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Gonzalo "How I Learned" support group...?

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
edited June 2013 in Technique Posts: 1,655
OK, I just got my Gonzalo Bergara "How I Learned" books, volumes one and two...

(and btw, thanks to 'a certain someone'--- no, it wasn't Gonzalo, but I hope 'that person' reads this and recognizes themself!--- for his/her thoughtfulness in the way they filled out that little declaration slip for Canadian Customs on the mailing envelope...)

Now, anyway, here's the thing... I've just worked through two numbers so far, "All of Me" and "Minor Swing" and because of all the new-to-me fingerings, I'm having trouble keeping up with Gonzalo, even playing his 5 mph versions!

So I guess what I'm hoping for is that somebody who's already been through this process will hold my hand and tell me that it's going to be all right... that I WILL be able to do this sometime in the next seventeen years...

Sniff, sniff, boo hoo... (okay, I admit it, I'm a big fucking crybaby!)

Will
Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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Comments

  • seeirwinseeirwin ✭✭✭ AJL J'attendrai | AJL Orchestra
    Posts: 115
    Hey man,

    I think we can all relate. From Gonzalo himself: "if you can't play as fast as the examples, don't play that fast!" Take it at whatever tempo you can manage (and by manage, I mean the notes are cleanly articulated and sound as good as they can. Gonzalo calls these "bubble notes," for some reason.) and don't worry about speed. It will come. As Michael, Gonzalo, and nearly everyone else will tell you, focusing on speed will just put your mistakes into muscle memory. Get a metronome, set it slow, and enjoy the journey.

    Best,

    Chris
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,655
    Thanks, Chris. here's what seems to be working for me so far--- I put Gonzalos's track into my GarageBand program and cut it up into little two bar chunks so I can learn it just two bars at a time.

    Then once I have the two-bar chunks down, I've put together eight-bar chunks and I try to play along with that.

    So far I can play the first eight bars of "Minor Swing" with reasonable accuracy at Gonzalos's slow speed... at this rate I figure I'll be able to do all 32 bars at the slow temp in a week or so.

    What's great about it is that I'm learning all sorts of arp fingerings I would never, ever have thought of in a million years, so I think it'll be worth all the effort.

    Will
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • seeirwinseeirwin ✭✭✭ AJL J'attendrai | AJL Orchestra
    Posts: 115
    Instead of trying to get each 8 beat section up to a certain speed, you might try to learn it off of the tablature (it's all 8th notes) and play it as a unit. That way, you can hear the changes outlined in your solo. As you practice it, focus on good technique and sound, and the speed will come on its own.

    Or you can just stick with what works!
  • thickpickthickpick ✭✭✭
    Posts: 142
    Lango, I think you and I have had a similar conversation before about slowing down tracks on the Mac. I've been using Amazing Slow Downer with Gonzalo's book and it's been great. First I divide up the track into 8-bar sections, which you can assign to presets. Then I take one, slow it waaaay down, and loop it over and over as I get it under my fingers. Then I set it to loop while speeding up just a little each time, so it gradually gets faster and faster. Then I move on to the next 8 bar segment. Then I put together 16 bar phrases, and speed those up, etc. etc. The variations are endless. The program makes this very easy to do, certainly easier than the other programs I own (Audacity, Garage Band, Quicktime.) I have no affiliation with the company that makes this program, but it's been worth every penny for me, and really helped me with Gonzalo's book.

    Hope this helps!
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,655
    Thanks, everyone for your support. I'll let you know when I can play Minor Swing at the slow tempo...

    Actually despite all my whining, it's coming along pretty well, and when I do try to play it absolutely solo I can now usually make it all the way through with only minor mistakes... it's funny how your fingers get to know these patterns and get comfortable playing them, isn't it?

    I sure like the way Gonzalo made it all in eighth notes, because it's hard enough to learn the finger patterns without being distracted by reading issues!

    I guess you all know the old joke:

    Q: "How do you make a guitar player turn down his amp?"

    A: "Put some music in front of him."
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Transcribe is a great piece of software that really helps for all that. Slow down, loop sections, use markers, EQ, adjust pitch and slow down video (I think on the latest version). You can save your modified file and it works from audio files or directly from cds.
    You can cut up sections and save them as independent files too.
    For $50 is worth every penny, I use it everyday.

    http://www.seventhstring.com/
  • Transcribe is a great piece of software that really helps for all that. Slow down, loop sections, use markers, EQ, adjust pitch and slow down video (I think on the latest version). You can save your modified file and it works from audio files or directly from cds.
    You can cut up sections and save them as independent files too.
    For $50 is worth every penny, I use it everyday.

    http://www.seventhstring.com/

    I especially like the newest version of it. Version 8 kicks ass over version 6 or 7.
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    Transcribe is a great piece of software that really helps for all that. Slow down, loop sections, use markers, EQ, adjust pitch and slow down video (I think on the latest version). You can save your modified file and it works from audio files or directly from cds.
    You can cut up sections and save them as independent files too.
    For $50 is worth every penny, I use it everyday.

    http://www.seventhstring.com/
    seems a nice app, but would you think it would be worth it if you´ve already owned ableton live 8? (i´m downloading transcribe ATM and will investigate for myself, but informed opinions are always well received)

    which reminds me, i got to fire up my "how i learned" CD and start playing songs. i´ve only tried picking patterns until now...

    thanks,
    Miguel.
  • I enjoy this book very much. The best part about it are the descriptions of each solo. It puts a lot of it into context and allows you to absorb the phrases that grab you. To this, I don't use the book as an etude book, although it is probably a pretty good idea to get back to learning the entire pieces.
    It's a nice place to find some phrases that work for you and start doing what Denis suggests in his first improv cd: commit to memory and start tweaking with the phrases to make them your own.

    Anyhow, nice book. I have to get Vol 2 at some point.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,655
    Duh! I just figured out something that other Mac users may have learned years ago, but just in case you're as slow as me...

    I've been frustrated by the fact that the tunes on my Gonzalo CD's automatically opened up as iTunes files and not QuickTime files... Why do I like QuickTime files better? Because I can change the tempo and even the pitch if I want to.

    But by going to "the Get Info" menu--- alas, I can't presently remember whether that is under the File menu or the Edit menu--- you can choose to open those Gonzalo files as QuickTime files instead of iTunes files...!!!

    I'm not saying that QuickTime is superior to Audacity or Transcribe or Amazing Slowdowner or any of the others that folks around here seem to like... it's just that QuickTime came free with my Mac, and I don't have enough money right now to buy anything else... I got into enough trouble with She Who Must Be Obeyed when I bought the two Gonazalo methods!

    Anyway, if you are a Mac user, I hope this free fix works for you.

    Will

    PS To tell the truth I'm kind of waiting to see what our fellow djangobooks.com member Adrian from Chicago comes up with... Adrian's the computer programmer who developed that SoundSlicer program that some of you may have seen... hopefully it will do all the things that the other programs do, PLUS display a guitar tab window... so we wouldn't need books made out of paper as we learn our licks... stay tuned!
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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