The Blues Guitarist
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Never judge a book by its cover, right? I profess guilt in this as the cover of this series was not terribly impressive. What is impressive is Stefan Grossman’s ability to teach.
Cleverly staying in one key at a time, Stefan patiently brings the student not simply a solid background of acoustic blues, but also of small “tricks” as he calls them. These “tricks” or short licks, hammers, pull offs, etc, are things taken for granted by Intermediate or Advanced players, but the type of little things that beginners listen to and marvel over. Stefan generously shares these little, and sometimes quite simple little manuevers that vastly improves the sound of the song.
Stefan also includes original recordings of the songs; some from as early as 1927, and has you listen to the original; sometimes more than one version, before hearing him play, and before breaking the song down for you.
The only negative is that the TAB (which includes all the lyrics) has graphics that are not the easist to read. But, I could not take away from the 5 stars for that.
I never knew of Stefan’s music, which may be a plus in my case. I am able to view him simply as a teacher. There are a lot of instructional DVDs out there by talented players who are not talented teachers. Stefan’s easygoing personality is a must. Why? In taking DVD lessons (which is my only source of instruction) you spend many hours “with” the instructor, as you repeat the lessons over and over. If the instructor’s personality is not your ‘cup of tea’, you will find that you will learn less, as you subconciously pull away from the time spent. Conversely, when you enjoy the personality of the teacher, you are inclined to spend more time “with him” via DVD; subsequently, learning far more.
Such is the case with Grossman. Perhaps it is the age and wisdom that comes as the ego no longer seeks rock star adoration from people. I have had the unpleasant experience of sitting “before” an instructor who’s talent is amazing, but who’s love of himself is so over the top, that I ended up selling the DVDs…perhaps my own weakness, but in conversing with others, I find that others feel the same way.
Enjoy Grossman. He is not there to tell jokes, nor boast of his past accomplishments (Martin Guitar has built one in his honor, so not much else needs to be said). Enjoy the personality who seems eager to do one thing: share his love of acoustic blues.
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