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I am new to Gypsy guitar and introducing myself.

edited February 2012 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 20
Hello All…I just wanted to say hello, introduce myself and maybe make a friend or two. I go by the name Chet and I live in Baltimore County, Maryland. I just became a penta-generian and have played on and off for around 20 years. I only recently discovered the joyful bliss that is Gypsy Jazz Guitar. I was already getting into GJ when I heard Midnight In Paris by Stephane W. and that further put me into Gypsy Fever. I am learning how to play MIP from a guy named Barry in Philadelphia…really nice guy by the way.

Last week I bought a guitar from a guy named Jacques Mazzoleni at I just found him with Google (no guitar stores within 300 miles sells Gypsy guitars and the dorks at Guitar Center didn’t even know what one was!!). The coolest thing is it turns out that Jacques and his collection of Gypsy guitars is 12 minutes from my house…we turn out to be neighbors! I bought one by a builder named Shelly Park, it has a lot of upgrades and custom woods, parts and a pick-up and I LOVE IT!

I am looking for a teacher and will probably go to Barry in Phili but it’s not very practical. There is some guy named Tom close to Baltimore…anyone know of whom I speak? I am disabled and travel can be difficult…on the other hand I have more time to practice so the glass is ½ full (sometimes)!

I plan on getting the Horwitz picking book, the Nolan books and maybe the Change's DVDs. YouTube has been like having 1000s of lessons anytime you want.
Any and all advice is appreciated!

I LOVE this site…thanks to all that contribute and donate time and energy to make it happen and share their knowldge and talent.

Best to All – “Chet”


  • Welcome to our group of crazy Djangophiles. It sounds like you are well on your way to sharing our madness :shock: :D

    Shelly makes a lovely guitar. You will find lots of resources here. If you have trouble finding a local skilled teacher there are a number of DVD s from players who post regularly on this site. Dennis Chang and Gonzalo Bregera just to name the first two that come to mind

    Michael H has them all available in his store. You will find lots of threads covering the different approaches

    Good luck and have fun
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795

    Tom would be Tom Mitchell, great player, super guy. He is an all around swing player and knows all the Django stuff. I'll send you an email with his contact info.

  • Posts: 20

    I got all excited to see that you are in Maryland...then I looked up where Drayden might as well be in Florida!

    The is a guy named "Phil" who goes by the user namd Placedo The Cat and he posted that he is looking for people to play with...and he lives 10 minutes from me!!! The problem is he posted that 2 years ago and I have tried everything to reach him but I get nothing back. Any ideas?

    Thanks for you kind post. One day we'll meet at something. I am going to Django Go-Go this weekend...your you going?

  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    Ask one of the guys from Hot Club of DC:
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    There is also a Mid-Atlantic Gypsy Jazz page on Facebook that might have some leads.
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • Posts: 20
    Thanks for the new direction and leads...this is great...I can now find other people with my tastes and hear some live music...Baltimore is a cultural sewer as far as I can tell.
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Hey there !
    Welcome ! biggest advice - Spend a LOT of time working on Rhythm. You may have to retrain yourself to get La Pompe' correctly, but it will be worth it, as it will make you more attractive to others wanting to Jam.
    I personally spent several years playing only rhythm because I was intimidated by Jazz in general, having played mainly rock and pentatonic scales for 15 years.

    In terms of lead, I really like the Gonzalo Barguera "how I learned" books. They're not particularly glossy and fancy, but they're really good at giving you note maps in the gypsy style.

    I also like the Stephen wremble book - understanding Gypsy Jazz.

    If you have trouble keeping up with chord changes in a song(like I do), here's a good exercise - First you need to get some play along CDS. Dennis chang's recent play alongs are really good, especially the beginner series, which has the songs at 100 bpms as well as 150 bpms.
    Pick a song you want to study - play the arpeggios of each chord in the song, but 1st - ONLY using the E shape arp until you can do it easily. 2nd time - only using the A shape arp. 3rd time - Only the D shape arp.
    Then mix them up.
    For licks, the Dennis chang dvd's are pretty comprehensive.
    Good luck and congratulations on discovering the great Django.
  • Posts: 20
    What happens to the years of alternate picking skills if you devote all your attention to Gypsy picking? I can't tell yet...after 20 or 30 hours of Gypsy picking I sometimes think when I go back to alternate picking I am actually faster than I ever was...then other times I feel like I lost my alternate picking chops all together. Thoughts...experiences? Thanks!
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    It can be a little weird switching back. On the one hand, you do go faster than you ever did due to the strength you've built up doing the rest stroke tech, but you do get confused sometimes on which way to pick.
    Ultimately, you can adjust your old style accordingly and it will sound fine. I'm trying to make a hybrid of Gypsy jazz and rock soloing.
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