To Jam or Perform

To Jam or Perform

Question: Hey Ozzie, Last year I went to a bluegrass festival and met a singer who asked me to join her band for the weekend. We ended up practising her repertoire so much that I never got to jam. Was I stupid? Ozzie: Probably. It’s tempting when someone musically...
To Jam or Perform

Bluegrass Etiquette – What’s the Go?

Question: Hey Ozzie – Is there instrumental etiquette in playing bluegrass in a band? Ozzie: Sure is boy. And many pickers don’t understand it. Say there’s five of you. To sound good you’ve got to listen to each other keenly, and allow each other to play when a...
The Sad Reality of Bluegrass

The Sad Reality of Bluegrass

Hey Ozzie, My friends (not musicians) tell me that the bluegrass songs I sing are too dark for them. They say bluegrass is a sad genre, often about bad people. Are they right? Ozzie: I think they’re being too hard on the music. Sure Poor Ellen Smith is a song about a...
To Jam or Perform

When is an Unpaid Gig Get To Be Too Much?

Hi Ozzie. My name is Mike. Several guys in our band want us to play a festival that’s 700km away. We won’t get paid and we’ll be on the road for a week. Should I agree to this idea? It would mean taking seven days of my accrued holidays and leaving my wife in charge...
Banjo Sound and Setup

Banjo Sound and Setup

Question: I took my banjo to a jam last week and met another banjoist who had the same make and model and it sounded so much better than mine. We use the same brand and gauge of strings, and the same picks, so how could that be? Ozzie: Although there are now many...