I am new to the Gypsys Jazz World (Been playing guitar since i was 12). Coming from the foothills of Northern California it was very hard to find anyone to even be remotely interested in playing GJ. All my fellow peers seemed to think, if it ain't Rock n Roll it's shit. Which had forced me into a world of egotistical jackasses, and wannabe pantie chasers.
See the thing is i love playing live (it's like a drug) but where i come from, the world of GJ or even Jazz in general is unheard of, so alas i had always put Django in the back of my mind and played live with Rock or Regurgitated Blues bands till now.
I recently made a move to Seattle, and let me tell you the world of GJ is here (it's no France) but at least there is a sense of community. I have found a teacher, that specializes in this music, I have purchased many books so far which has been helpful (Especially Gypsy Picking - Michael Horowitz). But the problem is everyone learns differently, so for me i get bored easily, and if the teaching method doesn't speak to me, its hard to follow. But after watching Gonzalo Bergara on Youtube, i was blown away by his style. So i went searching, and Alas called Michael and he actually had a teaching book by Gonzalo. I waited patiently to receive this book and finally it came in the mail. Now, when i got the book it looked completely unassuming, i was like "crap another b.s. book". Once i started reading his stylistic breakdown of how he learned, things started making sense for me. He concentrates more on breaking down a singular lick per measure and just concentrating on that lick till its drilled into your brain. Then approach that lick from all angles in every key till your sick of it. Then move onto the next bar. and just concentrate more on preciseness and timing. To alot of you out there you might be saying "Duh". But for me it has helped tremendously. I just want to say "Thanks Gonzalo" for making my new fledgling GJ career get off to a good start. And thanks to my new surroundings for inspiring me to be a better musician.