Best intermediate learning materials?

The first thirty years are the worst

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Best intermediate learning materials?

Postby hotclubofsandwich » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:25 pm


I am looking for advice on the best books/DVDs for intermediate study of GJ. I'm actually a rookie to the style, but I'm not a rookie musician. I'm not looking for something that tells me what a C chord is, but I'm not yet at a level where I'm playing any tunes all the way through either.

I'm after something that shows the common chord forms used, scales and arpeggios (in the GJ context, not just a bunch of drills) and most of all......TUNES.

Any advice is much appreciated.

What are your favorite books?
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Postby RAG » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:48 pm

A beginner to the style myself also, just got a great book...'Gypsy Guitar The Secrets'...a bit of a trashy title but ignore that, it's fantastic. Comes with a CD, is great for those that know their way around the guitar, all the practice pieces actually sound good, none of that 'I hope nobody can hear this' . I am actually struggling with the 'use the thumb on the 5th and 6th strings' in some chord shapes, I never could do that in other styles either so can't blame the tutor. Anyone here that could tell me where to get the book 'Using the Thumb The Secrets' could save me some time !
You'll love the book.
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Postby justjack » Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:33 pm

I'll second the 'Secrets' book. It's great-very straightforward and very musical; you'll immediately recognize what you're playing. Michael Horowitz' Gypsy Picking includes great info on fundamental technique and applies it to musical examples from common albums; it's a great buy. If you've really got your heart set on scales, you should look at Wrembel's book for those, but it's not the main focus. Of all these the Secrets book is the only one that really gives you tunes per se. Maybe after looking at some of these you can simply download some transcriptions at one of these sites for learning tunes:

Rag, for some info on thumb playing:

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Postby hotclubofsandwich » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:05 pm

Thanks folks.

I am certainly not set on scales. In fact, I'm more interested in the harmonic (w.r.t. rhythm) aspects. I just assume some scale and arpeggio study would dovetail with harmonic study.

I've never played a scale drill that gave me any musical context whatsoever. I need applied theory or it can't get through my thick skull.

The books you mention sound like the type I'm looking for. Keep 'em coming!

All the best
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Postby phil_g » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:30 pm

I'm a big fan of the secrets book too. Hope the second book comes out in English cause my French is non existant.

I only started playing GJ last year & my problem was always knowing which tune was which. I normally listen to Django in the car and have done for years so I don't always know which melody goes with which title.

The Robin Nolan gig book is sorting me out on this as it has chords on one page and tab of the melody on the other. I read the title, play the tab and go aaah, it's that song! It's bloody expensive but a good tool.

For chord sequences I recommend emicad's site, it's at least as good as anything out there

Major chords sub with 6th or 6/9 if the tonic chord
Minor chords sub with minor 6 chords
Dominants (7ths) use 7ths, 9ths and flat 5 subs for V chords etc..

Cheers, Phil
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Postby Teddy Dupont » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:40 pm

I cannot recommend Bert Weedon's "Play in a Day" series highly enough although they may be considered closer to the advanced level.
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Postby Jono » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:57 pm

Thanks to Bert Weedon and his great book, I finally achieved my dream of playing 'Bobby Shaftoe'. Didn't sound anything like the Isaac Hayes version though.
They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings.
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