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Best First Book?

TimWTimW
edited March 2012 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 16
I have just started playing GJ--working with John Jorgenson's first book. I feel like I need more guidance on right hand technique (my focus right now has been more on rhythm and getting la pompe going than lead as I figure this is a faster route in being able to play with others). Would you recommend starting with Gypsy Picking or Gypsy Rhythm? Thanks!
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Comments

  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Gypsy picking book and The art of accompaniment DVD are my suggestions for starting out... After that... Gypsy Rhythm book and Technique and improvisation DVDs along with gypsy fire book are the most effective route I've found... Throw in Gonzalo Bergara's "How i learned" and you'll have a great foundation.

    Expect to spend a couple of years with that material before moving on. You'll probably keep taking Gypsy Rhythm out of it's shelf for a few decades before you can effectively apply all the stuff that's inside.

    best of luck!
  • TimWTimW
    Posts: 16
    Thanks! Does Gypsy Picking cover rhythm technique or just lead?
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Lead...
    I think it's a good idea to work on lead even though your main priority might be rhythm...
    The art of accompaniment is the one I like for rhythm. I recommend that DVD just because it's easier to get it by watching and listening in action than reading and watching photos. But Gypsy Rhythm is a superb book with lots of info. If you can, get both
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    TimW wrote:
    Thanks! Does Gypsy Picking cover rhythm technique or just lead?
    Gypsy Picking is devoted to lead technique, and it is the only instructional material that I know of that goes into any sort of depth on the proper right hand technique, which is so crucial to playing in the style. It is an essential book.

    Gypsy Rhythm and The Art of Accompaniment are complimentary. The former is like an encyclopedia of rhythm technique, the latter gives you many live examples to emulate. You would not find them redundant if you got both.

    I used to have a shelf full of books and DVDs. THe only books i've kept are Gypsy Picking & Gypsy Rhythm. All the rest went on eBay. DVDs: Art of Accompaniment, Denis' Improvisation series, the Wawau Adler and Stochelo Rosenberg DVDs, plus the DC Music School online lessons. Watch and learn, that's the key.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Gypsy Picking and a Rhythm DVD or Lesson. The Hono stuff at DC music is spot on. I haven't watched the Art of Accompaniment. Along with Gypsy Picking, try to learn some of the heads to tunes.

    Once you get through Gypsy Picking (6 months), go for a book like the Gonzalo book or the Givone method book.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the Gonzalo books. Great resource.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • TooheyToohey New
    Posts: 14
    Gypsy rhythm is in my opinion the all time best and most essential g.jazz book available...I recommend memorizing all the chords, their inversions, all the turn arounds, basically everything that's in there...thins accomplishment will take you f-ing forever, but when you've done it you will have an enormous repitoir and excellent technique required for this style...this is seriously the book to get if you were to only get one...
    Bonne chance,
    Toohey
  • W.BW.B New
    Posts: 39
    ive got like the same problem to find a good book to begin with.
    i want to get on with the "la pompe" and build up my chord knowledge, also want to do turn arrounds and later on learn the arppegios of the chords i know by then so i can solo/walk a bit.
    im searching a book or dvd where i can learn all the most used gypsy jazz chords and their arp's.
    any suggestions ?
  • andmerandmer New York✭✭✭
    Posts: 92
    W.B wrote:
    ive got like the same problem to find a good book to begin with.
    i want to get on with the "la pompe" and build up my chord knowledge, also want to do turn arrounds and later on learn the arppegios of the chords i know by then so i can solo/walk a bit.
    im searching a book or dvd where i can learn all the most used gypsy jazz chords and their arp's.
    any suggestions ?

    I wholeheartedly recommend http://gypsyjazzschool.com/ Yakov is a fantastic instructor, from beginning to end he takes you on a complete journey.

    Of course our wonderful host Michael's books are great too.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,471
    I can only offer what helped me, and I'm still new to the style, so as a grain of salt, I actually began with John Jorgenson's book (Intro to Gypsy Jazz Guitar), very quickly moved to Michael's Gypsy Rhythm (can't say enough about this extraordinary work), and Denis Chang's Accompaniment DVD and later Improv series (ditto - Denis is an incredible teacher and player, and these DVDs were invaluable to me). I now spend my days in Hono Winterstein's land (DC Gypsy School, online), and in Michael's Gypsy Picking.

    Edit: Again, take what I say with a grain of salt, but I wanted to add, I think one is better off at the beginning getting the rhythm tone down, solid; making sure one is absolutely keeping tempo, beat, etc., on the money, and sticking with simple and clean harmony lines - easy on chord embellishments, etc. - until one is certain one is a rhythm engine. I know for me, it really hit home hearing Hono Winterstein's comments this way - "straight and square. A drummer." I know for myself, when I first picked this up, I was so eager to learn everything, that I almost risked learning nothing. Now, I work on 60ish standards, try to recall the harmonic sounds, what makes sense, from heart (I learned them earlier - I'm talking, recalling by heart, and that, by hearing the sense of the progressions, not only what's in my head or eyes (I am strongly visual, pretty photographic in recall). Denis' DVDs cover this really well. So does finding a rhythm player one loves, and trying to get their sound down, before making one's own voice.

    At the risk of seeming like a freak for simplicity, I find myself often starting every rhythm practice session still just cranking out several minutes of Gm6 (35545X)-C#7 (4434XX)-D7 (5545XX); and if my tone is weird in any way, muting the strings with the left hand to drill "crush-whip" back into my body. It might just be me, but though I find myself happier with my rhythm, I still tend to off-tones, weird bells ("wetness") and so forth, on an inconsistent basis. Until I can be harmonically pleasing, driving and energetic, dry as a summer prairie - and able to do this with endurance, for hours on end - with my accompaniment, I know I've got miles to go.

    Then, I would say, Michael's book is a godsend, in terms of not only learning a more extensive chord vocabulary, but all the gypsy chordal embellishments, progressions, turn arounds one comes across.

    FWIW, merely.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
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