Learning Bouzouki

The 3-DVD set can be ordered at BouzoukiDVD.com where they cost $225 (world-wide shipping included in the price). If you live in Norway, you can try to order it at Norsk noteservice.

If you are thinking to buy this one but have questions, feel free to mail me.

Try to read this page in Greek with Google translate
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Learning Greek Bouzouki - instruction DVD

The Greek bouzouki is one of the most exciting instruments I know beside the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. For a long time I've wanted to learn to play the bouzouki. Last year I bought a marvelous one made by the bouzouki maker Babis Kleftoyiannis in Athens.

I'm a board member of the Norwegian singer-/songwriter-assosiation Norsk Viseforum, and a musician and teacher. I also have a great wish that I can see more variety in the instruments singer-/songwriters play in concerts. The sound would be richer and it would be more interesting to look at if there were three singer-/songwriters performing with three different instruments, rather than just three guitars. Therefore I review different instruction DVDs on our website.

The Learning Bouzouki DVDs are published by Folk Creations inc. The triple DVD offers 5 hours with bouzouki lessons from the most basic how to hold the instrument, how to tune it up to advanced rythms and scales. I will describe the DVDs one by one. This is a very good accomplishment, complete and well composed. The teacher is Harry Georgakopoulos, he speaks English with a clear and slow voice so I (a Norwegian) have no problems at all to understand him.

Relevant for guitar players too

If you don't play bouzouki but guitar only, I think the Learning bouzouki will also be a great help because the bouzouki is tuned DAFC from 1st to 4th string. In other words one tone lower than standard guitar tuning. If you tune your guitar down one tone, you can play along as if you played bouzouki and you'll learn the scales, rythms and ornaments as well. It will be a great way to learn to play Greek music. Another thing I have been thinking about while playing through these DVDs, is how much more exciting the music we compose can be if we just try to incorporate some of these scales and rythms in the music we make, even just in some bridges instead of playing 4/4 og 3/4 for the most. The Greek scales and rythmic "vocabulary" is a musical treasury we should try to make use of. Experimenting with parts of "ordinary" melodies played with some of these scales and harmonies sounds great.

Both tetrachordo and trichordo bouzouki

The Greek bouzouki is two main types. The oldest one has three pair of strings and is called trichordo. The newer one has got four pais of strings, and is called tetracordo. The DVDs covers both 4 string and 3 string bouzouki, but most of the time Georgakopoulos plays on a 4 string instrument. It doesn't have to make trouble for you if you have a 3 string bouzouki because the 1st and 2nd strings on both instruments at tunes identically and most of the playing is done on these two strings.Bouzouki

DVD 1 - Fundamentals

The DVD set are divided in the first DVD with ”fundamentals”. That is how to tune the instrument, how to hold the pick, how to hold the bouzouki, a lot of exercises you will have to manage before you start on the two next DVDs. On the screen, the rehearsals are shown with the camera focusing on the teacher and his left hand is shown on the grip board in a little box so you can see how he plays the exercises. The exercises focus on strenght in your fingers, ability to play fast and precise. This is important for everyone who wants to become a virtuos bouzouki player. Harry Georgakopoulos recommend that you do some of these excercices every day at least 20 minutes. I am a quite relaxed person, so I have played the DVD every time I do the exercices and let him lead me through the rehearsal. (I always tell my students that it is important to practice every day, but I never do it myself. It is really embarrassing.)

Back to Georgakopoulos, he also explains about the notes on the fretboard and where to find the same notes on different strings. He also demonstrates rythms in Greek music. There is a chapter with definitions and bouzouki terminology on the first DVD – words and names that is important to know in general, and especially when the teacher speaks on the bouzouki DVD.

DVD 2 and 3 - Major and minor scales… –> See the rest on the new page.


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