Taking bluegrass guitar lessonsDo you want to learn how to play bluegrass guitar? Originating in Kentucky, bluegrass is a really fun genre to play because it's fast paced and upbeat.

We have searched through the most popular guitar courses and found the best ones that offer bluegrass guitar lessons and compared them in the table below. Check it out and see which one is right for you:


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Rating: 98.2%
Rating: 96.8%
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6,000+ Lessons
1,172 Hours
8,000 Lessons
1,000+ Hours
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80 Teachers 45 Teachers
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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons

Bluegrass is all about venturing to the heartland of America. Inspired by the music of Appalachia, bluegrass is a sub-genre of country music with roots from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Bluegrass music is ballad heavy and traditionally features “old-fashion” instruments that are not found in a number of other genres.

Common instruments found in bluegrass include: acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, harmonica and drums.

Bluegrass shares some similarities to early African-American music, including borrowing from jazz’s ability to allow one or more instruments time to play the melody while the rest of the band improvises around it – known as breakdowns.

The genre has a very distinct sound with a guitar picking technique known as flatpicking often incorporated. While there has been some departure from original bluegrass music such as the addition of electric elements, the vast majority of the genre remains unchanged.

Bluegrass is well regarded for its songwriting qualities as the music often features lonesome narratives and vocals are usually harmonized with two, three or even four members.

History of Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass originates from rural areas, a development of old-time music and traditional music from the Appalachian region of the United States. The music became very popular in this region because many English and Scottish immigrants settled there, bringing with them the musical traditions of their homelands.

In the late-1940s, bluegrass emerged on audio recordings within the post-war country/western music industry. Widely considered the “golden era” of traditional bluegrass, the genre was paved forward by the “father of bluessgrass” Bill Monroe.

Why Learn Bluegrass Guitar?

Bluegrass music is terrific for lovers of stringed instruments, including not only the acoustic guitar but other, rarer, stringed instruments like the fiddle and banjo. Bluegrass – like a lot of other older American genres of music – leans heavily on the story told in the lyrics, but it’s the stringed instruments that give it a sonic dominance.

In terms of scales, bluegrass has a lot of similarities to country music with the major difference being the flatpick technique. It’s a totally unique, not to mention challenging way to playing the guitar, perfect for guitarists who want to continue the amazing tradition of bluegrass. Unlike other genres, bluegrass remains largely unchanged from its inception.

Style of Bluegrass Guitar

The melodic style in bluegrass is often fast and dynamic with slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, powerful strumming and rapid crosspicking in high demand. All of this movement calls for flatpicking, a technique that is synonymous with bluegrass music.

Flatpicking involves playing the steel strings with a pick, or plectrum, unlike the fingerstyle technique which does not always require the use of a pick. Flatpicking became popular in bluegrass because it expanded the role of the guitar while also defining the genre sonically.  Part of playing bluegrass guitar is not only the lessons but the actual instrument set-up, where flat top guitars are preferred over arch top guitars, and steel strings are better than nylon.

The primary bluegrass guitar scales are: the major pentatonic, the major diatonic scale and the mixo-lydian mode. If you want to learn bluegrass, you need to know these three scales.

Types of Bluegrass Guitar Lessons

Bluegrass guitar lessons are covered on all of the top-rated guitar lessons websites, and free information also exists on websites like YouTube.

Bluegrass guitar lessons typically begin with a breakdown on the aforementioned flatpicking technique and then expand on additional terms and skills needed to master the style. Bluegrass does require some intermediate/advanced techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, and crosspicking which will take some time to learn.

If you are more of a visual learner, considering purchasing bluegrass guitar lessons that include a DVD or CD too.