I typically play guitar with an informal group and we mostly play traditional and old-timey songs. When I am not soloing I usually just play the chord progression of the song. Recently however I have been playing a 4-string banjo tuned to 5ths (GDAE).
I really like the sound on this banjo but I have had a hard time figuring out what to play when I am not soloing. I can't really reach the chords with the banjo tuned this way and I don't want to capo, since that would affect my solos. I am reluctant to just play the melody, since this seems like it might interfere with the singers and soloists.
What should I be playing instead of the chord progression while the others are playing and/or singing?
Also how would you suggest I practice to best prepare me to play with the group in this manner?