Posted by Hunter Robertson on Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Another great review of Unfortunate Puppy just came out in the 5-string banjo magazine, Banjo Newsletter! The review is 2+ pages so I'll just give some highlights.
"Robertson is an excellent player and singer, and has also recorded two CDs. And as I discovered, he’s also an exceptional instructor."
"The DVD is jam-packed with 133 minutes of content, and none of it’s filler. The video format is widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio), which is ideal for the split screen technique he uses to show both hands simultaneously. The audio and video quality of this DVD is excellent."
"If you play the DVD sequentially, you’ll first see a short introduction, followed by a fast-paced and concise 12-minute overview of just about every right and left hand technique I’ve ever heard of. You’ll see explanations and demos of drop thumb, M skips, Galax licks, slides, push-offs, hammer-ons, pull-offs, alternate string pull-offs, and more. Noticeably absent is the “cluck,” a technique Robertson doesn’t use much. It’s a great overview, and I think even veteran players will benefit from watching this section."
"I can’t stress enough how good the video quality is on this DVD. Even the slowed-down segments are crisp and blur-free. In some cases, the slowed down audio suffers a bit (which is to be expected), but it never gets out of the acceptable range.
This DVD sets a new standard for banjo instructional material, and I can’t imagine any clawhammer player who couldn’t pick up a few things while watching it."
"If you’re the type of player who has grown to depend on tab when learning a new tune, this DVD (along with some time and effort) might assist you in breaking free from that constraint. But, as I mentioned, this product is not a start-from-scratch package for beginners. The 12-minute introductory video provides a quick overview of clawhammer techniques, but don’t expect this video to provide everything a new player must know. But on the other hand, I think most new players would certainly enjoy seeing a banjo master in action – especially one who explains what he’s doing.
This DVD is competitively priced – the cost of about two CDs, or about half of what you’d pay for a single private lesson.
If all instructional videos were this good, it might turn me into a DVD consumer after all."
- John Walkenbach
Yup, there are lots of highlights! The review includes a tab of Lonesome John (transcribed by Tony Spadaro of Rocket Science Banjo) and there are two recordings I've made of the tune (one solo, the other with fiddler Casey Joe Abair) up on Banjo Newsletter's website.
To see more about the DVD: http://www.hunterrobertson.com/unpupframe.html
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'We’re starting a festival!' 32 min
'Newbie question (key) ' 52 min
'Neck recut?' 6 hrs