: After playing classical violin for 12 years and bluegrass for the past 6 months, I have to say that I really : prefer bluegrass. Jammin' at a good pickin' session with some really good pickers is so much more fun than any : experience that I ever had in my long years suffering within the rigid confines of the world of classical music, : which has strayed too far from its roots in traditional music. : Don't dismiss the musical skill of any pickers either, some of the most creative and talented violin players are : in the fiddle world. Bluegrass music is extraordinarily hard to play well. Of course good pick work is difficult. Steve Kaufman lives just down the road about 8 miles from me, and he is either the best or one of the best (depends on who you talk to). I just get lonely too often and no really "expert" shops are within reach. I actually play rather more "country" fiddle than classical at this point. I have a terminally inappropriate attitude for classical music. I think it should be fun and refuse to let people continue suffering! I've fired the traditionalists. They hate it when I whip through some Chopin in a "non-standard" manner, especially when the non-brainwasted like it better! : PS--Although they don't sound very good, try a set of Heliocores one day, they are a blast to play on.