Hello to all in the forum -
While I have been playing guitar (rock-n-roll rhythm) for many, many years, the gypsy jazz bug has been buzzing in my ear since I saw the film Chocolat in 2001 and heard Johnny Depp playing Minor Swing. After 13 years, I finally bit the bullet and acquired an entry-level GJ guitar (an Asian made Del Arte DG-H1), and have started to teach myself the style. Alas, where I live, there are no gypsy jazz bands (well, there is one part-time quartet), and no one that teaches the style as far as I know. So I am stuck teaching myself, and that is why I am joining this forum - to pick your collective brains to guide me to the best DVD or online instruction I can afford.
From what I have read on older posts, it seems the consensus is that Denis Chang's "THE ART OF ACCOMPANIMENT" and Michael's "GYPSY PICKING" are probably the best places to start.
I am really attracted to the rhythmic style of GJ (and I guess that's a good thing, being that it's so important to the genre), and my background is mainly rhythm playing. Of course, playing rhythm guitar in a 60's band only requires 3-5 chords at most, and now I need to master about 40 new ones. I haven't learned a new chord since I was 18, I think, so I'm a little rusty in the "new tricks" department.
As an experienced player, I understand the fastest way to learn is playing with others, especially those a little better than I am. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any GJ enthusiasts within 50 miles of me; in fact, it seems that there are very few quality GJ groups in the United States. I guess I'm going to have to be satisfied watching DVDs or youtube as my only form of musical inspiration.
So I am asking for any advice that anyone here wants to give - best instruction packages, best books, etc., or just any general hints to help jumpstart my playing. Even if you have suggestions of what to avoid as a beginner, I'll take that too.
Thanks in advance for all your patience with newbies like me.