DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Who's Online (0)

Related Discussions

Today's Birthdays

NorthSeaJazzClub jared

I Need Serious Advice on How to Move Forward

edited March 2012 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 20
Hi All...

I don't write much on the forum but I read it a lot and wanted to thank all of you that share so much. I really appreciated it.

I learned and performed my first Gypsy style tune this weekend to a packed theater and it was one of the best nights ever. So now I really have 'Gypsy Fever' and want to move forward and gain some real quality progress. I just don't have a plan and I’m overwhelmed by both the amount of learning and all the different books and methods to choose from.

My goals are to pick much cleaner and faster, understand music better and build repertoire. No problem if you’re still 15, but at 50? Whew!
What should I do? I feel lost in a sea of possibilities with no set direction. I have to be realistic at 51 years old, I guess that has to play a role in how to choose an approach.

I have no books yet, no teacher (other than a basic theory teacher that is ridiculously slow). I want to learn Tico Tico and Minor Swing right away. Like literally today, like right now…but I can’t find a way to do that. All the TAB out there is weird or wrong and the chords they use are often terrible. I just want to learn the chords and La Pompe them into my loop pedals and start on the lead phrases slowly and build speed.

So…that Nolan fellow seems to have a ‘dive right in approach’, as does the Pearl Django books. Wrembel’s Gypsy Fire Book or Horowitz Gypsy Picking? The Rosenberg Academy? Denis Chang’s School? Andreas Oberg Academy? Frank Vignola’s True Fire Gypsy Songbook? BTW, I can only read in the first position (but I am working my way up the neck) so I must use TAB. My ear is pretty good but I can’t find complex chords very easily, yet.

Here is a YouTube link to my first Gypsy song, (Wrembel’s waltz ‘Bistro Fada’). I know it’s very choppy and lacks style but I’m working on it. If anyone has a minute it would be cool if someone educated heard me, especially as it might affect what advice you would give me based upon current level of ability…or more accurately – a lack there of!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgtEqkRQInQ

What do all you GJ masters suggest I do to attain my goals? Whatever you all say to do that is what I will do. Finding a real teacher is next to impossible. I live outside Baltimore in case anyone knows someone.

I thank you all in advance for your kind guidance.

Best –

Chet
«134

Comments

  • peterjapeterja ✭✭
    Posts: 21
    Hello Chet.

    Nice job on Bistro Fado.

    You might want to look into the gypsy picking. You seem to know how to use the left hand allright, so i would suggest you work on the right hand, it would give you that gypsy sound, which is really important to this kind of music.

    Learn to play proper rythm. It will benefit everything you do. Michael Horowich has a great book on rythm. Dennis Chang has a great dvd, and on his online music school there are some great rythm lessons with Hono Winterstein.

    To work on vocabulary for improvisation i would strongly suggest Dennis Changs dvds(TECHNIQUE & IMPROVISATION). There are so many lick in these dvds, so imo you will get most value for the money compared to other books or dvds.

    Imo, you get the best learning materiel from Dennis Chang and Michael Horowich.

    The Andreas Oberg Academy is terrific for jazz, but it wouldn´t be my choice for learning gypsy jazz.

    The Rosenberg Academy is great if you want to learn Stochelos pet licks. But i guess you would get the most out of it, if you go through gypsy picking and Dennis´dvds first.

    Robin Nolan has a few free videos on youtube. If you like what you see, go for it.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,127
    Wow I haven't posted here in a while!!! Thanks for the kind words peter

    Chet, your playing isn't half bad at all. However, the best instructional stuff for you would really depend on how far you want to take this and how much you're willing to practice for it.

    The stuff that I have produced so far are for "serious"/intermediate/advanced students. People who are usually willing to put in some serious work. It's very intensive and assumes that the player has a decent grasp on basic improvisation / technical concepts. So if you're looking for something that will just allow you to have some fun right away and learning some songs with very simple improv, my stuff might not be best for you. There we go, now no one can ever accuse of me being a greedy biased pig!!!

    That said, one series I want to develop eventually, is something for people like you; a sort of fast track way of getting started without necessarily any intentions of being too serious about it . I already have a few ideas, but I'm so busy these days that I don't know when I ll be able to produce this series

    Oh btw, the free beginner playalong tracks on my site are, well, free and are great for practicing improvisation.

    Hope that helped!
  • Posts: 20
    Dennis...

    Thanks so much for responding to my question personally. I am one of those players who's technical/mechanical ability (not in Gypsy Jazz because I have only been doing in about a month) far exceeds my musical knowledge and command of theory. I am probably in the majority on this.
    So, as a follow up question - If I have the time and I am committed to working hard but I do not have a good theoretical foundation - where does that put me in terms of your material? Can I still approach it? I learn quickly but I can't play triads in 15 voicings and do close voice leading progressions without have to stop and figure it out first. I have a working knowledge of this and chord theory etc. but I don't 'own it' under my fingers, yet.
    Put another way...I am a competent blues player...ha ha...aren't we all!

