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I'm documenting my gypsy jazz progress- care to follow?

KalebimaKalebima New
edited November 2011 in Welcome Posts: 39
I noticed there was a lack of active blogs on the topic, and I'd like to document my progress as I progress through the style. I'm starting with Day 1, and I'll be publishing daily or semi-daily as I learn more and more. So what do you say, are you interested?


  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    You'll get more response here than over at the yellow board! :roll:
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • KalebimaKalebima New
    Posts: 39
    Hah, we'll see about that!
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Indeed, the #'s don't lie!! lol
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • KalebimaKalebima New
    Posts: 39
    Just posted my Day 10 progress - if any of you are still interested, I'd appreciate it if you could give it a watch and give me some criticism!
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Hey there,

    I've gotten a lot of advice on my playing lately, and I think it applies to you - you pull your wrist in while your picking quite a bit. Try to slow down some of the runs you're playing and make sure you keep your wrist lightly bent and relaxed the entire time. You also want to hammer down and inwards slightly on the strings to get that gypsy tone. you do it sometimes, but you need to try and work all your exercises at a speed where you can 'gypsy pick the entire time. i over exaggerate the down and in strike of the pick to make sure I keep it up more consistently.

    As for your rhythm... I don't hear a lot of gypsy players who only hit the top string on the 1 and 3 beats like you were. I kind of like that sound if I'm playing tom waits or something or maybe a really fast gypsy tune like 'limehouse blues'. More typically, you want to sort of rake the strings and then chop them. You know, what has helped me a lot is going to both the caravan guitars website and the djangobooks site and watch the videos of them playing the guitars they're selling. Near the end of every video, they always play rhythm for about 20 seconds and you can see clearly how it's done and copy their movements.

    Cheers and keep it up !
  • Those RA exercises are good ways to get the technique down and to get your fingers moving. You might be interested in checking out and primarily the rest stroke picking lesson. It's fairly cheap, but its pretty good. Keep it up.
  • KalebimaKalebima New
    Posts: 39
    anthon_74, thanks for the advice! A few things:

    - Does pulling the wrist in mean straightening it out? Yeah, you're right, I'm going to try to focus on that more. It's kind of hard to keep it limp but I can see how it makes things much easier.

    - Should I be putting all my force into each stroke? Also, is the positioning of my hand in relation to the D-hole correct?

    - I'll start to check those out to try and get the right technique. The reason I was doing that is because Stochelo recommended it in his rhythm lessons, but I'm always open to different options and sounds. I wish I could pick up Michael's Gypsy Rhythm, but it's currently out of my budget

    jkaz, I'll look into that more. That introduction on the front page was incredibly corny, but the guy seems to know what he's doing.
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Does pulling the wrist in mean straightening it out

    - Yes that's right. You end up tightening it when you do that. You want your wrist to be "slack". Hold it in position to play, and just relax it, and wherever it goes is the right position.
    Should I be putting all my force into each stroke? Also, is the positioning of my hand in relation to the D-hole correct?

    - Well, Paul Mehling of hot club sf once told me to try to play everything as loud as you can in the beginning to get the strength and the feel of gypsy picking. I found that helpful, and the rest stroke came pretty naturally because of practicing that way.

    As for the pompe', I get different info from different people. Some demand that you ALWAYS strike all the strings, while some say you can hit just the top few on the one and three. Like I said, watch the dudes on caravan and django books showing off the guitars they're selling and see how they strum and copy them.

    One thing I'll say is your WAY ahead of schedule in your playing. good job !
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