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Dennis' workshop

JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
edited November 2005 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 1,911
Thought I'd share some photos from Dennis' workshop here to test the photo upload...I'm not too technologically savvy. Here goes:



  • RKatzRKatz London✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 184
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Here's one more where you can see Tony's classical playing position (someone on one of the forums was asking about it):
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    Jack or Dennis,

    Is Dennis playing his "new" early Collins in these pics? The headstock kind of looks like it has Dell Arte logo, though that clip-on thing (tuner?) obscures it. Just curious, as a Collins owner myself.

    Looks like a good time was had out in the wilds of Western Mass. I wish I could'a gone.

  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    That's my guitar he's playing in the pics. Hope you can make it the next time we get something together!

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,123
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I almost forgot! By the time it was over, though, I think we were all coming to grips with the fact that we're no Bireli...


    Thanks for bringing it!
  • LexLex Santa Cruz, CANew
    Posts: 5
    Hello Djangophiles,

    This is my first post ever on the site.

    Thanks to everyone at the GJ Retreat this last weekend with Dennis Chang. I had an amazing time, drank some fantastic Berkshire Brew, and aside from being in awe of Dennis' playing, I took away a whole lot of valuable information. Dennis is a great teacher, and I really feel I have discovered a new way of visualizing the fret board after this weekend.

    Personally, I have been struggling with the Rest Stroke technique and its application in descending lines for the last six months, and
    Dennis showed us one technique that completely lifted the curtain for me. I guess it's just the incorporation of pull - offs and hammer-ons in descending / ascending lines that makes the GJ Picking technique seem entirely more logical and just plain easier! I'm now constantly trying to get my downstrokes on the down beat, and reformulating all my old bad habits.

    His methodical study of each individual master Gypsy's style was brought forth in a comprehensive, yet non-denominational overview of the Sinti vs. Manouche pompe (Dennis can perfectly replicate each individual style from each major figure -- it's nuts!!), the Rosenberg variations on Django's lines, the Sinti adoption of Django's late 40's era, and a philosophy on the genre as a whole that was truly inspiring. I think we all experienced an Epiphany when Dennis deconstructed some of the most dauntingly fast licks over All of Me and explained them as a master Gypsy player might explain it to a small child. He broke down each line as a separate phrase over each chord, and then connected the whole thing, giving us incredible material and a new philosophy on improvising (which was simply a basic method for visualizing the fret board -- the notes were not important, but how we saw the chords up and down the neck was).

    Another jaw dropping moment was the discussion of phrasing and metrical displacement. Using Django's Minor Swing, he proved to us Django's true musical genius in how he deliberately began his lines in the middle of a bar, then crossed the bar line. This technique is hard to even try when you've been starting all your solos on the tonic and the first beat of any given chord change for as long as you can remember.

    If anyone ever gets a chance to take a workshop with Dennis -- I HIGHLY recommend it.

    Thanks again to Andrew Lawrence for putting on such a great event for players in New England. I'm looking forward to Django in
    June, and after that, I'm going to Samois. Hope to see you all there.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Glad to see you here, Lex. You and Jack (the other Jack) sounded great over the weekend; I've had to introduce St. Thomas to the guys since hearing you play it...drop in anytime.

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