Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Who's Online (0)

Related Discussions

Today's Birthdays

newbie hugh alfred87 BillyBreard

trouble deciding on books

edited February 2008 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 11
I have been working on the first few chapters of L'Esprit Manouche but I'm feeling kind of stuck. I've only been playing guitar for a bit over a year.

I was thinking of getting a book that deals more with the rhythm guitar part before i really get into the soloing part that l'espirit seems to deal with.

I've been weighing my odds with john fjorgenson's book, dennis chang's dvd, and the horowitz books gypsy picking and rhythm.

Should I stick it out with l'espirit for a while or if i had to get another book, which should i get?

Keep in mind I don't have much jazz experience, and play songs mostly made up of chords at this point.


  • JeremyJeremy New
    Posts: 39
    I'm still very much a beginner at gypsy jazz, but I'll add my opinion. I think that, to learn rhythm, gypsy rhythm would probably be your best bet. Gypsy picking is essential to learn the proper technique (if you are looking to learn it), and L'Esprit manouche is probably best left until after you are comfortable with the other books. Keep working on the first few chapters though until you know everything in them very well, but before moving on I'd recommend working through gypsy rhythm and getting more comfortable with your gypsy picking technique (again, if you are learning the 'proper' technique).
  • HCPhillyHCPhilly Phila. PA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 147
    You should really get your rhythm together before you work on lead playing. I haven't seen Michael's or Dennis' book or DVD, but they really know their stuff, and they have spent a lot of time getting the info first hand. It's all about the "pompe," and it's gotta' swing.
    Try to find a teacher if there is anybody near you.
    If you can can't find anybody, you can call me for some advice
    on the pompe. Email me thru and I'll send you my #.
    Also, you should get "Gypsy Picking" by Michael Horowitz, [if you don't already have it], and "Getting into Gypsy Jazz," by Stephane Wrembel.
    L' spirit Manouche is a good book, but it may be too advanced for you at this time. You should get your Pompe down 1st, then work on picking and chord shapes and learning the basic repertoire.
    All the best,
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    I would get Gypsy Picking (for lead), Gypsy rhythm and Denis Chang's DVD.
    They are all essential for me.
  • Posts: 11
    Thanks for all your suggestions, but right now I'm looking to get one book to build my chops up on( I'm a poor former college student). So if you had to pick one what would it be?

    I'm leaning towards gypsy picking or gypsy rhythm, which would be best to start with?

    And does anyone know of any teachers in the metro-Detroit area?
  • HCPhillyHCPhilly Phila. PA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 147
    Seriously, learn to play rhythm first, it's all about the pompe.
    Don't do it "bass ackwards." You'll have a much better chance of succeeding if you do it in that order. That's how it's taught.
    it will make more sense after you've mastered the pompe.
    Good luck,
  • Posts: 11
    I do want to learn to play rhythm first, I'm just trying to figure out which book/dvd is going to help me to learn it best.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I'd grab either M's Gypsy Rhythm or Denis' DVD...ideally both, but if you have to choose, I'd say:

    Michael's book is great for pompe styles and notated examples (with audio as well). He gives so many examples that almost anything you hear in Django recordings, you'll find in the book. It's fantastic, and once you get the basics down you'll find a lot of details in the book as well-turnarounds, rhythm 'tricks', etc.

    Denis' disc is great, and covers some styles of rhythm that aren't in Gypsy Rhythm (waltz, latin...they'll appear in future volumes of the book series). The great thing about the DVD, of course, is that it's visual, and a lot of people learn better that way. You can read a review and see some video examples here.

    At any rate, get one, then find a way to get the other as a gift for the holidays...

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 306
    I asked the same question a while back at the Gypsy Rhythm page. Sounds like we have similar goals though maybe I've had a few more years in the style.
    I threw up a poll and it seems to match what everyone here has to say. I've got Gypsy Rhythm on the way and am hoping to get it this week or maybe next....mail is slow to the ol Stamboul. Anyway, this should take you to my post and poll over there...results strongly favor Gypsy Rhythm first.

    Also, you can find some clips of Dennis Chang's video at this link on You Tube. I purposefully didn't embed the video so you can see the 5 or 6 other "lessons" available from dennis. After seeing these, I'm really considering ordering the video as well.

    I think these guys are really steering you in the right direction regarding la pompe too. When I was learning from a gypsy in the NL, he told me that you have to start first with the rhythm before you can do anything else because it all comes from there.

  • Posts: 11
    I bought dennis's dvd which helped me only a bit at first, but when i got gypsy rhythm and looked at the dvd again, it was more helpful. The cd's with the book really showed me that my pompe was waaay too slow and i needed to tighten it.

    I like learning the chords by learning songs so I felt gypsy rhythm was really good for that while the dvd focused on technique which I'm sure will be helpful again later on.

    So I would definitely recommend gypsy rhythm to a beginner and the dvd for people who need a better visual on the technique.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.047879 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes