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It's hard to believe that a player as influential and widely admired as Adam Steffey is just now releasing his first mandolin instructional DVD. Adam has performed and recorded with some of the most prestigious groups in bluegrass music, including Lonesome River Band, Alison Krauss & Union Station and (currently) Mountain Heart. He has a CD of his own, and has been a featured guest artist on dozens of others.

His new 2 DVD release from AcuTab contains 4 hours and 20 minutes of insight, instruction, tunes, tips and technique from this 5 time IBMA award-winning picker. On Disk 1, AcuTab's John Lawless leads Adam through a discussion of several topics, including chop rhythm, right hand attack, note spacing, tone/volume, practicing and building speed - with demonstrations of each in turn.

Adam then spends roughly 45 minutes describing and demonstrating how you can build a bluegrass-style solo based on the basic melody of a song. He takes 3 common jam tunes and shows how to start with the simple melody and build a solo - in several keys. On both disks, Adam takes great care to present the material in a way that even new pickers can benefit from it.

Disk 2 has Adam teaching his solos for 7 tunes he has recorded. You'll learn Everytime You Say Goodbye, Liza Jane, No Place To Hide, #6 Barn Dance, Cluck Old Hen, East Tennessee Blues and Daybreak In Dixie. Each song is played with a band before Adam breaks it down lick by lick.They are each shown (fast and slow) in a split screen orientation. A printed booklet (tab/standard) is included.

On both disks, Adam takes great care to present the material in such a way that even new pickers can benefit. The first tune taught on Disc 2, East Tennessee Blues, is covered in particular detail, and would be appropriate for even a novice player to learn. More skilled mandolinists will find much to challenge them throughout.

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 shots. The viewer can select among three different orientations while the DVD is playing, based on whether the left or right hand is of greater interest - or whether seeing both at equal size would be more helpful.

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