Hello and in need of some online academy advise!

edited June 2012 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 2
Hey all,

Partly an introduction as well as need for some advise! Hello! My name is Christophe (Tumbledown) and I have been playing guitar for 20+ years. Mostly rock, a lot of folk and much bluegrass (I am also a clawhammer banjo player). I grew up in Belgium and remember as a child hearing a lot of Django and Grappelli (my mother had the privilege to see the latter live in Paris!). I have always admired and revered Django but for some reason always thought his playing was something unattainable! However, over the past month I was bit by a crazy bug to want to finally step up and learn gypsy jazz, and challenge myself. I started to search for the community online, and quickly found it, I started to look for online Academies, and found a bunch. In my short journey already I have learned of Stochollo, Lollo, Fappy, Denis Chang and other greats. I have been watching whatever free material is offered on the Gypsy Jazz Academy (Pepe's Dream etc.), some good YouTube vids (as well as one that really seem off..). Starting to practice arpeggios, learning bits of songs (like Daphne and Minor Swing). I finally sealed the deal for myself by buying a Gitane D-500 and can't put it down.


I have browsed these forums, and see this question come up from time to time in the forum posts. However, I feel there is potentially no definitive answer? Which academy would be a great one to start from? When I started learning Clawhammer, I wanted to make sure my technique was sound, and learned from Perlman. To me making sure I have sound technique in the beginning really helps with moving forward when learning a new 'style'. I can see there are a lot nuances to gypsy jazz playing.

I looked into the Stochollo Academy, but it's hard to find any info beyond the surface. Some folks talked of joining early on, and there not being much material yet (as it was still getting off the ground). I have been mostly sitting on some free lessons from the Gypsy Jazz Academy. Seems Denis Chang transcribes for both of those site, and he has his own. Can anyone steer me in a more clear decision. I can't subscribe to em' all, but want to join one of them.

Thank you!



  • W.BW.B New
    Posts: 39
    im a newbie myself but what most people say is get the right hand picking technique down before you go on with the rest of gypsy jazz guitar. after that learn to play rhythm and after that you can try to learn to solo :)
  • I've been signed up to several of them and they all have some great info. The one I'd recommend for a newcomer to the style is Advantage is you don't have to subscribe just buy the lessons you want. He has a very logical method of breaking the style down. Have a look on his blog where there are some free lessons. Good luck with your studies.
  • You can do some searches around here for the online schools.

    I'm not sure what is happening with Gypsy Jazz Academy. There was some decent advice during my trial, but I didn't see a need to renew.

    Gypsy Jazz School is module based. It's a good place to start and covers some of the basic moves for rhythm and beginning soloing. New lessons are posted roughly monthly. The quality of information is good to very good. Take a look at his free lessons to get a flavor of how he teaches.

    Rosenberg Academy is learning how to play solos by learning Stochelo's solos. A new song is posted monthly. Stochelo plays a solo and it is broken down into licks. There is not too much that is taught with regards to rhythm.

    DC Music is an analysis of certain styles and has some playalongs for free and for sale. The Hono Lesson is a great place to start for rhythm and is very useful for all players.

    This is just my take.
  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    Posts: 263
    Just to be clear: Dennis Chang does NOT make the transcriptions for the Rosenberg Academy. The transcriptions at RA are very detailed: fingerings and pick directions for EVERY note and theory explanations for every lick and phrase.

    Here's an overview of what is online right now:

    When you sign up for a membership you'll get a username and a password and have access to all the lessons online and the forum with lively discussion on all aspects of gypsy jazz guitar.

