Swinging with Stochelo

As I related in an earlier post, Gypsy Jazz superstar Stochelo Rosenberg has his own online academy here. I’m proud to be a member and consider myself fortunate to be living in an age when someone of Stochelo’s talent can take on the role of guitar instructor and still live thousands of miles away. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning this style to check the site out. Even though I was self-taught up until a few months ago, I have learned much in the last 12 weeks and was able to fine-tune some technique things I wasn’t doing right. Stochelo shows you how to play all of these songs almost lick by lick and this is how he learned — from watching others do it and from copping licks from Django off his records.

Here are two songs that I’ve already done and can do at tempo…sort of. I still have to get the right-hand much better, but it’s coming along. Sometimes the things I practice go out the window when I try to record or perform and I revert to old (bad) habits. As with the Swinging with Django videos I just tune up and go for it and take the first take. I think it’s important to get to the point where it’s just automatic and THERE when it has to be there. I do better versions when I practice S L O W L Y, but I like to record them fast and on the fly so I can notice where I am reflexively doing it wrong. Posting these videos at the Academy allows the really experienced and helpful staff to comment and that sure does help. I wouldn’t have been able to play any of the songs as well last year at this time. There are more in the works and the Rosenberg Academy encouraged me to post these here…in case you’re wondering. They are super-nice people, and really helpful and attentive to any questions, plus they have already put up a whole lot of material and they are only on month 5. It is a great deal considering you are studying with one of the best guitarists in the world for less than what a local guitar teacher would charge for an hourly lesson.

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