Howdy Folks! This web site is intended to be a portal site for information about bluegrass music in Kansai area, especailly around in Nara.
Bluegrass is a genre of the country music, and it differs from the country music you usually hear in that players use only 'acoustic' instruments, such as guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, etc. In other words, it is "unplugged."
We have several bluegrass music associations in Nara. One of them is WIC(Weeds In the Crowd). It is well known in Kansai area becuase of its long histroy. We will let you know how those associtaions are going in Nara. Also, we will offer various information from bluegrass live schedules, tips of how to play bluegrass instruments, etc. We are waiting to hear from you to make this site more informative for not only bluegrass fan but also for those who are interested in music of this kind.
Keep on picking!



Gibson F-5Lloyd Roar(1924)
of Bill Monroe.
Counry Music Museum 

Nashville.TN.USA Mandolin of Bill Monroe of country music museum possession. The super-vintage mandolin of Bill Monroe which created bluegrass. It is wrapped in various histories and episode. This mandolin is the modern design early in the 20th century devised in order to perform standing. When it was the parlor music heyday, the mandolin of many forms, such as F-4 of the short round hole of a scale and teardrop (tear) type A type, was made for women.
In bluegrass, this type called Gibson's F-5 type is famous, and is surprised by the size of sound. A tone changes with the ages and producers by whom the same Gibson was also made. These days, there are also many an individual producer's mandolins and many are also proud of popularity. There is a mandolin of the individual builder of world levels, such as "Wade" and "NAO", in Japan, and the replica of the Monroe mandolin (photograph) of "Wade" had induced admiration by IBMA in 2010.
The mandolin made in the "Future mandolin studio" of the Nara Yagyu district is an indispensable item for the bluegrass player of Nara.

the mandolin which I am using now "Gibson F-5L fern" (Steve Carlson1989)

YouTubehere -- almost -- the manufacture mandolin picture UP.

Martin D-28(1950)
of the Lester flat.
Counry Music Museum 
YouTube Flat&Scruggs by the Beverly Hillbillies

Nashville.TN.USA D-28 which the "Lester flat" of top star "Flat&Scruggs" of the bluegrass of country music easy museum possession owned.

Also in the guitar of bluegrass, Martin D-28 is a best match mostly. The big body called dreadnaught is the best for the forcible rhythm and lead to flip at a flat pick. (Lester had used the sum pick regularly) The surface of this type of guitar is made from spruce (North America pine), and a tone and a use change with quality of the materials of the back and a side. The optimal one for bluegrass is Jacaranda. Especially D-28 of the 1950s is a bluegrass player's object of adoration. The ban on import of the Jacarand is carried out by the Washington Convention, and its rosewood is in use now. These days, D-18 of mahogany is popular.
"G run" which is a stock-in-trade of a bluegrass performance is one of the Rick of opening or ending. Peculiar timing directs a country taste. However, it is pleasant if it is decided.


Gibson Glanada TB Conversion (TB= tenor banjo)

Hamamatsu musical instrument museum Banjo exposition (2010/7-9) (2010/7-9)
YouTube Festival animation of a phantom! BanjoJam

5strings-Banjo which symbolizes bluegrass music. The root as a musical instrument is old, and to Europe, the United States, and Asia, a Japanese samisen etc. change a form variously and are widely distributed from Africa. Being called the highest in 5strings banjo is Granada manufactured before prewar days (World War II) (pri-War). Since only a small quantity was made at the time, 5stringsBanjo converted 4strings banjo used for Dixie jazz, and set it to 5strings in many cases. The Banjo exposition was held in the "Hamamatsu musical instrument museum" in summer of 2010. Much collection, such as a banjo introduced to Japan at a precious root musical instrument and Edo period, won big popularity. Prewar Granada which Mr. Omori (-2010) who was a player famous for Japan owned was exhibited here.
5th string of the feature of a 5strings-banjo is Drone string. And string of the highest sound has stretched from the middle of the neck. And by rendition called a roll, the player has made the sound of Banjo. The pioneer of a bluegrass banjo is "Earl Scruggs" of the poster of a picture. It is not an overstatement although Bluegrass music was produced by Monroe and Scruggs. Banjo is a musical instrument which was divided into fine parts and has accomplished original evolution for every part. Many of Banjo players of bluegrass have their own belief. For example, the form, the manufactured year, and others of the quality of the material of trees, such as mahogany and maple, the tone ring of the metal which makes a sound peculiar to banjo, and parts. Since there are many parts, a prejudice exists mostly. The word Banjo "okaku" has acquired citizenship in this world.

By John Hartford
Counry Music Museum 
Fiddle of John Hertford of By John Hartford Counry Music Museum Nashville.TN.USA
YouTube John Hartford

We are called "Fiddle" when a violin is used by ethnic music. It seems that they call it a violin by Gypsy, jazz, and Spanish music. (Why is it?)
Bluegrass Fiddle can be said to be that the fiddle player of Bill Monroe, Bluegrass Boys, Flatt and Scruggs and others made the foundation of the performance style.
We took in accompaniment of dance music, and the element of the Fiddle music as instrumental music, and the fiddle player of each band referred to each phrase, and we devised the style which suited the rhythm and music of new music which are called Bluegrass.
The phrase of the accompaniment developed first or an interlude was copied by the coming fiddle player, and became what was refined.
Bluegrass fans feel nostalgia by the ability of such phrases currently developed in early stages to be occasionally heard with a new phrase.
At first, although it is BluegrassFiddle left as one constituent of a band, in response to the influence of other genres (jazz, the blues, a lock, etc.), original development is accomplished after that. The Fiddle music in North America is the music culture which unites the ethnic music which makes an old good time remember, and other music, and brings about fresh surprise and impression.
[Fiddler Ueda]

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