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Thinking of wrapping this up in March?

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
Greetings to everyone who comes and reads our group messages, whether you are actually a member or not.

I know I've threatened this before, but I'm really serious now in suggesting that we wrap things up with this group at the end of the month. After almost a full year, new members and interest in the group seems to be waning, so there doesn't seem much point in flogging this particular horse any more.

But until the fateful Ides of March arrive, all are encouraged to share your final thoughts about the Givone method, whatever those may be...

Did you find that it helped you?

Was book one "Methode" or book two "25 Pieces" better for you?

Would you recommend either of these books to others?

What are your plans for further study?


Additionally, I would encourage all members to post an audio or video clip of their playing.. as our member Spud pointed out, he's the only one who's already shown his, so now we should all show ours.

Will
Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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Comments

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,471
    Kudos to you for doing it, Will.

    Paul
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,779
    Thanks, Paul.

    Feel free to jump in here anytime, guys...? :lol:
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • hanear21hanear21
    Posts: 62
    tldr: I used the methode book to very quickly build a repertoire for soloing. Without it I might not have been able to play with my local group until much later!

    I can say a few words about the Methode book. First a little background info.

    I recently started playing gypsy jazz back in August and started with the technique/improv DVD by Denis. I got through the first DVD (which was great) and was started the second, but then I found a group here in town that plays Gypsy jazz every week and I needed to build a small repertoire very quickly! It was taking me a long time to apply Denis's licks to other songs so I read about Givone's book and decided to try it out.

    Currently Givone's 5 forms are all I use when soloing. I am now just getting to the point where I feel like it's time to start going back to Denis's stuff or transcribing, but I am really satisfied with how quickly the 5 forms got me out playing with other people. I was talking to someone about this last night and the forms are great because even if you were to just play them exclusively you'll sound "not bad" at worst. So I would say it's a great first step for those getting into gypsy jazz improv.

    I don't have any good videos of me soloing (I still wouldn't really consider myself good at it) but I've been meaning to make one so I'll see if I can get it done in the near future. Here's one I put up from last year, employing some of Givone's forms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D44iqBUlGA8
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,471
    I just want to say, I play with Hanear21 weekly, in our local GJ jam. It wasn't until last night that I was made aware just how much of M. GIvone's text played in Hanear's work on improv.

    I am flatly blown away. Thanks again Will and Co., for pointing this up. As I've said likely to the point of exhaustion, rhythm's my thing for the foreseeable future...with waltzes to work right hand picking. But based on Hanear's playing, and his testament to the Givone text, I am extremely piqued.

    Whatever happens to your group, Will, thank you again for bringing notice to the man's texts. I'm going to have to order the 25 songs. And Michael's Unaccompanied....and wait....mayday mayday...
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • spudspud paris, france✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 101
    yes thank you very much anyway for the initiative Lango. I do remember now at one point someone else had put a video online but since then he's taken it off

    since this group started i have been reworking the givone forms quite a bit. i've tried to focus a little more on being precise with the articulations and the fingering.
    all the same , like all methods i have seen, its certainly limited.( im not yet convinced that one needs to know all 5 CAGED positions for this type of music. ) now i am also trying to bring in other techniques into my playing, its nice to be able to doodle around in all the positions but its a bit boring to listen to.

    i tried to find some other givonians on the french gypsy site but there was very little interest. it seems like here, lots of people have had a look, but not really gotten so much out of it.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,779
    OK, now that others have kicked things off I'm going to chime in. I can be a bit of a novel writer sometimes but I hate to dictate the direction of the conversation.

    I feel like I've gotten a good start on my left hand work by using the Givone forms, at least the major and major-dominant ones, I never did the amount of work with the minor and minor-dom forms that would allow me to incorporate them into my own playing... to tell the truth, I don't really play in minor keys all that often... though that might be changing soon; I've been having a lot of fun lately with an old dixieland tune called "Midnight in Moscow" that is a blast to play... I think it would make a good GJ standard, if it is not one already...?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59m-WU_P6d8

    Now "revenons a nos moutons"--- yours truly found that he had to repeat those forms a LOT to really hammer 'em into his thick skull!

    But the strange thing is that now having done that, I can't even remember what the original Givone licks were over those positions. Because somehow in the course of woodshedding with them I've gradually replaced his licks with my own.

