Reviews of the Teaching Video
by Jim Coen, Guitar World Acoustic Magazine
"If you are one of the many frustrated bluesmen who have considered selling your soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play like Robert Johnson, stop right there! Starlicks offers you a better option: Robert Johnson's Guitar Techniques, a video instruction tape by Johnson transcriber Scott Ainslie that will help you not only play Johnson's guitar parts, but understand them as well.
"Ainslie teaches seven of Johnson's tunes here, among them three of his most popular: "Sweet Home Chicago," "Come On In My Kitchen," and "Cross Road Blues." One reason the lesson works so well is that it does not require the student to rewind as much as most instructional tapes do. Ainslie explains an idea, then plays it several times before moving on. This allows you to keep your hands on your guitar instead of on your remote control. The booklet that comes with the tape is also helpful because it focuses on each section of a tune instead of giving you continuous transcriptions of the songs.
"While one need not be an accomplished fingerpicker or even familiar with the structure of the blues to benefit from this lesson, Ainslie does gear part of his instruction to more experienced students by offering advanced variations on the tunes. In a couple of instances, he does this by examining the techniques of guitarists who influenced Johnson. In addition to making the student aware of other great blues fingerpickers, these segments drive home an important point---that contemporary guitarists shouldn't be afraid to be creative in their own arrangements of Delta blues."
"The range of topics covered here is impressive for a 60- minute lesson: rhythmic variation within a tune, octave walkdowns, diminished chords, using a slide to play chords as well as clean-sounding single-string licks, and various tunings used by Johnson---standard, dropped D, open E and open A. Ainslie carefully shows how to integrate the bass patterns, percussive right hand work and melodic fills that made Johnson one of the gods of acoustic blues."
“It’s refreshing to find a guitarist so in touch with the Johnson who actually was, and an approach so focused on what made him a phenomenon, his playing. There is enough material and ideas here to keep even an advanced player interested: you will learn something new even if you think you know it all.” –Fly Magazine