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Hi - new here....

skiski Boston, USANew
edited September 2006 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 86
Hello,

I thought I'd introduce myself. I've been playing guitar for 25 years but just got into the GJ style over the past year or so. You might even say that I'm mildly obsessed with it at the moment. Anyway, this website appears to be a great resource and I humbly look forward to learning a great deal here.

I went out and got a Sage Gitane DG-255 and I just started working with Romane's L'Esprit Manouche method book. Any additional advice for this novice on how to embark on the GJ journey would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
ski
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Comments

  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    Well, since you're on this site, I'll state the obvious: get Michael's book! It's indispensable The elessons on the site are great too. Some of the videos, like Brieli's Live at Vienne, are fantastically entertaining and tutorials in their own right (especially for learning right-hand technique).

    Hope this helps.

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    Thanks Paul. I do intend to get Michael's book.

    I have BL's Live at Vienne DVD - it's amazing. That has fueled the obsession considerably.

    I'm now in the process of building a GJ CD collection. I have a BL CD, as well as a Tchavolo Schmitt CD and JJ's Franco-American Swing. So far, I'm partial to Tchavolo among those three.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,827
    Hi Ski,

    Learning to play good rhythm is the most important thing you can do as a beginner. Nearly everyone vastly underestimates how important and how hard it really is. You should also learn as much repertoire as possible...set a goal of 100 Gypsy jazz standards to start.

    For lead playing, the best thing you can do is learn the rest stroke technique...that will help you get the proper tone, volume, and speed for this music.

    Good luck!

    -Michael
  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    Thanks Michael!

    Is there a single book I could get that would contain chord charts for a large number of GJ standards? If not one book, maybe the top two or three?
  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    Wow - thanks again, Michael! I guess there's nothing left to do now but practice!
  • Bill McNeillBill McNeill Seattle, Washington, USANew
    Posts: 70
    I'm on board my with Michael's suggestion about learning rhythm parts because that's been very helpful for me. The advice about knowing a large repertoire of standards also sounds good, both from what this variety could teach you but also because one of the goals of musicianship is to become a human jukebox. My current manouche repertoire, however, is about an order of magnitude smaller than the 100 songs that Michael suggests, which got me to thinking about how I could beef it up.

    I'm imagining the most productive way would be to always have some small number--maybe 3 to 5--of new songs you're working on. For each of you'd learn the rhythm part and the head, and you'd cycle through this list fairly quickly--maybe a new batch every couple of weeks. Do people have advice/experience with an undertaking like this?

    In the past my repertoire building has been haphazard because I have a non-musician life that consumes the bulk of my time, and because I'm not a performer, so there's no pressure to learn lots of songs. I'd like to make the most of the time I do have for playing music, though, and this forum is great for advice about practice regimen, so I'm curious what people have to say.
  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    I like your suggestion of always having 3 to 5 songs that you're working on at a time. I'm completely on board as building up my rhythm playing, especially since that is a more attainable goal in the near term as compared to playing lead.

    I have the book "Django Reinhardt - The Definitive Collection". However, it really hasn't resonated with me as being partculary user friendly. I'm interested in getting the chrod charts for rhythm, and this book focuses on laying out the single-note stuff. Do the "Complete Django" or Cosimini's books provide more of what I'm looking for? I realize this is a tough question but perhaps my meaning comes across....
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,827
    ski wrote:
    I'm interested in getting the chrod charts for rhythm, and this book focuses on laying out the single-note stuff. Do the "Complete Django" or Cosimini's books provide more of what I'm looking for? I realize this is a tough question but perhaps my meaning comes across....

    Yes...the books I listed previously all are designed to teach repertoire. So they have the basic melody and chord changes. The Definitive Django book is more of transcription book....


    'm
  • skiski Boston, USANew
    Posts: 86
    Well, OK then. I guess that means I'll be ordering another book from you shortly.

    :D
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