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  • 10 Tipps to become a better guitar-player

    Selmer 1932 22610 Tipps to become a better guitar-player

    Every musician is aiming to improve his playing, to learn new stuff over the years and to add this to his playing. But sometimes you may get the feeling to be stuck, not improving anymore. Some sort of "non-creative break" is evolving. Such a break may even last for longer, sometimes up to some months.
    This is absolutely normal, cause at first you pick up new stuff, you learn. Then you start repeating those new things to get used to and integrate it into your playing. If you did that, then there is the third phase when you are able to create something new from the stuff you´ve learned before. According to Clarke Terry: „Imitate, assimilate, create, innovate...“

    To give you some more input how to become a better player over time, here i collected 10 ideas how to improve your own playing. Read on further down.
  • 10 Wege - zum besseren Gitarristen

    Selmer 1932 226Jeder Musiker ist bestrebt, möglichst sein Spiel zu verbessern, über die Jahre immer neue Dinge zu lernen und in sein Spiel einzubauen.
    Manchmal aber hat man aber durchaus das Gefühl, dass es so gar nicht recht voran geht und man quasi “auf der Stelle tritt“ und man keine Fortschritte mehr macht. Eine solche Phase kann sogar durchaus recht lange dauern, manchmal sogar bis zu mehreren Monaten.

    Allerdings ist das durchaus normal, denn man nimmt ja zu allererst neue Dinge erst mal auf, lernt sie, dann setzt man sie um und übt sie. Wenn man sie dann gut kann kommt irgendwann die Phase wo man sie umsetzen und irgendwann aus diesem Umgesetzten sogar etwas neues kreieren kann. Getreu dem Zitat des Monats von Clarke Terry: „Imitate, assimilate, create, innovate...“

    Aus diesem Grund habe ich hier einmal 10 Ideen zusammen getragen, wie man sein Spiel auf der Gitarre wieder voran bringen kann. Lest unten weiter...
  • How to Improvise - some thoughts on Improvisation (1/3)

    django 1940Improvisation is a broad field that has been worked on by all kinds of musicians of all styles from the very beginning in many different ways. Django Reinhardt has been an absolute Master in this.

    But how does Improvisation actually work?
    There is improvisation with start- and stop-points, tonal and modal attempts of improvisation, there is improvisation based on scales and arpeggios or Improvisation just "spit out" as a wild and unordered bunch of tickled out notes.

    Which way you may ever use as a musician, you should always have in mind this one clear goal: to transmit the expression of what you have to say as a musician to your audience. If there is no message - there is no meaning and improviation will degrade to "just a bunch of wiggled notes" that will also leave behind your audience icecold in the end.
    DukeEllignton"It don´t mean a thing if it ain´t got that swing" - this golden rule was made up by great the Duke Ellington, and he was absolutely right! Because this is true for all kinds of music - not only for Swing or Jazz.

    Wether what kind of musicstyle you play, if your music hasn´t got any message, no contents, no soul - then it is dead and meaningless. It will be unpersonal and - in the end it will be just boaring... 
    One can be able to play technically and maturely well or even play scales with a technically perfect sharp attack at the incredible speed of 400+ BPMs on any instrument, but if it has no soul it means - nothing!

    To copy another musician (e.g. a musical idol) is not forbidden at all, but the more it is one of the most easiest ways to learn music from each other. Almost all great musicians did that as it is one of the most natural ways to learn for human beeings to imitate. So imitation belongs to a very important phase in the developement of every musician.

    Nevertheless one day (whenever that is) there should arrive a new phase in the musical developement of every musician in which one should transform all the things that he/she might have learned from the musical forefathers or idols into own new phrases and musical ideas. If not one will stick inside the process of beeing blocked in his own advancement...

