What's more important?

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djimgo
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What's more important?

Post by djimgo »

(Warning, newbie questions!!! :D )

What's more important, developing your own style and sound or playing and sounding like everyone else?

Everyone says strings and picks are essential for "the correct sound." But, wouldn't it be more important to develop your own sound? I'm sure correct strings will make a Gypsy guitar sound better, so, I'm down with that, but doesn't personal preference come into pick selection. Also, I am a darn good finger picker, and even have "classical" shape fingernails that I use. Why play with one "pick," when you have 5 that you can use?

As for technique, while I agree that fundamental techniques are of highest priority for learning, I also realize that there is no possible way for me to ever sound, or play like Django. After all, My left hand is relatively normal (I say relatively, since all of my fingers have been broken several times on my left hand) and can use all my fingers to their fullest. Due to the way certain fingers of mine "work," I'll have to come up with my own way of doing things.

I'm sure these questions have been asked 1,000,000 times already, but I'm sure you all know the importance of the questions and can explain the answers for me.

Thanks,

Jim
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emicad
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Re: What's more important?

Post by emicad »

djimgo wrote:(Warning, newbie questions!!! :D )

What's more important, developing your own style and sound or playing and sounding like everyone else?

Everyone says strings and picks are essential for "the correct sound." But, wouldn't it be more important to develop your own sound? I'm sure correct strings will make a Gypsy guitar sound better, so, I'm down with that, but doesn't personal preference come into pick selection. Also, I am a darn good finger picker, and even have "classical" shape fingernails that I use. Why play with one "pick," when you have 5 that you can use?

As for technique, while I agree that fundamental techniques are of highest priority for learning, I also realize that there is no possible way for me to ever sound, or play like Django. After all, My left hand is relatively normal (I say relatively, since all of my fingers have been broken several times on my left hand) and can use all my fingers to their fullest. Due to the way certain fingers of mine "work," I'll have to come up with my own way of doing things.

I'm sure these questions have been asked 1,000,000 times already, but I'm sure you all know the importance of the questions and can explain the answers for me.

Thanks,

Jim
You must to find your own sound after you've tryied different sounds around gypsy jazz guitars, if you want to play like Django or similar players you must to use the same instruments and, in this case, the same right hand technique. You can also make all by yourself doing your way, personally i think you can try to play also with a Les Paul or a ESP (oh my god :roll: ) but the global sound and feeling it's obviously "not suitable with the genre. At first, after a period of practice with a crap guitar or something you already have, buy a GJ guitar, buy a pick (for more infos send me a PM), forget your fingers except for some unaccompanied pieces or intros, and start trying to use downstrokes as much you can! :wink:
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radiotone
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Post by radiotone »

It's a can of worms you've just opened.

As for sound, there are the issues of what kind of guitar to play (Selmer-style or something else, for starters) and then how to play it ('Rest Stroke' picking, alternate picking, fingerpicking, or otherwise).

Michael Horowitz has written a book on Django's rest-stroke technique, and argues that it plays a big part in getting a decent tone out of a Selmer-style guitar. But he isn't an absolutist on this point. You should take a look at his essay on "Tradition" here:

http://djangobooks.com/forum/viewtopic. ... =tradition

Also investigate Oscar Aleman, who played with finger picks, if you are considering alternative approaches to this stuff.

Good luck,

Neil
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Campus Five
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Post by Campus Five »

There's a classic axiom I think applies here:
You have to learn to rules before you can bend (or break) them.

Let's face it - its all been done before. Its only after you have a grip on something that you can begin to go beyond it.
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djangology
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Post by djangology »

What's more important, developing your own style and sound or playing and sounding like everyone else?
I'll take choice #3: sounding like Django until I am tired of it.
Mark C
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Post by Mark C »

Hello Jim,

I spent a lot of my time trying to sound like many different players and over the past few decades I guess my own sound came out. I like the idea of playing a rock solo and tossing in some Django lick or playing acoustic with lots of agression. I now refuse to limit myself to any strick rules other than do I enjoy what I play. I never turn my nose up at any style as there is so much to learn from so may different players and the way they approach the guitar. I have a good friend who once told me larn the song by whatever means it takes. There is no reason you can't play Your version of Django's tunes and not sound great!

