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Joscho Stephan alternate picking?! La Gitana lick



  • cantzoncantzon Jeju Do, South KoreaNew
    Posts: 90
    I'll be more careful with my posts in the future.

    Anyway, I checked out your site. I enjoyed the Eric Dolphy transcription. Nice work.

  • SorefSoref Brookline, MA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 94
    Jazzmoods wrote:
    Where can u see the video of Stephane Wrembel soloing with one finger?

    Sadly I've only see him do it at workshops. I think he advocates exploring lots of possibilities for fingering. It kind of reminds me of Jim Hall tieing up different strings on his guitar with a rubber band while practicing improvisation. Limiting yourself can lead to some cool things. Of course the shocker is that Stephane doesn't seem that limited even with the one finger. Nice phrasing can kind of make a lot of technical concerns seem pretty irrelevant.

  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    I also agree with Mr. Dupont. Just play... It's the same thing with the guitars... I think if Django were alive today he wouldn't be playing a Gitane, or a Manouche or a Dell Arte and given all the guitars out there it sure wouldn't be a Selmer either. Personally I think Django could pick up an Epiphone flat top, put a couple stick matches under the saddle and make it sound nearly as good as his Selmer. I had a beautiful Gretsch once that I took to a tech and asked him to put a pick guard on it so I wouldn't scratch it... he handed it back to me and said "no, just play the damned thing".
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    So is it okay to stop buying books and guitars and stuff? :)

    I think this discussion is getting weird (no surprise). I mean after all, how many rules are we talking about here? You hold the pick this way, sit up straight, and start on a downstroke. That's about it. You learn more on the first day of shop class. And even though as a trade (and this is a trade) there is less orthodoxy than any other, it is still cause for complaint. It is almost as if Americans are unwilling to follow any rules whatsoever when it is connected to an art form and they aren't getting paid by the hour.

    I don't read Gypsy Picking anymore, I weigh it. Actually I don't even do that, I just have to open the first Cosimini book to page 5 to see that picture of that 3 year old who probably can barely wipe his rear yet but shows perfect playing form to tell me all I need to know. Yet if it wasn't for Gypsy Picking, who would be here, talking about what? And while I don't relish mounting Michael's fights for him, if you aren't near an accomplished Gypsy player, you've been SOL up to now. So I'm grateful for the small amount of guides and rules there are. If you happen to be one of those theoretically possible few who have been able to pick up this music in a total vacuum (and I'm not just talking about rhythm playing) you are truly exceptional. But each of the few times I've seen local bands that were 5 years old or older here, my first thought is how much better the lead player would be if he knew how to do what he was doing. And while we are here, how does one go about stating that Django was much more advanced than today's more 'technical' players and rue the small amount of rules it took to bring him there at the same time?

    Like Dennis says, it depends on the demands of the music. Let's use marble carving as an example. You can use cheese graters and dental floss to carve the David and no one would care, or even files from a wood shop might work, but there is a small simple set of funny shaped rasps and files that have been developed to accomodate the sculptor who knows what they do. Do you think Michelangelo decided he was too much of a genius to use them? Maybe this sounds strange coming from someone who has taken to carving their own picks, but I wouldn't be doing even that if I didn't have a Wegen to use as a template to compare to at this juncture.
  • cantzoncantzon Jeju Do, South KoreaNew
    Posts: 90
    Music is an art not a trade.

    Maybe those guys who crank out dentist office muzak think of it as a trade; I do not.

    If you look at music as a set of rules you'll end up with roughly the same results as the person you are emulating. You may spend a lifetime trying to sound like Django and y. You may actually sound like him with enough practice, time, work, etc. But then what- You are not Django and you will have created nothing original. There's a huge difference between creating things and replicating things. I currently live in a culture that strictly adheres to following rules and guidelines. I'm in Korea. But I am an American. Americans pride themselves in being creative and being original. That's why we invented (the light bulb, the television, the computer, the microwave, the airplane, motion pictures, and cell phones, etc.
    And here in Korea they invent nothing but beautifully replicate what we invent and mass produce it. Living in Korea makes me acutely aware of the differences between American culture and Asian culture. It's not that one is right and one is wrong. We all have strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately I'm very glad that I was raised an American.