    Like Jazzlegend Clarke Terry already said in 1954, there are four important steps in the phases of developement of a musician:  Imitate, Assimilate, Create, Innovate

    (How to Improvise - some thoughts on Improvisation by Bertino Rodmann ©2013)

    Read more -> How to improvise (2/3)

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  • JM-Play-technique (en)

  • JM-Rhythm - La Pompe

    JM Greats Hono Wintersteinmitgliederbereich The accompaning-Rhythm of Gypsyjazz created and invented in the early 1920/30ies is called "La Pompe" (french pompe = to pump, to press) in France.

    This Rhythm has been strongly influenced by players like the younger brother of Django Reinhardts named Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt (image right below), but as well by the regularely playing Rhythm-Guitarrists that used to work with Django and the Quintette in these years like for example Roger Chaput, Eugene Vees or Henri Crolla.
    Later on there where also other famous guitarrists like the brothers Matelot, Sarrane, Maurice or Baro Ferré who left their footprints by developing the rhythm playing with the Quintte as well. And until today the rhythm "La Pompe" is still beeing developed by many different players creating all new kinds of colours and shades.
    Joseph_reinhardt
    Modern players like the young guitarrists Sebastien Giniaux or Adrien Moignard of the Band "Selmer #607" are playing a different Pompe, using other accents as for example Tschavolo Schmitt or Bireli Lagrene. And again differently the rhythm is beeing played by the netherland or "nordic" players like the brothers Mozes, Nousche and Stochelo Rosenberg or as Andreas Öberg.

    Many (false) things have already been written about the "Pompe" in some methodbooks, as well as it is to be seen on Youtube - sometimes by people who themselfes dont know how to play a "swinging" accompanying, but still try to explain to others "how it´s really been done".
    But someone who is just starting to play this music regrettably cannot distinguish the right from wrong explanations, lessons or books, telling which workshop might be ok or not stating the right stuff. And some stuff out there is just redicolous!

    But as we already did mention before in some articles on our website one should take a little care with these kind of "so called" fundamentally correct Gypsyjazz-Workshops (Example: "Play-Django-in-5-Minutes" or "How-to-play-Django-Style").
    Better to join a real LIVE-Workshop, even spending some money for it, with someone who knows how to play and explain right, instead of using wrongly thought dubios Workshops... taking it for real just because it´s for free... but just a little sidestep, let´s go back to the La-Pompe-Rhythm.

    Here you see an "easy example" of a first step to learn the "Pompe"-Rhythm (excerpt from my methodbook "Gypsyjazz Guitar" released in autumn 2011):
     LaPompe 1
    As you can see, the rhythm is made up by a first short sounding 16th-beat, followed by a pointed eigth-pause and another second short hit (quarter note) as a so called "Dead-Note", without sound. The emphasis in the rhythm generally has to be played on the second(!) beat, which means on the quarter-deadnotes.
    It is crucial, as mentioned by Stochelo Rosenberg in one of his Workshops, to hit ALL the strings with the pick while stroking!
    Of course this knowledge doesnt help you alone to play a cool, swinging La Pompe. But it is as always: it don´t mean a thing if it ain´t got that swing...

    The one who is interested to dive deeper into the correct playing of that rhythm might take a look at our examples here on the page as well as to my LIVE-workshop "Masterclass for Gypsyjazzguitar", where this rhythm is goin to be explained with additional picking-techniques as well as the Soloplaying with many examples. Or one might take a closer look at my methodbook "Gypsyjazz Guitar" released by Alfred Music publishing (Cologne)   where you may read a step-by-step-instruction to learn this rhythm.

