Bluegrass Fiddle Boot Camp 's
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(Jan 01, 2003)
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Here is a complete course in which Stacy Phillips unlocks the secrets of playing authentic bluegrass fiddle. These information-packed lessons are aimed mainly at basic players, but violinists who play classical, jazz or old-time music will learn the nuances of this traditional American style. Stacy provides in-depth, detailed advice on all aspects of basic fiddling, including bowing, slurs, double stops, slides, bowing patterns and other essential techniques. 2-DVD SET (00641562) OR 2 SEPARATE VHS VIDEOS (00641571) * LEVEL 2
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If you are interested how melodies are put together I recommend checking out Willie Thomas's "Jazz Anyone?" Book 3 (Book 1 for more fundamental jazz rythm concepts). This will help you understand what notes to use in a melody for a good solo, plus it will help you synthesize what Stacy Phillips says about flat 7ths, 4ths and 5ths - applying numbers to the notes on the major scale. You might also try Googling the Nashville number system for that too.
I am upgrading to 4 stars and revising the review because I don't think I really gave it justice. While it's true that he doesn't teach the solos note for note, there is so much really important information here about what makes bluegrass fiddling sound like bluegrass, rather than, say, oldtime, folk or country fiddling, that I think it deserves a higher rating. However, be aware, this is a DVD for someone who most emphatically already knows how to play fiddle (AKA violin) and knows it well. You will not get any hand holding, other than a bit of discussion of using a numeric system to identify notes and chords, though I'd be surprised if anyone could progress their playing to the level required by this DVD and not know numeric notation for notes and chords.
Bottom line: to use this DVD you must be proficient on your instrument and be able to either:
- read music
- Learn by ear from fast playing
- use software to strip audio out of a DVD and then slow it down (that's what I did)
If you can meet those requirements, you will find this to be an incredibly rich resource for bluegrass fiddle style. It addresses everything from specific interval choices for doublestops, when and where to use slides, when to use slurs, how to use anticipation and syncopation, and on and on. If you study this DVD, you will sound like a real bluegrass fiddler. For all you country fiddlers, folks fiddlers, irish fiddlers, oldtime fiddlers and violinists who always wanted to get the magic of that driving bluegrass sound, this DVD is for you. Just be aware, it is not intended for those who are still learning their instrument.
As a final note, to make up for my deficits as fast by-ear learner, I used 'Switch Sound File Converter Plus' from NCH Software to strip the audio tracks out of the DVD, and 'The Amazing Slow Downer' from Roni Music to slow them down enough to learn the notes. And no, I am not affiliated with either of those companies, I'm just a customer who likes their stuff.