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Traditional bluegrass: Wikis


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Traditional bluegrass, as the name implies, emphasizes the traditional elements of bluegrass music, and stands in opposition to progressive bluegrass. Traditional bluegrass musicians are likely to play folk songs, songs with simple traditional chord progressions, and use only acoustic instruments.

Traditional bands may use bluegrass instruments in slightly different ways (clawhammer style of banjo playing, or multiple guitars or fiddles within a band). In this sub-genre, the guitar rarely takes the lead (the notable exception being gospel songs), remaining a rhythm instrument. Melodies and lyrics tend to be simple, and a I-iv-V chord pattern is very common.

There are ideological divisions even among traditional bluegrass bands. These divisions center on the longstanding debate about what constitutes "Bluegrass Music". Most traditional bluegrass musicians don't consider progressive bluegrass to truly be "bluegrass", some going so far as to suggest bluegrass must be styled directly after Bill Monroe's bands. However, stylistic divergences in traditional bluegrass generally center around which first generation bands musicians draw inspiration from. Examples include bands who sing in the Stanley Brothers tradition: Roy Lee Centers, Larry Sparks, Sammy Adkins, The Fields Bros, The Wilson Brothers, The Gillis Brothers and various local bands across the country. Other bands followed Lester Flatt, such as Willis Spears, Curley Seckler and Karl Shifflett. Mac Wiseman's "crooning" style of Bluegrass engendered Hylo Brown and Sid Campbell. The Osborne Brothers have followers in Larry Stephenson as well as the Grascals. Frank Necessary and Hud Hadley were strongly influenced by Jimmy Martin



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