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jsp775 SamaraPina

Using Downtime to get to the next level.

ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
edited June 2020 in Technique Posts: 310

I’m using the the downtime to study, woodshed, etc. in the hope of coming out of this an even better player. I’ll bet I’m not alone in this quest.

To that end, I’ve been taking the odd lesson or two, participating in some online classes, and working through some study materials. I’ve become enamored by the playing of Duved Dunayevsky in the past few months. I think his Soundslice lesson is fantastic and I’m working my way through it. I’ve attached a YouTube link here from it that is a great example of his playing. I learned the solo note for note as I have other great standard Django solos and have come to an interesting observation: it’s possible to muff and stumble even through slow-paced solos!

I used to think that the fast solos were the hardest to get right, and we all get attracted to the energy of that kind of playing, at first. It’s been a revelation to understand that slower pieces like ballads and other slower-paced tunes can reveal my weaknesses even more glaringly.

One of my instructors said he thought a defining characteristic of this style is playing with authority. I thought that was a good summation of getting to a goal of instrument mastery and confidence.

So, I’m trying to figure out how to work on to getting past several plateaus upon which I’ve landed. I’ll acknowledge that I’m only 5 years into my study where it’s said jokingly that “the first ten years are the hardest.” I’d be interested in hearing from others here who have experienced breakthroughs in their playing.

Here’s the clip. I found it interesting that even Duved had a little muffed note near the end of the solo. He cracks a little smile when he does it.



  • terrassierterrassier France
    edited June 2020 Posts: 101

    Yep hes a fantastic player - his playing is very dynamic, I have the course also but havent had the time to study it - I like Tim Robinson as well, it feels accessible to me but when I start transcribing it it highlights all my weaknesses even more than fluffing the fast stuff :)

    I started transcribing this Django solo the other day

  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393

    "I’ll bet I’m not alone in this quest."

    No, I wouldn't think so. ;-) I myself have found the opportunity to try to transcribe some Django solos I always wanted learn. I don't spend too much time on one before I jump to the next one. Then I go back and work out the details of one I have given a try earlier. It's fun and this method seems to work. It's so much easier to hear and to understand what's going on the second time, and the third. Then over to some exercises on my second instrument, the trumpet. Lastly, I have decided to be able to play the chromatic harmonica when all this is over. I don't plan to ever be a Stevie Wonder, it's just to amuse myself. But it is a fun instrument to add to the arsenal of noises I can make. It did feel almost impossible at the start. But I'm making a bit of progress every night, just playing through some tunes and finding out where the notes are on that thing. I need to stress that I really hate this horrible, horrible pandemic and I can't wait until it's over. Doing things I find meaningful keeps me going and gives me a sense of hope for the future.

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 236

    Fantastic clip of Duved's playing, for sure! I'm going to have some furlough days coming up and I also plan on spending a bit more time playing... Ah state budget deficits... Perfect inspiration for 1930's style blues 😂

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 236

    I agree with you on Tim Robinson, he definitely breaks down the exercises for turnarounds and linking arpeggios patterns in am accessible way.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 394

    I took a punt and signed up to Joscho Stephans gypsy academy about a month ago. Seemed a bit pricey and It’s a subscription but I haven’t regretted it.

    It is crammed with really accessible and useful stuff. You can print out the transcriptions and the quality is very high.

    a great way to spend your lockdown

  • ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
    Posts: 310

    Hey Matteo, it must be fun being your neighbor!

    Seriously, good for you taking up a new instrument. I’ve got a piano in my music room I bought to have for other musicians. Makes me think I should take a look into it myself.

  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393

    Yes Chief, you would think so. I am very thankful for practice mutes. It's not the same thing as playing open, but they do make practicing the trumpet at home possible. And I have one of the best, one of the quietest (and expensive) ones. My friends who play sax and live in apartments have much more trouble. There is no way to mute a sax. I know one sax player who has some sort of soundproof "phone booth" at home, but most don't. One thing I'm getting better at on the harmonica is also to play soft. Anyway, I have never lived in a better isolated building than I do now. I never hear a sound from my neighbours and I hope they don't hear very much from me. I think the most important thing to think about is not to stomp my foot too hard on the floor. That's the kind of sounds you do hear from the apartment above.

    Yes, the piano is a very useful instrument to know. You should do it. Sadly, I can't play it myself. It's so frustrating every time I find myself somewhere where there is a piano and someone asks me to play something and I'm totally unable to play one thing.

  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393

    I like Duved's playing and I have the Soundslice course which has some good tips. I need to study it more closely and I'm sure I will.

    Tim Robinson is indeed a fantastic player. I remember transcribing a part of Où es-tu mon amour? many years ago, when I made a first attempt at learning this kind of music. I remember that I started the tune higher up on the neck, on the bass strings, compared to how mr. Robinson plays it in that video. I must check out that tune again and see if I can figure out the whole solo this time.

  • Posts: 4,019

    I'll let you know when I've made a breakthrough, here's this meanwhile

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 833

    My friends who play sax and live in apartments have much more trouble. There is no way to mute a sax. I know one sax player who has some sort of soundproof "phone booth" at home, but most don't.

    When I was living in Istanbul, I had the chance to meet a jazz saxophonist there. He lived in a small apartment and this is exactly what he did. Basically, he built a wood box that was elevated off the floor and took up the whole room space. It was completely insulated and isolated. Pretty extreme but this is how he makes his living.

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