Ron Block From Bluegrass to AKUS Guitar by Ron Block. Intermediate. DVD. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.DRB2).
Not many musicians have had the sort of impact Ron Block has, on both the 5 string banjo and the acoustic guitar. His six string work with Alison Krauss & Union Station has been widely imitated, by flatpickers and fingerpickers alike, and his clear, melodic solos are a defining aspect of Krauss' sound. Ron's crosspicking rhythm on songs like "When You Say Nothing at All" is a distinctive part of the band sound, and a technique within reach of even intermediate guitarists.In this new double DVD, Ron traces his development as a guitarist from his early fascination with bluegrass through his contributions to Union Station. A strikingly thoughtful musician, he takes a disciplined approach to practicing and performing, and shares many of his insights and techniques here, in addition to teaching several songs he has recorded with Alison and others.Of particular interest to guitarists at any level is his use of one-string scales - learning to solo using only a single string. Not that this would be the ideal scenario in creating leads, but to become familiar with the fingerboard both horizontally and vertically. Ron discusses this way of thinking on almost every song. He also explains his thoughts on controlling tone and timing.The better part of the DVD is the songs Ron teaches, which are played in a number of keys and tunings. They are taken from a number of Krauss albums, and Ron's solo projects. You'll learn: Now That I've Found You, When You Say Nothing at All, Oh Atlanta, Secrets, Faraway Land, Living Prayer, Restless and The Lucky One. Each song is played with a band before Ron breaks it down line by line, and then shown again in a split screen orientation.One benefit of the DVD format is the ability to offer alternate angles of the same shot, which we use on the various split screen presentation. The viewer can select among three different screen orientations while the DVD is playing.