A Delightful Look at Rhythm Guitar
Jazz Hermit | Tucson, AZ United States | 02/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Doug Green is more than a guy in a cowboy hat singing western songs, he is a man that is well versed in Cowboy music and who has studied its every nuance; in short, he is a perfectionist when it comes to his art. This DVD shows how he does it using the types of chord voicings authentic to this music.
It starts with a couple of Riders in the Sky numbers done live before the camera including a flubbed ad-lib of the lyrics by Too Slim. Just these performances by themselves are enough to make this DVD worth owning. Doug plays a beautiful natural-finished Stromberg guitar for these sequences and the sound he gets is outstanding.
Next, the instructional phase of the video where Doug shows you his tricks for getting the sound he does. Doug switches to a second Stromberg for this part, a reddish sunburst model that is to die for. The voicings he teaches are from the era of great rhythm players and he wisely shows how to use both 3 and 4 note voicings together when arranging a rhythm part. There is also a chord chart included with some sample passages in print so you can practice the material at your own pace. I've been playing for 40 years and I learned a couple of new tricks the first time through. Many times I've watched it just for the entertainment value and I've had copies shipped to two of my closest guitar-playing friends.
One last thing to mention is that Doug Green stays "in character" throughout the video as Ranger Doug, the idol of American youth. It only adds to the already abundant charm of this truly delightful presentation."
Kevin J. Connor | 10/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Riders in the Sky has been one of my favorite bands for many years and Douglas Green (aka Ranger Doug) is one of my guitar heros. I've been trying to learn to play Western Swing style backup guitar for quite a while now. I was quite excited when I found and purchased this video.
The video is probably worth the cost just to see the Riders in the Sky perform the two songs that are featured, Wah-Hoo and Tumbling Tumbleweeds. After the mini-concert, RD give a short dissertation on the history of his style of guitar playing and some thoughts about right hand technique.
Next comes the meat of the video. He demonstrates a basic pattern in two key that he says constitutez about 80% of his playing. He then demonstrates how the patterns might work with small fragments of three songs, (Red River Valley, a miniscule fragment of Stardust and another miniscule fragment of a cowboy song that was pretty good but I didn't recognize). Finally, he explains in pretty good detail how he plays the two featured songs.
This DVD is not a lesson for beginners. It is also not a DVD about Western Swing. RD himself says on the DVD that if you want to learn Western Swing Backup you should buy Ray Benson's DVD. It is, however, a good exposition of RD's unigue backup style. He says, and I believe him, that he demonstrates everything he knows on the DVD.
My biggest complaint about the DVD is that I would have liked to seen more examples of how his basic pattern can be used in different songs."