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Norgard's "Getting into Gypsy jazz Violin"?

2

Comments

  • PolkatPolkat Chico, CANew
    Posts: 119
    djangadjo,

    I live in a small country town in CA with limited music stores. Can these books be bought from Djangobooks? And which of them are available in English?
    Thanks!
    Violin's swing the best!
  • djangadjodjangadjo NebraskaNew
    Posts: 38
    Polkat wrote:
    djangadjo,

    I live in a small country town in CA with limited music stores. Can these books be bought from Djangobooks? And which of them are available in English?
    Thanks!

    I got them from Internet sales, but don't remember which. Google search will find several sources. The Lockwood book is in French. Actually, I was not recommending these books, because different books work for different folks -- I was hoping Dennis would write as much about them as he did about Martin's beginner's guide.
    87 Rue de Dunkerque: "The bow must go up and down."
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I'm no violinist, but I really respect Denis' take on this. Mostly, it seems to be the difference between saying "Here's WHY it sounds good in theory," and "Here's HOW it sounds good in practice." And if anyone can bring those two ideas together, it's Tim.
    dennis wrote:
    his books on jazz violin and gypsy jazz violin are similar to kelly lancaster and michael dunn's gypsy jazz guitar DVDs... Anything but gypsy jazz...

    This is another good point--those DVDs may give you some basic gypsy jazz vocabulary, but they don't delve into the specifics that make the style what it is, and in fact sometimes make it harder to grow as a musician because they end up teaching you bad habits...it's really reminiscent of the early days of gypsy jazz guitar instruction, where some videos, however well intentioned, ended up being a pale shadow of the real thing; a way to make you think you knew what your were doing.

    best,
    Jack.
  • djangadjodjangadjo NebraskaNew
    Posts: 38
    Well there are some interesting opinions from non-violinists who haven't read and worked with the Norgaard book. There don't seem to be many violinists who are responding. *

    I thought the Kliphuis workshop I attended was great. Looking forward to his book-DVD. Meanwhile, each book I've looked at has had something useful:
    the transcriptions in " JAZZ VIOLIN by Stephane Grappelli & Matt Glaser" for example, but they only provide a part of the picture.

    Instruction without a live teacher present has its limits. Too bad we can't clone Tim and include a copy of him with each book-DVD.
    -------------------
    *Perhaps because violinists are less openly judgmental than guitar players. Because you can play gypsy jazz without a violinist, but you can't play it without a guitarist. Violinists have to be circumspect, or they'll risk getting kicked out of the band.
    87 Rue de Dunkerque: "The bow must go up and down."
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,792
    [quote="Polkat"]djangadjo,

    I live in a small country town in CA with limited music stores. Can these books be bought from Djangobooks? And which of them are available in English?
    Thanks![/quote]

    Yes...all the violin books are here:









    image

    Violin
    Books




  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    [quote="djangadjo"]Well there are some interesting opinions from non-violinists who haven't read and worked with the Norgaard book. There don't seem to be many violinists who are responding. *
    -------------------
    *Perhaps because violinists are less openly judgmental than guitar players. Because you can play gypsy jazz without a violinist, but you can't play it without a guitarist. Violinists have to be circumspect, or they'll risk getting kicked out of the band.[/quote]

    Touché! I'm not trying to put down the Norgaard book--it's just that after spending SO much over the years on guitar books, I wish someone had told me to concentrate on just the best few...

    best,
    Jack.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,041
    i have to disagree about the vibrato. While it's true that there are many variations to the vibrato, a classical one is quite clear, jazz vibrato and gypsy vibrato are also distinct.

    I have to say, I'm not a good violinist but I do know a lot about it, since it's been a childhood passion of mine, I understand most if not all violin techniques enough to have an opinion on them, and i'm very familiar with violin pedagogy in general. I've practically bathed in violin culture since I was a kid.

    let's talk about gypsy vibrato, especially the wide manouche vibrato, listen to titi winterstein, bakro rosenberg, watti rosenberg, martin weiss (look those names up on youtube), and then compare that vibrato to say hilary hahn or yehudi menuhin. A lot of gypsy violinists also use a "fake" vibrato by doing quarter step trills above the target note..

    but it's not necessarily the vibrato itself, it's the use of it and the timing of it that makes jazz violin different from classical violin.

    listen to the clip number 2 from this page

    http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/a/item.ht ... =18100047#

    now i know he's just showing a concept in half notes, but the fact that he puts vibrato on practically every note kills the swing.

    in general (and i do emphasize in GENERAL) jazz violin vibrato is sparse, never or rarely on every note during a phrase (in a rhythmic context). Usually on the last note of a phrase

    watch the grappelli video on j'attendrai (not the intro, but the solo) where he's sparse with the vibrato during his solo only using it at the end of a phrase, during the melody it's a bit different he's going for that "romantic feel". Also, Grappelli's playing during the hot club era (pre-amplification era) is different than his post-django era... He seemed to use heavier bow strokes before proper amplification was invented for the violin.

