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Phrasing or Timing or Something?

SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
edited September 2012 in Daniel Givone Manouche Guitare Method Users Group Posts: 186
What I want is some advice on phrasing or timing or... something.

I'm starting to get a good hold on Givone's Major and 7th forms, nowhere near the speed of the CD, but they still sound like 'me playing some notes', not really Manouche.

Will I start to sound more 'Manouche' as I get faster or is it a question of timing or phrasing?

Or am I missing something important?

Any offers?

SP
«1

Comments

  • Do you use the rest stroke style of picking?
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
    Posts: 186
    Absolutely - I'm a graduate of the M.Horowitz "Gypsy Picking" University! :D

    Perhaps I'm suffering from the 'trying to run before I can walk' syndrome

    or maybe I should record myself and hear how I actually sound rather than how I think sound.

    SP
  • When most of your attention is focused on where your fingers are and where they going next then you have little or no attention left for other things like accents and rhythmic nuance that make up the stylistic gypsy phrasing.

    Once you have the forms down so you can play them without thinking, try putting on a backing track, just in one key to start, at a really slow tempo, like 80 bpm and just play some notes. NO thinking about what you are going to play just let it come out.

    When you catch yourself thinking about what comes next stop, take your hands off the guitar, take a deep breath and relax. Start again, this time let yourself sink into the rhythmic groove, and just play one note, in a gypsy rhythmic way. then let yourself go. Repeat until ....voila you find yourself improvising. Then add in a chord change and when that is comfy add another. Do this for an hour a day on top of any other practice routine. Record yourself after the first week and save it somewhere but dont listen to it right away. AFter a year, record yourself again, and then play the first and the second back to back If you have been diligent you will be impressed.

    Keep reminding yourself that this is easy, and your just unfamiliar with what you are doing. NEVER NEVER tell yourself this is really hard. For proof of that watch any of the guys who are really good. Are they straining, are they red in the face and looking stressed....No... usually quite the opposite. The more you relax the faster you can play and the more your mind is free to play what is in there. You have heard it all, you just need to get your fingers into more familiar territory.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,338
    A good question, Spalo... I've been off to Django Camp and am just seeing it.

    Personally, when I play the Givone forms, I sometimes feel the same way... they are so over-familiar to me now!

    But then at Django Camp, I'd hear my buddy Anthony playing one of them, either to demonstrate them to someone, or in an actual solo, and all of a sudden it was like--- wow!

    One thing I've noticed about GJ in general is that speed does make things sound cooler... for instance, there's that phrase at the top of page 47 of "Gypsy Picking" where the highest note in the minor arp gradually descends from the tonic note, to the major 7, to the 7, to the 6...

    Sounds kind of trite, corny and obvious at slower tempo, but I heard it played at Django Camp at top speed during somebody's solo and it was absolutely dazzling.

    Will

    PS Also, the use of vibrato, bends, and slurs give your playing that extra gypsy thing... one of the instructors at Django Camp, Ollie, showed me a cool slur that I'm still working on mastering at top speed.

    Pick any note on the fretboard, 1) play it, 2) then hammer on the note just above it, 3) then pull off so you're back to the note one semi-tone below it. 4) then hammer on back to the original note...

    Do this fast enough and it'll sound really gypsy!
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
    Posts: 186
    Jazzaferri wrote:
    When most of your attention is focused on where your fingers are and where they going next then you have little or no attention left for other things like accents and rhythmic nuance that make up the stylistic gypsy phrasing.

    Once you have the forms down so you can play them without thinking, try putting on a backing track, just in one key to start, at a really slow tempo, like 80 bpm and just play some notes. NO thinking about what you are going to play just let it come out.

    When you catch yourself thinking about what comes next stop, take your hands off the guitar, take a deep breath and relax. Start again, this time let yourself sink into the rhythmic groove, and just play one note, in a gypsy rhythmic way. then let yourself go. Repeat until ....voila you find yourself improvising. Then add in a chord change and when that is comfy add another. Do this for an hour a day on top of any other practice routine. Record yourself after the first week and save it somewhere but dont listen to it right away. AFter a year, record yourself again, and then play the first and the second back to back If you have been diligent you will be impressed.

    Keep reminding yourself that this is easy, and your just unfamiliar with what you are doing. NEVER NEVER tell yourself this is really hard. For proof of that watch any of the guys who are really good. Are they straining, are they red in the face and looking stressed....No... usually quite the opposite. The more you relax the faster you can play and the more your mind is free to play what is in there. You have heard it all, you just need to get your fingers into more familiar territory.

    That sounds like a good way forward. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply so fully.

    SP
  • SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
    Posts: 186
    Well, it seems to be coming together - slowly.

    I finally felt secure enough with the major and 7th forms to boot up my Band in a Box for possibly the slowest rendition of 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' ever and... It was pretty good.

    I've got a lot more confidence in the forms now I've heard them in context. And it's given me more enthusiasm to get stuck into the minors and 7th (minor context).

    I just wish I could give up work and concentrate on the guitar. I'll have a word with my wife tonight and suggest it to her................................

