Sierra Hull – Secrets and Tunes

Accutab Video

Sierra Hull may be the next Alison Krauss. Then again, she could be merely another photogenic young picker. But regardless of her future, she is an impeccably talented mandolin player.

At the beginning of the two-DVD set, Hull works on right- and left-hand technique before teaching five original tunes, a kick-off, and a closing lick. And while Hull is a remarkable instructor who can break down a complicated technique into basic parts, this video is for intermediate and advanced players rather than beginners. Nothing Hull does seems difficult, but the way she combines elements makes her playing so cool – and difficult to pick up unless you’re well along with your picking. Perhaps the only criticism of her teaching technique is that she does not count beats. Doing so would help a viewer get a better handle on pick direction and the rhythm patterns of her songs. Accutab’s split-screen technique, showing a close-up of both hands simultaneously, goes a long way towards making Hull’s techniques easy to see.

Though this is not a “must own” video in the vein of Homespun’s Bill Monroe instructional videos, Hull’s Secrets and Tunes is certainly worthy.

This article originally appeared in VG’s Jul. ’10 issue.  All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine.  Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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