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Bluegrass (Pickers)

A place to get together and talk and play Bluegrass.

Members: 42
Latest Activity: Oct 13, 2015

Discussion Forum

Blue grass finger picking 9 Replies

I Was wondering if its possible to fingerpick Bluegrass guitar as im not very good with a pick!I love the Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Tony Rice All Stars ectKind RegardsGary :-)Continue

Started by Gary McNaughton. Last reply by Gary McNaughton Feb 9, 2015.

Martin and Bluegrass ... Why? 17 Replies

Just looking for input on a question that I get asked frequently.Why is it that probably 98% of all Bluegrass pickers play either a Martin or a specially made Martin clone?Thanks to Doc Watson, you…Continue

Started by Jud Hair. Last reply by Jim Yates Feb 9, 2015.

MACC show in Columbus

I was hoping to get together with other members who may be going to one of the best shows of every year. All the money goes to St Judes and always an all star line up:…Continue

Started by Joe Allen Jun 8, 2014.

What was your introduction to bluegrass music, and what is your current involvement? 13 Replies

   Since I am introducing this topic, I suppose I should lead by example and answer my own question.  My entre into bluegrass was probably just the reverse of most folks.  My experience with others…Continue

Started by Ken Bellingham. Last reply by Eddie Charles Jan 18, 2014.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ken Bellingham on February 11, 2011 at 1:45pm
Yes, morning to you.  When I responded to you earlier, I hadn't had my coffee yet and didn't take note that I was addresssing two different Michaels.  Regarding Michael's (M&K) mention of the resurgence of bluegrass, it is always pleasing to see the interest of young people in the music.  There is a family bluegrass band in our community that plays farmers' markets and larger venues.  The two teenage sons are talented multi-instrumentalists who are also part of a teenage band that is receiving state-wide attention.  In fact, I think they have visited Nashville.  I was at a bluegrass jam at a local B-B-Q joint one night and saw their five year old sister playing "Whiskey Before Breakfast" on the fiddle.  Bodes well for bluegrass.
Comment by Michael & Kody on February 11, 2011 at 12:44pm
Mornin' folks, suns out, whaling on my new D 35. Oh, by the way there is more than one Michael here, Kody is fine, thanks.........yes, keeps the Tradition alive, interesting that it still is a Major part of Life/Americana today. Seems to me there will be a return to Major Popularity of Bluegrass in the next 1 or two historical swings.....
Comment by Ken Bellingham on February 11, 2011 at 10:25am
By the way, welcome Michael.  Glad to have you join the group.  I hope it will continue to attract new members and grow.
Comment by Ken Bellingham on February 11, 2011 at 10:23am

I agree with each of you, but most especially with Michael.  Blugrass can be enjoyed on multiple levels, and history is one of the important ones for me.  Although nearly all of it has now been captured on written pages and audio recordings, it is an extension of the old oral tradition, where the music passed down from generation to generation.  The music represents the way communities entertained themselves before the advent of electronic media, and the topics reflect the concerns of those communities.  Dan Crary likes to make the point that by our participation in this music, we are becoming a part of that tradition and are helping to keep it alive for future generations.

Most published history focuses on major events and important people, but bluegrass and the earlier Americana roots music from which it derives brings me closer to understanding and identifying with those common folks who lived in earlier eras.  Not all of the narratives are factual, however.  Some of those tales where fabricated as "prescriptive" stories, to portray the consequences of immoral behavior and reinforce the moral codes of the community.

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on February 11, 2011 at 9:22am

I've found that those who play the music can usually spot a mistake but those who haven't played bluegrass often don't catch it. When you are playing banjo at 1600 bpm, you are bound to make mistakes. I don't know how fast flatpickers can go, but I'm sure it's a lot faster than most other forms of guitar. But bluegrass is all about improvisation. I used to like the jams a lot because, in bluegrass, you can fake almost anything with a mediocre understanding of the fretboard, a few chords and tag licks, and a decent picking hand. Don't get me wrong, bluegrass musicians are among the most talented of all and it takes much more dedication and practice to become proficient. But it is immediate fun!

Bluegrass truly is the music of real America. Most of it comes from the old Irish, Scottish, English, and African music that came to our shores hundreds of years ago. Listen to some of the lyrics and you'll hear of children dying from snake bite, slaves with chains around their legs and each link containing the initials of the man, murder/suicides, how roses got their thorns, children lost, coal mines, etc. These are songs of actual occurrences - not dreamed up in a studio. They reflect the hardships our ancestors endured as a common way of life. It is acoustic, natural, and rivaled in its sense of belonging only by the blues.

Did you know that the very first recording was of a banjo? I have a copy of it somewhere. Also, the banjo is the only uniquely American instrument (though it's predecessor came from Northern Africa)? I've been told that the saxaphone is also American, but haven't been able to confirm that. Finally, John Lennon began his musical career on a banjo (taught to him my Julia, his mother).

Yes, lots of history in bluegrass.

Comment by Michael & Kody on February 11, 2011 at 2:23am
Although, I enjoy a lot of genre(s), I've always been envious of the Bluegrass Method. Seems to me the Music is more detailed (note for note) pickin', can't fake it, like you can rock an roll and it always seems to be upbeat ( happy )........stirs up images of the Real Americana.........
Comment by Michael S. Jackson on February 10, 2011 at 9:14am
Thanks, Steven. So... what is written on the guitar in the picture? If you don't mind me asking.
Comment by steven picheta on February 9, 2011 at 3:39pm
All are wecome, just like to hear from people with common interests. I am kinda new to guitar and very new to online community stuff.
Comment by Michael S. Jackson on February 8, 2011 at 6:45pm
Ya'll might be interested in several posts I made at the group "The Music Link Acoustic Instruments," One of the entries is on the Recording King banjo. However, there are also posts on three guitars that are pretty good deals.
Thanks - m
Comment by Ken Bellingham on February 8, 2011 at 1:21pm

Hi Michael,

   Welcome to the group.  It might be presumptuous of me to speak for the group, but I am glad to see you here, and I expect the others are as well.  Steven just began the group fairly recently, and we remain small in number, and so far, fairly inactive.  However, I would expect it to have great potential among guitar players, so I am hoping to see it flourish.  Possibly, many others consider that it has too much overlap with the "Flatpickers" discussion group to require a separate division, but flatpicking as a playing technique is applicable to many genres of music.  Bluegrass music, or acoustic string music which has developed out of bluegrass is what I listen to most often and what I am most interested in learning to play.  With your thirty years of experience, I expect you will have much to contribute. 

   Thus far, the five of us here are also members of the "Martin Owners" discussion group, so in that sense we are already somewhat acquainted.  Your interest prompts me to initiate a new discussion topic that might enable us to become better acquainted.


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