    I think I am going to buy an AER amp, your DVDs and a few cases of those energy drinks and lock myself in a room...for about a year.

    But seriously, any further advice on if you think I am ready would be great.
    I am very appreciative with all you have contributed to the world of music and to musician at all levels.

    Best,

    Chet

    PS: Have you ever seen someone that began to play GJ for the first time at around age 50 that got really good?
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Dennis...
    PS: Have you ever seen someone that began to play GJ for the first time at around age 50 that got really good?

    ...em, asks another quinguagenarian. 8)
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Chet given your Intentions I recommend Dennis's DVD set on improv

    The other thing I recommend is to learn the gypsy picking method of rest stroke picking

    It is hard work to change but I started at 60 and have had success. I spent the first two months of practice playing only downstrokes. About 3 hours a day after a year or so the conversion was pretty much complete. So much of the style comes from the picking technique and many of the phrases are much easier. The bible for the style of picking is Michaels book

    Good luck with it

    The other suggestion I have is get really good at the rhythm. A couple of years ago I decided to get a diploma in Jazz performance in saxophone. Next year will be my last, anyway I decided to really get into the rhythm guitar thing. A year in and I am still on the steep learning curve and this after 30 years of guitar, mostly classic finger style. Getting the basics in rhythm is easy getting good at ain't at all

    PS don't worry about where you end up just put the time in and enjoy the journey. If you have the drive to put in 4 hrs a day of focussed practice on the stuff you dont know for a few years you won't recognize your own playing in two years.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    A year in and I am still on the steep learning curve and this after 30 years of guitar, mostly classic finger style. Getting the basics in rhythm is easy getting good at ain't at all.

    I really appreciate this comment. In all honesty, I played parts of 1st fret CSN, Loggins and Messina, Deep Purple, et al, when I was a kid, didn't pick the guitar up again for 30+ years, and only started in to GJ a few years back...and had to quickly stop, back now a couple of months.

    I realize there is no way I'm going to force this learning, and have pretty much concluded the world of rhythm is an entire universe of understanding. I keep being tempted to pick up Michael's picking book, Stephane's, Andreas's, etc...but not until I feel like a truly solid rhythm player. That endpoint may never come. Which feels rich and beautiful anyway....Hono and his comrades are truly inspiring artists.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,664
    Dennis...

    Have you ever seen someone that began to play GJ for the first time at around age 50 that got really good?
    I started at about age 60. Mind you, I'm not any good, but I was able to drive 50 years of non rest stroke picking out of my system with a lot of hard work, so at least that much can be done.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Dave Leibman, a legendary sax guy in jazz, said he had never heard anyone in jazz who was truly good unless they had spent a few years of 5 - 7 hours a day in the shed. He was not talking about beginners, but advanced players going back to the shed.

    That is probably true in guitar as well. As I was told, you will end up where you end up, have goals by all means, but focus all your attention on what you are doing now, what you need to get down now.

    One thing I have truly learned from my own experience and from watching others is to truly know what was is working on, so one can play it as easily as you use your fork to eat, before one starts to attempt something else. I can't count the nu,ber of players I have heard that can make it through a bunch of stuff, BUT they are always just making it through.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,127
    Ben, are you really in your 60s? you look like you're in your mid-late 40s! Wow, I need to eat what you're eating!!

    Anyway, I have seen people achieve success in various age groups; from people in their teens to people in their 60s

    But for people who are doing it as a hobby, I always tell them not to get caught up in the frustrations and stress often associated with "professional" players...

    The stuff I did for hyperhipmedia is very dense and complete, therefore, all the information is definitely there.. The downside is that it's very dense and complete haha, so there's so much out there that if you're more of a casual player, you'll have to know which sections to skip and which sections to work on...

    My recommendation for everyone is to listen to the greats; and learn at least 20 songs (more the better) by heart, learn to play the melodies.. learn a few intros and a few outros, and you're set to go. Also find someone to jam with if possible...

    as far as soloing goes, learn some basic arpeggio shapes, and try to use them, learn a few licks (no more than say 2-3 per chord family : major, minor, dominant) ,and try to mix everything together... you can do quite a lot with very little

    this is a joke video but watch the very beginning of the video here, and it'll give you an idea of how one or two lick can work very well over an entire song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avge_ks3lJc
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,664
    dennis wrote:
    Ben, are you really in your 60s? you look like you're in your mid-late 40s! Wow, I need to eat what you're eating!!

    Ha, ha! I started collecting Old Age Security last year! Not that it makes me feel any more secure, but every little bit helps.

    I owe it all to growing up on grits. Oh yeah, and lots of Bourbon.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2021 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2021 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.046388 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes
Kryptronic