Bluegrass Basics: Vocal Harmonies

Bluegrass music is characterized by two things: stringed acoustic instruments and incredible vocal harmonies. Within these vocal harmonies you will commonly hear what is called the “high, lonesome sound.” Being able to bring both aspects of the vocals that Bluegrass...

Bluegrass Basics: Runs and Licks

NOTE: I’m focusing more on the ‘G run’ as it is so important to bluegrass, but i’ll touch on another at the end…   Bluegrass music is a genre with set ways of playing it. From the traditional instruments, to the boom – chuck rhythm to the focus of...

12 bar blues lesson

The most popular form of the blues is the 12 bar blues. This basic structure has been used to write countless songs. If you master the 12 bar blues style you can expect to find yourself able to play blues classics such as:     St. Louis Blues Hound Dog...

Bluegrass Music Timeline

Bluegrass, Newgrass and Country Music   Bluegrass music, a close cousin of country music, is a fun, rhythmic and highly danceable music that has been picking up some serious momentum over the last half a decade or so.   While bluegrass music has always been...

Bluegrass instruments: Acoustic Guitar

Bluegrass music is best known as a traditional acoustic music style. One of the most easily recognized instruments in bluegrass music to the record buying public is the acoustic guitar. This icon of world music, perhaps one of the most important instruments in music...

Home Made Instruments: The Musical Saw

All kinds of household items have been used to create music. The one that you should be the most careful with, some would argue, is the musical saw. Sometimes known as the singing saw, this instrument is literally a wood cutting hand saw that is played with a bow and...

Bluegrass musician bios: Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs if famous for playing the banjo and creating a large part of the sound that came to be known as Bluegrass music. His distinct style came to be known as ‘Scruggs Style,’ which was a stylized three-finger playing style. He was born January 6, 1924 and...

Bluegrass musician bios: Bela Fleck

Bela Fleck has one of those names that sounds like he was born somewhere else, but he was born July 10, 1958 right in New York City. Over the years he has established himself as the most innovative and technically gifted banjo players in the world. Few can touch his...

Bluegrass Musician Bios: Bill Monroe

Not too many people are credited with crafting their own musical style, but Bill Monroe is one of those people. He was born on September 13, 1911 and died September 9, 1996 with a musical legacy all his own. Bill Monroe had one of the biggest hands in creating...

Bluegrass instruments: Banjo

The banjo is an instrument which looks like a guitar: strings, a neck and a body that is held up by a strap over your shoulder. In the hands of a skilled bluegrass banjo player, however, you will hear that a banjo is a very distinct instrument that can create some...