    Sp
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,338
    Hey, spalo, don't worry if your wife won't support you, there's plenty of other fish in the sea!

    And as one of the instructors at Django Camp mentioned during his workshop--- chicks LOVE gypsy jazz! :wink:

    *************

    But seriously, spalo, I know exactly what you are talking about. Somehow, when I improvise, my natural way of phrasing just doesn't sound like authentic gypsy jazz either, even at faster tempos.

    Luckily for me, this is not really a big issue because, other than at "Django in June", I very rarely play with other gyspy jazz musicians; they are very thin on the ground around these here parts!

    I usually work with dixie/swing musicians or solo accompanied by my own backing tracks of jazz standards, Beatles tunes, etc.

    While I am full of admiration for GJ players, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I will never really be a full-fledged member of the ranks... sorta like I'll never be a "real" tennis player but just a hack.

    But that doesn't mean I can't have fun playing tennis, or guitar!

    So now the "lowered bar" standard I've set for myself is that my music should be fun for me to play and, hopefully, fun for others to listen to.

    And the truth is that most of my listeners, and most of my musician friends, don't give a rat's ass about gypsy jazz per se. They like to hear me play well, but other than that, they don't really care about the pedigree.

    However, that does NOT mean I've stopped working on all the Givone stuff! I am still practising all his major and major-dominant stuff and trying to make it part of my normal vocab, and it has really improved my command of the entire fingerboard a LOT.

    I've kind of stalled out on the minor and minor-dominant stuff. On the one hand, it's really cool stuff... on the other hand, I really don't know about the cost/benefit ratio for me personally: how applicable will this be to my non-GJ stuff?

    So what I'm thinking now is working out a special arrangement of Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing"--- a tune which I actually play with my swing buddies--- and using that as a vehicle for memorizing as much of the Givone minor stuff as possible.

    Another guy in our group, Kiyoshi, had the idea of doing the same thing with "Minor Swing"--- hey, Kiyoshi, how is that going?

    Will
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Will

    If you want to play like a gypsy, spend a few hours a day with your eyes closed listening to gypsy music, all kinds of it. Once you have absorbed the phrasing and tonalities you will play more like a gypsy.

    OTOH f you want to play like you, I 'd bet you have something equally valid to say about your life. 8) :wink:

    Any practice that improves your knowledge of the fretboard is beneficial. If you learn something a little different, well over time those phrasings will start to show up in your music. I cant remember who it was but one of the sax greats said it took several months for what he was working on to show up in his music. That from a pro who spends hours a day practicing. I am sure others have said something similar. AS these "different" phrases come out they will give your playing a freshness.

    I had to learn a whole lot of new songs and phrases when I went into the Diploma in Jazz Performance program. I think on the whole it has helped my playing. As someone said, a talent that ca't withstand a little schooling must be very fragile indeed. :lol: :lol:

    I now get it that I will never sound like anyone but me. Even if I try to play like someone else I will just sound like me trying to play like someone else. I think this is true for everyone.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,338
    Jazzaferri wrote:
    I now get it that I will never sound like anyone but me. Even if I try to play like someone else I will just sound like me trying to play like someone else. I think this is true for everyone.

    Well, that's certainly true for me as well, Jay. I can't say it's true for everyone though... I imagine a really top player would be like one of those amazing art counterfeiters who can totally make you believe you're looking at a previously undiscovered Matisse or Van Gogh!

    I mention that because I just happened to hear Terry O'Reilly on CBC radio the other day interviewing an art forger named Ken Perenyi who has written a book called "Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Forger"

    http://www.amazon.com/Caveat-Emptor-Sec ... 1605983608

    You can also see some examples of Perenyi's amazing forgeries at www.kenperenyi.com/

    ***************

    At Django in June this year I heard some awesome young North American players, aged fifteen to thirty. To my old ears, the music that they played sounded totally in the authentic Django tradition. Mind you, the tunes they were playing were the standard period pieces... still, I'm jealous!

    The thing about Django was that he could work his magic over anything, even including Bach...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TRjTeQ-sIM

    I doubt that even most of today's hottest players have that kind of versatility... ? Maybe I'm wrong?

    ***************

    Did you ever see the eighties film "Amadeus"?

    I'm afraid the general rule is that "Mozart can play like Salieri if he choses... but Salieri can never play like Mozart!"

    Will
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Ask Stochelo. He can play like Django, knows many of his licks and all, but he still sounds like Stochelo playing Django. Nothing wrong with that at all IMO.

    I think the Mozart playing like Salieri is more about mastery versus competency. But I bet for those with the ear for it, and knew WAM,s playing if Wolfgand was imitating Salieri it would be evident.

    Yes I did see Amadeus, which was a very Hollywood version of history but i did enjoy it. I played some Mozart when i was young and learning piano and more of his stuff later for classic guitar. His dad was a pretty fine player and Moazart was an amazing workaholic in reality. Still have a couple of books on his life in the basement. Beethoven, Debussy and stravinski are my fave composers.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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