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Some advice on how to keep on track with Gypsy Jazz during school hours.

As of now, I'm a college student and because of going to school 5 days a week with class hours from 7:00am to 4:00pm/5:00pm/6:00pm plus an hour or two spent on transportation going back home, I only have a few time to spend practicing guitar and gypsy jazz during school days. I just want to seek some helpful advice on how can I keep on track with Gypsy Jazz during school hours? Like something I can do with my spare time before the next subject begins or during a break. One thing I can only think of is to listen to gypsy jazz during my spare time, but I need more to add up on my knowledge about gypsy jazz without even touching the guitar because I can't bring my own guitar which makes it more difficult for me to keep on track. So, that's it, how can I keep on track with Gypsy Jazz - add something to my knowledge of gypsy jazz and to my technique and skill without even touching the guitar? Thanks in advance, guys!
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Comments

  • If you have some sort of mp3 player, use your commute to listen to music. I keep a notebook with me and work away from the guitar. Some examples of things I do is:
    write down songs, solos, phrases I want to learn. With phrases, I try to be specific as possible (DR, minor ii-V phrase, "What is this thing called love?" 2:21)
    If I've learned a solo note for note, write down what I think is happening.
    Try to figure out the harmonic progression for songs.
    Set up a practice schedule for the week...what I'm going to cover
    analyze what I need to work on based on a gig the night or weekend before.
    write down chord changes or licks (diagram them out) from a song I've learned previously.

    Stuff like that. It helps me visualize the guitar better and organize my practice sessions. It also keeps me from playing mindless games on my phone and using my time practically.
    Nathan SistBuco
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited February 2015 Posts: 1,342
    Nathan, I agree with Jim's ideas, and would offer another one.

    Some wise person here (sorry I can't remember who but it may have been Jazzaferri, who is an oracle of such occult knowledge) once observed the importance of being able to sing a solo in order to play it.

    So maybe if you had some of your favourite Django solos or licks on your iPod, possibly even slowed down to 50% or 75% speed if need be, you could find a secluded location to quietly hum/sing/whistle along with them?

    I admit that I've never actually tried this, so I'd be interested to hear how it works.

    (Full disclosure: I've reached the point in my playing where I've given up trying to copy the Master and simply have fun fooling around with my own, admittedly inferior, musical ideas and devices...)

    Will
    Nathan Sist
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Thanks for the advice, guys! I will definitely start to do some visualizations during my spare hours, and I will also give that a try Lango :D Actually, I do that kind of stuff - singing, humming, or vocalizing the notes when I'm practicing at home but I think it might be hard on school haha. I think I would just save up in my mind, all of the melodies from the songs I listen to. I actually did that kind of thing when I've heard a really wonderful line from Bireli Lagrene's solo on La Mer (from the Gipsy Project, 2001 album. Btw, it starts around 1:43 if you guys just want to hear it). The melody was really stucked up on my head so I started on transcribing it. I hope my improvement goes on :D Thanks again, guys for the insights.
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    I alway love getting the tunes IN MY HEAD. As already recommended by Jim commute time you can use to Listen. For me I prefer using an iPod or iPhone keep all my Gypsy Jazz Tagged together so I check to make sure when I import the Genre is Gypsy jazz. The songs that I want to learn I rate 5 star, next time you connect to computer you can make a Favorites playlist. If what you want to play is not in your head it will never come out your hands. I'll repeat some song 5 times. Works for me. Software to slow music down is great.
    If you have a Android phone or tablet you can pick up Gypsy Station Lite.
    ( Free Version )
    The chords and tabs played by Samy Daussat are displayed while playing.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gypsystation.app.free

    There's also a PRO version for $10.00
    Nathan Sist
  • Nathan, I agree with Jim's ideas, and would offer another one.

    Some wise person here (sorry I can't remember who but it may have been Jazzaferri, who is an oracle of such occult knowledge) once observed the importance of being able to sing a solo in order to play it.

