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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010, 07:58 PM
dpoirier dpoirier is offline
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Default "Campfire" songs - suggestions?

I'm mostly an electric guitarist. Like many similar "electric-biased" players, I'm more at ease in a full band environment. But sometimes, out of the blue, someone pulls out an old beat up acoustic from their attic and thrusts it into my hands, and says "why don't you play a couple of tunes for us?". That's when I draw a complete blank. Where's my rhythm section so I can improvise a neat solo run? Nowhere in sight, and my audience wants some instantly recognizable songs *or* something unique enough to keep their interest.

So, any suggestions for a handful of songs for solo acoustic that one can learn for use "in case of emergency"? I'm not much of a finger-picker (learning though!)... and I prefer not to have to sing. So acoustic solo instrumentals that can be easily mastered by a not-used-to-acoustics player...

Help!

Thanks,
Daniel
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:16 PM
oldhippiegal oldhippiegal is offline
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Daniel, this may be more info than you want, but this gal: http://kristinhall.org/songbook/Songbook.html has a huge songbook which you can download in its entirety as a zip file. Also, chordie.com has songbooks exactly for this reason and they're fun to browse: www.chordie.com/publicbooks.php

My quicker answer is: amusing songs seldom fail. Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville," "Why Don't we Get Drunk..." (Depending on your audience. I wouldn't recommend that for a church camp), John Prine's "Please Don't Bury Me." "Jambalaya" which folks can learn the chorus to quickly. Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, and James Taylor work well for a range of ages. From the 19th century, I use "Waltzing Matilda" and an audience participation version of "There is a Tavern." (The songs are from the 19th century, not me. Though it's a close thing...)

Oops, just noticed your locale, so Leonard Cohen, and that French resistance song he does. La Vie en Rose. I do a couple of Michel Legrand things, including a chunk of Les Parapluies des Cherbourg en Francais.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:22 PM
JohnnyDes JohnnyDes is offline
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I've been working on the same problem. Here are some ideas

Don't stop believing
Hotel California
Blowin in the wind
Three little birds
Margaritaville
American pie
Drift away
Beagles songs (Hey Jude, Yesterday, Let it be, ...)

For finger style, you should learn Dust in the Wind and Blackbird

With many of these songs, you'll hopefully get THEM singing ...

John
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2010, 07:45 AM
naccoachbob naccoachbob is offline
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How about "Take It Easy"?
Oldhippiegal, thanks for those links. They've got a lot of good songs.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 07:50 AM
Alex W Alex W is offline
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"Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams is a big crowd pleaser in my experience.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2010, 07:53 AM
Alex W Alex W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhippiegal View Post
Daniel, this may be more info than you want, but this gal: http://kristinhall.org/songbook/Songbook.html has a huge songbook which you can download in its entirety as a zip file. Also, chordie.com has songbooks exactly for this reason and they're fun to browse: www.chordie.com/publicbooks.php

My quicker answer is: amusing songs seldom fail. Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville," "Why Don't we Get Drunk..." (Depending on your audience. I wouldn't recommend that for a church camp), John Prine's "Please Don't Bury Me." "Jambalaya" which folks can learn the chorus to quickly. Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, and James Taylor work well for a range of ages. From the 19th century, I use "Waltzing Matilda" and an audience participation version of "There is a Tavern." (The songs are from the 19th century, not me. Though it's a close thing...)

Oops, just noticed your locale, so Leonard Cohen, and that French resistance song he does. La Vie en Rose. I do a couple of Michel Legrand things, including a chunk of Les Parapluies des Cherbourg en Francais.
Wow, those are great links! Never seen those before. Thanks for posting them.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 08:51 AM
dpoirier dpoirier is offline
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Hey thanks for all the links and suggestions!!!

Any more suggestions, particularly instrumentals? Most of the suggestions so far are sign-along (still very much appreciated, thanks!)
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:52 AM
oldhippiegal oldhippiegal is offline
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instrumentals: Signe, Clapton. For standards (and the tabs to that one) look at Dirk's classical site "popular" page: http://dirk.meineke.free.fr/popular.html
(the classical stuff is great, too.) I've learned five of those, nice early-intermediate arrangements, mostly. Moon River is a pretty tune, Mancini at the height of his considerable powers.

I've found that brief pretty classical pieces entertain nearly everyone. Acoustic guitar magazine has a handful of free article/instructional video combinations (including a Celtic piece or two), and A Little Night Music: http://www.acguitar.com/article/defa...rticleid=24122

Have you ever seen this site: http://www.lickbyneck.com/ ? It's kinda weird and kinda interesting, these little animated videos they do of the fretboard while the song plays; there are also tabs Within the frame (the site takes a few minutes to learn how to navigate), look particularly at jazz standard solo collections and pieces within those. They're not very complicated arrangements, so if you're advanced, you can use them to start then apply all those Conti/Morgan approaches that have been discussed so intelligently here recently or the link to the "how to play walking bass" video that a member just posted on youtube or whatever style is your favorite.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:57 AM
oldhippiegal oldhippiegal is offline
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oh, and everyone, you are welcome for the links. (I typically don't have access to the internet as I've had this month-but when I get it, look out! I'm a google demon.) That BIG songbook took me literally two months to go through, page by page, to pick out fifty-five songs I wanted to print out to put in my sight-reading campfire songbook (and I'll memorize some, too). There has to be well over 1000 songs in there.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:17 AM
JohnnyDes JohnnyDes is offline
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Another great source for song chords. Not as comprehensive as the others, but high quality, and has a lot of songs you'd like to have. In a number of cases, he's transposed the songs into a more playable key, which is sometimes really handy. http://www.heartwoodguitar.com/chords.htm

Also check out the ultimate-guitar site. They've got a great iphone app for browsing/searching, and the user ratings on different versions are very helpful.

As for instrumentals, although Dust in the Wind is a song, it's so recognizable, not too hard to learn, and will impress people generally when you can pull it off, even at 1/2 speed. Great intro to fingerstyle. David Hodge on guitarnoise.com also had a good solo instrumental version, but I don't know if it's still available.

John
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:26 PM
banjar banjar is offline
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I'm sorry. if you are playing around the campfire, you HAVE TO sing. Nobody is going to want to hear classical pieces or instrumental versions of rock songs. Fortunately, around the campfire, nobody cares if you suck because they are all going to be tanked anyway.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2010, 12:31 PM
JohnnyDes JohnnyDes is offline
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Completely agree with above post. One trick to get over the hesitance to sing is to learn a "goof" song, for example Like a Virgin. Nobody will care how bad you sing if you ham it up. And they'll crack up when they realize what you're singing.

On the flip side, once you play a single song, your campfire crowd will begin demanding all kinds of songs you don't know or aren't even appropriate for a campfire sing-a-long: "How about some U2!??, etc."
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:35 PM
fatt-dad fatt-dad is offline
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If I had a Hammer
Mountain Dew

f-d
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2010, 06:00 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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If you want to conjure up a picture of more simple times....

Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Kumbaya
Where Have All the Flowers Gone

If not - the songs that seem to pop up alot at the backyard gatherinsg I go to would be...

Lola - the Kinks
Handle With Care - Wilburys
Copperhead Road - Steve Earle
Dirty Water - Standells

One that we really seem to have a blast with is the Mitch Ryder Devil With a Blue Dress medley probably because guitar players seem to love playing that lick Jim McCarty threw in between Devil and Good Golly Miss Molly,
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2010, 06:20 PM
oldhippiegal oldhippiegal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyDes View Post
Completely agree with above post. One trick to get over the hesitance to sing is to learn a "goof" song, for example Like a Virgin. Nobody will care how bad you sing if you ham it up. And they'll crack up when they realize what you're singing.

On the flip side, once you play a single song, your campfire crowd will begin demanding all kinds of songs you don't know or aren't even appropriate for a campfire sing-a-long: "How about some U2!??, etc."

1) great advice. In the goof realm, I do the acoustic version of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" that Janis Ian does in her concerts, with that fun little chromatic bass part. People always laugh. (I steal all my best bits.) I also do "I Will Survive," one of the rare disco songs that translates to acoustic guitar well.

2) Reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17dtwjr5R6E Some guitarists can manage nearly any song a person shouts out at them.
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