Search - Learn To Play the Songs of John Denver- DVD#1 on DVD

Learn To Play the Songs of John Denver- DVD#1
Learn To Play the Songs of John Denver- DVD1
Actor: Pete Huttlinger
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2002     1hr 30min

John Denver was one of the most beloved figures in the history of American popular music. Pete Huttlinger was John's lead guitarist from 1994 until his tragic death in 1997, accompanying him on world tours, Grammy-winning ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Pete Huttlinger
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Denver, John, Special Interests, Educational, Independently Distributed
Studio: Hal Leonard
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
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

Nice effort - Could be better.
Dan Mx | Texas, USA | 08/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I know everyone hates bad reviews and especially a bad one over something as great as John Denvers music, but I do feel a need to make a few comments about this DVD. I bought all three of them BTW as I had to purchase all three to get my favorite songs. First off, if you love acoustic guitar playing and John Denvers music by all means buy this DVD as I did and I don't think you will regret it too much. You will learn to play the songs, though it could have been made a much easier.

Considering the price of this DVD more should be expected of it especially considering the technology nowdays and the quality of the competition in other Learn to play type DVDS.

First I will mention the good things about this DVD. To the producers merit, it has a nice tablature book included with it, showing "Most" of the chords and all the fingering for the songs, although it lacks lyrics to every single song (Which can be looked up online at many lyric sites). The instructer Pete Huttlinger did play with John Denver and obviously knows the songs and the ins and outs of it all, and it is awesome to see exactly how John Denver played each song as compared to tab or chord books which can be bought that don't always show every exact thing. There is a split screen showing both right and left hands to help viewers out, although the left hand fingering isnt shown up close enough and when he's doing some chords you have to refer to the tab book to actually see what he's doing. Pete dominates playing of Johns songs on the guitar no doubt. The sound is also really good and listening to what he does play of each song is a great experience. I would say for all these above features this DVD IS worth buying.

Now for the bad things.

This DVD appears to be just a transfer to DVD format of VHS. It has absolutely no DVD features like looping and someone correct me if i'm wrong as I don't have a DVD player in my computer now, but it doesnt mention anywhere that the TABS are included on the DVD so that the viewer can print them out in a more user friendly fashion. The included tabs, in a small booklet hold very few verses per page and it's impossible to be page flipping while playing the guitar and none of the tab is ever shown on the screen while Pete is playing the songs, thus making learning them much more difficult. I am literally going to have to type all the tab up myself and print them out in pages that hold more verses per page, and mind you include the lyrics for every song I wish to learn so I can play and sing.

The material here should be considered advanced guitar playing, though nothing is too difficult that with practice it can't be mastered. I really didn't have problems playing the songs at all, but then again I've played the guitar for 20 years. Beginners will have to master chords and picking before being able to really play these songs. Contrary to some comments I don't feel Pete is that great of a teacher. Great guitarist yes, teacher emphatically no. Not sure why another reviewer said he was (Maybe he works for the producers of the video) he runs through all the songs way way too fast, (though of course you can easily rewind with DVD) but it's just that some of the parts are so extremely difficult and as Pete can dominate the guitar so well he runs through it and left me with my jaw hanging wondering what he had done on several occasions. He will explain it very quickly sometimes but I think he just needed to slow down and really demonstrate what was being done if in fact he really intended to teach it to us. He basically assumes way to much from guitar players.. as if we were all at his proficiency of playing. I know if I was, then I sure wouldn't have bought the DVD to begin with. He also Assumes everyone knows every song well and just says buy a CD of it so you will know how it should go. Excuse me but that's the reason I bought the DVD.. to learn them. He doesnt play some of the songs in their entirety and just goes over major parts. Those he does show he is quickly finished with as if he is in a hurry to get them over with and start on his next DVD.

I had problems with this DVD from the get go on the first song, when I discovered the chord diagram in the tablature for the DMAJ7 in the 5th position is missing. Another minor gripe was when I saw him use the D and Dsus4 on the 5th fret in the intro to "Annies Song", when i've seen John on a live DVD concert play it in the first position and although John uses a 12 string, and maybe it does sound better on the 5th fret, it's not how John played it and it makes it much harder to play the intro to the song.

All in all though I would recommend this DVD to Advanced players wishing to learn exactly how John played his songs as I have no doubt that each song CAN be learned, though the producers have made it more difficult then it should be. I literally spent 4 hard sessions learning "My Sweet Lady", however after alot of hard work, I can now play it. I do think for the price of this DVD Pete could have spent way more time with each song and DVD features could have been incorporated.

I'm giving it a 3 as others have given it a 5 and there's just no way with the previously mentioned flaws it deserves a 5 and though I am learning the songs so the DVDS not a total waste, it is very expensive to buy all three of them and they definitely could have made the process easier for us."
Almost made it.
T. Alexander | Denver | 07/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Huttlinger does a overall good job of explaining
the ins and outs of John Denver's music.It is wirthy of having. If you grew up listening to John Denver's music and like to play guitar like me, you'll understand what I'm saying. Which brings me to his really cool( and never played anywere) tune "Late Winter Early Spring" Since this is the reason I bought the DVD in the first place He only goes through half the song. It is really a duet and he didn't even touch the leadsection. To say the least I was really Disappointed."
Great overview into John Denver's music
R. Spell | Memphis, TN USA | 01/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I enjoy playing the guitar and singing along, poorly I might add. Generally, I can only play the guitar chords. This DVD does a great job of unlocking the secret behind what the artist is doing. Not only does he do an exceptional job of giving behind the scenes information on what made John Denver so good, but also his mannerisms and ability to explain the songs made it easy to play songs that many of us would find difficult to do on our own. Many of these type instructional videos play the song and then play it slowly and move on. He repetitively went through the songs so you could really pick it up. Obviously, that's a credit to excellent camera work and direction. When you're as bad a player as I am, it's really helpful to have a video like this one that gives such great insight."