Why Your Creative Grind Needs Some Progressive Bluegrass

Happy Monday to you, wherever you are. If you’re gearing up for a new week of work, you know that one of most important tools is your Spotify account. And if you’re any kind of creative type, you know that instrumental music is one of the best aids for getting into that state of flow you need to get things done.

Good news! I’m not sending you packing into the workweek battle unarmed. I’m also not sending you out with anything you’re used to. Meet my new Spotify playlist “Instrumental Progressive Bluegrass for Creativity.”

I know what you’re thinking right now:

“Whoa, James! Whoa. Bluegrass? I don’t see how a bunch of hillbilly music is going to help me get things done this week.” 

First of all, stop being a snob. Secondly, you’re welcome to be a snob anytime you listen to this playlist. It’s literally the snob-friendliest bluegrass ever made, and I say that affectionately.

I’m combed through Spotify to curate and mixologize instrumentals that take bluegrass to a new level of complexity and artistry. From multi-talented banjo player Bela Fleck to mandolin player Chris Thile, these artists take their bluegrass roots and the traditional acoustic instruments of a bluegrass band and make something entirely new. Looking for freestyle jazz with flatpicked guitar? You got it. Want something more reminiscent of a classical symphony with mandolins and fiddles? There are plenty of those. And don’t worry – you’re getting only instrumentals, so you won’t need to worry about lyrics about moonshine stills, a pretty little girl in Tennesee, or rambling. I can suggest other playlists if you want that stuff.

Just to keep things real, I’ve included several tunes in this playlist that will sound deceptively like basic folk or fiddle tunes (some are) that the recording artists have transformed with some complex uses of tension and resolution.

This playlist will train your ear, get your foot tapping, and – if I’ve succeeded – help you get into that creative flow you need to crush it in the week ahead. Go ahead. Try it out!

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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