The master musician shares some effective techniques
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 04/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"90 minutes -- Jerry Douglas' name is synonymous with exceptional dobrology. His evocative resophonic guitar playing is characterized by influences of bluegrass, jazz, classical, Celtic and new acoustic music. His aqueous compositions give us a hint as to how Jerry Douglas earned his nickname "Flux." In large thanks to him, the dobro has grown in popularity, and we are seeing more kinds of music incorporate the instrument. Jerry's "Dobro Techniques" was originally released on videotape in 1989. Now on DVD, the lesson has been updated to include a new introduction from Jerry and interview (conducted by Happy Traum) recorded in 2004. The master musician shares some effective techniques and unique sounds that have characterized his award-winning playing and have made him a legend among acousticians.
After listening to Jerry play "Monkey Let the Hogs Out" and learning how to tune up, Douglas presents the basics of proper left and right hand positions, bar pull-offs and hammer-ons and a variety of right hand picking patterns. The lesson then addresses important techniques such as forward and reverse bar slants, banjo rolls, string pulls and how to combine rolls in complex picking sequences. The DVD could have had more on scales, but the rolls are great as are the slants and other techniques. All of the techniques are brought together in detailed, note-by-note breakdowns of three tunes: Fireball Mail, Cincinnati Rag and Banks of the Ohio. The tablature for these tunes could have included fingering to use (ie. thumb, middle, index) as well as accompaniment chords. Jerry's clear and concise teaching style, along with invaluable tips on musicianship, attitude, instruments and equipment, will help you become a better player. By developing bar control, fingerpicking skills, licks and song arrangements, you'll gain insights and abilities that will bring your playing to a new level of proficiency and expertise. The double views showing both hands simultaneously were very helpful.
Jerry Douglas' playing has always been full of excitement and energy. With the basic techniques on this DVD under your belt, you'll be ready to spice up songs with your own artistic interpretations. I hope that he'll consider making a sequel to this lesson. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)
Excellent if you are not a novice!
Jeffrey M. Kampf | 11/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Of course Jerry Douglas makes playing the Dobro look easy in his video clips on Youtube etc. But the Dobro is not an easy instrument. I have been playing stringed instruments for over 30 years and the Dobro is one of the hardest to get a handle on because of the "open" tunings. I would not recommend this DVD for somebody who needs to learn the basics. I would have been better off learning the scales etc. out of a book...You need a teacher who will show you the basic things like how to properly tune, dampen, and scales....Where is Mel Bay when you need him!"
Jerry Douglas rules
Thomas H. Hornig | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jerry gives great instructions on this DVD and the exercises are easy to follow. Dobro is very difficult to learn and this DVD helps tremendously
I can only recommend this DVD"