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on 27 December 2015
I have been playing guitar for a long time... and having bought this book to learn some Gypsy Jazz elements I was very disappointed by it.
1. Its hellishly boring for starters...yes you have to learn the discipline of Alternate Picking and yes you have to learn timing... but really introducing the book with boring picking exercises just puts you to sleep and kills any enthusiasm, its not as though the written notes are particularly entertaining or relevant... he doesn't even suggest that these picking exercises are related to Lead playing in Gypsy Jazz....God I was bored by page 4.
2. Next if you persevere we have "Manouche Style " Licks...Oh I think this might be more like it... apparently not ...these again are Three Note per string exercises to encourage you to play G or Gm in three notes on one string, its not like they are even entertaining, they are just repetitive three note patterns... the kind of thing you get on any Internet Rock Guitar how to play fast lesson!
3. Chapter 2 ...some Basic Manouche chords....these are plainly laid out with limited Written notes, most of which you would only understand from grade 5 onwards...hardly stuff got " Getting into " gypsy jazz...I understood what was said because I've learnt it elsewhere and would not have learnt it easily from this book!
4. The remaining chapters cover various things such as Rhythm and Improvisation with boring notes and limited details yes he provides examples and some details on various types of Rhythms used...but it all laid out like a classical style course, techincally formal, unrelated to real life examples and detached entirely from the actual Genre!
5. The book is dead .....contains lots of diagrams of Scales and Apreggio drawings for you to practice such as might be used in an Am piece etc pages later your still wading through similar diagrams or Major Arpeggios with a Chromatic approach above or below etc etc...the general idea could have been explained in one page and still not applicable examples to the Genre!
6 The only good bit about this book is that it documents the great long lists of possible Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor and Wholetone scale elements that you dont see if more interesting books. There are some short Exert examples of pieces to play over backing tracks but these are very short. Followed by 1 Key backing track and Example performance piece you might learn.

Overall
If you want to kill your enthusiasm for Gypsy Jazz buy this book.
If you want a Chord, Arpeggio and Scale Dictionary related to Gypsy Jazz buy this book
If you want to be Bored to Tears... buy this book
If you want to wade through hours of meaningless musical theoretical and largely un-applied examples buy this book

Have I said enough....
One person found this helpful
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on 25 April 2013
I must say I didn't really rate this book at all. Here's why:

I played guitar for about 10 years, practiced a lot, went to music college etc. Music college really killed my interest; I sold my guitars and I haven't really played properly for 2 years or so. Recently I wanted to get back into things. I have always been a fan of Django but never really attempted any of his style of playing, so I bought myself a Chinese Maccaferri knock-off and this book.

For starters the book is printed in French, English and German and is still fairly thin. There isn't a great deal of explanation or background on style or technique - There is a little to be learnt for a beginner, but due to the techniques involved in gypsy Jazz I expected the book to be rather more advanced.

There are a lot of examples of arpeggio shapes, which are certainly useful, but that sort of thing can be found anywhere. A lot of the examples don't seem to match the text - One example has an explanation of using 7th or 6th chord arpeggios over a progression, yet the next example contains simple major/minor triads!? It's also worth noting that most of the shapes given are certainly not the ones that Django would have used!

The CD has demonstrations of all the examples, but that's all. I was really disappointed to find there were no backing tracks whatsoever - Just a list of short examples. The book advises to practice the examples in different keys, but that's left for you to do - more variation on the CD would have been nice. Backing tracks would have been a sensible addition, to give the reader a chance to practice and apply some of the exercises given in the book and inject some creativity.

The information on rhythm playing is also severely lacking - There are a few technical exercises at the beginning but thats about it - again nothing really to play along to and get the style down.

All in all it's basically a list of exercises, I'm sure a beginner would get a lot out of it - but there are better books than this for theory and application.
3 people found this helpful
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on 21 September 2014
This is a good book, although there are not enough 'fun' things to play. This is a book of basic theory and lots of exercises. Lots and lots of exercises. This makes it a good resource for mastering gypsy-jazz arpeggios, but you will need to buy others and play a lot if you want to be able to improvise in this style. This is a shame, because it could have become a 'one-stop-shop' with some transcriptions and analysis, given that it does all the other hard stuff.
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on 21 February 2013
Very practical, no need to know too much music theory to advance, just a lot of practice. Also it comes with a CD with listening examples, so you know if you are sounding good.
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on 22 March 2015
helpful pathways on the django-journey
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on 28 May 2009
i agree stephane wremble's book is great i have romane l ' spirit manouche book also gypsy picking and this book is by far the best.. why
simply because everything is in this you need ..
i cant stand books that are full of pictures on how to sit and hold a pick or learn a style by learning a composition/song that you dont want to
stephane wremble has made the perfect book to learn from
no pictures .. no distractions i have been working on this book for about a year and have improved alot i wouldn't have learned from any other book as they all have a lot less in them or too much fancy word's and not much else
also he has studied along side angelo debarre and countless others played and learned in the gypsy camps .
i highly recommend this book
and if your new to gypsy jazz and anyone tells you to use a 3 mm guitar pick ignore them
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on 19 May 2010
Understandable and thorough. I am sure that following the lessons in the book would give a good grounding in the style. I don't see why it shouldn't be helpful to both beginners and more experienced players. If I don't make it as a gypsy jazzer, it won't be Stephane's fault.
2 people found this helpful
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on 10 July 2014
On the back page this book is described as being " for the guitarist who is already familiar with jazz harmony and note locations on the fretboard. " If this is you then stay well clear for what follows is 100 pages of basic arpeggios you will have mastered many moons ago.
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on 1 February 2009
Wrembels book is great- it gives you the essentials that you need to get under your belt if you want to play in the style. The fingering patterns are laid out logically and are easy to memorise- I imagine this is how the gypsy kids learn. I own quite a few books like this but would have to say this has been the most helpfull. This along with Colin Cosiminis chord books is a great base for anybody
12 people found this helpful
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on 26 May 2010
I've been working with this book for only a week now and have already improved a lot. OK... my guitar skills aren't the greatest but this book was a real eye opener... logical and informative. The CD that comes with it makes life simpler as well.
The only modification I done to it was that I carefully tore out all the pages and put them in a ring binder. It's just easier to use now as the book doesn't shut itself on you:)
6 people found this helpful
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