My advice for those who really want to play GJ

The first thirty years are the worst

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Amir
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My advice for those who really want to play GJ

Post by Amir »

Stop using Powertab and any other Tabbing software.
GJ is all about hearing, and it dosen't matter how hard you'll try,
Untill you get to the point where you be able to play whatever you hear - you won't be able to call your-self "improviser" - because improvise is all about hear it in your mind, and in the same time -play it.
Sticking with the same patterns again and again won't do, you'll have to listen to alot of GJ albums (and not just Django, try to listen to different kind of GJ guitarists, and even violinists) and then try to play whatever you hear.
At the begining, you'll have hard-time doing it, but trust me - as the old saying says: "practice makes perfect", and then - when you'll be able to do it - your playing would stream.
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fandjango
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Post by fandjango »

I think using tab/tab software is a good idea. Relying on hearing alone is a much longer and arguably less accurate process. GJ solos are often complex and played quickly, so learning the CORRECT scales, progressions, etc. without spending large amounts of time re-listening to the same section of a song to get it right, is assisted by good tablature.

Practicing from tab does provide ideas for improvisation (listening obviously helps as well, but to say that tab does not is not true). The more you practice using tab, the more familiar you become with the style, how notes relate to one another, and ultimately how to build on this knowledge for your own solos. It's working for me...
rythmes_gitanes
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Post by rythmes_gitanes »

i agree with amir very much so. Ive been playing gypsy jazz for about 2 years and i havent learned anything off tab besides a few minor arpeggios off this site and the dimished run. everything else ive learned from listening to gypsy all day long and getting as many videos as possible and learning straight from the players themselves. I definatly think the way to learn it is to listen to it so much that it becomes how you hear music , you just hear that sound.
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Amir
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Post by Amir »

fandjango wrote:I think using tab/tab software is a good idea. Relying on hearing alone is a much longer and arguably less accurate process. GJ solos are often complex and played quickly, so learning the CORRECT scales, progressions, etc. without spending large amounts of time re-listening to the same section of a song to get it right, is assisted by good tablature.

Practicing from tab does provide ideas for improvisation (listening obviously helps as well, but to say that tab does not is not true). The more you practice using tab, the more familiar you become with the style, how notes relate to one another, and ultimately how to build on this knowledge for your own solos. It's working for me...
There are several problems on Tabs.
One of the biggest problems is that most tabs written by amateurs, in a matter of fact - i've found mistakes on every tablature on this site,
the only good tabs are the tabs that the artist himself write, or by someone experience (like Horowitz).

Beside, people who learn to play only from tablature - are oftenly repeat the same patterns over and over again.

The biggest advantage of hearing development is that you can't get wrong, that's a must-be thing when your in a middle of a solo, and the gypsy flavor in your improvisations is just a matter of how much GJ do you hear.

Just think about it, no one of the really big GJ players has learned to play from tablature.
They all use their hearing.
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salene
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Post by salene »

Thats o.k but some of us can't hear pitches that well, tab is a good thing for us beginners. How do you know that none of the great players have'nt used tab at some point?
Del Boy
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Post by Del Boy »

I think Amir has a good point. I wouldn't go so far as to say never learn anything from tab (or standard notation, for that matter). But the first response of many players when they hear something they like is to ask "Is there a tab of this anywhere?" That's wrong. The first response should be to listen hard and see what you can make of it. You might not get anywhere to start with but the more you try the more you will develop your own inner ear, your own inner sense of pitch and rythym. That has to be the best foundation for an improvising musician.
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Amir
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Post by Amir »

Del Boy wrote:I think Amir has a good point. I wouldn't go so far as to say never learn anything from tab (or standard notation, for that matter). But the first response of many players when they hear something they like is to ask "Is there a tab of this anywhere?" That's wrong. The first response should be to listen hard and see what you can make of it. You might not get anywhere to start with but the more you try the more you will develop your own inner ear, your own inner sense of pitch and rythym. That has to be the best foundation for an improvising musician.
Thats what I meant. :wink:
And you can use tablature, but never at the expense of hear training.
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fandjango
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Post by fandjango »

Don't get me wrong...I certainly agree that listening is critical to learning, but tab is also helpful. When you have children, a busy job and night school, tab definitely helps/eases the learning process.

Regarding inaccurate tab...yes, most of the stuff I've seen contains errors, but the foundation is there. Combining this information with listening and watching videos (and subsequent corrections to the tab), provides me with a level of knowledge and skills that would take much longer to achieve without the tab. An assumption here is that tabbing and mastering solos note for note leads more rapidly to a good base for improvisational purposes - something that I firmly believe based on experience in other musical styles (particularly, rock and blues).