    You're right that there's no one jazz vibrato, but there is a jazz style. The best way to explain this is again, with languages, i'm pretty sure most people around your area speak the same english as you; but of course, they don't sound like you, they each have their own little nuances. Now we take, an australian and compare him to you, well that is now the difference between say classical vibrato and jazz vibrato.

    In fact, it's the little nuances that make up the big picture... so far i've been talking only about vibrato but it's much more than that of course, and it's really all the little things that are going to define a particular style...

    for example in gypsy jazz guitar, a lot of people think it's in the right hand, and it's true that the right hand does play an important role in shaping the "Gypsy" sound, but the left hand articulation is equally important. I did a series of classes at django in june on getting these articulations, not one student was aware of any of these (they were definitely aware of the right hand though), but when they applied them to their playing, the difference was astounding.

    Anyway, I would like to repeat that i'm in no way attacking martin norgaard who sounds really great at what he does. But I do have to criticize the book though.
    Sure it's called "getting started" and not "mastering". But let's not forget the second half of the title "getting started IN GYPSY JAZZ VIOLIN". the book is more about "getting started" in improvisation. In which case, any improvisation book would do just as well.

    Thankfully, from what i've seen of the book , the things that he does share is correct and spot on, so the student won't be forming bad habits, but he's merely showing general improvisation concepts (as opposed to getting us started into gypsy jazz violin). It's quite the contrary to say Michael Dunn's video, where the information is plain flat out wrong, he even says in the video that he doesn't do it right; but then why release a video about it? and apparently it's a best seller on melbay's website... (with all due respect to michael dunn, who's a fine gentleman)
    .



    I haven't seen some of the other methods you mentionned. I checked out a bit of matt glaser's video, he does seem to cover some of these issues. but the video does seem short (90 minutes), the tim kliphuis dvd which will be released before christmas is roughly 6 hours.

    The didier lockwood book is huge, and everything in it is spot on but i find it overwhelming and intimidating. It's like learning to learn the english language from an encyclopedia (ok i'm exaggerating here), it can definitely be done, but it's gonna be complicated!

    And you're right, you can learn something from everything. Like I said, i'm sure all the information in mr, norgaard's book is all correct. from Michael dunn's dvd, i learned that I could probably write a book on african drumming of which i know nothing about and expect it to be a best seller on melbay..

    Anyway, in my opinion, of what i've seen jazz violin pedagogy is quite weak and no where near classical violin pedagogy. There are lots of would-be jazz violinists out there, but few really stand out and speak the language. I know of maybe 20 here in Montreal alone, and yet only one of them, i would consider exceptional, and a few others who are pretty good too. But it's not a question of talent, it's really about getting the right information.

    I frequently go to paris, where practically all jazz violinists studied with lockwood, they all sound really amazing. Didier really knows how to teach, as does Tim.

    the thing is being a good player doesn't make you a good teacher. Being an average player but a good teacher is better, but will only inspire the student so much. but when you have an amazing player and an amazing teacher, the results are phenomenal and it's clearly the case with didier lockwood. Among guitarists, we have serge krief who's like that too, practically all his students in paris are phenomenal...
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,041
    btw one last thing, to sum everything i've said, i think most people trying to play jazz sound very stiff, they play all the right notes, right rhythms, but yet sound really stiff, it's all in the articulations!

    check this video out, she sounds good of course, but it's a perfect example of what i'm trying to say:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNLwNQ57LHg

    what's interesting is that she's quoting a lot of grappelli, but it doesn't have the same looseness as grappelli
  • MaldororMaldoror New
    Posts: 37
    i really have to wait until christmas?? i want to see the dvds now!

    i've been playing fiddle just over a year. usually when i see a mel bay book like Norgard's i figure it's a very superficial exploration into the genres...just enough to help us fake it. It was helpful at least for me and it did start me down a path towards gypsy jazz, which isn't a brand name..yet. i didn't expect anything more from a little mel bay book.

    this one: SWING JAZZ VIOLIN WITH HOT-CLUB RHYTHM by Jeremy Cohen and Dix Bruce. I found this one to be perfect for me at my level of understanding. the backup tracks these guys use couldn't be any better for someone who's just getting into the swing of things. it's obviously very vanilla though and without ornament, but when you'r starting out you can't handle that stuff. all the ornamentation is coming naturally for me as i learn my foundations. there's only so much notation and words can do for music.

    anyway...i want these dvds. is "before christmas" one of those tentative publisher's deadlines that you have to add 6 months to?
  • PolkatPolkat Chico, CANew
    Posts: 119
    Well, after starting this post and reading the responses, I remembered that Norgaard is known mostly for his Jazz Fiddle Wizard book, a book devoted to jazz violin in general, and while I did not like the way it was devoted primarily to the bebop scale, it did help me considerably in other areas. There is a lot more jazz out there besides gypsy jazz, and anything that can help one along the road, wether the eventual target is gypsy jazz or other forms, is useful. Getting Into Gypsy Jazz offers a spread of useable general exercizes in jazz theory (regardless of how well he actually plays). I decided to buy and try the book, and it is helping me. I do look forward to the Kliphaus book to help me refine the style, but at my level of playing, I don't think it's a good idea to turn down useful materials just because they might not be pure in specific style.
    Violin's swing the best!
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