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  • Matteo 12:36AM

My best starting point is?

TasTas AustraliaNew
edited October 2005 in Gypsy Jazz 101
Hi everyone.

Just a brief introduction ... I'm a guitar player that only plays for leisure. Have been mainly rock n roll and some blues ... but am now bored and have recently discovered Gypsy jazz and Django! I saw a DVD on Schmitt and Rosenberg and just cannot stop thinking about this style of music ... its great!

So what is my best starting point to learn this style, considering that I live in a small Australian city that neither has Gypsy guitar players nor Gypsy style guitars. What is my best starting point to learn and enjoy the guitar again, and the best materials to purchase?

A side question - where can I possibly get myself a decent Macceferri copy?

Some help would be appreciated.


  • blindjimmyblindjimmy phoenix,az✭✭✭✭
    hi tas. a lot of people seem to be having success with the books available on this website.i bought austuces-secrets of gypsy guitar somewhere else before i found this site, not only am i real happy with what i've been playing, my girlfriend likes it too. how often does that happen. also, the bireli lagrene live dvd will give you the best gypsy jazz band in the world to practice with, and steal licks from.
    if you go to the django swingpage site, there are links to many luthiers, as well as the gypsy guitars.com website, and there is always something on ebay. musicians friend and music123 advertise gitanes and that aria thing which has a few good reviews, and lots of bad ones, respectively.
    also, the people on this site, m horowitz, teds g and d, and djangology, to name a few, seem quite knowledgable, and are willing to share what they know, the reasons to love this website never end. check out michaels lessons on this site. best wishes
    shut up and play your guitar
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    I don't know which small city you're in, but you might get in touch with Ewan Mackenzie, who I think lives in Brisbane; he might be able to hook you into what's happening there. Here's his site: http://www.mysterypacific.com/
    He also posts over at the Hot Club UK site as emackenz: http://www.hotclub.co.uk/forum/index.php

    Good luck!
  • TasTas AustraliaNew
    Thanks ... its a start and I've made contact. Yes I'm in Adelaide, far from Brisbane.
  • TasTas AustraliaNew
    Can you tell me what differences there are in neck/fretboard dimension between 14-fret Selmer styles and steel-stringed acoustic (Martin, Taylor, ...) traditional round-hole guitars (with cutaway)?

    For example, scale length and fretboard width.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Well, here are two descriptions from Elderly Instruments, the first for a Martin D DC-16RGTE, the second for a Dell'Arte Dark Eyes:

    EC except repaired top seam behind bridge (ugly but solid), acoustic-electric, rounded cutaway, all solid wods, gloss finished spruce top, satin finished rosewood back and sides, 14-fret mahogany neck, white-bound 20-fret black micarta fingerboard, pearl dot inlays, 1-11/16" nut width, 25.4" scale, black micarta bridge, tortoise plastic pickguard, herringbone rosette, white-bound body, chrome tuners

    Selmer "New Jazz Model" copy with cutaway & small oval soundhole, 14 fret neck, solid rosewood sides & back, slightly arched solid Engelmann spruce top, no pickguard, 670mm (26.4") scale, 1 13/16" nut width, ebony fretboard, gold tuners, handcrafted in the US by John Kinnard. Big Tone pickup mounted in bridge, 1/4" endpin jack.

    To generalize, I'd say you'll usually find a longer scale and wider fretboard. Hope that helps.

  • TasTas AustraliaNew
    Thanks Jack.

    I've been searching through instructional materials ... is John Jorgenson's book/cd/dvd pack suitable as a starting point?
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    From what little I've seen, I wasn't crazy about it. The DVD is a nice component, but for the money I think there is much available that will do you better. Michael's books and online lessons are a great start-I'm not just plugging the site, either-and the Debarre/Daussat book is a great overview of the basic style. The Nolan books are decent for a collection of basic melodies, but don't talk about technique much. There are also a lot of sites out there with free tips-look in the Links for Rookies section for those. Here's a few to get you going:

    http://www.maanoucheswing.com/cours.html (some French helps here)
    http://nuagesdeswing.free.fr/jouer/jouer_index.html (great playalongs)
    http://www.fleche-dor.com/ (Dennis' site-great videos and transcriptions)

    Most of all: have fun.

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