I gave 2 questions, I put in guitar forum but applicable across the board.
First, I’m on month 2 and I love this site, I’m enthusiastically going thru the intermediate level stuff and feeling like I’m making leaps and bounds, good structure to follow and an interesting enthusiastic teacher. Fortunately here in NC we have a fair number of opportunities to play with others and I look forward to joining some bluegrass jams once this corona thing passes. I don’t have much desire leave our land now.
Do you advanced players reach a point where at least for picking you pretty much improvise melodies around chord structures? I’ve been playing over 50 years, childhood was general messing around, started training classical in college and then jazz after about 25 years of that which was very much oriented toward teaching my ear to improvise around various chord types and tonal centers. it seems like many of the really good bluegrass pickers are largely improvising?
2nd question, maybe a bit esoteric… what motivates you to play this style of music? I’ve enjoyed my classical music, I always come back to it but I’m also a Texas boy and grew up with country, college days in the 70s around Austin definitely an influence but as a child around a west Texas ranching environment the influence of old school like Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, Johnny Horton etc so as I get older I realize my true interest are in the area of roots country music. Even starting to do vocals, drawn to the lyrical content of the music as well from the traditional country/folk songwriters as well as many of the Americana indie style songwriters, so… traditional bluegrass from a pure perspective isn’t my goal but the influence I can take from learning it definitely is a big part because it is at the root of country.
Sorry for the long winded intro… just curious about the journey some of you may be traveling…