    I'm sure mine don't sound as authentically "GJ" but that doesn't really bother me because playing my own way is what I really always hoped to use the book for anyway, and at this point I am happy just to be able to create my own little stupid ideas and goofy licks.(If I really played in a GJ band I might fell differently about that, but I don't play in one; more on that below!)

    Incidentally, I think that there is a whole other book to be written about how to fool around with those five/ten/fifteen/twenty forms and make little licks and riffs out of them.

    But anyway... Next steps, for me, are as follows---

    1) Like several other GGG members, I'm going to continue to try to cherry-pick cool licks from Django or Gonzalo or Denis Chang or Stochelo or Givone or anyone else I can possibly pilfer them from. And I'm here to tell everyone--- the second Givone book "25 pieces" has some great cherries to pick!

    2) For better or worse, most of my gigs are as the rhythm guitar (or plectrum banjo) accompanying a virtuoso clarinet/sax player in a swing/dixie band, Therefore, alas, there is no guitar or piano to back me up when I solo, just bass and drums.

    So I'm working to cobble together some kind of a style that works for that situation. So far this seems to involve playing pretty much right on the beat, because our/my rhythm seems to get screwed up or turned around pretty easily.

    So I'm doing a bit of practicing with just metronome or BIAB drums, really trying to solidify my rhythm. It's not as much fun as playing with somebody feeding you the chords, and I do find this way of playing more difficult, though I've been improving at it over the months somewhat.

    I know that Django played without a rhythm instrument for at least one recording "I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you" which is just him with a bass player. And of course Django makes it sound so easy you don't really notice there's no rhythm guitar! So theoretically, this CAN be done...

    For now, I"m making it my goal to at least be able to play just the melody of each tune I play with strength and confidence. After that, I want my improvisations to sound just as strong and confident as the melody. The Givone forms are one way of easily finding those melody notes. Plus playing up and down a single string or two sometimes works, too... well, I am getting better at both methods of "hunt and peck" but still have the occasional "train wreck"!

    Anyway, that's me, probably more information that you really wanted to know, but hey, I tried to warn you at the start that I'm more a talker than a player!

    Will

    PS And I promise I will be posting a recording of myself later on this month, so Spud and the rest of you guys can hear my "reverse Midas touch" a/k/a "systematic desecration of each form"!
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • spudspud paris, france✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 101

    I feel like I've gotten a good start on my left hand work by using the Givone forms, at least the major and major-dominant ones, I never did the amount of work with the minor and minor-dom forms that would allow me to incorporate them into my own playing... to tell the truth, I don't really play in minor keys all that often... though that might be changing soon;

    but there are many many major songs that have minor chords and progressions in them, its not just the overall tonality of the song
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,779
    True dat, Spud. I just usually cheat by outlining those minor chords instead of truly improvising over them. For the V7 chords I just usually add a b9 note somewhere along the line.

    I don't know if you were reading in another thread about the octotonic scale, but that seems like a good thing to learn for playing over V7 chords... at least Stochelo thinks so!

    I guess I should also revisit those Givone minor shapes again... it's mainly just laziness stopping me because I'm not looking forward to transposing all those shapes out of Gm or G7!
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
    Posts: 186
    Firstly I need to thank this group for making me realise Givone and his books actually existed in the first place.

    I haven't seen the '25' book yet as I'm still working through the first one. And I have to say it's great, easily the best GJ book I've come across in too many years of searching. It's revitalised my playing and there's a few years mileage left in it for me. I'd always recomend it.

    Sorry to see the group end even though I've been a minor contributor. It's always the first Djangobooks forum I look for and when I first started working on the book it was always full of encouragement and a few laughs, too. When / if it closes we can get the headstone carved with the proud words "Job Done!"

    All the best to you all,

    SP
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,779
    Spalo wrote:
    easily the best GJ book I've come across in too many years of searching. It's revitalised my playing and there's a few years mileage left in it for me. I'd always recomend it.

    Thanks for your contribution to the group, Spalo, and glad to hear you liked the Givone book as much as I did.

    Yup, it's an evergreen... I can see myself every five or so years cracking it open to any random page and learning something new all over again.

    Volume two is completely different, as you'll see someday.

    And don't put off starting it until you finish volume one, because there's no need, in fact the two actually complement each other and together guarantee a lifetime's worth of learning for most of us wannabe players.
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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