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DVD-Harmonica Power! Norton Buffalo's Bag of Tricks
DVD-Harmonica Power Norton Buffalo's Bag of Tricks
Actor: Norton Buffalo
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2005     1hr 30min

This lively and comprehensive course by a world-class player and teacher reveals Norton Buffalo?s "bag of tricks," a wealth of important information that will give your harmonica playing power and excitement. Norton cover...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Norton Buffalo
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Independently Distributed
Studio: Homespun Tapes
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Overlooked & Underrated Little Gems
Drake Robinson | 12/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, so back before the Internet was in its infancy and DVDs weren't even born yet - Harpsters like Norton Buffalo, Howard Levy, and Peter Madcat Ruth just to name a few were out and about making these little Homespun videos to give us their takes on how to play these darn things most kids just found laying around in dusty old boxes up in their grandparents' attics. (Some harpers like Glenn Weiser even made tapes for their tune-filled books as well.)

So while you can go virtually anywhere and everywhere online to get harmonica lessons e.g. YouTube, websites, etc. - Homespun has taken their vast collection of old school vids and updated everything into DVD formats.

When it comes to the harmonica - especially for just starting out and/or wanting to master these carry-with-you-anywhere-and-play-anytime musical instruments - I believe you can learn something new and useful from anybody and everybody who came before you. So with that in mind, Norton Buffalo is no exception.

First up then, this Norton Buffalo 90-minute DVD #1 in conjunction with the 80-minute DVD #2 isn't really all that bad.

Harmonica Power!: Dvd Two - Blues Techniques

For being a Steve Miller Band alumnus as well as an ongoing outstanding harpster on many other venues, he does an admirable job here in presenting his bag of tricks and blues playing techniques.

So on this DVD specifically:

1) Perhaps because the competition amongst the player/teachers in these vids weren't too heavy at the time or maybe just in spite of it - NB does a lot more playing than talking. HOWEVER, when he does actually talk and explain things, he is worth listening to.

For example, it's not so much in how NB plays the exercises and bends notes - Rather it's what he "says" about how to practice those exercises and bend notes that made all the differences for me personally. Once I finally started bending (approximately two weeks afterwards) I recalled what NB said to do; so I did it and still can! {So then my props to Norton Buffalo for all that!}

Yet until you do get the "bends" - you'll still find little gems along the way. So again, it's in listening to what NB says during his playing breaks that you'll get the best from him.

2) The accompanying booklet doesn't exactly follow the lesson plan. HOWEVER, there's enough information between the two for you to stay busy, learn with, and practice on.

3) A few words of note here as to whether it might make a difference for you or not:

While NB plays everything on a 10-hole C, and you can follow along just fine - accordingly though, his instrument of choice in the vids were Huang diatonic harmonicas. I have one amongst my Hohners; and so using it or not made no difference to me either way.

Oh, and since there's so much more available on the care and cleaning of your harps, and even the harps themselves are somewhat better made nowadays - well, NB's info might seem a bit dated in that department only. Just understand that back then this is what these players did and had to do at their disposal.

Other than that - I will say these two old school Norton Buffalo DVDs are well worth the investment from both player and collectible perspectives.

Highly Recommended for having fun!!"