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Getting Frustrated

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  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 95
    Re: Dynamics

    Goodness YES.

    Waaaay too many players seem to be on "10" all the time.
  • Posts: 2,481
    This would probably be not as busy in a band situation but hopefully it illustrates the point better.

    Charles Meadows
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • tylertinatylertina New
    Posts: 3
    I had some of the same thoughts and issues, more where it came to rest stroke picking, but that said. First of all do what is comfortable for you and stay in time. Listen, music is an Aural art and the more you can sit in on a gypsy jazz jam session (google it in your area) the better you will become.

    In a conversation with Russel Welch in New Orleans we talked about Stochello Rosenberg, Russel asked him once about rest stroke picking, and Rosenberg said Ahhhh yes, do what you like and what sounds good to you.

    La Pompe, takes the place of drums in Gypsy Jazz so the dynamics and on time rhythm is what is important. Change it up for the feel of the song and lead player will follow. This is what makes it fun
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 484
    tylertina wrote: »
    ... the more you can sit in on a gypsy jazz jam session (google it in your area) the better you will become.

    Google "gypsy jazz jam" in Cleveland gets you zero hits. The nearest one would be in Chicago.

    We have billions of blues jams in Cleveland, even blue grass, folk, and maybe generic jazz jams. A couple of people have heard of "Duh-jayngo" but alas, no Django djams...

    Wim Glenn
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 95
    In the lack of jams, may I suggest a "not as good" technological option, at least to start off...

    The Acapella app allows you to duet (or more) with yourself in a video format. I'd say try recording a rhythm track--maybe even without a click--and then on the second track playing a melody or lead--you can at least get an idea of if you're speeding up, slowing down, dragging the upstroke, playing too "busy," or "too ringy" or whatever.

    It's no substitute for the real thing, but it's something.
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 215
    It's possible to fuss too much over the upstroke in la pompe--and to overdo it. I hear more do-wacka-doo in some jam-circle GJ accompaniment than I care for, and it seems to me that the "presence" of the upstroke ought to operate more like what was said about Freddie Green's playing with Basie: that you noticed him when he dropped out more than when he was playing. The upstroke needn't be present-and-prominent all the time--and it certainly shouldn't dominate the rhythm sound.

    There's a really nice Ruby Braff/Coleman Hawkins compilation album (the CD is called Braff!) with tracks featuring Freddie Green and Steve Jordan in the guitar chair, and aside from being a terrific set of tunes, it shows two different rhythm-guitar voices. I don't have to look at the liner notes to tell which is playing on a track. (Yeah, it ain't la pompe, but it's great rhythm playing. And Braff is always worth listening to. There are some tracks from the album on YouTube.)

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    edited October 2018 Posts: 2,049
    Rhythm guitar (in any style) is very very difficult. It’s not just about sound, but about groove, and understanding the context in which you are playing. For instance, the musicians you are accompanying may have specific needs. Angelo Debarre and Bireli like the rhythm section to push a bit. Angelo more so than Bireli. Tcha Limberger on the other hand does not like it so much.

    The song you are playing can also have different needs. I can’t imagine playing Some Of These Days with chords like B7#5 Em9 , yet I’ve seen people (famous people too) do it. Some Of These Days has such an “old “ feel to the melody and chords that I feel that it’s best to keep the chords in tune with the feel. Conversely, a song like “Paquito” has a strong bebop/modern feel to it, and it seems strange to play old style/Gypsy chords on it. It’s a song that really needs the Em9 instead of Em6.

    Then there are issues of musicality and dynamics that are quite rare in contemporary Gypsy Jazz.

    Rhythm guitar is really what I’ve worked on the most since I’ve started this style almost 20 years ago, and I guess I’ve developed very very strong opinions about this. It is ultimately very subjective , but I can explain in explicit detail why I feel the way I feel about things.

    Ultimately, everyone is free to play rhythm however they please, it is their right, but it’s also my right to have an opinion ;-) . There’s a tremendous difference in philosophy between Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Jazz, and it’s not just about sound but about understanding of context and musicality. Django was extremely sensitive to these issues whereas a lot of GJ players just play what they play because it’s what they know. Django was always trying to find the style that fit the music the best
    Charles Meadows
  • Amen @dennis
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • jpipper17jpipper17 New Saga Cigano GJ-10
    edited October 2018 Posts: 25
    Thank you everyone for the feedback.

    1) I do not have many around me who jam GJ. I'm going to continue jamming along with folks on YouTube.

    2) After all of the time I recently spent experimenting with new picks, I have settled on the picks I have been using since before I began getting into GJ. That is the Dunlop gator picks. I have traditionally used the 2.0mm, but I am now playing with the green one as well.

    3) I am back and forth on whether I want to sound like the "dry'er" pompe or the Hot Club la pompe. The more I listen to Django's rhythm section the more I see how polished they were at their craft. I like Django's rhythm section and Adrien Moignard. He seems to be a good balance between Gonzalo and Hot Club la pompe, and he is a good example of adaptability. Which leads to point 4.

    4) I will be less rigid in projection of my rhythm playing and do what feels good, fun, and bouncy.

    5) Oh yeah, I also liked that Kevin Nolan (I think its Kevin) video posted earlier in this thread.

    6) I wonder if Joseph critiqued and analyzed his rhythm and la pompe as much as we do ourselves these days. Good lord. I did not know it took so much to be a seem-less part of the band. Maybe it's not as hard as I make it. Maybe it just comes natural to some people. Idk.

    Thanks again everyone.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 541
    You mentioned Gonzalo, so here is a video about Gonzalo's rhythm style. I lifted this video from Djangobooks, but can't find the original post.
    Bones
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