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SARAH NAYLOR - Learn to Play Scottish Fiddle

SARAH NAYLOR
Learn to Play Scottish Fiddle (Intermediate)
Taigh naTeud (Scotlandsmusic) TNTDVD001

DVD is an excellent format for educational media. It's so easy to zip to particular sections without endless rewinding or fast-forwarding. Not everyone who puts together a how to play DVD takes full advantage of this. Thankfully, the producers of 'Learn to Play Scottish Fiddle' knew what they were doing. Sarah Naylor presents six tunes, reel, air, jig, strathspey, 6/8 march and 2/4 march. Each tune is a self-contained lesson. She begins with a short discussion of the tune, plays it through, points out a few tips and then breaks the tune down into two-bar phrases. After the tune is finished, further pointers are given.

The brilliance of this DVD is the fact that it is so thoroughly indexed. You can bounce back and forth between tunes, tips on playing each type of tune, and tune highlights. Now if they could make a foot operated remote control, we'd be in business.

Sarah's explanations of bowing and grace notes are clear and concise and followed up with short demonstrations. The video is clean and unfussy, with lots of close-ups of her left hand. It's very well produced, but I have a few quibbles nonetheless. A brief section that allows you to tune your instrument to Sarah's fiddle would be handy. Also the notation in the booklet doesn't match exactly what is played. Not a problem for someone learning by ear, but for the music reader, it may be disconcerting.

As an intermediate level DVD, it is suitable for musicians who already know their way around the instrument. It is perfect for someone who already plays, but would like to know a bit more about the Scottish style.

E. Bradtke

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This album was reviewed in Issue 69 of The Living Tradition magazine.