Learning strictly from transcribing Django

MinorBluesMinorBlues New York✭✭✭
edited October 2006 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 80
What do you all think of this? There are so many books/videos/Cds around now that there are many possibilities to learn this style. Do you think it is effective to learn strictly from transcribing django solos? (Didn't bireli and stochelo learn this way?) Or do you think there are other steps necessary?


  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    i think helps to expose yourself to everything that's out there.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    It's certainly effective if:

    a)you start doing it when you're five years old, and
    b)you don't bother much with school, etc., for fifteen years

    Otherwise, I think it's best to take advantage of what's out there. It really helps get the basics down fairly quickly; from there, if you've got a good ear, the recordings will be that much more helpful.

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,159
    i think the most important thing in the LONG run is to be able to learn on your own (by ear) and to figure things out yourself... however there are certain subtleties that are often overlooked or invisble to the naked eye and ear that should be worked on as well.. and that usually involves some sort of outside help (ie teacher or even method book or something)....

    but if you're new at this and don't know how to start, any kind of outside help is good
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    a steady diet of Creed records should be your first move.

    whatever happens, if it doesn't feel good, avoid it.
    take a hint from that rosenberg song - "just relax."
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • MinorBluesMinorBlues New York✭✭✭
    Posts: 80
    Oh yeah I'll get on those creed records asap a 8) . I started my voyage into GJ some months ago, but I was curious as to what everyones thoughts were about learning directly from the source vs. the newer GJ players.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I think transcribing Django`s music is a great learning aid and will help you understand where the newer players are coming from.
    It will also make your ears better and make picking up things from other players and albums easier.
    So in my opinion there are only good reasons to do it, can`t think anything bad could come from it.
  • stuckinkansasstuckinkansas KansasNew
    Posts: 55
    I have to agree with my friend Bluesbopharry! When you learn Django's solos, or any contemporary players solos, you can break it down and usually figure out the theory behind it. Mostly based on chords, subs, arrpegios etc. It helps if you don't have a wife, kids, friends, responsiblities, etc. I wouldn't know anything about that personally.
  • kidtulsakidtulsa New
    Posts: 61

    This is a good question! My two centimes is that you need to work with both recordings and method books. Training your ear through listening and transcribing will help you get closer to the sound you want, once you've put the pieces of information in place that are available throught the many great books that are out there today. The ones that have helped me are Michael Horowitz's 'Gypsy Picking' for dialing in the right hand, Stephane Wrembel's 'Getting Into Gypsy Jazz' for basic soloing structures -- arpeggios and scales -- and Max Robin and Jean-Phillipe Watremez's 'Complete Django' for a good look at Django's idiomatic approach to chords (in particular). Michael's book 'Unaccompanied Django' is great for this as well. There's several other's I've yet to check out that look really great -- Andreas Oberg's 'Gypsy Fire', John Jorgensen's books, etc etc.
    Good Luck!

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