Using a guitar that isn't anything like a Gypsy Jazz guitar

Hi, as I'm fairly inexperienced in the realm of GJ (though I do practice a lot) I'm wondering about the suitability of my guitar. Having never accompanied anyone or gigged I'm wondering that if I took 'the next step' whether a) the sound would be too quiet or b) it would be frowned upon by players/potential audience. My guitar is an Art&Lutherie guitar made of cedar, is a nice shade of blue and has a cutaway. Its also got a piezo pickup under the bridge. I've no idea what the sound level is like compared to a GJ guitar (unamplified) However, its cheap (I don't worry too much about it) and portable. Would gigging using the pickup be a good way to go? Would the sound be too far away from the classic GJ sound? Thanks in advance :)


  • Yes the sound will be quite different from a traditional GJ guitar.

    If it's a decent guitar playability and response wise, will be fine to learn on. Piezo's tend to be "quacky" but can sound ok with eq added.

    When you get to the level of gigging, you will be able to answer your own question. A skilled rhythm player can play a pompe correctly on any acoustic or electric guitar. It will just sound different on each.

    You will have a hard time being heard in a jam with it.

    Hope all that helps.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    edited December 2015 Posts: 476
    If you are loving the guitar you have, it won't matter. Music is music including GJ. I'd take my time. I lived with a plywood fender dreadnought for 18 years, and learned most of what I know on that.
    I played a thousand solo gigs with it too, back when that wasn't so hard to do. You can do any music on a nylon guitar for that matter.
    What people think about your guitar won't be important if you practice like crazy.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
  • I agree with both to an extent, but moreso with Jay. If you've been bitten by the GJ bug as we have, you likely won't be satisfied until you get that sound.
  • Orient-BlueOrient-Blue Manchester Gitane DG-255, Ovation Balladeer
    Posts: 21
    I've used an Ovation balladeer now for many years, I find it has a sound somewhat close to the Selmer-style guitar. But it's a very different beast, like the others here have expressed.
  • Posts: 4,630
    There are plenty of YouTube videos where our idols play flattops in their early days before they could afford what they use today. So you don't have to worry about that.
    I personally couldn't wait to get a Selmer copy because I was craving that sound which I just couldn't get from the Martin I have as nice of a flattop guitar as it is.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • JojoJojo London UK
    Posts: 186
    Thanks guys. All have been very helpful *starts saving*
  • MattHenryMattHenry Washington, DC✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 131
    Sell that blue cutaway, get a gypsy guitar, and dedicate yourself to gypsy picking. Watch the videos below as needed to make sure you stop picking however you used to and use gypsy picking exclusively. Folks who mess around in different camps, as it were, often don't develop their gypsy picking properly and that's just bad news. Contrarywise, players who develop strong gypsy picking can apply it to any acoustic or electric guitar and be better off. It's much better to develop gypsy picking on a gypsy guitar and better still not to be switching back and forth.

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,159
    Here s a video i did comparing various guitars including a really cheap non gj guitar strung w gj strings. It works fine. Obviously doesnt sound great but it really works, and that a how many gypsies played in the days before saga gitane

  • Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows WV✭✭✭ ALD Original, Dupont MD50
    Posts: 432
    Darn that Tremblay Busato sounds great!
  • JojoJojo London UK
    Posts: 186
    Dennis, thank you very much for posting that as it's very helpful. I can now see how my 'sound' would sit amongst the pantheon of GJ guitars. And yes, I'm with Charles re the Busato
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