Played some bluegrass last weekend. It's tougher than I expected.

I was invited to play with some bluegrass musicians over at their house. Kind of intimidating because these older gentleman have played for years. Thank goodness there was an experienced rhythm guitarist there. It was informal and lots of fun. No one said anything about my fumbling mistakes trying to keep up.

I didn’t realize how tough rhythm guitar is in bluegrass. Theres no drummer and sometimes theres no bass player. If theres no bass player than the guitarist has to play the bass line. They also have to cue the band with accents on their strum to indicate the first beat of each bar. This guy was showing me these walk up notes he does between the chords to signal a chord change.

Theres a lot to it and if you screw up it messes up the band. It’ll be awhile before I could be the only rhythm guitarist in a bluegrass band. Theres a lot of responsibility. It puts a capital R in rhythm guitarist.

I think it’s fun playing rhythm guitar for bluegrass. Of course, I spent my formative guitar playing years on acoustic, fingerpicking, strumming, and flatpicking, so I know all the walk ups and downs. And heck, if it’s not in the key of G, it’s in A and you just capo the 2nd fret.

It was a lot of fun. I definitely want to sit in and play with those guys whenever I can. I’ll learn a lot about that style of music.

We were in the Key of G. All night. :wink: Chords are super easy. Its the strumming I got to work on. The other guitarist showed me some great tips on walk ups/downs that I’m practicing now.

I enjoy most styles of music. Rock, pop, country, bluegrass. Never attempted jazz or had an interest in classical guitar. I played enough classical in my high school orchestra. 2nd violin.

I’ve started blues lessons over at jam play.