Mistakes you've made?

The first thirty years are the worst

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Mistakes you've made?

Postby stanley-munchington » Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:56 pm

To you pantheon of established players that have made it to paid gigs or general profficiency in your field.....what were the mistakes you made along the way?|Through the years of practice{the selling of a soul}what do you look back on and think you'd have approached in a different way?
Would be quite insightful for the novices amongst us.
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Postby Thrip » Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:13 am

Good post.

These are the thing I wish I had done:

Started earlier - I've been playing guitar since I was about 13, but didn't start playing properly until I was 19. The thought that I could have been learning jazz in those formative years really annoys me.

Learnt to read well - my sight reading is embarrassingly bad. I wish I had taken the time to learn properly, mainly because there's good money to be made from session work.

Learnt more theory - I know enough to get by on, but a really thorough knowledge of jazz theory would undoubtedly make me a better player.

Practise in a more structured way - much of my practise "routine" consists of just noodling around. A more organised approach to scales and arpeggios would have made me a more confident player.

On the other hand, these are the things that I think I have done right:

Picked a good influence - Django, of course. Forget all those other players, Django is and always will be the primary source for this style.

Developed a good ear. I learnt to play this style by lifting Django solos off the record and applying them to other tunes and chord progressions. It's not something I do very often these days, but I find it easy to work out what's going on. I can also work out chord progressions fairly easily this way.

Learnt to play inside the chords - the key to sounding melodic in this style is to really know the chords of a tune and be able to outline them in your solo. If you take away the rhythm section and have just the soloist, you should still be able to hear the chord progression in the solo. Sounds obvious, but you do hear players that are not able to do this.

Learnt to play the melody of the tune. Many players (violinists in particular, for some reason) play the first few bars of melody and then they're off into their own little world. People like to hear the melody played nicely, and it does wonders for your tone and timing.
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Postby Northern-Neil » Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:47 pm

Go to the gigs, festivals and venues. Make yourself known to other players - even relatively well known ones. Sit in on the campfire sessions and don't worry if at first your contribution is small. Go to places like the Chope des Puces in Paris, make it plain to the players there that you are a djangologist, and don't be afraid of asking them for tips (Don't be afraid of asking ANYONE for tips). Visit such places as regularly as you can, and become known to the players. Most players, whatever their level, will be glad to spend a little time with you showing you stuff. This first - hand experience is among the most worthwhile you will get. If you haven't already done so, get the right guitar for the job. Add this to thrip's sage advice on practicing, and you will not go far wrong.
...Eh up, Djangologists!
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Postby stanley-munchington » Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:41 am

Thanks Thrip and Northern Neil for your insights some gold in there.Maybe some on the forum did not want to cast thier minds back looking for regrets ....maybe some skeletons that needed to be well and truely kept locked up... forbidden passions on the banks of the Seine... another drink another gutter...well why not? Could turn this into into a temporary confessional.I'll get me cassock.
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Postby Zoot » Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:56 pm

It's a bit late now but sometimes I wish I had more quality sex when I was younger.

I'm getting more now than ever, but I was a virgin untill I was seventeen - now what was all that about?
I'll tell you.

I was in my bloody bedroom noodling away on an old Hofner playing Status Quo, Lynard Skynard and Neil Young tunes, that's what I was bloody doing. When I could have been out shagging nubile teenagers.

My other regret was buying the wrong Django album.
I was instructed by my Dad (who was a guitarist himself) to go out and buy a Django Reinhardt album as he said he was one of the best and I might like his playing.

So I dutifully went and bought an album which consisted of Django playing just a few chords and minimal solo work (big band stuff). Needless to say I was wondering what all the fuss was about and put that record away never to be played again for 20 years.

Now how fucking good a player I would be if I had got one of the Quintette albums instead of Goodman, and had started my road to Django way back then, why I might be as good as Teddy is now.
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
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Postby TedGottsegen » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:06 pm

Zoot, you're priceless, absolutely priceless :lol: :lol:
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Postby djangology » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:31 pm

My other regret was buying the wrong Django album.


