Column

Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

How Can You Learn to Play Bluegrass? Learn to Jam

 Hi Ted,

     I have never been to a bluegrass festival, so I can't say of the experience that you speak is well documented. I did go to the 1972 Philadelphia folk festival for the whole weekend. I took my guitar and played with friends or myself. No bluegrass though mainly just guitars. There were a couple of good bluegrass groups, but mostly folk and folk pop. Locally, I know of a music store that has a jam sesion on Thursdays. I have never gone because the owner is a bit rude and just don't think it would be fun. I would imagine that the average bluegrass festival does not have near as many people as the Philly Folk festival. I have always had a couple of people to jam with most of my life, and I have learned alot playing with other guitarists. I started playing guitar pretty young at the age of 12, after 2 years of viola lessons. I played in my first group when I was 14 at military school. Sure was a good diversion. I started out playing electric, because I could not find  playable acoustic, that my dad would get me. As life went on , I turned more to acoustic.

     Today, you don't se many bluegrass groups jamming on stage. Most groups play the song like it was on the CD, and most groups, the guitar player just plays chords no lead playing. They leave that to the fiddle, banjo and mandolin.

   That is why I like Flatt Lonesome so much. Buddy Robertson is an awesome guitar picker and plays some great leads. Keep on jamming!!

Jim