight years, we have decided to discontinue the weekly public Tuesday night jam sessions at our home in Pegram. It has truly been an amazing six years, but we need to take a break from hosting the fun. Whether you attended the Pegram Jam one time or a hundred times, we sincerely hope that you had some fun, and perhaps even made a friend or two.
Susie and I plan to take the extra time each week to focus on some other aspects of our music making. We also hope to do more playing with different groups of folks as opportunities permit.
The Pegram Jam web page will stay alive for the forseeable future. We will add content from time to time. Keep an eye out on the "Tunes By Week" page for new recordings and cool new tunes we're learning. Our love for traditional music has not dwindled a bit. We just needed to let go of hosting the weekly public jam sessions, and focus our energy elsewhere for a while.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of the Pegram Jam. It's been an honor and a pleasure to host the jam, and we look forward to more music together in the future.
You can view our sixth anniversary "class photo" at this link.
It's all about the Tone
NOVEMBER 2007 -- I had somewhat of a revelation the other day. I was reading an old quote about a fiddler who "knew a thousand tunes, but couldn't play one of them worth a darn." I think it's possible to spend too much attention on learning more tunes, and too little attention cultivating one's TONE. In the end, it's the SOUND that comes from our instruments that matters.
I love learning new tunes, and hope to expand my repertoire until I'm no longer able to play. However, I am going to spend a lot more time concentrating on my tone from now on. I'm listening to my favorite players, paying special attention to the sound they pull from their instruments. I figure I have to know what good tone sounds like before I can try to create it myself.
In Search of the Ensemble Mind
OCTOBER 2007 -- Thanks to everyone who has been attending the Pegram Jam. The crowds have been smaller, which is historically what happens during the summer months. We've been chugging right along, with some more intimate sessions and of course, new tunes.
One concept which has been on my mind lately is the difference between playing for myself and playing for an ensemble. It feels like the ensemble sound has a complete mind of its own, and it will tell me what to do, *if* I listen for it. It's a little bit like surrendering to the flow of a river, or being on a sail boat. The great ensemble players have figured out that some approaches support the flow, while others wind up feeling like trying to swim upstream. Usually I find myslef having to listen more and play less, just in order to hear what the ensemble sound needs. When it's at its best, great ensemble playing feels to me like everyone is lifting a hot air balloon together. Each player is contributing just what the balloon needs, without weighing it down with anything extra. It is an exhilarating feeling when it happens!
Scorch Plug-in Update
JULY 2007 -- The Sibelius Scorch web browser plug-in has been updated. The old Scorch plug-in will not play scores created after June 2007. In order to play all of the scores listed here, you must first install the latest version of Scorch. The Scorch plug-in is available at this link.