GO CARDS!!
devinci
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Post by devinci »

Just learn how to play proper gypsy style pick technique and then you can fuse it with your current technique. As Miles Davis said, "imitate then inovate". Fingerstlye will not be loud enough ( unless you really got that flamenco down), in any king of jam situation, plus, take it from me, there is a certain joy in playing with a strong picking technique that you will love.
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radiotone
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Post by radiotone »

devinci wrote:As Miles Davis said, "imitate then inovate".
"Imitate, assimilate, inovate"

I believe Clark Terry said that, another St. Louis trumpeter.

Miles said--let's see... I think Miles actually said "Fuck You! I ain't here to teach no muthafuckin' trumpet class!"

Or something like that.
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Post by djimgo »

good points and tips from all of you. i'm glad i asked. i knew you were all much more knowledgable about this.

maybe i should add more info...

i'm 38 and have been playing guitar for about 30 years, mostly electric guitar (blues and rock). in the last few years, i turned more to acoustic guitar. i used to be REAL good, but i then chopped off the tip of my middle finger on my fretting hand, at the first knuckle. i was about 21 then. i couldn't play for several years without pain (it was grafetd back on fairly well, btw). i'm most likely locked into my habits, but will try to adapt. (i was fairly good at bluegrass banjo too).

as for guitars, i've had about everything. great ones and horrible ones with 1/2" action. i found usable sounds, etc on all. so my left hand should be strong enough.

i just bought a gitane d-500 and it will be here friday. obviously, i'm new to this. that's why i became a forum member after lurking for a while.

this will be a fun journey and i'm sure you will all be of much help to me. my goal is to use what i already know and add gypsy style to it. i'm not going to play in a band, just for personal enjoyment and maybe a street corner, every now and again.

thanks again,

jim
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emicad
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Post by emicad »

djimgo wrote:good points and tips from all of you. i'm glad i asked. i knew you were all much more knowledgable about this.

maybe i should add more info...

i'm 38 and have been playing guitar for about 30 years, mostly electric guitar (blues and rock). in the last few years, i turned more to acoustic guitar. i used to be REAL good, but i then chopped off the tip of my middle finger on my fretting hand, at the first knuckle. i was about 21 then. i couldn't play for several years without pain (it was grafetd back on fairly well, btw). i'm most likely locked into my habits, but will try to adapt. (i was fairly good at bluegrass banjo too).

as for guitars, i've had about everything. great ones and horrible ones with 1/2" action. i found usable sounds, etc on all. so my left hand should be strong enough.

i just bought a gitane d-500 and it will be here friday. obviously, i'm new to this. that's why i became a forum member after lurking for a while.

this will be a fun journey and i'm sure you will all be of much help to me. my goal is to use what i already know and add gypsy style to it. i'm not going to play in a band, just for personal enjoyment and maybe a street corner, every now and again.

thanks again,

jim
You're free to send me a PM for all the questions you have
See you
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phil_g
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Post by phil_g »

Jim, get yourself some of the right strings, the DG 500 comes with crap bronze wound ones. Most of these guys use Argentines. Cheers, Phil
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djimgo
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Post by djimgo »

i ordered strings this morning.
Carter O'Brien
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Post by Carter O'Brien »

my other favorite Miles quote was when someone was asking how he would approach ending a solo, and he said: "Simple, take the horn out of your mouth".
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emicad
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Post by emicad »

Carter O'Brien wrote:my other favorite Miles quote was when someone was asking how he would approach ending a solo, and he said: "Simple, take the horn out of your mouth".
Great... :D
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