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Lessons and moving forward?

SamuelSamuel New
edited July 2009 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 46
I've been working through the Gypsy picking and parts of the Gypsy Rhythm books for awhile now, while at the same time also basically learning guitar as well. So I feel like while I've been getting better at the mechanics, I'm still at a loss when it comes to figuring out how to actually get ideas from my head to the guitar. Basically, what should I play over these chords that sounds good, or how I should put together a progression of chords that sounds good.

I'm thinking that lessons would be the best way to help me at this point, so first, I wondered if there were any GJ teachers in the DC/Baltimore area that someone could recommend?

Second, any suggestions for things to practice that would help? I'm working on learning some songs and stuff, but anything else? Maybe getting some rhythm tracks and trying to apply some picking patterns over them to get an idea of how it fits together?

I know this is a pretty vague question, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Thanks


  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi Samuel,
    Denis Chang's DVDs "Technique and improvisation" would really help you, sounds like you got the basics down and these videos will surely get you where you want to go. Trust me you won't be disappointed, it's years of instruction packed into four volumes.
    I don't think you could do any better, he's a great teacher.

    Transcribing Django's solos or at least some of his phrases is invaluable.

    Robin Nolan's "Gig book" is great for learning songs, and you can find some free backing track on the web, try this one:

    "Gypsy fire" is another great book!
  • SamuelSamuel New
    Posts: 46
    Thanks, Harry. Denis' DVDs do look like they be useful (the rhythm one as well, since I keep hearing the foundation of good soloing is being a good rhythm player ;) )
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    yeah, these DVDs are probably all you'll need for a long, long time... a few years really.
    You'll be surprised how many things you always wanted to know are there, one after the other, after another... some examples you can use right away others you need to work on for more time.
    Can't say enough good things about it.

    Attending a Djangofest or other festival (particularly Samois) helps a lot as well and it's a lot of fun.
  • SamuelSamuel New
    Posts: 46
    Probably still a long time from being able to jam at a festival like that, but hopefully it'll come along and I can find some people to play with along the way :)
  • SamuelSamuel New
    Posts: 46
    I think I'm going to get some of Denis' DVDs, but I'm still interested in any teachers in the DC/Baltimore area, as well as anyone who happens to live in the area who plays GJ in general. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've heard Tom Mitchell teaches some GJ and is in the general area, so I might check with him, but I guess I'm just trying to get as much input as possible :)

    And like I said, I'm probably a ways off from being to actually jam with people, but I guess I'm thinking ahead a bit (maybe too far!) and wondering what the best way to find people to play with would be.
  • vincevince Davis & San Francisco, CANew
    Posts: 133
    FYI, there are clips from (I think) these videos online: ... lB2NgQaa38

    I have his rhythm DVD, and it's splendid. I think I'm going to order a few of his others soon.

    I don't know whether I'll ever be an excellent player if I keep practicing, but I'm absolutely sure I won't be if I stop.
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