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DVD-Learning Bluegrass Fiddle #1
DVD-Learning Bluegrass Fiddle 1
Actor: Kenny Kosek
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     1hr 5min

Tune up the fiddle and rosin up the bow! Kenny Kosek will have you playing your favorite tunes and jamming with friends in no time?even if you?ve never played a lick before. Within minutes you?ll be into your first tune, "...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Kenny Kosek
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: 02/14/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 5min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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DVD-Learning Bluegrass Fiddle 2
Director: Happy Traum
   NR   2004   1hr 10min

Movie Reviews

A great fiddle video without being too "elementary"
Matthew F. Merta | Hamtramck, MI USA | 06/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This writer is guilty of it - picking up an instrument, thinking that he will be competent with it in a week or two, not achieving that, and putting the contraption back in its case to gather dust. In this particular case, I snagged a fiddle in decent condition real cheap, and figured that it might be a good instrument to have in a guitar-saturated bluegrass jam session. Due to schedule constraints, I chose the video lesson route. However, most beginning violin/fiddle videos tend to either talk down to the student or cover material that is leaning more toward classical violin rather than country/bluegrass fiddle.

Kenny Kosek's video series may be the answer to any problems similar to the above. Kosek has performed with numerous bluegrass, country, pop and rock artists, and brings his knowledge of the various genres to a relatively easy-to-understand presentation. He is able to show how simpler certain techniques used on the bluegrass fiddle can be to learn.

Lesson 1 is marketed toward the person who has absolutely no experience with the fiddle. This may be a bit of poor judgment on Homespun's part, as the presentation assumes that the viewer has some musical knowledge. For example, Kosek mentions notes on the fingerboard with very little explanation, and the enclosed booklet contains the musical staff as well as notation, but not the fingering tablature. With that in mind, the choice of material to work on for the beginner is well thought out and will motivate the student. The first tune, a simple version of "Jack of Diamonds," is presented first in its most stripped down form, then Kosek slowly introduces tricks and techniques with the fingering and bowing that give the song more bluegrass flavor. This is what students who are motivated by bluegrass fiddling want to be shown. Other songs on this lesson include simple and stylized versions of "Bile Them Cabbage Down," "Liberty," and "Bury Me Beneath the Willow."

Lesson 2 begins right where the previous lesson left off. Kosek teaches some styles of famous country and bluegrass fiddlers such as Benny Martin, Chubby Wise and Arthur Smith, and introduces more tricks of the trade with variations on classic songs such as "Pig In A Pen," "Sally Goodin" and "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms." The video concludes with a fantastic in-depth lesson on the fiddle classic "Orange Blossom Special," in which Kosek shows that this song is not as difficult as it sounds, it just requires practice and a relaxed knowledge of the previously taught techniques.

There are a few other minor weaknesses, such as not enough discussion on the parts of the violin, left-hand positioning, and stress of repeated practicing. Likewise, some topics such as use of amplification and pickups may not be necessary here. However, this is one of the best choices for video instruction on the bluegrass fiddle available. Perhaps some students may still need to view an "absolute beginners" violin instruction video to learn some elementary basics, and of course, an actual live instructor is probably the best solution in so many ways. However, for anyone with simple violin and music theory knowledge and wanting to pursue learning the bluegrass fiddle, this series is a must-have for your library. (Matt Merta, The Bluegrass Journal)"
Great for beginners and those who are learning as a second i
Dori in SF | San Francisco, CA | 11/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a long-time guitar and mandolin player, and have collected a lot of other instructional videos. Hands down - this is the best one I have ever seen. My husband, also a multi-instrument musician, happened to be in the room when I was viewing, and he also commented on how exceptionally good he thought it was. Besides showing you several popular tunes, the instructor teaches you about proper rosin application, bowing, and essential fiddle techniques. I've been learning on my own for the past two months, but haven't been advancing as much as I had expected, given my previous mandolin experience (i.e., I know all the notes and finger placements already). After playing along for only half an hour, my own fiddling was noticeably improved. The entire DVD was enjoyable to follow along with and very educational, and I can't wait to see more titles by this insructor!"
A Good Start
David P. Reaves | Recklinghausen | 01/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My wife is a German concert violinist and instructor. However, she has a thing for American country music. Go figure. :-)

When I told her once that it would be really cool for her to jump up in the middle of a serious Beethoven piece and jam out "Turkey in the Straw", she didn't get the joke.

So I thought she should have a better appreciation of fiddling, American-style.

I looked over the various bluegrass fiddling instructional DVDs at Amazon, and concluded that the Kenny Kosek series would be good, as the description seemed to indicate that he covers all the bases.

When my wife opened her Christmas present, she couldn't wait to put it in the DVD player and see what it was all about.
She loved it! Now, she certainly didn't need the basics as presented by Kenny, but it really bolstered his reputation with her when his violin fundamentals (such as how to hold the instrument, tuning, etc.) pretty well jibed with hers.

She watched it all the way through, and the next time she had her 'fiddle' out, she showed me some bluegrass techniques she had picked up!

For her birthday, I gave her Volume 2. :-)"
Good beginer instruction
hypoxic#1 | MO | 05/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I went through the lessons pretty quick. I just wish he had more lessons and songs on one CD. There are only 4 songs that he teaches. He expands on each song. Showing diffent techniques with each song. He plays them slowy and explains each step. He goes over the basics scales, positioning, bowing. I couldnt afford private lessons that is why I bought this CD. I expected more. This is the first time I have bought an instructional CD.

He gives good instructions. A different angle when showing finger positions would have been helpful. I just started learning violin so this has been a good begining cd for anyone who has never picked up a violin before."