    There are no rules only guidelines. We can look at what people did before us and assess the strengths and weaknesses and then do our own thing in our own way.
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 444
    Only one rule in music.

    Make music that sounds good.

    How you accomplish that is not important. FWIW, John Jorgenson can do Django better than 99.9 percent of the cats I have met who play "Gypsy" Jazz. And he does so without "proper" technique.

    Music is most definitely an art. If you want a trade, take up plumbing (it pays better!)

    The funny thing about all of this is that Django moved on from the pre war sound in the 40's and never looked back. (There is nothing wrong with the pre war sound. If that moves you...go for it. If Rest stroke picking helps you get there...go for it. If a Wegen pick and a Selmer style guitar gives you the sound you are looking for...go for it.)

    I have all of Michael's books and am glad for the info. (I strongly recommend owning them if you have an interest in playing music in this genre) It is always good to have more tools to choose from. That said, I'm not ready to throw my old tools away just yet.


    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    Tools, eh?...sure it is a trade, like making cuckoo clocks. I don't have any problem with that. You perform set pieces and deliver them to an audience, and then someone gives you a check. I kinda like that idea, actually...
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,131
    at this point we all agree that music has no rules... however, when it comes to learning music and teaching it, that approach doesn't cut it.

    as a musician, you need direction... imagine telling a 12 yr old who just bought his first guitar , walks up to his first lesson, and you tell him :"play what you feel".... somehow i dont think he'll be comng back for another lesson (unless his parents keep sending him in)

    of course, the opposite can be true too, you can run into an extremely narrow-minded teacher/player telling you music can only be played one way....

    either way, it's bad for the student...

    the important thing is to understand that ultimately you are free to do what you want, and that you need to train your ears as much as possible to hear and know what you want to play... all the while focusing on one thing at a time....

    so from a learning point of view , i think it is important to be narrow-minded enough to work on a few things at a time , to reach a certain level, then move on... and the better musician you become, the less narrow-minded you'll have to be...

    going back to the technique discussion, most django style phrases work best with the django style technique.... now if you don't want to be playing django style phrases with the django technique that is perfectly fine too, but at the same time, you probably don't want to hang out in this forum!!!
  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    I think I have all Michael's books and I am so grateful for them... they have helped me SO much... I've been playing about 30 years and thanks to Django (and Michael Horowitz) I feel like playing another 30. The line I like best from Michael is "When you're playing a gig, forget about all this and just have fun!" Hey Elliot I need another coconut pick... the Armadillo pick wore out already!
  • cantzoncantzon Jeju Do, South KoreaNew
    Posts: 90
    Someone made an interesting point about using the Django technique to sound like Django but then went on to say that people not interested in playing like Django probably wouldn't hang out on this forum.

    Well, I may be the th only one here but I emphatically do not want to sound like Django or anyone else for that matter. I want to sound like me.

    I enjoy many different players approaches to the instrument: Django, Pierre Bensusan, Pat Martino, Franco Platino, Marco Sartor, Oscar Aleman, Angelo Debarre, Bireli Lagrene, Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin, George Benson Shawn Lane, Ana Vidovic, Barrios, Phil Keaggy, Tomatito, and so on. (The reason this list is long is because some of you may not have heard of these guys and I think that you may enjoy listening to some of them when your in one of your non gypsy moods.)

    I also enjoy taking inspiration from other instruments- Coltrane, Parker, Dolphy, Art Tatum, and so forth.

    I've even been known to listen to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

    My guess is that not all but quite a few people on this forum are like that. And Gypsy Jazz is not really a music played by beginners. I'd venture that the majority of us arrived here after years of studying other styles.
    Most of us probably have developed pretty good techniques that work well for us. Some of the techniques work well for gypsy jazz, some need to be modified to suit the style, and still others may contribute something new and different to the gypsy style that will ultimately be absorbed into the gypsy technique. There's no reason Gypsy technique can't evolve.
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