What is bluegrass music?
"Bluegrass" is a genre of American music that has its roots in traditional Irish, Scottish, English, and other northern European foundations. It is generally performed on acoustic instruments such as the fiddle [violin], guitar, banjo, mandolin, and string bass and often includes sung vocal narratives.
So-called "traditional" bluegrass as popularized by Bill Monroe consists of folk songs and instrumental tunes, often with individual musicians taking turns playing "leads" or "breaks" over simple chord progressions and rhythmic patterns played by the others in the ensemble.
"Progressive" bluegrass musicians have introduced the use of electric instruments and non-traditional musical genres and forms.
Bluegrass music has developed and diversified around the world and continues to evolve and exchange influences with other cultures, musical styles, and instruments.
Bluegrass music, like jazz and rock-and-roll, is especially amenable to "jamming", where ad-hoc assemblages of instrumentalists and vocalists take turns playing or singing melodic themes ["leads" or "breaks"] or improvising over song forms ["verses" and "choruses"] and harmonic structures ["chord changes"] without strictly defined scores or arrangements.
Jams are a great way to exchange musical ideas, learn new musical skills, and socialize around the very inclusive nature of bluegrass music. Take a look at the "Buck's Bluegrass Hotline" calendar to see the wide variety of jams regularly held in Colorado.