Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions. 



Are The Handsome Ladies a band?

The Handsome Ladies are not a band, we are 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  As part of our programs, we assemble a pick-up band called The Picks to play events and spread the gospel of bluegrass along with The Handsome Ladies' mission.

What does my donation fund?

Your greatly appreciated donation helps keep us running! Here is what it goes towards:

  • Online Presence (domain, hosting, email, etc.)

  • Marketing Materials (physical banners, handouts, etc.)

  • Branded Merchandise (shirts, swag, etc.)

  • Presence at Festivals (booth fees and construction; travel costs and festival tickets for board members are not covered)

  • Musician/Educator fees (Handsome Ladies Sponsored Events & Workshops)

  • Future Programs in the Pipeline (scholarships, grants, etc.)

  • Shipping & Postage

Please also note:

  • The majority of The Handsome Ladies income is provided through annual board member and ambassador dues.

  • All design production is produced by members of the board pro bono. Design commission are paid out-of-pocket or are also pro bono.

  • Currently, there are no paid positions within The Handsome Ladies organization.

Donations are a vital component of getting our brand awareness out there. Which in turn, allows more Ladies to join our community!

What etiquette guidelines do The Handsome Ladies follow?

Generally, we follow the Bluegrass Jamming Basics by Pete Wernick. Here is the etiquette that we present at our workshops

What are the standard bluegrass instruments?

  • Bass

  • Guitar

  • Dobro

  • Banjo

  • Mandolin

  • Fiddle

Can I play my autoharp, cello, accordion, harmonica, clawhammer banjo at a Handsome Ladies jam?

While we don’t like to turn folks away, we are a nonprofit in support of traditional bluegrass and want to uphold the expectations as such. We recognize that there is sometimes a grey area in adding a non standard instrument. Jimmy Martin frequently had a snare drum , Flatt and Scruggs a brush bass, Bill Monroe had an accordion (Sally Ann Forrester), etc, etc. 

If a participant shows up with a fringe instrument the deal is such: play bluegrass tunes or standard instrumentals within the prescribed jam etiquette (lead the song, pass breaks, play appropriate backup, etc.)

The final call is left to the discretion of the jam host at all times. They can read the group and decide what will work best for the majority involved.

Can I use supplemental materials like lyric/chord sheets or iPads in a jam?

Another grey area, here’s why: 

  • Jamming should be where you bring your polished materials and really push yourself free of the training wheels.

  • You may detract from the jam with shuffling papers and setting yourself up.

  • It’s better to be able to visually communicate with the group when you pass out breaks and not be consumed with reading your lyrics.

That being said, sometimes at-home, beginner jams are an OK place for this and the environment is more suited for supplemental materials. Often, public jams are hosted in bars or other environments where spectators come to watch and that is part of the bargain for us using their space. Let’s bring our best out to jam for these folks and not hold up the rest of the group.

Can I sing along in unison with the person leading the song?

In short, no.

We greatly prefer and highly suggest jams stick to the standard melody stack variations and that parts are designated before the song starts. Express your interest if you would like to sing on a harmony part.

Are there member dues associated with being part of The Handsome Ladies?

No. Currently all activities are funded by the board and by donations from the community and members themselves. Thanks for supporting women in bluegrass!

Can I host a jam?

Yes, you are always free to connect, coordinate and plan a jam on your own! We encourage women in areas not represented by a local chapter to engage with each other and their communities. Currently, “official” Handsome Ladies jams, those advertised on our calendar and Facebook page events, are hosted by Board Members or Ambassadors only. 

If you would like to start a chapter in your area please check out our current chapters and then read on.

Why are there two Facebook pages?

We have a private group for our members. This is a place to share, ask, discuss, and commiserate. This page is not open to the general public. This is your place! Connect with Handsome Ladies in other chapters, plan a visit around the next jam. The private group is also the place where in-home jams are listed to keep the addresses unlisted from the public. 

The public page is for our supporters and communities at large. Here, we share Handsome Ladies’ news and our public events. Please “like” and share this page with your friends and family, and all your “Brothers in Bluegrass”! 

Can I post my gig to The Handsome Ladies private or public Facebook page?

With moderation.

Our private Facebook group is not regional, but national. The Facebook group is best for discussion, sharing information, and community building. While a post here and there is quite acceptable, we do not envision our private group becoming a forum for gig posting. If it gets to be out of control, the page moderators will delete as necessary. No offense. 

Can The Handsome Ladies post my gig to their website?

The Handsome Ladies website calendar of events is for Handsome Ladies’ events and general festival or community building events only, not specific member’s gigs.

If you are looking for an event calendar to post to, check your local bluegrass association for information. Many have multiple calendars that are updated with that sole purpose in mind.

Can The Handsome Ladies book my band?

The Handsome Ladies are not a booking agency. While we do get requests from time-to-time for talent, we do not engage in booking shows or house concerts beyond events that we initiate and coordinate as our nonprofit. 

Can I name my unaffiliated ladies-only jam after the Handsome Ladies, or something similar?

The Handsome Ladies name is part of our brand identity, and what makes us unique as an organization. We’re darn proud to be Handsomes! If you are not directly affiliated with our organization—i.e. you are an official Handsome Ladies chapter—or have not gotten explicit permission from us to use our name, we ask that you please refrain from naming your jam with the word “Handsome” or anything too similar. This in no way means we do not support other ladies-only or inclusion-focused groups in bluegrass. The more of us the better! We simply ask that you respect our unique identity and allow us to remain a distinct entity within the bluegrass community. If you are interested in becoming an official Handsome Ladies chapter in your city, that's great! You can learn more about doing that here. Note: We are in the process of trademarking our organization name and logo.


Have more questions? Shoot us an email!