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Bluegrass

Let me tell you about Bluegrass; it’s a genre I have really grown to enjoy – certainly to play, although it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face no matter what. My instrument of choice is the 5 stringed banjo played in the style of Earl Scruggs, the founding father of Bluegrass Banjo. Bluegrass came to be known as such in the 40’s going into the 50’s; and was pioneered by a singing, mandolin player called Bill Monroe; with his band, the Bluegrass Boys; of which Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt were a part. It was a genre that built upon the American traditions that had come before, including a large measure of mountain music (Appalachia). Earl is largely credited as the first banjo player to adopt a three finger method (well, thumb and two fingers) and to build his playing around rolls, as they are known. Certainly there are other styles of banjo playing and indeed types of banjo (tenor, 4 string banjo) but this has been my focus to date.

Soon I am hoping to add Mandolin to my Bluegrass excursions; and I will be one step closer to completing a traditional Bluegrass line up of fiddle, double bass, acoustic steel guitar, banjo and mandolin. Mind, I don’t have any intention of negotiating a double bass anytime soon. Fiddle…well, perhaps later on. Anyway, as far as this Bluegrass malarchy is concerned, I will give you updates when there is progress to report. Y’all take care now.

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