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DVD-Classic Bluegrass Mandolin
DVD-Classic Bluegrass Mandolin
Actor: Jesse McReynolds
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2005     1hr 15min

Legendary mandolinist Jesse McReynolds invented "crosspicking" over thirty years ago, inspiring and influencing all bluegrass mandolin players who have come along since then. Now you can learn it too, straight from the sou...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Jesse McReynolds
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Independently Distributed
Studio: Homespun Tapes
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/01/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

A treat to get a 75-minute lesson from one of bluegrass' fin
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 03/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's a treat to get a 75-minute lesson from one of bluegrass music's finest instrumentalists. Entitled "classic bluegrass mandolin," this 75-minute lesson (originally recorded in 1989) would have been more aptly named "crosspicking." The most renowned purveyor of that style is of course Jesse McReynolds. With relaxed and personable manner, McReynolds starts by demonstrating his own composition, "Ridge Runner." Although in the key of A (Jesse's favorite for crosspicking), it may have been better to start the lesson with the second tune, "Banks of the Ohio," as that standard is more familiar and can be played without ever breaking your roll. A conversation with Sam Bush covers how Jesse first got started "playing backwards." Jesse talks about his influences (Bill Monroe, Blue Sky Boys, Earl Scruggs, Hoke Jenkins), and mandolin set-up. It's interesting that Jesse's strings sit wider apart than normal on the very high elevated bridge on his Stiver rosewood mandolin. We even get a laugh when shown his double-jointed thumb and crooked little finger.

The DVD offers a menu to quickly access the songs or 37 individual chapter locations. Besides crosspicking, the Grand Ole Opry member (since 1964) also briefly covers chord formations, exercises, variations, endings, backward rolls and his unique method for splitting strings. The songs presented include "Ridge Runner," "Banks of the Ohio," "Dill Pickle Rag," "Farewell Blues," and "Snowbird." Views of both right and left hands are shown as McReynolds plays them up tempo, slowly, broken down by section, or with variations. Sam Bush admits, "Crosspicking is absolutely the hardest thing for me to do on the mandolin." This lesson is best for intermediate and advanced players who already have good technique and knowledge of their instrument. "Classic Bluegrass Mandolin" will help you enhance your playing with crosspicking and more. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)