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Gypsy Jazz & Swing Jam...5pm workshop...7pm...all­ jam

  • Mar 24, 2013 · 5:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

We will do a quick catch-up review and start one new song to work on 2-5-1 changes along with other concepts covered in prior weeks. New folks will catch-up by merging in and keeping up with attendance. More info below.





More info:

The workshop is going well. It’s good for anyone who is learning this music. I am upgrading and expanding the materials every week. In prior weeks we covered simple to advanced concepts including how to use the circle of “4ths” to learn numerology and apply that to your instrument in a geometric way. We also did sections like the harmony study which helps apply basic music theory to repeating forms on the fingerboard.


We will continue to revolve the essential elements and apply the musical knowledge & technique to tunes like Swing Gitan, Coquette, Sweet Georgia Brown, Minor Swing, Bossa Dorado, All of Me and Django’s Castle. Jamming will follow the workshop usually starting out with televised backup music and/or chord charts for workshop participants and then proceeding to live music only. There should be something for everyone.


You can skim to sections as needed:

1. Overview, schedule, updates

2. Workshop information

3. Schedule and location



1. Overview & schedule


As promised for the New Year, I started a more formalized workshop session from 5-7pm for the Gypsy Jazz & Swing Jam with a regular jam starting at 7pm, all acoustic string instruments welcome and sometimes other things. You might be familiar with the free workshops I taught at the Gypsy Café in Fremont from 2010 to early 2012. The workshop will be structured in a similar way with jamming to follow. For general information, go to the end of this email which includes links to resources.


The first 3-4 sessions we will transition from the 5-7pm jamming format we have been using. This just means I want more time to assess who is coming and to better prepare a program that addresses many levels of playing. If people show up earlier than 7pm to jam, we can start a session downstairs and migrate upstairs or as the situation suggests at 7pm.


Announcement: By the way, we are working hard on efforts to own the Gypsy Café. If that is successful, an entire new realm of music, community and workshop opportunities will abound.


2. Workshop Information


The focus of the workshop is to learn music and to quickly apply that to your instrument. In the traditional workshop, we use all kinds of music; this workshop will focus on gypsy jazz, swing and Latin rhythm style. My philosophical approach is to learn music and technical understanding of music math and geometry on the neck of your instrument mostly using your ear. That can be applied to all forms of music. For some people this is building block to play various styles of music and for others, a path to solid gypsy jazz & swing playing.


This would be a good chance for all players to be involved and that players who know more will come and help those who newer to this music. I will be demonstrating instrumentally mostly using violin and mandolin because I expect there will be guitar players who can help me. I also have Ernie Bracco and Tony Khan signed up to show up at the last part of some sessions to demonstrate specific guitar technique required.


On that note I will mention that gypsy jazz guitar is a difficult but exciting goal for learning and jamming. In terms of basic technique, I recommend you do exactly what Ernie or Tony suggest, and to do what I suggest to approach it musically and practically within your time limits. It is overwhelming to take it all on at once and people are so motivated to learn tunes and chords you can also lose focus and end up with a jumble of skills and tunes at the end of a year. You can learn tunes any time in your future, but you can never make up missed days to develop muscle memory and good technique.


In the first or second year, the most important thing you can do overall with limited time is to focus on specific exercises, some which are musical. At first, right hand rhythm technique is the most important, 60-70%, with 30-40% on the left hand navigating basic chord shapes in different keys. The critical thing is daily muscle memory work even if you can only play 10 minutes.


3. Schedule & Location


Generally, the workshop jam is at about 5pm-7pm and full jam about 7pm-11pm. There are other rooms so we can split up the jam if it gets too large or we need to expand the workshop section.


Location is the next building
North of the blue house at:
12215 Ashworth Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98133


12215 is the manager’s address, so please check the map

for detail directions.

There are a couple turns you could miss


More info at: (this email is more current for into…). There is a good map on the website. Please note you could also come up Meridian from Northgate and take a left on 122nd. This is a music community event for fun, fellowship and music. Buddy and I will be there with some food and drinks and milk bones.


The location is a clubhouse with many great features including a large acoustically-sound space, full kitchen where we could do potlucks and a big refrigerator for pop, beer and wine, and a fireplace. In nice weather, we can play outside and then move inside to limit noise. This is a clubhouse for an older folk’s community, although the acoustic music shouldn’t bother them when we play inside. Hopefully, all the folks will come to listen.


In the past, the gypsy jam was a fun and instructional event for gypsy jazz, swing, Latin and other styles of music with acoustic gypsy jazz and other style guitars. This is for Manouche and swing style guitar players as well as the other string instruments including violin, mandolin, and stand up or sometimes electric bass. Snare drum with brushes and tight rhythm or certain percussion instruments usually work. Sometimes we can work with two bass players or someone can switch between guitar and bass.


All players with some experience are invited and all are welcome to play in the "back-row" or to enjoy as listeners. Email [masked] if you have questions of what instruments work and how the jam works. Audience listeners are welcome; email with questions.




I started a new group and if you sign up for that, it will be a lot easier to get announcements and updates regarding the jam. The location is kept private unless you are a member and I review members who join. The group will have announcements for a broader category of acoustic music and include performances, so you might like to get those. Here is the link:



See you soon,


& Buddy






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