Beginning Bluegrass :)


I play the acoustic guitar but have not yet started on a bluegrass journey. However, I’ve been terribly hooked on to
Nickel Creek. I cannot get enough of their music. I know their songs comprise of 3 major sounds. One is definitely
an acoustic guitar, the other is definitely a violin but I’m confused about the third one. Is it a Banjo or a Mandolin ?

Either which way, I wanna buy the “third” instrument too and start playing some bluegrass music. Problem is I’m in India
and not many people here are hooked onto bluegrass.

I’d like to know what that third instrument is and also get to know of other bands playing musical similar to Nickel Creek :slight_smile:



It’s a mandolin . . played by probably the most innovative and talented player since Sam Bush . . his name is Chris Thile, and he is an unbelievable musician. Hmmmm, bands like nickel creek? check out crooked still, infamous stringdusters, spring creek, punch brothers . . that should be a good start!

There’s actually more instruments in a typical bluegrass band.

and sometimes Dobro

Ahhhh the Mandolin, once you get one, you’ll never put it down :slight_smile: Most guitarists I know really get a kick out of playing them. They’re tuned like a violin/fiddle though, so you can’t transpose your guitar skills directly in terms of chords…

If you like that sound on Nickel Creek, you should try listening to one of Chris Thile’s (the mandolin player) early albums, back when he wasn’t so technically mindblowing, it can be fun to chop along to. The album I’m thinking of is Stealing Second, and playing with Chris Thile are most of bluegrass’s star players, so it’s a nice introduction :thumbsup

As for stuff that sound like Nickel Creek, I’d definitely recommend Alison Krauss & Union Station. Alison Krauss produced Nickel Creek’s first two albums, so they do have similarities in sound. I’d recommend her album So Long So Wrong, it’s kind of middle-of-the-way in terms of bluegrass, easy listening but bluegrassy enough to get you hooked and wanting to explore it more!
Also in a similar vein is the band Mountain Heart, try the album Wide Open.
Definitely Crooked Still.
The Lovell Sisters, very instrumentally pleasing but more mainstream so easy to start with.

I’ve spent my life trying to convert my friends to bluegrass music :lol , and I’ve found the bands listed above definitely were a good place to start :cheers

I look forward to hearing how you get along!

This thing, my friend, called the internet. Search and ye shall find. Satuate yourself in all things Nickle Creek and Bluegrass. Just a click away… The more you know, the more you will want to know. :medal

1 album - get it from a friend - it’s out of print…

Steam powered


Tales From the Acoustic Planet - Volume 2 - The Bluegrass Sessions
Bela Fleck and some of the most talented musicians in the business! :thumbsup

Auntie Hope :festivarian2 :green

I first heard David Grisman’s album “Hot Dog” in a record store. The owner put it on the turntable. Listened to one cut and took it off. It wasn’t rock and roll. He sold it to me for half price. I bought a mandolin for $50 within a month. Sometimes I wish I only spent that much on music, but there are more CD’s just waiting for me to take home, and I am happy to live in a time when so much good music has been played.