30+ Django solo's in 1 year (Maybe a couple Fapy solo's but we'll see) EDIT: Louis Armstrong solo's?

Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
edited January 2019 in Repertoire Posts: 86
Well, my new years resolution is a solo a week.....
You would say hey but there are 52 weeks in a year, yeah. I know. As some of you might know i am 15 years old and i am going to school, i have 3 test weeks throughout 1 year (there are also tests between that) and thats about 9 weeks of time total because i start learning 2 weeks prior to a test week because the test's grades already count for my next year (My average grade will be my first grade for every class in the next year) so its important for my future that i try hard :) . Enough about school haha, just to let you know though i am really focussing on school this year so yeah

I want to set an achievable goal, sometimes you just don't feel like practicing(for me it just doesn't work to sit down and practice) Or some days i might be sick, and of course there is vacation as well, in the vacation i might have extra time but i also work haha, i need to work hard in my vacations, how else am i going to buy a new guitar lol. I also want to get better at following chord changes in songs, sometimes i just lose it and i just play whatever haha, but i think this will come with some time by playing those songs so many times you know?

When i'm inspired to practice or feel like practicing i really go for it.
I didn't do anything for a couple days (i play a lot everyday, just not concentrated practice) and then one day i went upstairs and transcribed 3/4 of a Django solo in 3 hours(I am pretty new to working by ear but its going better and better and im getting faster and faster) I did take 15 minute brakes in those 3 hours. I don't know about you guys but im mentally actually really tired after i get done transcribing.

Now it looks like i only practice 3 hours 1 day in a week but what i actually do is this: i think i spent 4 hours a day with a guitar in my hand, in that time i just play all the solo's i know and when i am learning a new solo for example the part that i learned in 3 hours i will play that everyday till i can ****** dream it.

So, what are you guys planning for next year?
Do you have any Django solo's that i absolutely must learn(with great licks etc)?
My general practice goal is to do 1 solo a week.
Do you guys want me to record the process and give updates after 3 months per example of how it effected my playing etc? It will just be recorded with my phone i don't have any expensive equipment for those kind of things haha.
Do you guys have any tips for following chord changes?
Sorry if you could not understand my English, i am not a native speaker.
Cheers guys, Happy new year in advance.



  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    Posts: 99
    I always set myself goals for this, i struggle to stay motivated sometimes so i give myself some long term goals and short term ones aswell.

    This year was about finishing my carreer, i transcribed a lot of bireli solos and phrases too. Learnt more django solos and over all studying improvisation.

    Next year i will make room for a Bebop trío proyect i've been wishing for and it seems it will get running soon, and i'll try to come up with at least 8 compositions for my manouche proyect, and if i get inspired maybe i'll do some more for the bebop trío.

    You really should récord your self un order to have a registry of your progress, it does help a lot.
    My best wishes to your playing & studying. Have fun!
  • Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
    Posts: 86
    Thanks Eli, good luck on transcribing that Melodie Au Crepuscule solo by Bireli, i'm sure it won't take you months as you said. You just have to ask yourself the question how badly do i want to learn this, what i would do is this: try to learn the entire solo on 50% speed and every week try to play it 10% faster. Just an idea :D.
    Also, good luck with the bebop trio!
    Elí Saúl
  • MartinGMartinG MontréalNew Dupont
    Posts: 46
    Great idea ! Transcribing is one of the best ways to learn. Pick the solos YOU find beautiful and interesting.
  • Posts: 4,627
    that's an ambitious goal. You'll do great even with half that. Either way my hat is off to you for having that sort of dedication and ambition. Important thing is that you play every day, which you do. And don't think you're not practicing during this time, you do. Most people, when they think about practice they visualize a chair, maybe a music stand with paper sheets, a metronome and endless repetition of scales, arpeggios, playing through pieces etc... And they're not wrong as this is practice, the wrong part is thinking everything else is not or can be practice. But it is. Even going to see a live concert is practice if you listen and watch actively in a way that you'll take what you saw and heard home and try apply it. Playing every day is definitely practice. Makes you a better musician, doesn't it?

    Many times, I heard from the top players in this genre and outside that in their younger years they didn't "practice", only played a lot. Well, call it whatever but sounds like you're doing it right.

    Regarding following the chord changes, what works for me is simply slowing down, with or without the backing track, enough to where I can stay with the progression and keep my mind at both places, my playing and the song itself. In some cases this can be 50% of original tempo or even slower if it's uptempo tune with more complex changes, if it moves between keys and such. All this applies when you're figuring things out at home, if you're jamming or playing a show you put yourself on autopilot and just try to make music.

    Get yourself to that jam, it'll help you a lot. I'm not sure if you're in or around Amsterdam but Adrian is there, he'll welcome you and help I'm sure, he's the best.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
    edited December 2018 Posts: 86
    Thanks! I have started playing this style 1 year ago(I started playing classical guitar when i was 6,5 stopped when i was 8 and started again 1,5 years ago), the first three months i had trouble with hitting the right string... but i just played so much haha(Also the rest stroke picking came kind of natural to me because of my classical background and im used to let my hand hang so i didn't really have to relearn anything i just had to learn it) I was just watching youtube video's with a guitar in my hand and just playing whatever. my biggest accomplishment as in what i can play right now are these tunes:

    My first year was a lot of learning guitar and picking lol, and also just learning la pompe. and also a lot of melody from the songs. I also played with Rino van Hooijdonk and i think he thought my la pompe was fine, i have some videos but if i would want to post them i would have to ask him first because it was recorded in the privacy of his home. I was also playing solo really bad there because the dot was on the 10th fret instead of the 9th fret that im used to and it was so confusing haha.
    I live in "Hilversum" its 30 minutes by train to Amsterdam, so its pretty easy for me to get there :D
  • S@nderVS@nderV Rotterdam, HollandNew
    Posts: 11
    Wouldn't it be better to analyse what sort of things Django (and Bireli etc.) play when they are improvising over certain chords and chord changes and see how you can make use those ideas in your improvisations?
  • Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
    Posts: 86
    Yes of course i will be doing that during my transcribing process, this way i will get a great arsenal of Django licks and also i think a really strong foundation because Django often executes basic things so brilliantly( He also has some super complex ideas though haha) But to clear up, i will try to learn a solo a week and analyse everything he's doing and implement it in my own playing!
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 859
    If you were 30 years old or more I would suggest another course of action but being you are so young you will learn a lot of things doing this. One of the most important things is to find the lines out of individual solos you like and use them on other tunes so they become tools more than just a memorized piece of music.
  • Feruza2134Feruza2134 The NetherlandsNew Phoenix D hole guitar
    Posts: 86
    Just because im curious Scoredog, what course of action would that be?
    And if any of you guys have solo suggestions PLEASE comment them if i won't like them i won't play them don't worry :P
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 859
    For an older player I suggest taking snippets of solo's (the lines that emotionally connect to you the most) and incorporate them into your improv. Most often when one memorizes full solos they end up using very little of it in their own playing, often a phrase or two at best. Much of the time spent memorizing entire solos gets wasted unless of course the goal is to play someone else's solo (often Django solos get quoted in performances and jams so that's actually a bit different, sort of it's own thing). For a younger player who has more time to assimilate the style the learning of entire solos will have a different benefit and give you a good footing in the style.
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