    So maybe if you had some of your favourite Django solos or licks on your iPod, possibly even slowed down to 50% or 75% speed if need be, you could find a secluded location to quietly hum/sing/whistle along with them?

    I admit that I've never actually tried this, so I'd be interested to hear how it works.

    (Full disclosure: I've reached the point in my playing where I've given up trying to copy the Master and simply have fun fooling around with my own, admittedly inferior, musical ideas and devices...)

    Will

    I do what Will is suggesting above. That is, I have a few slowdowners on my iphone, run a solo that I'm working on through it at a slow enough speed so that I can sing it in my head (and out loud when I am walking). It is a very useful exercise.

    Also, when my ear catches a phrase, I try to figure out what is it about the phrase that interests me.
    -is it an odd note against the harmony?
    -is it a flashy run that sounds good?
    -is it something that outlines the harmony in a neat way but doesn't sound like it is running the changes?
    I think about this and then try to apply it with good sense to my playing. And I write it down. I don't necessarily write out transcriptions, but I have a weird shorthand I've been using as a reference for certain things.
    Nathan Sist
  • Posts: 2,463
    Wow some really awesome advice here!

    My guitar teacher suggested this and I do it from time to time; go through the chord changes of the song in your head, if you practice that It'll eventually become a second nature so you won't have to think about the changes when you actually play the guitar and solo.
    Nathan Sist
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited February 2015 Posts: 1,342
    I don't necessarily write out transcriptions, but I have a weird shorthand I've been using as a reference for certain things.

    Cool idea, Jim.

    I'd love to hear more about your weird shorthand... at least, that's assuming that if you told me, you wouldn't have to kill me...

    BTW, I'm very impressed by how seriously you apply yourself to studying gypsy jazz guitar. Just reading your postings reveals that you always seem to have a novel, interesting learning approach up your sleeve, not to mention an insatiable desire to take your playing to the highest possible level.

    I look forward to hearing you play again, possibly at a future DiJ.* I have no doubt that you are turning into a monster player!

    (I won't be at DiJ this year as we'll be in Europe, but I do plan to make Samois... so if you're not quite a monster player yet, relax, you've got until 2016 to become one!)
    Nathan Sist
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Franz MoralesFranz Morales Philippines✭✭
    Posts: 85
    I also struggle with time to practice, aside from listening to the music I imagine all the licks I know and try to connect them in my head. I also try to 'apply' them to any song that I'm currently listening to. Of course, if a lick I like comes up, I'll take note of it and make sure to learn it as soon as a guitar is available.

    When at work, I always drop by the nearest music store when on a break and 'test' guitars and amps just so I can squeeze in some practice time, even if just for a few minutes.

    Of course when I get home, I practice as soon as I can. Usually before bed. It usually lasts from 10 mins to a couple of hours depending on how early I get other things done.

    Lastly, when laying in bed, I internalize and visualize all I've practiced.
    Nathan Sist
  • @Sir Franz - we really do have the same problem about practice time. Sometimes, I'm just too busy doing school stuff which leaves me with a very short practice time, and another factor to consider is that I'm a fine arts student (loads of art related stuff) and painting is not something you can do so quickly. I think I should also listen to gypsy jazz while I'm painting so that I can keep on track even doing school stuff :) But to catch up, I promised myself that this coming summer vacation after the semester, I will practice 10 hours to 15 hours a day, maybe go more than 15, but never less than 10. I will do it for straight three months.

    All advice, suggestions, tips, etc. are all helpful! Thanks to all!
  • Posts: 2,463
    Just think over your plan to practice up to 15 but never less than 10 hours a day.
    Apparently as it turns out those marathon sessions aren't very beneficial and could even be detrimental to your progress. I'll have to remind myself but I think it is said that better way to do it is in 1.5 hr chunks 3-4 times a day, taking breaks in between so you can regain your full focus and attention.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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