I did the exact same thing. The first Django album that I bought probably wasn't the best one and so I didn't "catch on". Five years later I bought another album, the "Grappelli Compact Jazz" compilation, and it finally dawned on me.

One of the biggest obstacles that I had to start overcoming in my playing is therefore "naiveté". It is nice to finally start being aware of Django.
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Postby Rich » Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:55 am

Yeah i did that as well..luckly someone pointed it out to me pretty quickly and lent me the stuff that gets u hooked. :shock:
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Postby CB » Wed Nov 12, 2003 1:54 pm

Along these lines, I would be curious which (available) Django recordings forum readers have found particularly inspirational. Djangology mentioned "Grappelli Compact Jazz". Any others?

My modest Django collection leaves me wondering what the big deal is sometimes. I take most of my inspiration from modern purveyors of the style, but because Django is so highly and broadly revered, I've always supposed I just had not connected with the right stuff.

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Postby Rich » Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:03 am

His intro to "Georgia on my mind" is what I first jumped out at me and made me realise his sheer genius. But any of his famous tunes really show what he is all about.
As for what CDs to get I found for a very good price you can buy 5 CD box sets that cover most of his recording life..and then its just a matter of sitting down and waiting for his solos.. you can't miss them :D
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Postby TedGottsegen » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:55 pm

Hi CB,

CB wrote:Along these lines, I would be curious which (available) Django recordings forum readers have found particularly inspirational. Djangology mentioned "Grappelli Compact Jazz". Any others?


I really like the Django CD that is part of the Verve Jazz Masters series, #38 - http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1009479

It covers most of Django's diverse career, from the classic Hot Club stuff to his last electric phase. The tracks are well chosen and the CD flows nicely. If you don't want to get the Fremeaux set and want to pick and choose. I really like this one.

Best,

Ted
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Postby nwilkins » Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:38 am

that was my first Django CD!
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Postby NewcastleBud » Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:58 pm

Once again Ted is right on the money. Jazz masters 38 is just about perfect! The JSP 4 cd box set 1937-1948 is also excellent. Django's solo on After You've Gone from the RCA/Bluebird recording is one of my favorites. Just my two pesos worth
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Postby justjack » Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:21 am

NewcastleBud wrote:Once again Ted is right on the money. Jazz masters 38 is just about perfect! The JSP 4 cd box set 1937-1948 is also excellent. Django's solo on After You've Gone from the RCA/Bluebird recording is one of my favorites. Just my two pesos worth


For the dough, the first JSP set (the five disc one) is worth picking up as well. I probably listen to the second more than the first, but if you grab the first five at $25, you'll avoid picking up 5 or 6 lame compilations at twelve dollars a pop. An added plus is that many libraries seem to shelve these sets, maybe because they're so inexpensive. Worth checking.
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Postby Plowboy » Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:29 am

Zoot wrote:I was in my bloody bedroom noodling away on an old Hofner playing Status Quo...


"Pictures of Matchstick Men"--that was the first 45 rpm I ever bought. What the f*** were we thinkin', Zootster? Recently heard it as background music for a car commercial. It still grabs me a bit but anytime you hear the music of your youth being used as background music for car commercials, you know you're gettin' old.

I would also recommend both JSP boxed sets, Stanley. Aside from being economically priced, the reproduction engineer, Ted Kendall, adjusts the recording speeds to correspond with standard tuning. So if you try to play along, you don't have to constantly re-tune your guitar. (I could kiss him for that.)

I picked up another boxed set fairly priced (about 45 bucks as I remember for 10 CD's) at a discount bookseller (Edward R. Hamilton) but as they only deal in overstocks, discontinued items and the like, I doubt you could get it there now. It's produced by a company in Germany called The International Music Company (www.timcompany.com although I couldn't get that site to load). They put out a lot of early jazz, country, et cetera under a "Past Perfect--24 carat Gold Edition" label with gold toned backs instead of silver on the CD's. Very nicely done, but I wonder about the veracity of their historical booklet what with pictures of Django flopped so that he appears to be playing left-handedly. But then, that may be why I got it so cheaply.
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