The bouzouki comes from the same family as mandolin and lute and is widely played in Greek folk music, although it's become increasingly popular in contemporary American folk and progressive bluegrass music. Learn more about the history of the bouzouki.
A mandolin is a small stringed instrument with eight strings in four pairs (two strings for each note) that are either plucked or strummed in a trill. It's a descendant from the lute, which has six pairs of strings (12 in total). Similarly to the lute, the body of the mandolin is oval or teardrop-shaped. Learn more about the mandolin.
Washtub bass is a musical instrument that traditionally has one string that is plucked, using a metal washtub as a resonator. Learn more about the history of the washtub bass.
The musical jug is the cornerstone of the jug band lineup, but when did people start playing the jug? How is it played? And what's the story of the musical jug? Learn more with this brief history and definition of the musical jug.
The musical washboard is a percussion instrument played by scratching or tapping the metal washing surface up and down in rhythm. Learn more about the history of the musical washboard and the zydeco rub-board (frottoir).
Despite the Jew's harp's name, there's no apparent historical connection with Judaism. Many older cultures fashioned it out of bamboo, while metal bow-shaped versions came from throughout Europe and Asia.
What is folk music? This may be a topic on which scholars, fans, and artists will never entirely agree, but that's only because folk music is subjective to the people to whom it means something, by definition. Learn more about what folk music is, and what it has been in American history.
The Harmonica is, aside from the human voice and your own two hands, the most portable instrument used in traditional American folk music. Most harmonicas are small enough that they fit perfectly in any pocket.
This three-finger picking style was made famous by banjo legend and original Bluegrass Boy Earl Scruggs.
House concerts are a fun and intimate way to share folk music with your friends. Here's a definition and more information about what a house concert involves.
There are numerous ways to attack playing the banjo, and clawhammer is one of the more popular.
For whatever reason, Unitarian churches tend to have monthly "coffeehouse" series wherein they invite Folk singer/songwriters and bands to perform...
From the slave fields to the minstrels, to the parlors, to picking parties, jam nights, and now concert halls and folk venues, the banjo is a staple in just about every form of traditional music ... despite all the jokes.
I guarantee that on any given night of the week, there's an open mic night happening somewhere near you. Here's an explanation of what one is, and how to make the most of it
Hootenannies have long helped folk singers and songwriters come together, form communities, and motivate one another along the way of their careers.
The word "folksinger" is often misused, overused, and horribly misunderstood.
The folk song is one of the most functional, portable, adaptable and accessible arts of human history.
This acoustic instrument was added to the Bluegrass band line-up by Lester Flatt in the 1950s. Learn more.
Sure, it's a fire you light at a camp, but in the folk world (particularly at festivals), it's even more than that.
The coffeehouse has, since its inception, been a destination for activists, dreamers, writers, and folksingers.
International Bluegrass Music Associaion