I just finished watching Denis Chang's new instructional DVDs on lead playing and MAN! They are absolutely amazing! I have been waiting for something like this ever since I first became interested in Django's music... Denis delivers even better than I could have hoped for. I'm just soooo happy and thought I should write a review and share with all of you what this videos have to offer.
This just released 4 DVD series is packed wall-to-wall with all you need to play this music the way it's supposed to be played. Besides being quite a monster guitarist himself he has the extraordinary ability to be able to transmit his knowledge to you in a simple, direct and fun way. Each volume has over 2 hours of material! and every minute is choked full of wonderful advice.
You'll learn right hand and left hand technique, arpeggios, chord soloing, all sorts of substitutions, phrasing, articulation, timing, lots of tricks and all you ever wanted to know about playing Gypsy Jazz like the masters do.
What really makes this videos so unique are Denis' teaching methods, he doesn't use any TAB or score, instead he forces you to rely on your ears and develop real time learning skills the way the gypsies have always done. Denis manages to find the easiest, most direct way to get his point across and his system is so effective you'll be playing better right away.
This is a totally hands-on tutorial that you watch with your guitar and with each passing minute you feel yourself growing as a Gypsy Jazz musician. He explains every single topic in great detail always encouraging you to make this stuff your own, to develop the skills needed to keep learning and above all to make beautiful music.
The videos are packed wall-to-wall with dozens of licks (the ones you always wanted to know), typical chords, concepts ranging from simple arpeggio playing to ear training to things that will make even your modern jazz player friends turn their heads and go "what the @#
He keeps things light and fun, being totally unpretentious all the while. The material is very well organized in order of complexity and difficulty, the various camera angles make it effortless to see what he's doing and the English (or French) subtitle feature is really handy for following picks strokes (indicated by up and down arrows), chord progressions and fret positions. Keep your remote control handy for pausing and rewinding during difficult bits.
This videos are for everyone, as a newcomer to this music you'll find a clear path from where to begin your journey and if you're intermediate to advanced you'll get stuff that will push your playing forward and help you get on the way to the level of the best players around. Some of the material you'll be ready to apply on tonight's gig and there's also things that you could spend a lifetime on and never exhaust completely.
The saying goes that the first 30 years are the hardest in learning Gypsy jazz, Denis DVDs can maybe scratch that zero right off for you!!!
If you are any serious about playing Gypsy Jazz you can't afford not to get this, it is absolutely a must have.
You can buy yours here: http://www.hyperhipmedia.com/
they ship really fast too! Mine went out from Canada on the 15th and I got it three days later... in Mexico!!
P.S. Save yourself some time and order the 4 volume pack right away or as soon as you're finished watching the first one you'll find yourself logging into Hypermedia's site and purchasing the rest.