Ron Block - A Fresh Look at Bluegrass Banjo composed by Ron Block. For Banjo (5-String). Boxed, Methods. Acutab. Instructional video. Bluegrass. Beginning-Intermediate. 2-DVD Set. Duration 225 minutes. Published by Acutab Publications (MB.DRB1).
There aren't many banjos players more widely heard, or who have performed before more people, than Ron Block. Working with Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1991, Ron's distinctive banjo sound has become nearly as much a part of the group sound as Alison's voice. Ron has taught in a limited number of workshops, but this is his first instructional DVD of any kind, offering a detailed look at his unique approach to the banjo. This 2 DVD release from AcuTab begins with Ron explaining how he learned, and what resources have been useful to him, plus how he looks at both left and right hand patterns. AcuTab's John Lawless leads him through a discussion of several topics, including tone production, Ron's use of bends and chokes, how he arranges solos, and improvisation. Ron goes into great detail about his practice routine, showing examples of exercises and drills he uses to stay in shape. He discusses how to use a metronome in your practice, with several examples. He also describes a number of guitar techniques and concepts which have informed his banjo playing, such as working within "boxes," or blocks of frets, and learning to visualize and play scales and patterns both vertically and horizontally. The meat of the DVD is in the songs Ron teaches, which are played in a number of keys and tunings. You'll learn Cluck Old Hen, Tiny Broken Heart, Man Of Constant Sorrow, I'll Remember You Love In My Prayers, Everytime You Say Goodbye, Bright Sunny South, My Poor Old Heart and Smashville. Each song is played with a band before Ron breaks it down lick by lick, and is then shown (medium and slow) in a split screen orientation. Three screen orientations are available for the split screen sections, based on whether the left or right hand is of greater interest - or seeing them both at equal size. Two audio mixes are available for the band sections: normal, and banjo-heavy. 3 hours and 45 minutes on 2 DVDs, with tab booklet.