Murphy Henry has been creating instructional video for bluegrass players for so long with her Murphy Method, that she’s had to circle back around and re-shoot some of the early lessons to keep up with the expectations of contemporary students.
Since she lived in Florida in the 1980s, Murphy has been teaching bluegrass without the use of printed music or tablature. In fact NO TAB has been her clarion call from the start. All of the Murphy Method courses teach songs and technique note-by-note, calling on the student to learn and memorize them by ear. At the start, she produced lessons for banjo only, reproducing them on cassette tape. As the company grew, the instruction moved to video, and were distributed on VHS tapes.
With the advent of DVD, they began to take their earlier lessons, recorded in analog for VHS, and convert them to the DVD format. In time, all of the projects were shot and edited digitally, to the point where Murphy decided that she wanted to bring her three, popular beginning banjo videos from the early days up to the same standard.
So she went back into her video studio, and reshot all three in high definition. The program and the material presented is essentially unchanged from the original, but with much better video and audio quality. They are now available either on DVD or for download from the Murphy Method web site.
They sell for $29.95 each, with a discounted price offered when you purchase all three.
Here’s a sample from the first volume which shows Murphy teaching Doug Dillard’s Banjo In The Hollow.
The Murphy Method is based in Winchester, VA, run as a small, family business. Murphy’s husband, Red, shoots and edits the videos, and their daughter, Casey, helps both with shipping and distribution, and serves as an instructor on several courses. Their son, Chris, is also featured as a teacher, and accompanies his mom on New Beginning Banjo 3.
They have DVDs for all the bluegrass instruments, which you can see online.