Can't Play Naked!!!

Picking and Grinning

I love bluegrass and since the movies Song Catcher and Oh Brother Where Art Thou, we have seen an increase in people who have discovered the magical hypnotic sound of acoustic instruments. Even as far back as the 1960's with movies such as Bonnie and Clyde where Foggy Mountain Breakdown was formally introduced to the world and the bluegrass banjo was the newly crowned king with a syncopated three finger style made famous by Earl Scruggs. Followed by the movie Deliverance and the dazzling tune, Dueling Banjo's, festivals soon began to pop up all over the country. Today, there are so many great bluegrass festivals and fans don not have to travel far to enjoy their favorite groups in concert and to spend weekends with fellow music lovers while sitting in campgrounds or parking lots to jam.

My son and I also play bluegrass. We compliment each other and when he is leading on mandolin, I play rhythm on guitar or whenever I play banjo or fiddle, he provides perfect rhythm for me on guitar. Playing is a lot of fun but to make the music complete having an upright bass is all but necessary.The deep notes provide the salt and pepper and the music tasteful. Mu son always tells me, "Dad, we play naked without a bass!" I must agree with his assessment. In any genre of music the harmonies are essential and make the performance complete.

As with any other instrument there are styles and with bass we often hear the slap performed by good bluegrass bass players. Electric bass works but the acoustic upright is better suited for this genre of music adding a special effect the electric cannot. Successful bluegrass bands will always have a great bass player.

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barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

This reminds me of when I was stationed in Fort Drum, NY. They had a festival that was going on for an entire week. Each night with a different type of music. I had never been introduced to Blue Grass before then, but I found I really enjoyed it.

Great hub!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

This was such a Fun, Educational read, Cousin Fudd. I too Love Bluegrass, it's so toe tapping and Wonderful, makes one feel Happy. It's so nice that you and your son play together. I also Enjoyed looking at the Videos. Thanks!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed your excellent Hub. One of my uncles was a Nashville session man on steel guitar. He wrote a book about how to play a wide variety of musical instruments used in bluegrass and old country & western (before drums) called the Hillbilly Blue Book. He also handmade double-neck dobros that are now collectors items, that he (Ray Watkins) called "Rabros." If you Google "Rabro guitars" you can see one.

Anyway, I absolutely love bluegrass music. Glad to see that you and your son play it.

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