AcuTab has announced their latest DVD release by Ron Block – A Fresh Look at Bluegrass Banjo. Acutab reports that this project is the first instructional DVD of any kind by this stellar banjo picker who has been part of Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1991. The package includes 3.5 hours of instruction on 2 DVDs, plus a tab booklet offering a detailed look at Ron’s unique approach to the banjo.
Orders are now being accepted with shipping expected to begin on December 8. The 2-DVD set and booklet carries a retail price of $50 (USD). The first 300 Ron Block DVD orders (placed online or by phone directly through AcuTab) will receive an autographed copy of the Ron Block DVD plus 2 sets of Huber banjo strings.
The release begins with Ron explaining how he learned the banjo, what resources have been useful to him, and how he looks at both left and right hand patterns. AcuTab’s John Lawless leads Ron through a discussion on several topics, including tone production, his use of bends and chokes, and how he arranges solos and improvisation.
The songs chosen for the DVD are some of his most requested solos he has recorded with Alison Krauss & Union Station including: Cluck Old Hen, Tiny Broken Heart, I’ll Remember You Love In My Prayers, My Poor Old Heart, Man Of Constant Sorrow, Everytime You Say Goodbye plus the song, Smashville that appears on the new Sierra Hull CD. These tunes cover a number of keys and tunings – some suitable for relatively new players, and others providing a challenge even for seasoned banjo pickers. 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.