Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Learn To Play Django-Style Gypsy Jazz Guitar 2|
Actor: Paul Mehling
Director: Happy Traum
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
This fascinating look at the art of improvisation in the Gypsy jazz tradition shows you how to really swing! Paul Mehling, leader of the Hot Club of San Francisco, has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of this power... more »
A good-level masterclass
Tom Leoni | Alexandria, Virginia United States | 04/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Part 2 of 2 of Paul Mehling's instructional exploration of Gypsy Jazz guitar techniques, this 1-hour DVD plays like a high-level masterclass. Of all the possible ways in which this rather broad topic could be explored, Mehling chose the most musical - and the most disappointing for those who just want to "pick up a few licks."
He gives the tools to acquire and practice the musical and technical ideas for this complex style. This he does by breaking down Django's style into its main musical building blocks: picking patterns, arpeggios, scales, embellishments, left-hand techniques. For each of these elements, Mehling shows the correct way in which to "think them out," study them, practice them and grow them into musical improvisation.
Furthermore, he gives insightful advice on preferred voicings, on whether or not to "think modally," and on good ways to become agile and intimately acquainted with the fretboard. As he does in part 1 on comping, he teaches to fish rather than handing the viewer the catch of the day.
I would have taken off a half-star for editing - some of the demonstrations could have used another take, but again, this has the extemporaneous freshness of an masterclass caught on DVD. Also, I have meditated on whether Mehling should have expanded on the Gypsy "rest stroke" of the right hand - but I think that doing so in the context of a one-hour lesson would have been less than practical.
For the casual guitarist who just wants to strum a few ready-made lines, this is definitely not the right buy. But for anyone seriously willing to understand some of the foundations of Django's style - and willing to dedicate it some serious hours of "active" learning - this is a great resource."