Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Pete Wernick
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
with Nick Forster, Guitar; Michael Kang, Fiddle; Ben Kaufman, Bass; Sally Van Meter, Dobro; Eric Walser, Mandolin; Pete Wernick, Banjo; Joan "Nondi" Wernick, Vocals Pete Wernick created this "video jam session" so that nov... more »
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A great practice tool
Matthew F. Merta | Hamtramck, MI USA | 05/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
This video is fantastic to say the least. For any bluegrass picker who wants to practice his chops before getting together with some "real" musicians, this is the video to get.
Hosted by former Hot Rize banjoist and International Bluegrass Music Association president Pete Wernick, he is joined by a number of well-respected musicians in the bluegrass field, each performing on one of the common bluegrass instruments, including guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, dobro, and fiddle. The ensemble performs 16 bluegrass standards in a "jam session" setting, with most of the performers taking a solo on a few of the songs. All of the songs also have parts that allow the viewer to solo while the band backs him/her up. Wernick also takes the time to explain jam session etiquette (something perhaps that should be covered a lot more with both introverted and self-righteous musicians), informing the viewer what is expected as far as tuning, solos and backing up, basic vocal harmonies (this writer believes that this cannot be covered enough), and the Number System.
If possible, secure the DVD version of this video, as there are a number of benefits. Varying the ANGLE function on the DVD player allows for two different views of the performances: the first being the ensemble performing, and the second being a close-up of the guitarist's fretting hand for easy visibility of the chord of the song that is currently being played. The menu of the DVD also allows for easier jumping around to the practice tunes and the instructions from Wernick.
A booklet is included that has the chord progressions and lyrics to all of the songs. Bluegrass jams are great ways for musicians to polish up on their skills, but a band is not always available at any given time. For the next best thing to having an actual band to practice with, this video comes highly recommended. It would also be great to see a follow-up to this video, be it more songs to jam with or a movement to more skilled jamming. (Matt Merta, The Bluegrass Journal)"
Good tool for those without live practice partners.
Curtis N. Thetford | Houston, TX USA | 01/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video will take you through a good number of bluegrass standards at a reasonable pace to allow you to play along. There is some discussion of chord progressions, harmonization and things like that, but the intent of the video is really more to just give you something to play along with than to instruct. I am a beginning banjo player and need some other instructional materials before I'll really be able to play along with the video but I can at least work on listening for chord changes and things like that in the mean time.
Really good basic Instruction
Al | Kissimmee, Florida | 06/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a good instructional video for group playing. They included a pamplet with the songs/words/and cords, sure made it easy for me. The group is very easy to play with and a lot of fun. I have enjoyed the video and I feel it has really helped my timing and self confidence."
Good idea poorly executed
Stephen Sykes | Rockville, MD USA | 03/01/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Sorry, but this DVD isn't any good at all. It was a good idea, but the audio quality is just too terrible to make it worthwhile. I can't play it loud enough on a TV to hear the other instruments above my own playing. My copy also jammed half-way thru -- an action which, while consistent with the title, is inconsistent with the goal.
November 18, 2008 -- I addressed the poor audio quality by running the sound thru a home theater amplifier. It was kind of an expensive solution, but it successfully dealt with the problem. Since then I've practiced with the DVD many times and have found it pretty useful."