Regarding the comment about how gypsies learn the style, it should be noted that they have the enviable advantage of being immersed in the music pretty much from birth. For a non-gypsy, whose life has not been steeped in the tradition, and who wants to get a good grasp on the music within a few years, tab helps me get closer to the style faster than reliance solely on listening and learning from other players...It would be great if I could have the tradition passed down to me from listening to and watching a master, but this just isn't realistic or practical for me and probably many other players.
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Amir
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Post by Amir »

fandjango wrote:When you have children, a busy job and night school, tab definitely helps/eases the learning process.
How should I know? I'm pnly 17 :)

Watching videos of other players is a great thing.
After all, that's what all of the famous GJ players did (just in reality).
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emackenz
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Post by emackenz »

sorry - got to butt in - amir you're 17? and you're giving people up to 3 times your age advice on how to learn and play this music...?
either:
1. you're david reinhardt's long lost hidden bastard brother...
2. you're manouche and you've been playing since age 5...
3. you haven't got a clue what you're talking about...
oh and ... you're 17 and you're deriding amateurs?
jesus kid - get a life - it's whatever works...that's it.
mind you - by the time your 30 years of learning is up i'll be long gone so fire away mate... :roll:
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Rich
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Post by Rich »

I tend to work with both.. use tab for stuff that i wouldn't bother to sit down and work out, and then work out the stuff by ear that i really want to play.

I think studying the tabs of Django's solos really helps u understand what he is doing. I think u'd be foolish to ignore such a good resource that is available to u, but u'd also be foolish to rely on it solely.

But if i do learn stuff from tab i always work out why each bit works and how i could repeat that bit in a different song. I agree that if u just play the patterns without thinking ur playing will suffer.

But i suspect most people on this site are many leagues ahead of me and have probably come to this conclusion already.
devinci
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Post by devinci »

Amir your 17, so what, you can give advice to whoever you want, and no matter if they are 3 times older than you they should listen. You don't have to be a gypsy who has been playing since 5 to be a good player or even knowlagable about this music at your age. Your advice is good advice and you have acknowlaged that there is a role for the use of tab so keep up giving us advice, (which of course we all know is mearly the postulation of oppinions). Every one has got something to teach someone else and this forum is about sharing, it is our own little cyber gypsy camp.
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Amir
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Post by Amir »

emackenz wrote:sorry - got to butt in - amir you're 17? and you're giving people up to 3 times your age advice on how to learn and play this music...?
either:
1. you're david reinhardt's long lost hidden bastard brother...
2. you're manouche and you've been playing since age 5...
3. you haven't got a clue what you're talking about...
oh and ... you're 17 and you're deriding amateurs?
jesus kid - get a life - it's whatever works...that's it.
mind you - by the time your 30 years of learning is up i'll be long gone so fire away mate... :roll:
I've benn playing the guitar for 4 years now, 6 hours a day, mostly GJ stuff, so belive me - I know what i'm talking about...

And of course you can do whatever you want, but until you'll get the hearing development done - you just won't be able to improvise correctly, cause just sticking with patterns that you already knows, in my opinion - it's not an improvisation..
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emackenz
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Post by emackenz »

yeah - that's cool. sorry - late night post-gig fervour.
I've had 8 hours sleep since then :wink: .I do wish you all the luck in the world. I've been playing 37 years, and i still love getting up there every night and playing. I've spent my life improvising, I came to Gypsy Jazz only recently and suddenly after all those years I'm back in the spare bedroom at 5 am running arpeggios and scales and transcribing django. (btw I'll take any method going and my current fave is using Transcribe to slow down and learn God's solos).
Anyone can give advice and anyone is free to listen or not - I guess I mistook it for preaching.
And if I had any advice - which I gave up giving years ago - it would be that where you learn is on the bandstand. Play live, it accelerates the process and makes it real.
Peace brother.
Ewan
(memo to self: never post late at night when pissed..)
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Amir
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Post by Amir »

emackenz wrote:yeah - that's cool. sorry - late night post-gig fervour.
I've had 8 hours sleep since then :wink: .I do wish you all the luck in the world. I've been playing 37 years, and i still love getting up there every night and playing. I've spent my life improvising, I came to Gypsy Jazz only recently and suddenly after all those years I'm back in the spare bedroom at 5 am running arpeggios and scales and transcribing django. (btw I'll take any method going and my current fave is using Transcribe to slow down and learn God's solos).
Anyone can give advice and anyone is free to listen or not - I guess I mistook it for preaching.
And if I had any advice - which I gave up giving years ago - it would be that where you learn is on the bandstand. Play live, it accelerates the process and makes it real.
Peace brother.
Ewan
(memo to self: never post late at night when pissed..)
That's cool man :wink:
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