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Chords in gypsy jazz

atmapremaatmaprema middle eastNew
edited October 2009 in Welcome Posts: 4
hi
I HAVE A QUESTION REGARDING GYPSY CHORD OPTIONS ,, AND WOULD BE GREATFUL IF YOU ANSWER ME !

WHY CHORD CHANGING IN LIKE LES YEUX NOIRS WHICH IN IT'S ORIGINAL FORM IS A7 / Dm /A7 / Bb
Gm/ Dm/A7/Dm CAN GO TO PIECES AND BE WRITEN IN OTHER WAYS LIKE Eb79/Dm79/Ab713/Gm79/C713/ F7M9/Bb713/Em75b/A75#/G713 MY QUESTION IS THAT IF GYPSY GUITARIST'S ANOTHER OPTIONS FOR CHORDS FOR A PIECE LIKE THE ABOVE RELATED TO IMPROVISATIONS ? OR IT IS JUST SIMPLY AN INDIVIDUAL TASTE??? I HOPE I AM CLEAR IN MY QUESTION ,, AND WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF SOMEONE ENLIGHTEN ME ON THIS SUBJECT !!
thanks
ATMAPREM
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Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,920
    Hi,

    You can reharmonize a song in an infinite number of ways by using more complex or simpler harmony to achieve an artistic goal.

    To get an idea of how Gypsies reharmonize tunes check out this book which has simple, advanced, and modern versions of many classic songs:

    http://www.djangobooks.com/books/gypsy-rhythm/

    You should also learn music theory so you understand how this all works.

    Good luck!

    -Michael
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    Michael, relatedly (and sorry, OP, if this brings off-topic), but do you, or any member, have any recommendations on an exhaustive theory book, one that truly covers the minutae?

    Might seem strange, my asking - only briefly say again, I intend on pursuing my path via what Denis Chang has tended to promulgate, osmosis, sensory acuity, etc.

    That said, at some point, I am, simply, very much intrigued by the theoretical rationale behind what works...never having studied theory, I was very happy to learn what I do now know. I have a number of pretty elementary texts (Tom Kolb/Hal Leonard, Guitar Method Music Theory; Barrett Tagliarino, Guitar Fretboard Workbook; and The Acoustic Guitar Bible).

    While I do know of Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book, I was hopeful of finding a fantastic, dense, exhaustive book on jazz theory, specifically centered on jazz guitar. Any recommendations?
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,920
    The Levine book is great.....for soloing Melodic Jazz Improvisation by Scott Reeves is excellent. Stay away from guitar books for theory....the best thing is to actually take some classes at your local university.

    With that said...Gypsy Jazz is pretty simple from a theoretical point of view. And a lot of the harmony and ideas that Django used are not really part of the standard Jazz theory curiculum. So, as always your best bet is just transcribing....
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,414
    The Levine book is great.....for soloing Melodic Jazz Improvisation by Scott Reeves is excellent. Stay away from guitar books for theory....the best thing is to actually take some classes at your local university.

    With that said...Gypsy Jazz is pretty simple from a theoretical point of view. And a lot of the harmony and ideas that Django used are not really part of the standard Jazz theory curiculum. So, as always your best bet is just transcribing....

    Thanks, Michael. This interest has to do with a broadening interest in playing jazz, generally - though I intend on following my GJ path in a very traditional way, and I don't intend on conflating my study of this style with others for a very long time to come.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Matthias LenzMatthias Lenz Lucklum, GermanyNew
    Posts: 101
    I agree with Michael, guitar books on harmony and theory are not the ideal thing to learn from.

    As far as instruments are concerned, nothing beats the piano for learning about harmony, even if you don´t really play it.

    I was fortunate enough to meet someone who studied at Berklee, and I could borrow copies of Barrie Nettles´ books on harmony, which are great.
    Maybe you can get copies of those from the Berklee College of Music...
    they are well structured and take you through the whole thing step by step, should be fine even without a teacher guiding you.

    No use asking me for copies, though, as I gave them back after reading them.
  • Matthias LenzMatthias Lenz Lucklum, GermanyNew
    Posts: 101
    I agree with Michael, guitar books on harmony and theory are not the ideal thing to learn from.

    As far as instruments are concerned, nothing beats the piano for learning about harmony, even if you don´t really play it.

    I was fortunate enough to meet someone who studied at Berklee, and I could borrow copies of Barrie Nettles´ books on harmony, which are great.
    Maybe you can get copies of those from the Berklee College of Music...
    they are well structured and take you through the whole thing step by step, should be fine even without a teacher guiding you.

    No use asking me for copies, though, as I gave them back after reading them.
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Well, I don't see the title Michael suggests, but I did find 2 by Scott Reeves:
    Creative Jazz Improvisation (4th Edition) (Spiral-bound)
    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Jazz-Imp ... roduct_top

    Creative Beginnings: An Introduction to Jazz Improvisation (Paperback)
    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Beginnin ... pd_sim_b_2

    I don't have either, and I really don't know of any great book, I just have a couple from college, and theory hasn't changed radically since then, so I still page through them every now and then. I'd say check out your library or visit the local conservatory, you'll probably find several books and recommendations. Like guitars, I think it's another case of one size does not fit all.

    I do have Mark Levine's book, but I've not gone through it much, since starting my GJ adventures. It seems well enough. In the end, you've got to play to learn. That's the importance of jamming with live musicians - making music is being able to learn from your mistakes. Everyone makes them, but some of the better players make their mistakes sound great. I played with an older player back in the day, and I remember on stage, Harley was soloing and I watched him make a few fubars along the way, but he played something right after them, that made them sound right. I asked him, 'What was that thing you did in that solo, where you hit the wrong note?' He said without batting an eye lash, 'I just made it a passing tone. Keeps you out of trouble.' He gave me a sly grin and wink.

    Having heard the argument about the best way to learn GJ is from listening, watching, and jamming with other players, I would agree that's probably the best. However, it never hurts to supplement your knowledge of music overall, at least IMHO. My hearing is not so good, so I can't really transcribe that well, but I can 'read' a solo transcription and that is pretty helpful to me. Knowing a bit about theory helps me smooth out the rough spots and makes things click that I see played.

    If you learn from an early age by just being in the 'family' of musicians like many of the more famous stylists of this genre, you probably just can go along without any of that textbook stuff. If it comes naturally to you, you certainly are blessed.

    For me, I don't have GJ 'live' performers around here to learn from 1st hand, but I do watch local jazz musicians, though. I pick up a lot of good info watching the GJ vids on YouTube and the Dbooks archive site. Some folks play so fast, I really can't see what they're doing, so I really need the music transcription or tab - these old ears can't pick apart that fast shredding too well. That's why I tend to like more melodic players, I guess. Technique in of itself, playing faster and faster doesn't seem to let the music swing, but watching or hearing players like Django, Tchavolo, Mandino, Fapy, Tchan-tchou, and others like them gives music that swing and certainly brings me a lot of smiles.
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 519
    I'll throw down my two cents-
    Mark levines book is good.
    Arnie burle (sp) used to have a nice book on theory for guitar that was actually good . . .
    on to the stuff that is really helpful, but difficult:
    The van eps books
    and
    the single note and chord theory books from ted greene . .
    They are more like applied ideas- but if you get through them (not easy!) you find a lot of cool things to play.
    Cheers,
    Ben
  • GregLewisGregLewis Chicago, IL (Oak Park)New
    Posts: 67
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Oh, yeah Arnie Berle. I remember, I had a subscription to Guitar Player, when he started his series on 'the Harmonized Scale'. It became the basis for one of his excellent books. I still enjoy reading his articles, and his books are nice reference materials.
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