Tater Joes Old Time Musical Mercantile

Strum Machine - Tireless Rhythm Assistant

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Strum Machine is an app built and maintained by a friend of ours…Luke Abbot. It will play bass/and or rhythm guitar ENDLESSLY while you practice or play. You can enter your own chord charts…or I have entered them for all of the fiddle tunes on TaterJoes and then some.

So…why this program? I've used a couple of other programs (Band In A Box and iReal Pro). It's a bit of a commitment to put the arrangements to hundreds of tunes into a program. I decided to put my time into this one for a couple of reasons. Strum Machine provides a solid acoustic bass and/or a rhythm guitar that sounds just like a real guitar with none of that ridiculous midi sound or jazz improv mucking it up. I tend to use bass, guitar and just a little bit of mandolin chop to give it a bit more of an old time guitar thunk. And…it's much easier to use. Mark and I know Luke Abbot from our bluegrass past and he also plays old time. He's working to provide our community something more tailored to our end of the music spectrum and he's willing to take suggestions.

Strum Machine will work on most Macs, PCs, tablets and smart phones. It is a web application, so you can access it wherever you have a connection to the internet or you can download an app and play off-line. The first two weeks are free (the following link should give your 30 days! www.StrumMachine.com). That should be plenty to figure out if it's something that will work for you. After that it's $5 a month or $49/year.

Once you set up your free trial you can use the links below to view the TaterJoes lists in Strum Machine. You can then click "Save to My Account" to add the list to your Strum Machine account. Any updates or additions I make to these lists will show up automatically. If you want to make any changes to a tune, you can edit and save your own copy of it. This will be important if you like a different chord arrangement, number of repeats etc. I've generally chosen just one of the versions that Mark has transcribed. The other versions may have different chords so you could modify them as you see fit. The most common variations are substituting minor chords for the IV chord or moving a chord change from the first half of a measure to the second half or visa versa.

Disclaimer: Yes, we know that there isn't always agreement on what the "correct" chords are. Here are the ones used on the recordings and they should match the fiddle and banjo double stops in the transcriptions and tabs.

Disclaimer: I put these all in over the course of a week and about as fast as I could. There are going to be some mistakes and a few place holders while we look into some missing data or other questions.

Tune Titles: I didn't try to put in all the alternate titles or versions. It's pretty much parallel to what's on the fiddle page. Tunes have a sub-heading indicating the version it's based on and the seminal source as best as I can tell without doing a research paper on each one. If there wasn't really a clear source or it was just a generic version I put Std (Standard). They are sorted by key. The Am tunes are also posted under the key/tuning where they are typically played.

Pro Tip: if you are trying on-line jamming try having this in the mix. It helps because it doesn't waiver due to latency.

Just Need To View Chord Charts: If a membership to Strum Machine isn't for you right now you can still view the chord charts in the free/post free trial versions.

Here are the links to the files. Anyone (signed up for Strum Machine or not) can view the lists and see all the chord charts. Give it a try and let me know what you think. And as always…if you see something that needs to be fixed please let me know.

A Tunes From TaterJoes
Am Tunes From TaterJoes
C Tunes From TaterJoes
D Tunes From TaterJoes
G Tunes From TaterJoes
G Tunes in GDad From TaterJoes