    15 courses will be available:
    - technique course (which also deals with effective practice methods)
    - rhythm-guitar course (from swing, shuffle and bossa to funk and ballads)
    - "Gypsy Groovin" (breakdown of theme and complete solo)
    - "Les Yeux Noirs" (breakdown of theme and complete solo)
    - "Daphne" (breakdown of theme and complete solo)
    - "Hungaria" (breakdown of theme and complete solo)
    - "Nuages" (first few lessons of special solo guitar arrangements, lessons are updates regularly)
    - "For Sephora"
    - "Artillerie Lourde"
    - "Honey Suckle Rose"
    - "Webster"
    - "Django's Tiger"
    - "I"ll See You In My Dreams"
    - "All of Me"
    - "Bossa Dorado"
    - "Coquette"
    - improvisation course

    You will have access to all the video lessons, backing tracks and note-for-note transcriptions with Stochelo's fingerings and picking written in the score for EVERY note. The focus of the academy is soloing (there's some rhythm but not a lot). There's definitely material for beginners but intermediate/advanced players will get more out of it. I recommend trying a one month membership. I promise that that is definitely worth the money. The backing tracks can be downloaded so you can slow them down on your own computer as much as you want!

    I hope to see you online!
  • W.BW.B New
    edited April 2012 Posts: 39
    from a noob point of view :
    What most music schools or videos miss is a workout how to achieve basic soloing first.
    like how to solo over chord progressions with arppegios of chord inversions.
    i think its more important to know why you play that lick there and there instead of just know the lick out of your head. its nice to watch someone showing u some licks he knows but if you dont understand the theory why he is playing that lick on that position or from what arppegio that lick is or in what key they play lick , then you will never learn how to improvise your own lines and thats what i miss at instruction videos these days.
    they just teach you the solo lines with PDF tabs instead of showing you where those solo comes from and how to build them and connect them together with some great feel.
    searched the whole internet about this subject on learning how to solo with using the arppegio's, chord inversions and chromatic scales over chord changes, but like no one can explains this online.
    guess its just learning your arppegio's, your chord inversions very good then try to transcribe some django songs and try to understand what you play and ask yourself why do i play it there everytime you play something without knowing why you play it there ? and the rest will come if u play long enough. stephane wrembel's book explains this arppegio solo concept pretty good im working in this book now and its excellent material to get into this style of soloing.
    but this thread is about videos so i will not talk futher about this book you can find a topic about this ith the search button.
  • HemertHemert Prodigy
    Posts: 263
    Actually that is part of the academy. There's an improv course in which Stochelo very clearly demonstrates how to take material from the many solos and practice to use the licks on your own. Furthermore, every lick is explained theory wise (which arpeggios, scales etc.)

    The academy is modeled exactly after how Stochelo himself learnt to play; only he used Django as an example. At RA Stochelo himself is the example. The method stays the same. There's a primer at the academy (first lesson of the theory course) in which this method is explained without holding anything back.
  • Quick expansion of my earlier post:

    I like Rosenberg Academy in terms of quality. I agree with Christian that one of the best ways of learning this style is to learn solos. Someone posted their method of learning this style (Jon Delaney?) here and basically stated something similar. Learn a solo by rote, break it down into its parts and try to figure out why the licks "work." You can take the individual licks and use them in your improvisations either as they are or modified to your tastes. At RA, you have the option of using TAB to help you expedite your learning or to try to learn it from watching, listening, and learning. The fact that each solo is broken down into licks can help facilitate this. It is definitely worthwhile to try to start learning solos by ear. In addition to or after it. It is certainly well worth trying this for a month.

    The Hono Course on Rhythm is great. He breaks down the common types of rhythm patterns commonly found in the first volume. Denis provides an excellent breakdown of fingerings and chord types used traditionally. The second and third volumes put these concepts into practice with actual songs. I think it is well worth it for all levels of players.

    Yakov's Gypsy Jazz School goes over essentials...rhythm, arpeggios, theory and applying these in context. The lessons are module based where you can buy single lessons on a concept. These lessons are roughly $7-13 depending on the level.

    We are lucky to have a number of great resources out there suiting all types of learning styles: books, DVDs, online academies, and the recordings of the greats.
  • andmerandmer New York✭✭✭
    Posts: 92
    I've seen and read pretty much everything out there and Yaakov's lessons on are the best material and instructor combination I've come across.

    He explains things so well and so detailed, all the nuances are covered. Nothing is assumed or expected.

    He is a great player, but even harder and more important still, he is a great teacher. I would highly recommend starting there.
  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 379

    I have a suggestion for the Rosenberg Academy. Why not invite Nous'che to teach some rhythm courses? Just a thought.
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