Winter is a good time to learn new campfire songs

This installment seems ill-timed, but (there’s a BUT!) now’s the time to start planning your campfire songs if you want to be competent by July.

(Assuming that this time period is really when our Earth experiences "winter." I'm starting to wonder how long into baseball season we'll be snowed-in. Anyway. Onward... )

Our Annual Jam Band gathers every August/September to play, eat and make fire (in no particular order). And it takes a lot of practice to grab a cover song, learn all the chords and words and put it all together.

After maybe 13 years of playing guitar, I’m finally comfortable enough to say that I’m pretty good at it. Playing and singing, though? It’s way harder than every rock star makes it look. Take Brandon Boyd: he can play some guitar, but it takes way too much energy to sing all those incredibly popular Incubus songs to bother trying. Many bands that do have prominent members playing while singing have more simply-structured chord progressions (like every punk band (I’m not hating on punk. I still have bruises from mosh pits (THANKS Goldfinger))).

I’ve most recently started practicing Portugal. The Man’s “People Say.” Wow, what a great deep-cut sing-along. Simple and meaningful.

I’ve also been practicing the Flaming Lips’ “She Don’t Use Jelly” for a while. Nobody has any idea what that song means and that’s okay too.

I’ve even considered jamming some Chumbawamba.

I’m sorry.

A staple for kids of our ilk (the “artsy” folk) in college was always Phish’s “Wading in the Velvet Sea.” Every guitarist seems to know it and the chords repeat the same throughout – G/D/Em/C/D. While there is a verse embedded in there somewhere, it doesn’t really matter if it happens and the chorus is short and repeats forever and ever and could go until the fire burns out and you’re now running through the trees because Kev got high and thought he saw the shadows of a Yeti (shadows of a Yeti… good album name).

What are your campfire songs? To play, to sing or just hear?



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  • Violent Femmes' "Kiss Off" and Grandaddy's "Nature Anthem" ( Yeah..

  • I get knocked down/And I get up again~!

    I actually like playing Kid Rock's "Only God Knows Why."

  • In reply to radstarr:

    Ahh.. Almost forgot about that one. That's a good end-of-the-night bar song, too.

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