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  #1  
Old 06-27-2022, 05:37 AM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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Default Bluegrass vs Rockabilly

Please let me know if I’m way off base.

Let’s say I flatpick an uptempo Carter Style melody, and my arrangement is well embellished with hammer on’s, flick offs, slides, bass runs, and crosspick rolls.

If I play that on an acoustic guitar then I’m playing bluegrass. But if I play it on an electric guitar then I’m playing rockabilly.

Does that sound right to you?
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Old 06-27-2022, 05:42 AM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is online now
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Hmmm...
I do know that if a fiddle player is wearing a tuxedo or evening gown .... it's a violin.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:50 PM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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If there’s a drummer present, sure.
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Old 06-28-2022, 12:52 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarsaune View Post
If there’s a drummer present, sure.
Yep, as soon as you add a drummer then it changes. Bluegrass is an acoustic string band singing songs in close harmony.

The trouble with us folks on AGF is that we focus on seeing "guitar" and "bluegrass" as being synonymous. But bluegrass is actually the sum of many parts of which guitar is just one spoke in the wheel.
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Old 06-28-2022, 01:26 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phydaux View Post
Please let me know if I’m way off base.

Let’s say I flatpick an uptempo Carter Style melody, and my arrangement is well embellished with hammer on’s, flick offs, slides, bass runs, and crosspick rolls.

If I play that on an acoustic guitar then I’m playing bluegrass. But if I play it on an electric guitar then I’m playing rockabilly.

Does that sound right to you?
No...
to find out why try jiving to bluegrass music.
Edit
I just listened to some bluegrass songs from my 25 years of Rounder records CD so that must be as authentic bluegrass as it gets.
I don't know if any of you have been to an English Country Dance event but the rythmns of bluegrass sound to me like they developed from 'Barn' dances where everyone dances together and swap partners , whereas Rockabilly is more akin to Swing.

Last edited by Andyrondack; 06-28-2022 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 06-28-2022, 01:58 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
I don't know if any of you have been to an English Country Dance event but the rythmns of bluegrass sound to me like they developed from 'Barn' dances where everyone dances together and swap partners , whereas Rockabilly is more akin to Swing.
LOL!!!

Our bluegrass band played at my son's wedding. A very Scottish affair up on Loch Lomond. As the evening got late we had a Scottish Country dance caller on one mic' calling the dances while we hammered out bluegrass songs. The callers (there were a few at the event) clapped the rhythm and speed they wanted and I picked an appropriate bluegrass tune to fit. Then we had 60 or 70 folks charging up and down the dance floor as only the well lubricated Highlander can! It was one hell of a night!!!
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2022, 08:41 AM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I'd say that you are not far off with your thought. Having played several different styles of music I have learned that they have allot of similarities. But they all seem to have what I call their own guitar vocabulary. Those are chords or styles of chords, signature figures and licks that telegraph the style of music. That and the beat make the differences. Otherwise, it's all guitar and music. And don't forget to wear the correct hat and shirt.
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:03 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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….it’s an interesting supposition….and of course there are structural similarities one can point to….as always rhythm can transform just about any chord structure from one genre to another….especially when combined with a change in instrumentation…..examples??…..Del McCourys version of Richard Thompson’s Vincent Black Lightening…..Frank Sollivans version of The Letter by the Boxtops…..Sam Bush doing any Reggae tune…

….as far as Rockabilly to Bluegrass goes….I can easily hear a Bluegrass rendition of Blue Suede Shoes….Rock Around the Clock….Honey Don’t……most classic Rockabilly songs really….
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:24 AM
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rllink rllink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Yep, as soon as you add a drummer then it changes. Bluegrass is an acoustic string band singing songs in close harmony.

The trouble with us folks on AGF is that we focus on seeing "guitar" and "bluegrass" as being synonymous. But bluegrass is actually the sum of many parts of which guitar is just one spoke in the wheel.
Sitting around playing songs that may or may not be either is not bluegrass or rockabilly, it is just songs. Neither of those are something one can do solo.
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:54 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Our bluegrass band played at my son's wedding. A very Scottish affair up on Loch Lomond. As the evening got late we had a Scottish Country dance caller on one mic' calling the dances while we hammered out bluegrass songs. The callers (there were a few at the event) clapped the rhythm and speed they wanted and I picked an appropriate bluegrass tune to fit. Then we had 60 or 70 folks charging up and down the dance floor as only the well lubricated Highlander can! It was one hell of a night!!!
That sounds like a GREAT time.
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:01 AM
Hobo_King Hobo_King is offline
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Genres are made up labels to market and sell product. It's all just music.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:39 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
No...
to find out why try jiving to bluegrass music.
Edit
I just listened to some bluegrass songs from my 25 years of Rounder records CD so that must be as authentic bluegrass as it gets.
I don't know if any of you have been to an English Country Dance event but the rythmns of bluegrass sound to me like they developed from 'Barn' dances where everyone dances together and swap partners , whereas Rockabilly is more akin to Swing.
Good point. Rockabilly mostly swings, while bluegrass rarely does.

And you're quite right about the antecedents of bluegrass (and all American "country") being mostly from British folk music - including Scots and Irish as well as English. But naturally influenced by African-American traditions too - cross-fertilization went both ways.
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Old 06-30-2022, 05:51 AM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is online now
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Looking off in a different direction, there's some affinity between Bill Monroe and Chuck Berry.

D.H.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:38 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Xxxx zzzzz x

Last edited by Andyrondack; 06-30-2022 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Wrong thread
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2022, 03:01 PM
Italuke Italuke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
I don't know if any of you have been to an English Country Dance event but the rythmns of bluegrass sound to me like they developed from 'Barn' dances where everyone dances together and swap partners , whereas Rockabilly is more akin to Swing.
Ding, ding, ding! Right answer! Probably the best way to put it, setting aside drummers, big Gretsches with tons of reverb, bowling shirts and Brylcream. The inherent RHYTHMS are from different sources. Even if you do add bass runs.
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