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Thread: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

  1. #1
    Registered User Willi Bahrenberg's Avatar
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    Default To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    ...that is the question!

    In the name of science, I'd like to conduct a little survey:

    In order to find out how high the percentage of Bluegrass players among the cafe members really is, every member is asked to answer the following question:

    "Are you, by your own definition (we don't want to make this too complicated), a (mainly) Bluegrass Player?"

    Possible answers are: "Yes" or "No"

    Feel free to name your preferred genre/style. I might include it in the subsequent evaluation - exotic stuff like cosmic Bronycore Nitzhonot will most likely be categorized under miscellaneous, so better keep it simple.

    Everyone please take part - truth must prevail in the end!

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  3. #2
    Registered User Willi Bahrenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    OK, I'll begin!

    "Yes"

  4. #3
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No.
    Kit
    Guitars, Mandos, Violins, Dulcimers, Cats

  5. #4
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Yes
    and now I will complicate it by saying "but not exclusively"
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  6. #5
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No.

    I can play some BG tunes ( and some old-time and "fiddle tunes"), but I mostly play Italian, classical, English country dance, jazz, Klezmer, russian, Afghan and other world music.

    I do not consider myself a BG mandolinist:

    I don't use big round thick picks

    I don't even own an F style mandolin nor do I want one

    I never use a strap

    I like European-style flat backs and bowlbacks.

    I have never referred to myself as a "picker".

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  8. #6
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No. I play whatever I like, hear in my mind, and can play with my hands. This includes rock, blues, pop, swing, ragtime, jug band, country, calypso, Cajun, Caribbean, and yes, a little bluegrass. I'm well aware that among the general public there is a popular conception - or rather, misconception - that mandolins are suited for bluegrass only. That sure shows up in conversation with civilians (non-mandolinists) quite often. They've heard it used there, or they've seen pictures or videos, and that's all they know - they haven't dug deeper. Nor put much thought into it. Mandolinists should know better.

    The general public should know better. In this fine article about Ray Jackson and the most well-known mandolin solo ever played, the author explores the story about his playing on "Maggie May" and related aspects thereof. That was such a monster hit, the mandolin part on it has surely been heard by many millions more than any bluegrass song.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  10. #7
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    I have used and may continue to use a capo
    Worlds okay-ist mandolin player

    Relative newcomer

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    When I joined up with a guitar playing friend, he constantly asked me to come up with “good mandolin tunes.” Finally, he understands that any tune or genre can work. So I play in any genre that my meager skills will allow. Fast BG, not so much.
    Girouard A
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  13. #9
    Registered User Willi Bahrenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Everyone is doing GREAT so far!

    More! MORE DATA!!


  14. #10
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    I forgot to say...

    Answer: No

    Prefered genre: Folk, singer-songwriter, acoustic-pop

  15. #11
    Registered User Willi Bahrenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I have used and may continue to use a capo
    Guess, I'll count this as a big "No" then?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I forgot to say...

    Answer: No

    Prefered genre: Folk, singer-songwriter, acoustic-pop
    Whoops, you beat me to it!

  16. #12
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willi Bahrenberg View Post
    Guess, I'll count this as a big "No" then?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Whoops, you beat me to it!
    Not really

  17. #13

    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Nope.

  18. #14
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No. I most consistently play blues and ragtime, with a dose of country plus anything that comes into my head, including fiddle tunes, folk songs, rock songs, Greek pop music ("Never on Sunday"), etc., etc.
    Last edited by Ranald; Dec-29-2021 at 10:40am.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  20. #15
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No - can't my fingers that fast. (Or, more likely, my brain.)

    D.H.
    Last edited by Dave Hicks; Dec-29-2021 at 11:53am.

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  22. #16
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    This is a really hard question for someone who doesn't exclusively play one genre.

    So, I'm going to make my answer clear, but it will be really hard to analyze for statistics.

    Note: If the question was about general "roots genre" instead of exclusively "bluegrass", I could have simply answered "yes".

    Here's my data, in order of activity/venue frequency (ie: I jam more than I perform, more than I practice/private play, more than I do miscellaneous play). Do what you can with it...

    In order of jamming frequency:
    1) Bluegrass
    2) Gospel
    3) Swing
    4) Old Jazz/Gypsy
    5) Folk

    In order of performing frequency:
    1) Gospel
    2) Bluegrass
    3) Swing
    4) Old Jazz/Gypsy
    5) Folk

    In order of practice and/or private play frequency:
    1) Gospel
    2) Classical
    3) Bluegrass
    4) Old Jazz/Gypsy
    5) Swing

    In order of miscellaneous frequency:
    1) Blues
    2) Country
    3) Rockabilly
    4) Childrens' songs
    Last edited by dhergert; Dec-29-2021 at 11:30am.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


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  23. #17
    Old Guy Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Not always. Sometimes though....... So, I guess that would be no
    Thanks

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  24. #18
    Playing on the porch
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Nope.

    I'm an old violinist that always wanted to play guitar, but wanted it to play in fifths like a violin. My violin teacher in 2016 told me I might enjoy the mandolin. She was right. I play my mandolin a couple of hours a day, primarily playing popular music from roughly between 1964 and 1979. I'll play anything, but generally enjoy pop, rock, folk, blues, funk, country, classical, and any tune that pops into my head. I play simply for pleasure.
    ---
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  25. #19
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    No, not now. Started as one 50 years ago, but haven't played BG in an organized group for 20 years, and seldom even jam. More Celtic, klezmer, and general-purpose "folk" than anything else now.
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  27. #20
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Nope.

  28. #21
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Maybe players of bluegrass don’t like answering surveys.

  29. #22
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    I like blueberries and ripe bananas in a big bowl of slow cooked porridge.
    With maple syrup.

    Yes, you’d better put me in miscellaneous.

  30. #23
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Forgive me for chuckling to myself but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    This is a really hard question for someone who doesn't exclusively play one genre.
    .. sure sounds like a simple, straight NO to me; no statistical analysis involved.

    Which is also my response: NO, diluted by all the "ifs, ands, or buts" expressed by most folks above!
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

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  32. #24
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    I am a died in the wool bluegrasser................period.

  33. #25
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: To be or not to be (a bluegrass player)

    Yes…bluegrass/fusion..lol

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