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Need Help in How To Build/Learn a Repertoire!!!!!

jlander9jlander9 ✭✭
edited October 2012 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 90
Hello All,
I’ve been working on improvisation mainly: Lead tones, arpeggios and scales. In the process I’ve also learned a few tunes (very important!). Minor Swing, Swing 42, J’attandrai, Tears, Blue Drag, Bistro Fada. I am still expanding my repertoire bit by bit and am enjoying learning new tunes (next on my list is Topsy, Blues minor, Swing 39 and Django’s Tiger). The issue is the way I’m learning these songs. I’ve been using a slow downer and tab, when available, to learn these tunes as played by Django (and Wrembel for Bistro Fada). I learn the melody and the entire solo. This has been great because I learn the little nuances that are in Django’s playing and I get a bit of ear training in the process. My reasoning for this is that eventually I’ll be able to make up my own solos. However, the down side is that this is time consuming and after about 6 months of playing I only know how to play 6 songs. I recently ran into a Robin Nolan gig book, I noticed he just presents the melody and chord changes similar to sheet music. So is this the best way to build my repertoire or should I stick to my current routine? Advice porfavor! :D


  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,131
    your routine is the best.. the beginning can be frustrating, but u''ll only get better, and your ears and memory will improve very quickly. Eventually, you'll be learning songs just by listening once or twice
  • Two schools of thought

    Te way Dennis describes.

    Some say learn the whole solos. Others say learn the phrases that speak to you most strongly work on them til you can play em in your sleep. Thats my belief. Either way learning the language and its nuances from ones elders (ot thinking age here) is the way to go.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • jlander9jlander9 ✭✭
    Posts: 90
    Thanks for replying , Thats all I needed to hear. Nolan is a great player but his quick jump start books made me question my approach. I'll just keep slowing em down! Just got into Blues en Minuer, wish me luck :wink:

    Also, while i'm at it, can anyone out there give me a link or file that can show me how to use a metronome. i've been using it but it doesn't seem right? I count on the 2 and 4 for swing.But recently someone told me that you multiply the bpm by 2. so If i'm playing minor swing at 90bpm its really 180. well if anyone has an answer it would be greatly appreciated. (this should be a different post haha :roll: )
  • mcneely11mcneely11 ✭✭
    Posts: 15
    Yes, if you have the bpm at 90 on 2 and 4, you are really playing at 180bpm.
  • How are you counting on the 2 and 4

    Do you mean you are playing in cut time or?

    One of the big differences between Euro based GJ and US jazz swing as explained by Mathieu Chatelain in a class years back is the GJ the strong beats are 1 and 3 and US jazz is 2 and 4.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • jlander9jlander9 ✭✭
    Posts: 90
    Hey Jazzaferri,
    I am on 4/4 time but yes, I am emphasizing the 2nd and 4th beat. EX 1-2-3-4.... if this is the case is 90BPM still eual to 180bpm? I guess what I'm asking is that if a song says 190bpm, like Minor Swing, then do I set the metronome at 190bpm or at 95bpm? As always, I appreciate the help :wink:
  • If you are playing quRter notes in 4-4 time. Thats 4 quarter notes to the bar s if you are playing 4 beats per bar at 90 bpm then you ar playing at 90 bpm.

    If you play in cut time aka alla breve or 2-2 time then each beat is a half note thus one is playing quarter notes at the equivalent of 180 bpm.

    Math wise. Both examples are with metronome on 90 bpm and the beat is on a number.

    4-4. Time. 1......2......3.....4...... In this example each number is a quarter note

    Cut Time. 1..&..2..&..1..&..2..&.. In cut time quareter notes are played on number plus the &
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • mcneely11mcneely11 ✭✭
    Posts: 15
    He's not really talking about cut time vs 4/4(I think). Most people set the metronome to just play on beats 2 and 4 when practicing jazz. In that case you are actually playing twice as fast as the number on the metronome.
  • jlander9jlander9 ✭✭
    Posts: 90
    Thank you both for responding. I think i'm getting the gyst of it. I was setting my metronome to the 2 and 4 this was making me go nuts when setting it to 90bpm because it felt way too fast for me. So now when setting the metronome to nomal bpms 1-2-3-4, I get good results, when empasizing 2 &4 I cut back to 45bpm and i get the 90bpm resul.

    To return to repertoire, I'm happy to say I have Blues en Minuer down! :D
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