Is There a Bluegrass Middle Ground

Is There a Bluegrass Middle Ground

Question: I like playing Old Time bluegrass, but the other pickers in my neighbourhood all want to play hot, fast, contemporary bluegrass. Is there a ‘middle ground’ that we all can share, socially? Ozzie: There is always a middle ground, but this ‘demarcation’ occurs...
Breaking Strings – Is It Normal?

Breaking Strings – Is It Normal?

Question: I break strings quite often while playing. Is this normal? Ozzie: It’s not clear what you mean by ‘quite often’, but if it’s every time you jam and play loud, it’s too often. Assuming that your strings are tuned to A440 concert pitch (and no higher), and are...
The Ukulele and Bluegrass

The Ukulele and Bluegrass

Mike from South Australia writes: Dear Ozzie: I love to be surrounded by all sorts of musos that enjoy being in a bluegrass jam. A number of times there are mando, guitar, fiddle and banjo players in the jam circle that are also accompanied by gleeful ukulele players....
Breaking Strings – Is It Normal?

Exclusive Jamming – Is It Rude

Question: How can a bunch of pickers enjoy a bluegrass jam without standing with your backs to your friends who don’t play? They say we’re being rude. Ozzie: Well, you are being rude, but that’s not the point. When a bunch of pickers wants to hear what the others are...
Breaking Strings – Is It Normal?

Incurable Bluegrass Maladies

Hey Ozzie, Can you tell me about the three medical bluegrass maladies that Australian doctors cannot cure? (GAS, MAS and BAS)? Ozzie: The ‘AS’ stands for Acquisition Syndrome, and the G is Guitar, the M is mandolin, and the B is, of course, the Banjo. It is described...