    Read more -> JM-Solotechnique


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  • Spieltechnik des Gypsyjazz

    Die Spieltechnik des Gypsyjazz unterscheidet sich in vielen Aspekten, von denen des "normal üblichen" Gitarrespiels.

    django4Dies hat sicher sehr viel zu tun mit Django Reinhardt, dem bis heute berühmtesten Gitarristen der Sintimusiker. Durch seinen Einfluss entstand zu maßgeblichen Teilen die spezielle Spielweise auch der heutigen Sintigitarristen.

    django-handDurch die schwere Verbrennung die er bei dem Brand seines Wohnwagens erlitt und die daraus resultierende Verkrüppelung seiner linken Greifhand (Foto links) entstand sozusagen "aus der Not geboren" eine ganz spezielle Grifftechnik, sowohl was Akkorde als auch Läufe (Skalen) und Arpeggios angeht (siehe auch Django Reinhardt - the Guitar-Maestro).

    Da ihm durch seine Verletzung nicht mehr möglich war den kleinen Finger der linken Hand zu bewegen und auch der Ringfinger nur eingeschränkt dazu in der Lage war, entwickelte Django diese für ihn typische und später von anderen Sintimuskern übernommene Grifftechnik, z.B. für normale Standardakkorde.
    Viele der von ihm verwendeten Akkorde reduzieren die normal vorhandene Grifftechnik der 6 Töne der Gitarre auf 3 Finger und dadurch auf nur 3-4 Töne (meist im Bassbereich) pro Akkord (Beispiel gypsy_chords_cmoll6hier ein Moll6-Akkord).

    So entstanden die durch ihn so berühmt gewordenen rhythmischen Akkordfolgen und bildeten eine ganz spezielle Klangcharakteristik die so typisch für den Gypsyjazz ist.

    Aber nicht nur das Akkordspiel sondern eben auch die Solotechnik war durch seine grifftechnischen Möglichkeiten stark beeinflusst.

    Die durch Django bekannt gewordenen virtuosen Gitarren-Soli, aber auch die über viele Takte gespielten langen "Klangteppiche" die als Gitarren-Begleitung von ihm erstmals als Gitarrist erdacht und gespielt wurden, sind oftmals lange Arpeggiofolgen (Beispiel: ein verminderter Lauf im Song "Reverie" aus dem Jahr 1938) gepaart mit kreativ eingesetzten Skalen und Läufen, die das normale Gitarrespiel in vielerlei Hinsicht seit den 20-/30er Jahren komplett revolutionierte.
    arpege3

    gypsyjazzguitar 400 flyer01Viele seiner Solo-Läufe mussten aber auch aus o.g. Gründen anders gegriffen bzw. gespielt werden (z.B. diagonal) und so entstand u.a. dieser spezielle Sound der den Gypsyjazz bis heute auszeichnet. Mehr Details zur Entstehung des JazzManouche auch in unserer JM-History.

    Einige dieser Spiel-Techniken von Django Reinhardt zeige ich in meinem LIVE-Workshop "Modular Gypsyjazz Guitar" und in meinem seit Herbst 2011 erhältlichen Gitarren-Lehrbuch "Gypsyjazz Guitar" (erschienen beim Alfred Verlag, Köln).

    Viele später lebende Gitarristen (wie z.B. John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Joe Pass, George Benson u.v.m.) führten seither Django Reinhardt als einen ihrer grössten persönlichen Einflüsse und als die Inspirationsquelle ihres eigenen Spiels an.

    Nicht umsonst wird Django Reinhardt entsprechend verehrt und idolisiert. Und jeder Gitarrist der sich näher mit seiner Musik und speziell auch seiner Gitarrenspieltechnik beschäftigt hat, wird dies verstehen und ebenfalls für sich bestätigen - es wird seine Hochachtung nur umso mehr vergrössern!

    Hier könnt Ihr mehr lesen über den -> JM-Rhythmus - La Pompeoder über die -> JM-Solotechnik, Euch zum lernen von neuen Chords und Skalen unser "JM-Chord-Lexikon" oder das -> "JM-Scales-Book" oder für neue Songs -> "The REAL Gypsyjazz book" herunterladen sowie über den -> LIVE-Workshop "Modular Gypsyjazz Guitar" informieren und buchen.
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      ERG Model Bertino - Maple series

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      Tiger Maple, Miller-Hardware

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