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Gonzalo Bergara: How I Learned Vol.1: Gypsy Jazz Instruction

edited April 2012 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 8
Hello All,
I am new to the Gypsys Jazz World (Been playing guitar since i was 12). Coming from the foothills of Northern California it was very hard to find anyone to even be remotely interested in playing GJ. All my fellow peers seemed to think, if it ain't Rock n Roll it's shit. Which had forced me into a world of egotistical jackasses, and wannabe pantie chasers.

See the thing is i love playing live (it's like a drug) but where i come from, the world of GJ or even Jazz in general is unheard of, so alas i had always put Django in the back of my mind and played live with Rock or Regurgitated Blues bands till now.

I recently made a move to Seattle, and let me tell you the world of GJ is here (it's no France) but at least there is a sense of community. I have found a teacher, that specializes in this music, I have purchased many books so far which has been helpful (Especially Gypsy Picking - Michael Horowitz). But the problem is everyone learns differently, so for me i get bored easily, and if the teaching method doesn't speak to me, its hard to follow. But after watching Gonzalo Bergara on Youtube, i was blown away by his style. So i went searching, and Alas called Michael and he actually had a teaching book by Gonzalo. I waited patiently to receive this book and finally it came in the mail. Now, when i got the book it looked completely unassuming, i was like "crap another b.s. book". Once i started reading his stylistic breakdown of how he learned, things started making sense for me. He concentrates more on breaking down a singular lick per measure and just concentrating on that lick till its drilled into your brain. Then approach that lick from all angles in every key till your sick of it. Then move onto the next bar. and just concentrate more on preciseness and timing. To alot of you out there you might be saying "Duh". But for me it has helped tremendously. I just want to say "Thanks Gonzalo" for making my new fledgling GJ career get off to a good start. And thanks to my new surroundings for inspiring me to be a better musician.


The Dude101


  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    I have both of Gonzalo's books and I find that, despite the inexpensive look, they are some of the best I've found. He doesn't clutter it with a lot of unnecessary info, just licks right over the chords.

    I also had a guitar lesson with him while he was in Marin teaching and he was very good, FAIR priced, AND we went well over the "hour" I paid for.

    Good guy .

    cheers !
  • delb0ydelb0y ✭✭
    Posts: 53
    I only have the first book, but I agree - great stuff, and a really cool way to start piecing everything together from a lead perspective. GB himself created a Facebook support group for that book - it's all gone a bit quiet to be honest so some new blood will be welcome. ... 7289433916

    and also Dennis has a great video on his DC School in which Gonzalo takes just a few lines (one for each main chord type) and uses them to improvise over an entire song - which is almost the foundation of the how I learned book: ... 754216107/

    Alas, from a GJ perspective where I am feels more like your California rather than Seattle experience!

    Kind regards,
  • Posts: 8
    Anthon 74,

    You got a lesson with Gonzalo? I wish i could get that not pricey (If you do not mind me asking) How much?


    Where are you from? And what has your experience been?
  • GB. He gives skype lessons.
  • Posts: 8

    Do you know his e-mail address, you can send it too <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e --> if you do not want to post it on the forum!! Wow i am ecstatic.
  • It was posted here awhile ago, so you could do a search for it. Or just look below.

    simplicado at gmail dot com.
  • delb0ydelb0y ✭✭
    Posts: 53
    I'm in the UK, Dude. Over in the West Country. There are some very good players in the vicinity but trying to find folks at my (beginning) level has proved difficult. One day I'll no doubt stumble across the right guys. Meanwhile I'm several years away from being any good, anyway :? :D

  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Hey there,

    I'm not SURE, but I think it was $60 for an "hour", which we went over. That's the same as I charge for rock and roll guitar lessons for my students so it was fair to me. Plus he gave me a discount on how I learned volume 1.


  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    edited January 2014 Posts: 694
    Hi, I am looking for a used copy of "How I Learned" by Gonzalo Bergara. If anybody has a worn, used copy and would like to sell it, please PM me. Of course I would rather start with Vol. 1, but would consider both 1 & 2. I can pay via PayPal. THANKS!
    Djangobooks is out of stock.
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