No Drums in Bluegrass?

mojo jones

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Interesting that some traditional genres forbid drums, since the drum is arguably the oldest instrument extant. In Celtic bands, the Bodhran is embraced, but take some Celtic influences to the New world, and some of the music developed later proscribes one of the main Irish instruments. Drums were also frowned on in Country and Western music until finally accepted in the mid 20th century.

I suppose the marching snare of the various parades around NOLA lent some influence to percussion in the music there, and also the influences from Latin and West Indian cultures. But they have their own argument in NOLA Trad Jazz .... Tuba or Double Bass? Tuba is definitely preferred by a large contingent of Trad Jazz fundamentalists.
 

Wibcs39

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Lots of newer bands that use bluegrass as their foundation use drums- I just don't think traditional bluegrass can have drums and still be considered traditional. But if you like the idea of bluegrass instrumentation with drums, there are definitely bands that do it.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
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There several modern legit bluegrass artists who have recorded with drums, like Ricky Skaggs and IIIrd Tyme Out. It always sounds like **** to me.
 

MikeVB

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There several modern legit bluegrass artists who have recorded with drums, like Ricky Skaggs and IIIrd Tyme Out. It always sounds like **** to me.

Osborne Brothers did it in 1957. WSM was not pleased with what they did to "His" music.
 

thewalkingboss

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This guy explains it. Basically, it's because there are already percussive string instruments and techniques being used so having a drum kit is redundant.



It's also my take that bluegrass, like blues, tends to be tightly bound around the traditions set by a handful of talented musicians in the past. If Bill Monroe didn't do it or didn't like it, you don't do it or like either.


As mentioned, the mandolin player keeps beat on the 2's and 4's. Then again, there is this:
 
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Bluegrass lovers , hello . I have just read some pages about Bluegrass. It was very informing. Also Bill Monroe experimented with different types of sounds.
First of all , Bluegrass has so much soul , so when played well there's probably no need for more than 1 or 2 performers. When i listen to Allison Krauss singing Down to the river and prey, well... She has it all ( The Choir ) is nice too. The Bluegrass style has so much wonderful music and musicians, and i think most musicians would like to participate in a bluegrass band.
Im happy to read that people like different versions of the music. The traditionalists ( the purists ) keep the Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys model, which is great, but thankfully we all choose what we go for. Quality has nothing to do with your choice of instrument. It's up to the individual and how this person master his instrument, we all know that. So ,in putting togheter a bluegrass band , i would choose a good drummer , instead of less good guitarist. I am myself a drummer, and when i was younger i felt bad because of what i then thought was the rules of the music, meaning no drums/percussion. I play very soft when the music need it, comping the music. So i am extremely happy to be part of the music, and i hope you people open up for young drummers who know to play for the band, as well as for more mature drummers. We drummers love to listen to the style, AND play this music we too, despite that Bill Monroe started without drummers.
 

tnvol

Gen Manager at the YMCA
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The mandolin chops the beat.. No need for drums..
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

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Tradition. Bass covers the kick, mandolin the snare. When the mandolin takes a run, guitar or fiddle or both cover the “chop”. Banjo rolls generally stay steady even during runs, and really glue it all together.
 




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