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Another great year at Django in June 2015

anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
in Welcome Posts: 561
Hey all,

I want to give a big shout out to Andrew for putting on another amazing Django in June. Every year it's great, and this year kept the ball rolling. I saw a lot of new faces, and hope to see even more next year.
I learned more this year than any year passed.

What did you learn ?

what were the biggest things you brought home with you ?

I think for me it was the inspiration to become as good as I know I'm capable. The desire to put the extra work in, every day, to meet my goals.

Oh, and Joscho's lick library, Damien's advice about concepts to use when practicing, and William Brunard's pointing out that my vibrato is a bit "nervous".

Cheers !

Anthony Parker


  • husyhusy Seattle✭✭✭
    Posts: 58
    Alright, I'll bite since I have the Monday blues post long weekend. Here are some of my favorite recollections:

    - Adrian's phrasing advice: "start with a simple melodic idea, modify for next chord" as nicer alternative to boring arpeggios. Seemingly obvious concepts, but very helpful to be reminded in person with a round of live exercises. <SoreThroat "Now we're making music!"/>

    - Adrian's note bend advice: "how to bend like Django". (bend up to root, 6th and 9ths)

    - Jeff R's excellent breakdown of a few longish Django licks, and how much one can achieve by simply reapplying / building around 4-5 of those licks. Again seemingly obvious stuff, but Jeff managed to make it very clear to me.

    - Great constructive feedback on my rhythm from Ghali, Remi and Kamlo. My main take away from the European guys was to get a deeper "vroom" sound, and to use the top 2 strings sparingly.

    - Remi Oswald's rhythm workout: using mental pictures to facilitate better time keeping. Exercises around metronome on 2. I wish I attended more than one of his sessions...

    - Remi's hand strength exercise: Count from 1 to 31 in binary using left hand fingers. Amazingly, this already started paying off for my somewhat range-constrained ring finger. Also a few similar tricks from Adrian.

    - William Brunard's demonstration of using passing chords in waltzes to give motion to the otherwise static progression. He used a lot of unusual voicings in La Gitane (some even apparently outside the harmony) and I wish I had taken notes, but at least I do remember part of it...

    - Denis Chang's session on ensemble playing. Picked up lots of great ideas that I'll have to impose on my guitar buddies back home ;). I also very much enjoyed the unnamed Romani hymn he taught during that session, which shares a lot with "Dear Old Stockholm", and "Ma Vlast" and even reportedly the Israeli national anthem.
    KarloWim GlennBucotobolek
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Someone has to share that hand strengthening exercise ! I learned it second hand, maybe from you, but I forgot how to do it.
    That sounds like some great advice from Adrien.
    Does the bending string advice go for both major and minor chords ?

  • husyhusy Seattle✭✭✭
    edited July 2015 Posts: 58
    Sure, it's easier said than done (at least at first):

    Start by making a somewhat loose fist on your left hand, then cycle through all possible combinations of open / closed fingers with all 5. There are 31 combinations (not counting the fully closed fist). To cover all, you count from 1 to 31 in binary:

    (pinky, ring, middle, index, thumb) =>
    00001, 00010, 00011, 00100, 00101, 00110, 00111, 01000, ..., 11111

    The string bending advice should apply to both major and minor chord since 3rds aren't in the list, at least as far as I remember.

  • This was certainly a very good year and I got my butt kicked again. I always have a lot of topics to review and work on for the year (including improving my picking with some very good advice from Damien), but I'll endeavor to systematically work through this stuff over the year. It certainly is good to still be this motivated three weeks away. One of my favorite classes were Remi's rhythm class. The rhythm exercises are great for me to work away from the guitar on...I do these things on the subway.
    I was lead to Remi's class from a facilitated jam co-lead by Remi and Dallas Vietty. While we only truly jammed on one tune, it was some of the most productive time I spent in a class this year. The class was roughly half accordion and half guitar and we worked on phrasing and comping in pairs. Remi would play rhythm while one person would sing a solo sans instruments. The other would sing a comp, thus reacting. We then added the instruments and repeated, singing our solos and comping while playing. Then we played as a group seeing if we could incorporate this in a group setting.
    Best licks I learned were from Tcha...using the octatonic scale over a minor chord leading to a five and a Django tritone lick Tcha and Rino use (in variations) quite a bit.
    I certainly have to jam more and get over the feeling of that I'm kind of a terrible lead player...that would be helpful. Anyway, big props to Andrew.
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Yeah let that belief go Jim. That's obviously a false belief. Cool Stuff !
  • Heh. It's hard to not get beaten up at a good way, as it is motivational.
    kevingcoxCharles Meadows
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    Just remember, Jim, at least you are getting "beaten up" by some of the best players on the continent. At least, that's what I tell myself in order to not cry myself to sleep every night :)
  • new mexico (current)✭✭
    Posts: 91
    Hey Kevin...Your playing well! An open heart resonates louder than any lick or trick. Keep it up! :)
  • edited July 2015 Posts: 3,707
    One of the top tenor sax players tells a story of in his final year at Berklee winning an opportunity to study for a day with Dave Leibman who proceeded to tear his playing into shreds. At the end of the day Leibman explained to him. "Your good man....95% of people hearing you would think you are great.....but if Sonny Rollins or Wayne Shorter walked in they would know right away that you hadn't done your homework. A few years later Leibman helped him get his first major recording contract.

    My sax coach who is an awesome jazzer tears me apart every time I see her....after a day or two I pick myself up off the floor and start trudging down the road again.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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