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Gourd Dance songs

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  • Gourd Dance songs

    Hello everyone out there I was wandering if you all could give me some advice about gourd singing,the problem I have is remembering songs when I'm at the drum.I know a good amount of songs but I seem to go blank when I'm out there and the round about comes along.I was hoping some of you singers can share some secrets on starting songs when it's your turn,do you plan ahead,does position of seating play a role?How do you remember what to sing,I try and plan ahead but I start getten in to it and wham! there it goes I forgot what songs I've practiced.Any advice?thanx for sharing some knowledge.

    [This message has been edited by CrazyInDn (edited January 26, 2001).]
    Southern Boy

  • #2
    Well, I guess it means your just not ready to lead gourd songs. I do not mean that in a bad way. The drum talks to you and tells you what songs are to be sung. If the songs are not coming then its just not right.....
    That is the way I taught, i have worked and worked on gourd songs they are my favorite and when I go to lead them if it does not feel right I just move on and pass the lead to someone else. Who usally sings the song I wanted to lead. It takes time you will get it.........

    If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
    Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling


    • #3

      What you are going through happens to a lot of singer. From my experience it is nerves, but that isn't always the case. Every singer has drown a blank at one time or another. I have never found that 'seating' plays any role in remembering a song. I know 'mocs' doesn't mean his statement about not being ready in a bad way, but I must state that I disagree with him. It is a mental thing that every singer has to overcome. You will get it in time but in the mean time repetition of the songs is the best way to learn them.

      One thing you might try is to pair songs up. How this works is putting two songs on a tape and repeat them over and over on that tape. Listen to that tape over and over until those songs are second nature. Then try another pair of songs. What this will accomplish is when you or someone else sing one of those songs you will remember the other. It also allows you to have more than one song ready at a time.

      Good luck and keep on shakin'

      "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

      "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

      My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


      • #4
        Good points PWB49, it is mental and it takes a lot to get over it. But the more you are comfortable around Ole man drum and the more you respect the drum the easier songs will come to you. Thats if you have worked on them to learn them right.......

        Since were on the subject of Gourd songs a friend brought a great point last weekend. When you lead a gourd song keep it in the eight set of songs. Like of other types of songs you have you slow, medium, and fast songs....Make sure you were a song fits. Cause a slow song at the end of a gourd dance kills the whole think. I have seen it happen..So order is just has important as being able to lead the song.

        As a friend tells me all the time every song has its place and time to be sung.


        [This message has been edited by travelingmocs (edited January 27, 2001).]
        If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
        Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling


        • #5
          Something that I've thought about doing is putting a few songs on a tape and bringing my hand held tape player with me. Then at a break sit and listen to the songs to get ready to lead them. I got that idea from my fellow Hoosier moderator. I've also seen guys do that at dances.

          I'm rather new to singing. Especially to Southern music. I can do ok in singing along, but mentally I'm just not comfortable in leading. (Ask TMS about the train wreck I caused at practice on Tuesday.) I'll get there one day. Our head singer even says that leading gourd songs can be tough. There are so many of them and often times they are very similar.



          • #6
            Hi all....

            Many Gourd dance songs sound very similar to each other. What I mean is, the leads are very similar at the very least. For example, the "Grandfather" song, which is fairly widely known--there are at least 3-5 more songs with that same lead, as well as other similarities. What has helped me has been to learn these songs in sets, i.e. slow, slow-medium, medium fast, and fast. This helps especially when the lead comes around to you and you have the wherewithall to know how the set is flowing. You can easily pick out a song from a respective set of songs that fits in. "Planning ahead" is also an option I guess, but what if, like you said, someone leads the song which you were "planning" to lead? That's when having a working knowledge of the songs comes in handy. As far as position of seating goes, that's generally up to the head singer. If you're at a drum where "seating doesn't really matter" (which is very rare, I might add, when you have a good head singer), then I guess it would be beneficial to sit closer to the head singer; that way, there is less of a chance that someone will "take your song". From personal experience, I'm just getting there. Gourd dance songs, at least for me, have been somewhat harder to lead than other songs. Finally, I'm getting to the point where I am somewhat comfortable singing them. Learning the songs, and learing when they need to be sung with in the set and within the Gourd Dance is "KEY" to being a good singer. I'm no expert, but this is what I have learned over the few years that I have been singing, and I hope it helps!


            [This message has been edited by SouthernSinger (edited January 29, 2001).]


            • #7
              Thank all of you who cared to share some knowledge,it's kind of hard to ask questions out here about good southern singing (because most of the drums out here are northern)I'm trying to better my self as well as my singing,I do appreciate the advice.
              Southern Boy


              • #8
                Hi guys! I don't know if this will help, I myself am new to Southen Singing and maybe someone can correct me if I'm in the wrong here. But sometimes if I can't recall the lead to a song, I can recall the melody and some of the chorus to the song. When it comes time in the song for the lead, generally I can recall it. If it still doesn't come to me, thats when I take it as for someone else to sing or sing another song. I don't know if this will apply to Gourd Songs. I'm looking to learn some Gourd Songs very soon.



                • #9
                  Oh, and BTW, that is generally my problem when I can't recall leads. Although it doesn't happen to me that often anymore, nervousness will settle in if I'm not all that comfortable with singing that particular song.



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